Action back on River Lee as Cork Sculling Ladder resumes

After a postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, competition steeped in history resumes as 49th Cork Sculling Ladder time trial is on 
Action back on River Lee as Cork Sculling Ladder resumes

Rowers gathering in the early morning mist for the start of the 36th Cork Sculling Ladder time trials along the Marina. Picture: Richard Mills 

Having been abandoned last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cork Sculling Ladder is making a return to the River Lee.

Although it will have to be held in a limited capacity as we continue to observe best safety protocols in light of the coronavirus threat.

The 2020-2021 Cork Sculling Ladder will this year consist of just the time trial, which will be held on Saturday, June 19, across the 1,800m course at The Marina in Cork.

The time allotted for the racing is 8.30am to 12.30pm and if weather conditions force a postponement then it will be run the following morning from 9am to 1pm, availing of the best times to catch the tide and to facilitate good racing.

CHAMP! Margaret Cremen with Cork Sculling Ladder organiser Pat Hickey. 	Picture: Larry Cummins
CHAMP! Margaret Cremen with Cork Sculling Ladder organiser Pat Hickey. Picture: Larry Cummins

The Cork Sculling Ladder is in its 50th year, having been established in 1972 to provide opportunities for competitive racing for men and women scullers on the River Lee. The 49th Cork Sculling Ladder is sponsored by Argos Fire & Safety, a Cork business located at the Kinsale Road Commercial Centre, which has been event sponsor for a number of years now.

In the interest of safety it has been decided that the Cork Sculling Ladder will consist of only the time trial this year, rather than the 10-month competition, and prizes will go to the fastest males and females.

It will be terrific to see competitive racing back at The Marina, and there will be racing categories of:

Men: Open, Intermediate, Novice, Club 1, 2, Junior 18, 16, 15, 14, 13 and 12. Masters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, etc…… and Adoptive (A).

Women: Open, Intermediate, Novice, Club 1, 2, Junior 18, 16, 15, 14, 13 and 12. Masters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, etc…… and Adoptive (A).

It is thanks to the commitment to rowing of Cork Sculling Ladder organiser Pat Hickey that this competition has reigned in Cork for so many decades, and helped to develop so many fine champions, who honed their sculling craft through this event, enabling them to go on to further glory, locally, nationally and internationally.

Ireland's Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen celebrate with their medals after finishing third in the Lightweight Women's Double and qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.	 Picture: ©INPHO/Detlev Seyb
Ireland's Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen celebrate with their medals after finishing third in the Lightweight Women's Double and qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: ©INPHO/Detlev Seyb

The 50th Cork Sculling Ladder is planned for September/October, beginning with the time trial, and hopefully a full 10-month competition with challenges following, providing we get on top of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Cork Sculling Ladder has listed many great rowers among its champions down through the years, as can be seen here.

Cork Sculling Ladder champions down through the years.
Cork Sculling Ladder champions down through the years.

Our table shows winners up to the 44th event. Winners after that were:

45th 2016 – 2017: Ronan Byrne, UCCRC, and Margaret Cremen, Lee RC.

46th 2017 – 2018: Jack Dorney, Shandon BC, and Margaret Cremen, Lee RC

47th 2018 – 2019: Eoin Gaffney, Shandon BC, and Aoife Lynch, Lee RC

48th 2019 – 2020: Hugh Sutton, UCCRC, and Jessica Legresley, Shandon BC.

Those wishing to register for the 49th Cork Sculling Ladder time trial must do so by Monday, June 14.

Cork Sculling Ladder winners at the 2013/2014 presentations at Cork Constitution RFC. Picture: Eddie O’Hare
Cork Sculling Ladder winners at the 2013/2014 presentations at Cork Constitution RFC. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

Come on, let’s find the fastest sculler in Cork. After all, Cork Sculling Ladder counts among its winners Margaret Cremen, who rowed for Lee Rowing Club then, now with UCC Rowing Club and Rowing Ireland, a European and World medallist... and about to be an Olympian!

Prize winners of the 2017-2018 Cork Sculling Ladder pictured at Cork Boat Club, Blackrock. Picture: Gavin Browne
Prize winners of the 2017-2018 Cork Sculling Ladder pictured at Cork Boat Club, Blackrock. Picture: Gavin Browne
2015/2016 Cork Sculling Ladder winners with Con Cronin, president, Rowing Ireland. Picture: Eddie O’Hare
2015/2016 Cork Sculling Ladder winners with Con Cronin, president, Rowing Ireland. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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