Irish Book Awards

Something in the Water: How Skibbereen Rowing Club Conquered the World

Olympic rowers Gary and Paul O’Donovan may be the face of Irish rowing and Skibbereen Rowing Club, and have enormously increased the popularity of rowing in Ireland, but they’re just one piece of a much larger jigsaw. Without their club and the people behind the scenes, they wouldn’t be Olympic silver medalists, 2018 world champions, former European champions and, in Paul’s case, a three-time world champion.

Almost one hundred Skibbereen Rowing Club athletes have represented Ireland at various regattas over the years; a staggering figure when viewed in light of the size of the club. Founded in 1970, it is now the undisputed most successful rowing club in the country, producing five Olympic rowers since 2000 and four world champions between 2016 and 2018. It is the characters involved in the club, the coaches, members and the athletes themselves, who come together to make Skibbereen Rowing Club what it is.

Something in the Water reveals what goes on behind the scenes to create an environment that allows locals to excel on the national and international stages. The story is told through the people and families involved, showing how relatable they are to people around the country.

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