Seán Drea

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Seán Drea
Sean Drea 1976.jpg
Drea with his 1976 Holland Beker trophy at Bosbaan
Personal information
Born (1947-03-02) 2 March 1947 (age 70)
Bagnalstown, Ireland[1]
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 98 kg (216 lb)
Sport Rowing
Club Neptune Rowing Club, Dublin

Seán Joseph Drea (born 3 March 1947[2]) is a former rower from Ireland, specialising in the single scull. He won the Henley Royal Regatta's Diamond Sculls three years in a row, and came second in the 1975 World Championships.[1][3]

Drea is from Wells,[4] near Muine Bheag, County Carlow. He tried many sports before joining Neptune Rowing Club after moving to Dublin to work[4] in advertising. He later went to Philadelphia, where he attended St. Joseph's College on a scholarship and also rowed for Vesper Boat Club. He lost to Alexander Timoschinin in the final of the 1972 Diamond Sculls when the steering fin broke off his boat.[5] At the 1972 Olympics, he came seventh.[2][6] In 1974, he won the U.S. national championships,[7] and was the favorite for the World Championships in Rotsee;[8] however he withdrew for an emergency kidney stone removal.[6][9][10] At the 1975 World Championships, he finished second to Peter-Michael Kolbe.[9] At the 1976 Olympics, he broke the 2000 m world record in the semi-final with a time of 6:52.46.[2][6] However, he finished fourth in the final after a poor third quarter.[2][6]

Drea spent years in Philadelphia as a coach for Fairmount Rowing Association, La Salle University and the US National Team,[11] and rowed in the Head of the River Race in 1997 with a veteran Schuylkill Navy crew.[12] Today, Drea lives in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland and works as an organic farmer.

Sean's son Jack Drea rowed for Oxford Brookes University[13] and won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2006.


Year Event Place Ref
1970 Henley QF [14]
1970 Worlds 6 [15]
1972 Henley 2 [5]
1972 Olympics 7 [2]
1973 Henley 1 [16]
1974 Henley 1 [16]
1975 Henley 1 [16]
1975 Worlds 2 [9]
1976 Olympics 4 [2]

In popular culture[edit]

Drea was mentioned on the cult-television comedy show Father Ted, in the season three episode Speed 3. The scene depicts Fathers Ted, Clarke and Beeching trying to come up with a plan to save Dougal, when Father Clarke reminisces about being at the Moscow Olympics with "Sean Drea, the rower".[17]


  1. ^ a b Sean DREA at FISA
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Seán Drea". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Rudern – Weltmeisterschaften. Einer – Herren" [Rowing – World Championships. One – Men]. (in German). Archived from the original on 2015-01-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Sean Drea calls on Carlow stars to believe". Carlow Nationalist. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Harvard Lightweight Crew and Kent Eight Capture Cups at Henley Regatta; Drea is defeated in Diamond Sculls". New York Times. 2 July 1972. p. S5. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d Watterson, Johnny (14 August 2000). "Olympic Evolution: Number 4 – Rowing". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "A Roundup Of The Week Aug. 12–18". Sports Illustrated. 26 August 1974. 
  8. ^ "A Roundup Of The Week Sept. 2–8". Sports Illustrated. 16 September 1975. 
  9. ^ a b c "...but Not In Nottingham". Sports Illustrated. 8 September 1975. 
  10. ^ "Surgery for Drea". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. 9 September 1974. p. 25. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  11. ^ Silverberg, Lee (19 May 2008). "A Very Brief History of the Fairmount Rowing Association". Fairmount Rowing Association. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Matheson, Hugh (22 March 1997). "Rowing: Redgrave and Pinsent pair up". The Independent. London. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  13. ^ Dodd, Christopher (1 July 2004). "Rowing: Brookes boat beats Dublin as wind takes toll on crews". The Independent. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "Penn, Dartmouth lose their races; English Crews Triumph in Grand Challenge Event Arlett Bows in Sculling". New York Times. 3 July 1970. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  15. ^ "World Rowing". New York Times. 6 September 1970. p. 121 Sports. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c Hildes-Heim, Norman (31 August 1975). "East German Oarsmen Capture 5 of 8 World Titles at Regatta". New York Times. p. 168. Retrieved 25 February 2010. ...Diamond sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta in July which Drea won for the third consecutive time 
  17. ^ Father Ted (1995).