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World Rowing announced that the World men's crew of the year is Ireland's own lightweight double scull of Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy. In a virtual event that celebrated the finest rowers and coaches around the World, the nominations featured three other World Rowing's premium crews from France, Holland and the Kiwi Olympic eight.

World Rowing commended the Rowing Ireland programme led by HP Director Antonio Maurogiovanni on their surge in rowing over the last number of years. Rowing Ireland's Fintan McCarthy met online during the World Rowing Awards, having just finished training at the home of Irish Rowing in the Kinetica National Rowing Centre, just outside Cork City. McCarthy reflected on the growing system of High-Performance rowing in place at present with a vital pathway and he reflected on the group of athletes all training together at the Kinetica NRC in order "to make the boat go faster". The other half of the Olympic duo, Paul O'Donovan couldn't make the awards due to his commitments at UCC, where he is studying medicine.

World men's crew of the year - Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthyWorld men's crew of the year - Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy

Rowing Ireland CEO Michelle Carpenter said, "It is an absolute honour that World Rowing has awarded our men's lightweight double this prestigious award. I would like to congratulate Paul and Fintan and the whole HP team on this formidable award. As we were sitting at a Rowing Ireland Board meeting this morning the awards were announced. It was such positive news to reflect on where we have come from and where we are going as we head into the Paris cycle. It was also poignant on a day where sport seems to be opening, as one of our seasons' first events was underway on the Marina in Cork. This award and our continued Rowing Ireland strategy gives us great hope for the future in all our programme’s. Without the support of Sport Ireland, Sport NI and the OFI, together with our committed sponsors, everyone has contributed hugely to the growth and success of Irish Rowing over the last number of years. It takes a village to raise a child, and now we have such incredible role models that everyone involved in our sport can look up to and know they can achieve the same through hard work and perseverance.

Published in Rowing
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Sports psychologist Dr Karen Weekes is due to set off from the Canaries to the Caribbean today in her bid to become the first Irish woman to row solo across the Atlantic.

Weekes will undertake the 4,800 km (3,000 miles) row in her vessel, Millie, named after her mother.

Her #SheCanDo2021 campaign aims to encourage more women and girls into endurance sport.

Weekes anticipates it will take about 70 days to row from Gran Canaria to Barbados, without any support vessel.

Weekes, who lives in Kinvara, Co Galway, says she will be rowing about 16 hours a day.

She will be only the 20th woman to row any ocean on the globe solo on completing the transit.

Weekes holds a doctorate in sports psychology, and lectures at Munster Technological University.

She has sailed the Atlantic twice, circumnavigated both Ireland and the Lofoten Islands off Norway in a kayak, and has cycled solo and unsupported 4,000 miles across Canada, through Alaska and the Yukon.

She has also solo cycled from Nordkapp in northern Norway to Helsinki in Finland.

Along with Orla Knight, a physical education teacher at Castletroy College in Co Limerick, she cycled across North America from San Francisco to Washington DC.

Weekes has trekked in Nepal and Pakistan and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.

She says the campaign is “dually focused”, in following her preparation for, and experience during the voyage, and “providing a platform for encouraging women, and girls, to believe in their abilities to succeed”.

She also aims to illuminate two of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically ‘gender equality’ and ‘life below water’, which focuses on the conservation of oceans and marine life.

Her progress can be followed on her tracker on this link here and listen to Weekes in conversation with Afloat's Lorna Siggins about the row on her Wavelength's podcast here

Published in Coastal Rowing
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‘All In A Row 2021’ is coming back to the capital’s River Liffey on Saturday 11th December with a rowing challenge for the teams to smash a 1,000km target in eight hours. Forty skiffs, kayaks, canoes and currachs will all be on the water to raise funds for RNLI Lifeboats and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.

The organisers are hoping to exceed last year’s target of rowing 1,000km during the event on the river, which will start from St. Patrick’s Rowing Club at the Tom Clarke Bridge (formerly the East Link Bridge) and go up to the Ha’penny Bridge. The challenge is being undertaken with the aim of showcasing the River Liffey as one of Dublin’s best amenities while raising funds for the water-related charities, RNLI Lifeboats and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit. The event raised €15,000 in 2019.

