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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)

Published in Rowing
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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

Published in Rowing
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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

Published in Rowing
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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.

Published in Rowing
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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.

Published in Rowing
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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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Rowers Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle competed in the Men’s Double Sculls B Final this morning.

The Irish Men’s Double finished fourth after a photo finish with the Romania Double. Ronan and Phil competed against, Jack Lopas & Christopher Harris (New Zealand), Ilya Kondratyev & Andrey Potapkin (ROC), Ioan Prundeanu & Marian Enache (Romania), Saulius Ritter & Aurimas Adomavicius (Lithuania) and Stephan Krueger & Marc Weber (Germany).

Ronan and Phil finished with a time of 06:16.89 and finished tenth overall.

B Final

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

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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.


The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

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