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It's rowing gold and two silvers for Ireland in the 2023 U23 World Championships in Bulgaria.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Irish crews pulled out all of the stops in today's A Finals and were rewarded with three podiums out of the four boats.

The lightweight men's double were extremely unlucky, catching a last-minute crab to drop them out of the medals.

Brian Colsh and Konan Pazzaia are the 2023 U23 World Champions in the men's double sculls. Last year this duo won bronze and has successfully made the upgrade to gold today. Racing like their semi-final, Colsh and Pazzaia went out fast, taking an early lead ahead of the field. Once their bow was ahead there was no stopping Ireland as they charged to the line, consistently sitting as the fastest boat on the water.

The U23 World Championships is a good indicator of the athletes to keep an eye on when progressing into the senior categories, and there's no doubt that these two athletes are only at the beginning of their international successes.

Silver Star 1: Andrew Sheehan (Lee) won silver in the BM1x at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships in BulgariaSilver Star 1: Andrew Sheehan (Lee) won silver in the BM1x at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships in Bulgaria

The County Cork scullers, Andrew Sheehan and Alison Bergin, both put on an exceptional show bagging silver medals. With a conservative start, Sheehan sat in the third position while Piotr Plominski of Poland took a commanding lead. Andrew always stayed in touch with the group, but coming into the final 500m, he kicked into gear, increasing his stroke rate to 40 strokes per minute. He broke through the Portuguese sculler and reduced the margin between himself and Plominski with every stroke he took, finishing just 0.71 of a second behind the gold medallist. Last year Sheehan won bronze in the men's four. To be able to come back a year later, swapping disciplines, and going one further to win silver in the single scull shows huge calibre from the athlete.

Silver Star 2: Alison Bergin (Fermoy) left with her BW1x silver medal won at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships in BulgariaSilver Star 2: Alison Bergin (Fermoy) left with her BW1x silver medal won at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships in Bulgaria

Alison Bergin of Fermoy Rowing Club also upgraded her 2022 medal from bronze to silver this year. Bergin held her composure through the middle of the race, relying on that sprint finish that Ireland is very well known for. Moving from fifth to third position in the first 1500m of the race, there was no holding her back when it came to a fight for silver in the final quarter. There was no boat holding Bergin's pace as they closed into the line, as she gained on the Swiss sculler Aurelia-Maxima Katharina Janzen. In the end Janzen held on to the lead that she had put down early in the race, and it was second in the world for Alison Bergin.

The lightweight men's double of Ciaran Purdy (Queen's University Belfast BC) and Rory O'Neill (University of Limerick RC) just missed out on the medals finishing in fourth place. Ireland sat in sixth position through the halfway mark but it was not the time to fear yet, as all weekend, it's been the second 1000m that they have been picking up their real speed. Moving through that point the lightweight men started on their move towards the top places. With 300m to go Ireland put themselves in the bronze position and were actively gaining on Spain for that silver spot. 50m out from the line, disaster struck Purdy and O'Neill when they caught a boat-stopping crab pulling them back out of the podium positions. After a medal-worthy performance, it's fourth that they'll have to settle with.

"The team showed some incredible performances today and are coming away with well-deserved gold and silver medals. To be U23 World Champions in an Olympic boat class is hugely motivating for the years ahead," said High Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni. "Last year, we won a silver and three bronze medals; this year, we have improved again, picking up gold and two silvers with a close 4th place."

"The lightweight double was unfortunate not to make the medals but had an excellent performance finishing in the top end of their boat class. Our U23s are a testament to the strength that our entire high-performance squad has, and it’s great to see them up on the podium year after year. A big thanks to all the athletes, families, clubs, coaches and staff."

Ireland Results at Under 23 World Rowing Championships, Bulgaria

BM2x - Brian Colsh, Konan Pazzaia - GOLD
BM1x - Andrew Sheehan - SILVER
BW1x - Alison Bergin - SILVER
BLM2x - Ciaran Purdy, Rory O'Neill - 4th

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Ireland has four chances of medals at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships in Bulgaria this morning (Sunday).