The event will start at 9 am on Saturday 11th December and at 1 pm all boats will gather on the Liffey at the Sean O’Casey footbridge. A wreath-laying ceremony, attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, will take place to commemorate all those who have lost their lives through drowning.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland, who will be attending the event, said “The River Liffey is such an important part of the city of Dublin and it is wonderful to see so many people using and enjoying the river in a range of skiffs, kayaks, canoes and currachs. Best of luck to all those taking part and well done for rising to the challenge of rowing 1,000 km, showcasing our beautiful river and raising money for two great water-related charities, RNLI Lifeboats and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.”

Many Dublin rowing clubs have their home on the River Liffey and are a regular sight on the water. At the port end of the river is St. Patrick’s Rowing Club, Stella Maris Rowing Club, East Wall Water Sports Group and Poolbeg Yacht and Boat club. Ringsend Basin is home to the Plurabelle Paddlers (dragon boats) and the Dublin Viking Dragon boats.

At the other end of the city beyond Heuston Station, there are many river rowing clubs and kayaking clubs, including Phoenix Rowing Club. Rowing clubs from other parts of Ireland will join in this challenge to raise funds for RNLI Lifeboats and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.

Published in Dublin Bay
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A busy few days of racing in the National Rowing Centre saw 503 crews competing over 55 categories from Friday to Sunday. There were over 130 races held with 52 finals this weekend.

Highlights of the weekend included seeing UCC Rowing Club pick up victories in all six of the Senior Women’s Categories with Margaret Cremen winning the Women’s Single Scull and Lydia Heaphy winning the Lightweight Women’s Single. University College Cork won the final race of the Championships with Jennifer Crowley, Selma Bouanane, Tara Hanlon, Lydia Heaphy, Emily Hegarty, Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen, Aifric Keogh and Sorcadh Higgins (cox).

University College Dublin won the Senior Men’s Eight Coxed Final with Cameron Murphy, David O’Malley, Thomas Bedford, David Somers, Thomas Earley, Andrew Kelly, David Joyce, Fintan Early and Robin Keane (cox). Daire Lynch of Clonmel won the Men’s Single Scull and Gary O’Donovan of Skibbereen won the Lightweight Men’s Sculls.

Holly Davis (Lee Valley) won the Women's Junior 19 Single Scull, Niamh Coffey (ULRC) won both the Club and Intermediate Single Sculls.

Andrew Sheehan (Lee) won the Men’s Junior 19 Single Sculls, Men’s Intermediate Single Sculls was won by Colum Brennan from Neptune

Irish Rowing Championships 2021 Results

Womens Senior

Womens Senior 8+ UCCRC – Jennifer Crowley, Selma Bouanane, Tara Hanlon, Lydia Heaphy, Emily Hegarty, Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen, Aifric Keogh and Sorcadh Higgins (cox).

Womens Senior 4- UCCRC – Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen, Emily Hegarty, Tara Hanlon

Womens Senior 2- UCCRC – Emily Hegarty, Tara Hanlon

Women’s Senior 2X UCCRC – Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen,

Womens Senior 1X Margaret Cremen – UCCRC

Womens Lightweight 1X Lydia Heaphy – UCCRC

Mens Senior

Mens Senior 8+ UCDBC – Cameron Murphy, David O’Malley, Thomas Bedford, David Somers, Thomas Early, Andrew Kelly, David Joyce, Fintan Early, Robin Keane (cox)

Mens Senior 4- Shandon / UCCRC – Adam Murphy, Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, Ronan Byrne

Mens Senior 4X UCCRC – Paul O’Donovan, Alex Byrne, Ronan Byrne, Hugh Sutton

Mens Senior 2X UCCRC – Alex Byrne, Hugh Sutton

Mens Senior 2- ULRC – Ryan Spelman, Jon Cuddy

Mens Senior 1X Daire Lynch – Clonmel

Mens Lightweight 1X Gary O’Donovan – Skibbereen

Womens Intermediate

Womens Intermediate 8+ UCDBC – Claire Martin, Ava Evans, Orla Hayes, Ellie Scott, Alison Daly, Louise Watson, Aine McCreesh, Sarah Daly, Hannah Kerrigan (cox)

Womens Intermediate 4+ ULRC – Clara O’Brien, Corina Coughlan, Ava Kelly, Georgia O’Brien, Shauna O’Mahony (cox)

