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The Rowing Ireland COVID-19 Working Group met today and assessed guidelines issued by the Irish Government yesterday evening, 4th August 2020. The Working Group worked tirelessly to create contingency options for our members since the outbreak of this devastating pandemic. A Rowing Ireland spokesman said "Our core strategy at Rowing Ireland is to support our clubs and our athletes, however, Public Health takes precedent. Therefore, in line with yesterday’s recommendations, Rowing Ireland has decided that no licenced events will take place in August 2020".

The Irish Rowing Championship Committee met this evening and has reluctantly decided in light of the latest Public Health guidelines that it is no longer possible to safely run this year’s event. Contingency planning was based on the premise that we would be moving to Phase 5 next Monday. However, the Public Health guidelines have not proceeded beyond Phase 3 and consequently, the Championship Committee concluded that it is not possible to hold the event in line with current Public Health guidelines. The decision while taken with a heavy heart was made tonight to be fair to all our athletes and coaches and to bring some certainty for the coming weeks.

As the Irish Coastal Rowing Championships due to be held on 29th August fall within the Public Health Phase 3 restrictions which limit attendance to 200, the Committee has concluded that they have no option but to cancel the event. Consideration was given to postponing the event until later in the hope that the number of attendees allowed would increase but it was felt that there was no guarantee this would happen and the committee wished to bring certainty to all concerned. In addition, many of our younger rowers will have returned to school at the end of the month.

The Irish Offshore Rowing Championship Committee met this evening to discuss the latest guidelines issued by the Irish Government yesterday evening. As the event is scheduled for the weekend of 26th September, the Committee agreed that there is no need to make any changes to the regatta preparations and planning will continue with a view to running the event in a safe manner in accordance with Public Health guidelines.

President of Rowing Ireland Eamonn Colclough said “We are all disappointed with the cancellation of the Irish Rowing Championships, Irish Coastal Rowing Championships and other events. Around the country, we know that our athletes along with their coaches have been training hard and their club committees have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of our members.

We always knew that our contingency plan would be subject to Public Health guidelines. We encourage clubs to continue to think outside the box when staging local events. As a sport, we can continue to row and compete subject to 200 person limits”.

Published in Rowing
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Following the recent selection trials at the National Rowing Centre, Rowing Ireland has announced the following selections for the Junior, U23 and Senior 2020 European Championship events to be held this autumn.

The selections were made by Ireland's High-Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni, who commented "We have seen very strong performances across all the grades, especially considering the challenging season we have experienced"

Maurogiovanni believes he has a strong team that can compete at each level but just as importantly build for the future success of our sport on the international stage.

Rowing Ireland High Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni Rowing Ireland High Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni

U23 European Rowing Championships (Duisburg, Germany - 5-6 September)

BM1x
▪ Ronan Byrne (UCC)
BM2x
▪ Daire Lynch (Clonmel)
▪ John Kearney (Cork)
BLW2x
▪ Margaret Cremen (UCC)
▪ Aoife Casey (UCC)
BW2-
▪ Tara Hanlon (UCC)
▪ Emily Hegarty (UCC)
BW1x/W2- reserve
▪ Claire Feerick (Neptune)
BM4+
▪ Alex Byrne (UCC)
▪ Jack Dorney (Shandon)
▪ Matthew Gallagher (St Josephs)
▪ Ross Corrigan (Queens)
▪ Cox: Leah O’ Regan (Shandon)
BLM4x/BLM1x
▪ Eoin Gaffney (Shandon)
▪ Hugh Moore (Queens)
▪ Will Ronayne (UCC)
▪ Hugh Sutton (UCC)
▪ Sam O’ Neill (NUIG)
BLW2- (TBC)
▪ Lydia Heaphy (UCC)
▪ Cliodhna Nolan (NUIG)
Junior European Rowing Championships (Belgrade, Serbia - 26-27 September)
JW2x
▪ Molly Curry (CGS)
▪ Aoife Moloney (Commercial)
JM4x
▪ Andrew Sheehan (Lee)
▪ Tom Kelly (Kenmare)
▪ Adam Murphy (Shandon)
▪ Brian Colsh (Sligo)
JW1x squad (TBC)
▪ Holly Davis (Lee Valley)
▪ Alison Bergin (Fermoy)

European Rowing Championships (Poznan, Poland – 9-11 October)

W1x
▪ Sanita Puspure (OC)
M2x
▪ Ronan Byrne (UCC)
▪ Daire Lynch (Clonmel)
M1x/M2x Reserve
▪ John Kearney (Cork)
W4-
▪ Fiona Murtagh (NUIG)
▪ Aileen Crowley (OC)
▪ Eimear Lambe (OC)
▪ Aifric Keogh (UCC)
W2-
▪ Tara Hanlon (UCC)
▪ Emily Hegarty (UCC)

LM1x
▪ Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen)
LW2x
▪ Margaret Cremen (UCC)
▪ Aoife Casey (UCC)

Published in Rowing
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As part of the COVID-19 Back to Rowing protocol, the Cork rowing clubs, Shandon Boat Club, Lee Rowing Club and Cork Boat Club, have organised the Shanty Sprints, a series of events for single scullers.

