Colmcille Challenge

The Colmcille Challenge is the longest rowing race in the world and Foyle Rowing Club in Moville successfully defended its title in the Mixed Race on 2nd of May.

The event happens every two years, crossing the Irish sea from Arklow to Aberystwyth and in 2012 the club won the Mixed Team event and was the first Irish team home, coming third overall behind two all-male crews.

They came fourth overall this time.

The course is ninety nautical miles and crews row for an hour and are then relieved.


It was a tremendous challenge for the club, and training has been ongoing for the last year despite the difficult weather conditions.

In addition to the rowers, there is a team of support vessels, helpers and sponsors, without whom participation would not be possible.
The men’s team was Don McGinley, Anthony Doogan, Thomas Farren, Thomas Scott, Hugh Kelly and Sean Bonner.

The women’s team was Jennifer Gill, Katrina Reynolds, Jackie Kelly, Sally Dorrian, Caroline Gillespie, Geraldine Green and Leanne Dockery.

Support boat crew is Bernard Farren, Damian Gillen and Shane Kelly, Graham Stronge, Mark Stronge, and Michael Greene.

Good Time

The 2014 biennual Celtic Challenge rowing race from Arklow in Ireland to Aberystwyth Wales, took place over the weekend of Friday and Saturday, May 2nd.

Foyle Rowers did it in 18 hrs 26.50.

This year 21 teams started and everyone finished – unlike two years ago when extreme weather conditions meant that out of 18 starters only 12 boats managed to cross the line.

They are delighted with their win, retaining their title of two years ago when they were the First Irish team ever to win the mixed title, their crew of 6 men and 6 women came 4th overall.

The sunrise over the Hills of Wales was a sight to behold after rowing all through the night. For the First time the race had a tracker system which was a great addition, allowing friends to watch their progress over the course of the race.