Saturday was a clean sweep for Ireland, with all crews winning their semi-finals and qualifying for their respective A Finals.

After a win in Thursday's heat, Brian Colsh and Konan Pazzaia sailed through their semi-final this morning, putting another win under the belt. Going off the blocks with a rate of 48 strokes per minute, the Irish double was not stopping from the get-go. With a podium finish in last year's championships, Colsh and Pazzaia won't be looking for anything less in tomorrow's A Final where they face France, Lithuania, Uruguay, Poland and Germany.

Next up was the Men's Lightweight Double of Queen's University Belfast's Ciaran Purdy and University of Limerick's Rory O'Neill. Both athletes have a host of race experience, with Purdy winning silver at the 2022 U23 World Championships and O'Neill finishing in fourth place in the 2021 World Championships. Holding a steady pace, Ireland crossed the first marker in fourth position but pushed forward a place through each 500m to finish in first place.

Andrew Sheehan of the University of Cork RC safely secured his place in the A Final with a win in the Men's Scull semi-final. The sculler from Italy took the early lead, getting clear water between the rest of the scullers by the 250m mark. Spain dropped off in the early stages, but Ireland, Switzerland and Portugal stayed in the mix in the second pack. Holding a steady speed, Sheehan broke away from the scullers in third and fourth position and edged closer and closer to the Italian. Coming into the finish, Andrew was increasing his speed, and Italy couldn't keep up. He crossed the line in the first position with clear water over the rest of the field.

Alison Bergin impresses yet again in the semi-final stage of the U23 World Championships. Last year Alison set the current U23 Championship best time in a commanding race, and she did not disappoint this year either. Similarly to the Irish crews that raced before her, Bergin had a solid start, sitting in the middle of the group. Winding it up, coming through the halfway point, she did not stop as she headed towards the line, overtaking the leading sculler from the Czech Republic and finishing about three lengths clear from the rest of the scullers.

Sunday is a big day for Ireland, with four crews in four A Finals in the space of an hour and a half. 

Saturday Results
BM2x A/B Semi 1st -> A Final
BLM2x A/B Semi 1st -> A Final
BM1x A/B Semi 1st -> A Final
BW1x A/B Semi 1st -> A Final

Sunday Schedule (IST)
8:44am - BM2x A Final
9:44am - BLM2x A Final
10:08am - BM1x A Final
10:20am - BW1x A Final

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Day two (Thursday) finished up in Plovdiv at the U23 World Rowing Championships, and three Irish crews are into the A/B Semi-finals.

Konan Pazzaia and Brian Colsh were first up on the water for the Heat of the Men's Double. Starting how they mean to go on, the Queen's-University of Galway pairing won the first heat to progress directly to the A/B Semi on Saturday.

Following suit, the Lightweight Men's Double of Ciaran Purdy and Rory O'Neill made their debut, winning their heat to progress straight into the A/B Semi. Sitting in second place behind Italy through the halfway mark, Ireland held a steady race, relying on the strong finish shown by the Irish athletes repeatedly. In the third 500m, Purdy and O'Neill made their move and rowed through the Italian double of Luca Borgonovo and Nicolo' Demiliani. They're up again on Saturday morning, where they'll race for a spot in the A Final.

2022 Bronze medallist, Alison Bergin, is into tomorrow's Repechage of the Women's Scull after a second-place finish in this morning's heat. Drawn against this year's Senior European Championship silver medallist, Aurelia-Maxima Katharina Janzen, it was always going to be a tough race for the Fermoy sculler, with only one to qualify directly to the A/B Semi. Bergin held a consistent speed through the middle 1000m, holding her own race, allowing her to overtake the sculler from South Africa before breaking into the race's final quarter.

Andrew Sheehan was up again today for the Repechage of the Men's Scull. Dominating his race, Sheehan led from the start and never gave the sculler from Turkey a chance to take his lead. From the early stages of the race it was Ireland and Turkey that broke away from the pack, creating a six-second gap from the first 500m mark. With two boats to qualify for the A/B Semi, it was clear from early on who was taking those spots.