The initial race is a time trial in order to rank the scullers, which will be followed by a series of four lane side by side racing, taking place over the summer months every two weeks.

The course is 1000 metres from the railings to the Powder Quay on the Marina.

A set of results is downloadable below as a PDF.

Published in Rowing
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Rowing Ireland has released a statement supporting the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s appeal on elite Athletes return to training.

As Afloat reported earlier, the OFI is using the example of how its Olympic Rowing team is denied access to the water due to COVID-19 travel restrictions as part of a plea for a number of 'straightforward measures' to be put in place to support prospective Olympic and Paralympic athletes preparing for Tokyo 2021.

The Rowing Ireland statement says: We have been working closely with Sport Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Transport and Sport on the return to rowing for our clubs and members. They have worked very hard to request minor exemptions for Olympic and Paralympic athletes but unfortunately, there has been no green light to their requests to date for the return of our HP athletes.

Our High-Performance Athletes are currently unable to train at the National Rowing Centre due to the 5km travel restriction.

Our Clubs and High-Performance athletes are our priority. In line with this, we are supporting a special dispensation for our Elite athletes to be able to return to the National Rowing Centre and return to training and resume their preparations for the Olympics in 15 months’ time. Their plans and dreams have already been derailed due to the outbreak of COVID 19 and the postponement of the Olympic Games.

Our High-Performance athletes are exceptionally vigilant about their health and wellbeing. They remain on high alert and are adhering to public health guidelines and recommendations.

The benefits of High-Performance sport to the country are significant and our potential Olympic success. Sport lifts a nation and shows fundamental unity which after this time will be vital in the year ahead.

Published in Rowing
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The Olympic Federation of Ireland is using the example of how its Olympic Rowing team is denied access to the water due to COVID-19 travel restrictions as part of a plea for a number of 'straightforward measures' to be put in place to support prospective Olympic and Paralympic athletes preparing for Tokyo 2021.

The OFI called today for measures to be put in place to support athletes during the current crisis. Sport Ireland, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the relevant Ministers have all been working very hard to request minor exemptions for Olympic and Paralympic athletes but unfortunately, there has been no green light to their requests to date.

Not all Olympic sports are affected, however, as Olympic sailing team members returned to training at Irish Sailing's Dun Laoghaire Harbour High-Performance Centre on May 18 as Afloat reported here with Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy getting back training after 55 days in lockdown.

The measures are being requested for a very small number of prospective Tokyo athletes (approx. 200 across Ireland) in line with medically reviewed, internationally accepted health protocols The situation is becoming increasingly difficult as more and more competitor nations return to training, putting Irish athletes at a significant disadvantage that may soon become too big to breach.

Peter Sherrard, Olympic Federation of Ireland CEO explains, “To take one sport as an example, we have a situation at the moment where rowing clubs for recreational users in Ireland are open in line with government protocols, yet our Olympic rowers can’t access the water in line with those same protocols because they are living outside the permitted kilometre radius from their national training centre. The solution is a simple waiver from the relevant Health authorities for this small number of athletes so that they can travel the required distance to train, just as their competitors internationally have been granted weeks ago. Frustrations of this nature are being experienced by elite athletes from a variety of sports.

“Our Olympic Sports have all prepared very detailed protocols which have been reviewed medically for a return to the venues like the Sport Ireland Campus, the Sport Ireland Institute and the National Aquatic Centre and National Rowing Centre, in advance of, and in isolation from the general public, as is happening in other European countries.

“Irish sport and Irish athletes have been incredibly respectful throughout lockdown and will continue to support all the measures that need to be implemented. While phased plans have been agreed for a recreational return to sport, we believe that the Olympic and Paralympic athletes who represent us internationally need prioritisation to return without delay.

“As a group, the athletes of Team Ireland have shown true resilience and have been role models to us all throughout this crisis, but the longer they are away from their high-performance training environments, the harder it will be for them to return to optimum fitness and their peak performance in time for next year’s Games.”

Published in Rowing
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Two Irish High-Performance rowers, Sanita Puspure and Aifric Keogh broke the half marathon world records in their categories in today's Virtual Regatta run by Rowing Ireland.

Sanita has broken the world record previously held by Lauren Schmetterling (USA) who set the new record earlier this year with a time of 01:18:14.8 in the 30-39 category. Sanita has now set the new world record at 01:18:13.6.

Aifric broke the record for the 19-29 category, beating Brooke Mooney’s (USA) time of 1:19:12.6 set this year. Aifric has now set the new world record at 01:18:59.9.

