The All-Ireland Senior National Rowing Championships are just around the corner as the action gets underway at the National Rowing Centre in Cork.
Last year, it was a jam-packed weekend with 503 crews competing over 55 categories from Friday to Sunday. This year, the Championships have been split between Junior and Senior so while there will be less races on, the competitive action will be just as hotly contested.
Olympian Margaret Cremen enjoyed a fruitful time in 2021. After making her debut at the Tokyo Games in the summer, the UCC rower picked up gold in the Single Scull, Double and Senior 8. Hailing from Rochestown, Cork, Cremen gave us her thoughts ahead of the upcoming competition.
“It does get intense when you are training on the Irish Squad all the time,” said Cremen who is set to compete in the Senior Single and Senior Double on Friday, and the Senior 8 on Sunday. “And then just being with your friends and your club, it was really great just to celebrate the year.”
Cremen said the National Championships provide good opportunities for Irish rowers. “Anyone could surprise themselves and it gives them a chance to test themselves.”
“What I love about champs is that you’re seeing people and you’re meeting people that you only see at champs,” Cremen said. “You only see them once a year, but you pick up right where you left off.”
In terms of doubles teams and summer competition, Cremen said teammates are battling to secure their seats.
“No one’s seats are really safe,” Cremen said. “We are all competitive in the group.”
Despite her tender age, Cremen has been making a storm on the international scene. Back in 2017, alongside her partner Aoife Casey, the pair took a silver medal at the European Junior Rowing Championships. They also picked up silver in the lightweight women’s double at the 2020 European U23 Rowing Championships while they also raced at the senior Europeans last year.