Come Boating!, Belfast's community rowing organization, has awarded its 2013 rower of the year title to John Dillenbeck.

The award was initiated five years ago by Malcolm Gater, leader of the rowing organization’s racing program for a number of years and for whom Come Boating!’s newest Cornish pilot gig is named.

“John has shown outstanding leadership as the premier stroke oar in all the important competitions of 2013,” said Gater. “Not only is he a strong and relentless rower, but he has been instrumental in taking our rowing to a higher level by thoughtful and intelligent analysis of technique and diet. He contributed greatly to our rowing success this year.”

Come Boating! racing teams have taken first place in all the races in which they have participated the past two years, and Dillenbeck has been a member of the winning crews in nearly every one.

Dillenbeck started rowing with Come Boating! about seven years ago.

“It’s a wonderful organization. I love the people who are involved and being part of a team,” Dillenbeck said.

Previous rowers of the year are Martha Garfield, Wes and Willy Reddick, Greg Stafford, and Monica Piccinini, all of whom continue to be active participants in Come Boating!