Aifric KeoghAifric Keogh

Rowing Ireland is awaiting confirmation from Concept 2 with the PMS Verification codes sent across this morning.

Puspure said, “I started the session without much of a thought about records, but felt good and decided to give it a try. Not a bad day on the rooftop!”

World Record Holder, Aifirc Keogh said ”It was my first time doing a half marathon on the erg so I didn’t know what to expect. My plan was to keep the first half steady and then if I felt good to try push on for the second half. It was fun to try a new challenge during lockdown but now that’s it’s done, I won’t be in a hurry to do it again!"

Rowing Ireland await confirmation from Concept II as clubs continue to submit their entries over today and tomorrow.

Published in Rowing
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Irish rowing clubs have been asked to close down completely. The Rowing Ireland working group on Covid-19 took into account government guidelines and requested this in the interests of club members.

 The working group will also consider the implications of the ongoing lack of competition on the novice grade, once there is more clarity on whether or when there will be competition this season. They have decided that umpires with a provincial licence will not need to re-sit a test and and “can carry the two regatta requirement to later on this year or next year”.

Published in Rowing
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Peadar Casey, who has died aged 86, was involved with rowing virtually all his adult life, often in very senior roles. He also played a big part in Olympic sport in Ireland.

He was a member of the Garda Síochána from 1953 to 1989 and he became honorary treasurer of Garda Síochána Boat Club in the late 1950s. The honorary treasurer role was one he would take on for a succession of bodies for most of the rest of his long life. He served in that capacity for Dublin Metropolitan Regatta, the Dublin Municipal Rowing Centre and then the Irish Amateur Rowing Union (which would become Rowing Ireland).

He was elected to the Olympic Council of Ireland and became honorary treasurer in 1996, a position he retained until retirement in 2014.    

Peadar Casey was team manager for rowing at the 1980 Olympics Games in Moscow and the 1984 Montreal Olympics. He was chosen as deputy Chef de Mission to the Irish Olympic team in Atlanta 1996 and then Chef de Mission for the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000. 

His lifetime of dedication to sports administration had all kicked off when he took up rowing in the formative years of Garda Síochána Boat club when he had become champion of Ireland on multiple occasions. 

He will be much missed by his family, friends and all those who knew him in the world of rowing and the Olympic Games. 

Published in Rowing

A south Galway potter is embarking on a 350km row down the Shannon-Erne waterway in a handmade boat in memory of a close friend writes Lorna Siggins

Weather permitting, Kinvara artist Joe McCaul (65) set out from Belleek, Co Fermanagh today on the first leg of his transit to Limerick.

With him will be a heart-shaped box with ashes of his close friend, Joe Stewart, a carpenter and experienced oarsman from Antrim who had planned to build the plywood rowing boat with him.

Mr McCaul will raise funds for the Galway Hospice as a tribute to Mr Stewart.

“The boat is named after the two Joes, and he would get a good laugh out of it if he was here,” Mr McCaul said.

Joe McCaul 3Joe McCaul with his rowing boat in build

“It started off with a chat in a pub, and I said I would love to build a boat,” Mr McCaul says.

“Joe Stewart died in his sleep, and I rang the suppliers the day we buried him and they said the boat kit was ready for dispatch, so I decided to go ahead and finished it myself,”Mr McCaul explains.

Growing up near the waterway at Belturbet, Co Cavan, he says he is looking forward to navigating the Shannon-Erne system, and reckons lower Lough Erne will be the most exposed part.

He tested the craft for its rolling ability by capsizing it a week ago in Galway Bay, and reckons it is easy to right.

It was launched at the Cruinniú na mBád in his home harbour of Kinvara, south Galway earlier last month, and he says that “the QE2 could not have had a better send-off when it first hit the water”.

Mr McCaul will draw and paint en route through towns including Belleek, Enniskillen, Belturbet, Ballinamore, Leitrim, Carrick-on-Shannon, Roosky, Athlone, Shannonbridge, Terryglass, Scarriff, Killaloe and finally to Limerick.

His wife, Mary Harrison, retires from teaching shortly and is undertaking a walk along the Camino route in northern Spain. He plans to fly out to Bilbao in Spain when he is finished and they can compare notes on their respective pilgrimages on land and water.

For updates and to support Joe McCaul’s rowing fundraiser for Galway Hospice, see here

Published in Inland Waterways
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The refixed University Rowing Championships of Ireland at Lough Rinn saw UCD and Trinity take some of the big prizes. NUIG and UCD tied on points in the overall rankings, with UCD crowned champions because they had seven wins to NUIG’s six.

UCD also won the Wylie Cup for men, coming out on top by virtue of taking the senior and novice eights.

Trinity’s women won the Bank of Ireland trophy because of their victories in the intermediate and club eights. NUIG won the women’s senior eights.

Published in Rowing
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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