Womens Intermediate 2- ULRC – Clara O’Brien, Corina Coughlan

Womens Intermediate 2X ULRC – Clara O’Brien, Niamh Coffey

Womens Intermediate 1X Niamh Coffey – ULRC

Mens Intermediate

Mens Intermediate 8+ Cork BC – Michael Cronin, Sean Crean, Stephen Murphy, James Young, Barry Connolly, Andy Harrington, Sean O’Sullivan, Barry O’Flynn, Maeve Reardon (cox)

Mens Intermediate 4+ ULRC – Tom McKeon, Michael Fanning, Ryan Spelman, Jon Cuddy, Shauna O’Mahony (cox)

Mens Intermediate 2- ULRC – Ryan Spelman, Jon Cuddy

Mens Intermediate 2X QUBBC – Hugh Moore, Ciaran Purdy

Mens Intermediate 1X Colum Brennan,– Neptune

Womens Club

Womens Club 8+ UCDBC – Claire Martin, Ava Evans, Orla Hayes, Ellie Scott, Alison Daly, Aine Brady, Lauren Heyes, Sinead Egan, Hannah Kerrigan (cox)

Womens Club 4+ ULRC –Niamh Coffey, Corina Coughlan, Georgia O’Brien, Shauna O’Mahony (cox)

Womens Club 1X Niamh Coffey – ULRC

Mens Club

Mens Club 8+ DUBC – Christopher Dehaene, David McSharry, Liam Junkermam, Alfie Hayes, Thomas Stevens, Tiarnan McKnight, Ronan Brennan, Tadhg McKnight, Rowan Hamilton (cox)

Mens Club 4+ ULRC – Luke Sutton, Finn O’Sullivan, Colm Horan, Rory O’Neil, Shauna O’Mahony (cox)

Mens Club 1X Thomas Stevens – DUBC

Womens Junior 19

Womens Junior 19 4X Skibbereen RC – Alyssa Mannix, Kelly Oforji, Lauren Steele-McCarthy, Moya Knowles

Womens Junior 19 2X Fermoy RC – Aine O’Mahony, Ellie Alison Bergin

Womens Junior 19 1X Ellie Alison Bergin – Fermoy

Mens Junior 19

Mens Junior 19 8+ Shannon RC – Tom Collins, Gary O’Donoghue, Joe Tanner, Alec Ahern, Fergal Mehigan, Cillian O’Brien, Niall Murphy, Conal Balfe, Tom Moran (cox)

Mens Junior 19 4+ Skibbereen RC – Christopher O’Donovan, Daire Kavanagh, Oisin Boyle, Fionn O’Reilly, Louise Murran (cox)

Mens Junior 19 2- Skibbereen RC – Oisin Boyle, Fionn O’Reilly

Mens Junior 19 2X Skibbereen RC – Daire Kavanagh, Fionn O’Reilly

Mens Junior 19 1X Andrew Sheehan – Lee

Womens Junior

Womens Junior 8+ Enniskillen RBC – Martha McBrien, Katie Donnelly, Zoe Elliott, Chloe Thompson, Jenny Little, Laura Turner, Nikki Kernaghan, Grace Ralph (cox)

Womens Junior 4- Galway RC – Crea Elwood, Evelina Zakarauskaite, Saphira Praxmarer, Hannah Durkan

Womens Junior 4X Bann RC – Ellie Kate Hutchinson, Flynn Greene, Abby Murdoch, Kirsten Tea

Womens Junior 2X Belfast BC – Patti Mullen, Gisele Coulter

Womens Junior 2- Galway RC – Evelina Zakarauskaite, Ranya Praxmarer

Womens Junior 1X Holly Davis – Lee Valley

Mens Junior

Mens Junior 8+ St Josephs RC – Evan Forde, Peader O’Connell, Cathal Monaghan, Shane Carroll, Conaill Cunningham, Iannis Praxmarer, James Murphy, Alex McWeeney, Daragh Clery (cox)

Mens Junior 4+ St Josephs RC – Iannis Praxmarer, Conaill Cunningham, James Murphy, Alex McWeeney, Daragh Clery (cox)

Mens Junior 4X Athlone BC – Cillian Lynam, Thomas O’Brien, Martin O’Grady, Donagh Claffey (cox)

