Why I Row Interview 09
by Michelle Conway / Nov. 01, 2019

Name: Sean Carolan

1. When did you begin rowing?

I started rowing in September 1966. One of our teachers ( in St.Paul’s CBS Brunswick St in Dublin) rowed with Neptune Rowing Club. One day he went around asking who would like to try rowing. Half of the school seemed to turn up that Wednesday afternoon in Islandbridge. After that I was hooked.

2. Why?

I rowed because it was addictive. A couple of weeks after I started I was put out in a single scull. I loved the sense of freedom and also being able to see progress. I really enjoyed being able to move the scull at speed using only my own power. Much later, after my own competitive career was long finished, I came to live in Galway and was asked to coach. I found that equally addictive, coaching in both Colaiste Iognaid and NUIG before moving to Tribesmen. I loved seeing the progress of the various crews over the years and of course any success is always sweet.

3. Do you have a favourite seat?

While I rowed most of my rowing career in the stroke seat, I don’t have a favourite. I have raced in every seat in the boat, including the cox’s!

4. What was your top challenge?

Turning a large group of inexperienced adult recreational rowers into crews capable of competing at National Champs and World Masters. Recently in Hungary our Tribes Women’s E 8 was the fastest club boat in that category – now that was a challenge for me and a great achievement for them!!

5. What would you like to learn or improve?

I would like to properly understand the law of the lever and the science behind it. I wasn’t in school that day, I must have been off rowing!

6. Favourite spin?

My favourite spin used to be 90 minutes steady state in an 8 on Blessington Lake on a calm winter’s morning. Now it’s sculling on the Corrib on a calm summer’s morning.

7. What do you love most about rowing?

Meeting up with former rowers and reliving stories. Being welcome at any rowing club in the country – that sense of community. Friends I made 50 years ago are still good friends today.