Mens Junior 2- Presentation Cork – Jack Cotter, Rory Buckley

Mens Junior 2X Athlone BC – Martin O’Grady, Donagh Claffey

Mens Junior 1X Donagh Claffey – Athlone BC

Womens Novice

Womens Novice 8 Commercial RC – Rachel Smith, Evelyn Flynn, Hodel Herlihy, Fiona McAteer, Catherin Tooher, Brid Ni Laochdha, Caroline Shaw, Jasmyn Baines, Laura McDermott (cox)

Womens Novice 4X+ QUBLBC – Grace Doherty, Abbie-Louise McCrum, Rachel Canniford, Sam McCormick, Aoife Colleary (cox)

Mens Novice

Mens Novice 4X+ DUBC– Matthew McRedmond, Ruairi Doyle, Alfie Hayes, Christopher Dehaene, Isabel Doyle (cox)

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The Irish rowing team has been given a heroes’ welcome after an historic performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Rowing Ireland and Cork County Council hosted a special homecoming at the Kinetica National Rowing Centre in Cork on Saturday.

The event, to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the high-performance athletes who represented their country so admirably at the games, was attended by An Taoiseach, Micheal Martin TD; Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers TD; and the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan.

A record six crews qualified for Tokyo, which saw Rowing Ireland secure both bronze and gold medals. Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan won Ireland’s first ever gold medal in rowing. The duo also broke a seven-year world record in their Lightweight Men’s Double semi-final.

Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty won bronze in the Women’s Four. It is the first-ever medal for an Irish women’s crew. In total, four Irish crews finished in the top ten, with two finishing just outside. Irish Rowing is now ranked above countries like the USA, Germany, Russia, Great Britain and Poland.

The bronze medal winners in the Women's Four - Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty with the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan and An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin. Photo: Brian LougheedThe bronze medal winners in the Women's Four - Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty with the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan and An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin. Photo: Brian Lougheed

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “The whole country is so proud of our Olympic rowing team following their historic achievements at the Tokyo games. Team Ireland provided the country with huge inspiration and excitement over the course of the games, lifting the spirits of the nation time and time again. In securing medals, and achieving many more excellent performances, Ireland’s rowers have once again proven that they can compete and succeed at the sport’s highest level. I would like to congratulate all members of the six crews who represented our country at the Olympic Games as well as the high-performance team, coaches, and administration of Rowing Ireland.”

The Mayor of County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan added, “Each of the athletes here today has served a higher sporting purpose. Not only did they motivate men, women and children to get up in the middle of the night to watch their races, they inspired a whole new generation. The athletes and the entire team at Rowing Ireland showed what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. The location for this event too is truly fitting - the National Rowing Centre, designed to bring out the best in our athletes, and to help them be the best that they can be. We are very lucky that nature, and a dam, provided us with such an amazing amphitheatre for rowing and I am looking forward to many similar occasions here in the years to come.”

Speaking about the homecoming Rowing Ireland’s Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Carpenter said; “We are delighted to be able to celebrate all of Rowing Ireland’s Olympic athletes and their fantastic achievements in Tokyo. All of us at Rowing Ireland take immense pride in the performances of our high-performance athletes in what was a historic Olympics for our sport in this country. Tokyo 2020 saw the largest squad of Irish rowers in history and a record six crews qualifying for the games. To return with a gold and bronze medal including the first-ever Olympic medal that Ireland has won in a women’s team event is a testament to both the athletes and the people behind Rowing Ireland, the high-performance team, the coaches, the administration, the clubs, Sport Ireland, Sport NI and the Olympic Federation, and our wonderful partners that have supported us and the teams throughout. Their historic achievements undoubtedly deserve to be celebrated. I would also like to thank Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Minister for Sport Jack Chambers and The Mayor of County of Cork Gillian Coughlan for their support with the homecoming.”

Published in Rowing
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Ireland had three crews competing in the 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships this week in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In the first race of the day, Ronan Gibbon, Fergus Bryce, Donagh Claffey and David Foley raced in the Men’s Quadruple Sculls A Final, finishing sixth with a time of 06:11.00. The crew faced five other quads, from Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

In the Women’s Double Sculls A Final, Holly Davis and Rachel Bradley finished third to take the bronze medal. The duo finished with a final time of 07:15.62, after achieving the fastest time of all crews in the W2x Semi-Finals. Holly and Rachel faced crews from Greece, France, Slovenia, Italy and The Netherlands.

In the final race of the day, Oisin Boyle and Martin O’Grady finished fifth in the Men’s Double Sculls A Final, with a time of 06:36.52. Oisin and Martin faced crews from Greece, Italy, Poland and Germany.

Speaking after the race, Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni said: “I would like to congratulate all of the athletes and coaches on their performances and results in the World Rowing Junior Championships this weekend. This was the last event of the year and overall, it was a very successful weekend for our athletes and coaches.

“The Rowing Ireland National Rowing Centre has once again delivered a fantastic performance after the six crews qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics winning two medals, and the U23 crews racing at the u23 World Championships, also taking home two medals.

“Congratulations to Holly, Rachel and their coaches on winning the bronze medal in the women’s double. For all three crews to reach A Finals is a great accomplishment and continues to show how successful the high-performance program is.

“Thank you to their coaches Ciro, Janet, Nicolo and Leah for their hard work and dedication in preparing and coaching the crews over the last number of weeks at the National Rowing Centre. I also want to thank the athlete’s and coaches clubs and their families for their continued support. The experience that these athletes gained from this challenging competition will be beneficial for their future development and I look forward to seeing their progression in the coming years.

We are on the right direction, but more work needs to be done in order to support our young rowers for the future; for Paris 2024 and beyond.”


M4x (Ronan Gibbon, Fergus Bryce, Donagh Claffey and David Foley) – Sixth place
W2x (Holly Davis and Rachel Bradley) – Third place - Bronze Medal
M2x (Oisin Boyle and Martin O’Grady) – Fifth place

Staff Team

Antonio Maurogiovanni – High-Performance Director
Ciro Prisco – Coach
Janet Walsh – Coach
Nicolo Maurogiovanni – Coach
Leah O’Regan – Coach

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Irish Olympic Gold medalists will feature in this month's Irish Rowing Championships 2021 later this month for the first time.

Fresh off their incredibly impressive gold medal victory in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls, both Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club) and Paul O’Donovan (UCC Rowing Club) will compete in multiple senior events as they look to add to an outstanding 2021.

Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club) will also compete with Daire Lynch (Clonmel Rowing Club) and Ronan Byrne (UCC Rowing Club), of the Men’s Double Sculls crew from Tokyo, rounding out the men’s high-performance athletes currently confirmed for the Championships.

On the women’s high-performance front, two of Ireland’s bronze medal-winning Women’s Four crew have been announced, with Emily Hegarty (UCC Rowing Club) and Aifric Keogh (UCC Rowing Club) set to compete.

The 2021 Irish Rowing Championships will take place at The National Rowing Centre during the weekend of the 20th-22nd of August, with a host of Ireland’s Olympians set to feature.

Aileen Crowley, left, and Monika Dukarska (right) of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Pair at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Dukarska will compete in the Irish ChampionshipsPhoto by Seb Daly/SportsfileAileen Crowley, left, and Monika Dukarska of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Pair at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Dukarska will compete in the Irish Championships later this month Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

There are 55 categories with 503 crews entered for the weekend.

Our High-Performance athletes will be representing their clubs across several categories with senior and under 23 high-performance athletes competing throughout the weekend.

Aoife Casey (UCC Rowing Club) and Margaret Cremen (UCC Rowing Club), who raced together in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls in Tokyo, will both feature in a number of senior events, with Monika Dukarska (Killorglin Rowing Club) of the Women’s Pair Olympic crew also set to set to race at the NRC.

Tara Hanlon (UCC Rowing Club) and Lydia Heaphy (UCC Rowing Club) round out a stacked line-up of high-performance athletes set to compete in Cork.

Some of our other High-Performance athletes will also be representing their clubs at the Irish Rowing Championships. Claire Feerick (Neptune Rowing Club), Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club), Cliodhna Nolan (NUIG), Alex Byrne (UCC RC), John Kearney (UCC RC), Ross Corrigan (QUBBC), Jack Dorney (Shandon), Hugh Moore (QUBBC), Finn O’Reilly (Skibbereen RC), and Leah O’Regan (Shandon),

Senior High-Performance Athletes Competing

  • Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Paul O’Donovan (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Emily Hegarty (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Aifric Keogh (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Monika Dukarska (Killorglin Rowing Club)
  • Ronan Byrne (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Tara Hanlon (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Daire Lynch (Clonmel Rowing Club)
  • Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club)

The draw and entries for the Irish Rowing Championships is available here

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The hard decision has been made to withdraw rower Sanita Puspure from the B Final of the Women’s Single, set to occur tomorrow due to her being unwell.

Speaking this evening, Puspure said: “Over the past few days, I have not been well, and I had to make the difficult decision to withdraw from the Olympic Regatta. This is really disappointing, as I had been going well over the past few months and had hoped to continue this good form. The Olympics is always a big goal, so it’s heartbreaking to have to pull out in this manner.”

As regular Afloat readers know, in the final race of the day for the rowers, there was disappointment for Puspure in the semi-finals of the Women’s Single, where she finished fifth in her race, with only the top three progressing to the A Final where the medals are contested.

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Cork pair Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy have won a historic Olympic gold rowing medal for Ireland in Tokyo.

The Irish favourites dominated their closest German challengers, and the rest of the lightweight men's double sculls field, to win in a time of six minutes and six seconds.

It marks Ireland's second medal of the Games, after bronze for the women's rowing four, and completes their own set of medals — with Paul adding gold to his silver medal from Rio, won alongside his brother Gary.

It makes the Skibbereen pair Ireland's only seventh gold medal winners in the history of Irish sport.

The Irish crew maintained a steady pace throughout, reaching the 500m mark in third, behind Germany and Italy, but by halfway it was clear it would be Ireland v Germany for gold.

It's Gold! A screenshot of the finish shows Ireland as clear winners in the men's double sculls in TokyoIt's Gold! A screenshot of the finish shows Ireland as clear winners in the men's double sculls in Tokyo

O'Donovan and McCarthy edged ahead by 1,500m and they wore out the Germans in the sprint to the line, holding off the nearest challenges by 0.86 seconds, with Italy a further seven seconds back in third.

Speaking after the race, O’Donovan said: “The Germans and Italians always have a quick start, so for the first time we had a quick start as well, not for lack of effort.

“It was a bit of a surprise that it paid off and we weren’t totally dropped in the first 500m, so that was good. And then we put the heads down and ploughed on so it was good.”

McCarthy added: “It feels pretty good. We can’t complain! We had a really good race — but a tough one. The Germans were flying so it was hard. I was really excited when we first crossed the line and there was a bit of relief as well.

“We have had a good time all week, so we are a bit sad that it is all over. We hadn’t had too much time to think about it but it feels pretty good and hopefully it will be that way for a while.”

Meanwhile, in the lightweight women’s double sculls the Irish crew performed outstandingly to finish second in their B Final with a time of 6:49.90.

This resulted in an eighth overall final standing — pushing winners of the B Final, Switzerland, to the line and crossing just 0.74 seconds after them.

Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in May, and throughout the Olympic Regatta have produced top-class performances, which bodes well for the Paris Olympic cycle.

The women’s pair of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley finished fifth in their B Final with 7:02.22, in what was an extremely competitive field, resulting in an 11th place finish overall.

They started strong, putting themselves right in the mix, in a grueling battle with Romania and USA which ensued for the remainder of the race. The Killorglin pair are part of the emerging strong squad of female rowers in Ireland from which the Olympic bronze medal-winning crew was selected.

In the final race of the day for Ireland’s rowers, there was more disappointment for Sanita Puspure in the women's single sculls. The two-time world champion never kept the pace in her semi-final as she finished fifth, missing out on a place in the A final.

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Irish rowers Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan finished first in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final. Fintan and Paul raced against, Caetano Horta Pombo & Manel Balastegui (Spain), Niels Van Zandweghe & Tim Brys (Belgium), Stefano Oppo & Pietro Ruta (Italy), Igor Khmara & Stanislav Kovalov (Ukraine), and Arjun Lal Jat & Arvind Singh (India).

Fintan and Paul finished with a World’s Best time of 06:05.33 and will now race in the A Final tomorrow morning.

A/B Semi-Final

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 1st – 06:05.33

Cremen & Casey Fifth in Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final

Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey finished fifth in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final. Margaret and Aoife competed against Patricia Merz & Frederique Rol (Switzerland), Laura Tarantola & Claire Bove (France), Marieke Keijser & Ilse Paulis (Netherlands), Emily Craig & Imogen Grant (Great Britain), Ina Nikulina & Alena Furman (Belarus). Margaret and Aoife finished with a time of 06:49.24 Margaret and Aoife will race in the B Final tomorrow morning

Women’s Pair of Crowley & Dukarska Fifth in A/B Semi-Final

The Women’s Pair of Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska finished fifth in the A/B Semi-Final this morning. Aileen and Monika competed against Helen Glover & Polly Swan (Great Britain), Caileigh Filmer & Hillary Janssens (Canada), Jessica Morrison & Annabelle Mcintyre (Australia), Hedvig Rasmussen & Fie Udby Erichsen (Denmark) and Maria Kyridou & Christina Ioanna Bourmpou (Greece). Aileen and Monika finished with a time of 07:06.07. Aileen and Monika will race in the B Final tomorrow morning

Irish Results


Women’s Four (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 3RD – BRONZE MEDAL – 06:20.46

A/B Semi-Final

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 1st – 06:05.33

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 5th – 06:49.24

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 5th – 07:06.07

B Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 4th – 06:16.89

Upcoming Irish Races Thursday 29th (IST)

B Final

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 00:40

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 01:00

A Final

Lightweight Men's Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 01:50

A/B Semi-Final

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Puspure – 02:30

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For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!


As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

Changing Ocean Climate

Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked - the ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system in a number of ways. These include absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere and absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. But our marine ecosystems are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change.

The Marine Institute, with its national and international partners, works to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and analyses, models and projects the impacts of our changing oceans. Advice and forecasting projections of our changing oceans and climate are essential to create effective policies and management decisions to safeguard our ocean.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our ocean is fundamental to life on earth and affects so many facets of our everyday activities. One of the greatest challenges we face as a society is that of our changing climate. The strong international collaborations that the Marine Institute has built up over decades facilitates a shared focusing on our changing ocean climate and developing new and enhanced ways of monitoring it and tracking changes over time.

“Our knowledge and services help us to observe these patterns of change and identify the steps to safeguard our marine ecosystems for future generations.”

The Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey, which has been running since 2004, facilitates long term monitoring of the deep water environment to the west of Ireland. This repeat survey, which takes place on board RV Celtic Explorer, enables scientists to establish baseline oceanic conditions in Irish waters that can be used as a benchmark for future changes.

Scientists collect data on temperature, salinity, water currents, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic Ocean. This high quality oceanographic data contributes to the Atlantic Ocean Observing System. Physical oceanographic data from the survey is submitted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and, in addition, the survey contributes to national research such as the VOCAB ocean acidification and biogeochemistry project, the ‘Clean Atlantic’ project on marine litter and the A4 marine climate change project.

Dr Caroline Cusack, who co-ordinates scientific activities on board the RV Celtic Explorer for the annual survey, said, “The generation of long-term series to monitor ocean climate is vital to allow us understand the likely impact of future changes in ocean climate on ecosystems and other marine resources.”

Other activities during the survey in 2019 included the deployment of oceanographic gliders, two Argo floats (Ireland’s contribution to EuroArgo) and four surface drifters (Interreg Atlantic Area Clean Atlantic project). The new Argo floats have the capacity to measure dissolved ocean and biogeochemical parameters from the ocean surface down to a depth of 2,000 metres continuously for up to four years, providing important information as to the health of our oceans.

During the 2019 survey, the RV Celtic Explorer retrieved a string of oceanographic sensors from the deep ocean at an adjacent subsurface moored station and deployed a replacement M6 weather buoy, as part of the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network (IMDBON).

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the IMDBON is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The data buoys have instruments which collect weather and ocean data including wind speed and direction, pressure, air and sea surface temperature and wave statistics. This data provides vital information for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.

“It is only in the last 20 years, meteorologists and climatologists have really began to understood the pivotal role the ocean plays in determining our climate and weather,” said Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann. “The real-time information provided by the Irish data buoy network is particularly important for our mariners and rescue services. The M6 data buoy in the Atlantic provides vital information on swell waves generated by Atlantic storms. Even though the weather and winds may be calm around our shores, there could be some very high swells coming in from Atlantic storms.”