Friday is a quiet day with just Alison Bergin racing in her Repechage, but it will be another busy day on Saturday for the Semi-finals. 

Thursday Results
BM2x Heat 1st -> A/B Semi
BLM2x Heat 1st -> A/B Semi
BW1x Heat 2nd -> Repechage
BM1x Repechage 1st -> A/B Semi

Friday Schedule (IST)
7:35am - BW1x Repechage

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Following last weekend's action at the Cork-hosted Irish rowing championships, there’s more rowing action with the Home International Regatta taking place in Lough Rinn, Co. Leitrim, this coming weekend.

Rowing Ireland and Leitrim County Council will welcome teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales that will race head to head across junior, senior and para events.

This is the first time that the international event has been hosted on the Lough Rinn course.

62 athletes across Ireland will represent their country at this prestigious event.

A full list of selected athletes can be found below as a pdf download.

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The highly anticipated 2023 Irish Rowing Championships took place last weekend in the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork.

Despite temperamental weather conditions and having to rejig the weekend schedule, all events were run with no championship races being scratched.

Scheduled as the pinnacle of Irish rowing, the championships drew competitors from across the whole country. Strong winds and gusts of 35 km disrupted the initial race schedule, necessitating adjustments and postponements. While the event organisers and the newly formed championship committee made every effort to adapt swiftly, the participants' safety was paramount, leading to several races being rescheduled to ensure the well-being of the rowers.

"Strong winds and gusts of 35 km disrupted the initial race schedule"

Despite these setbacks, the resilience and sportsmanship displayed by the athletes were commendable. The rowers demonstrated remarkable patience and understanding as they supported one another and the event organisers in navigating the challenges that arose throughout the weekend.

The University of Limerick Rowing Club, Castleconnell Senior 8 Champions in action at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, CorkThe University of Limerick Rowing Club, Castleconnell Senior 8 Champions in action at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

The stand-out club was the University of Limerick Rowing Club, which came out on top over the challenging weekend, going home with eight National Championships, a win in the PR2 Men’s Scull (Non-Championship) and three new course records in the Senior Women’s 8+ and 4x- and the Women’s Inter 4+. After shocking the Irish rowing scene in 2021 and winning ten championships, the University has shown its continued strength, competing at a high level in each event that they enter.

The University of Limerick Rowing Club Inter 4+ Champions celebrate at  at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, CorkThe University of Limerick Rowing Club Inter 4+ Champions celebrate at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

Skibbereen Rowing Club had another successful year taking away five championships and narrowly missing out on a fourth in the Women’s J18 4- in a highly dramatic race on day three. After taking a commanding lead in the early stages of the final, Skibb had made their mark on the field and were looking to be taking the highly sought-after pots without much threat. However, the choppy conditions did not work on their side, with the athlete in two seat catching a boat-stopping crab just 100m from the line. The well-drilled St. Michael’s crew managed to stay composed and rowed through the leading boat to take the junior championship.

A Galway Rowing Club PR2 Sculler  at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, CorkA Galway Rowing Club PR2 Sculler at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

The Men’s J18 2- of Dominic Casey and Cathal McCarthy lead the field taking another Championship for Skibbereen after sister Caoimhe Casey won the Lightweight Women’s Scull earlier in the day. Mccarthy and Casey also picked up a course record in their final, crossing the line in a time of 6:52:80.

Skibbereen Senior 2x at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, CorkSkibbereen Senior 2x at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

The Men's and Women's J18 8+ events brought huge excitement around the grounds of the NRC, especially up at the big screen where huge crowds were cheering for their crews. Enniskillen Royal BC narrowly took the win in the Men's race by just .8 of a second over St. Joseph’s. These two highly competitive junior clubs go head to head each year for this championship, with St. Joseph’s taking it in 2022 by photo finish. Meanwhile, in the women's event, St. Michaels fought hard till the end and got their victory over Enniskillen Royal BC.

Skibbereen Junior Women's  8+ at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, CorkSkibbereen Junior Women's  8+ at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

St. Michael’s Rowing Club from Limerick upped their game this year winning four junior championships over the weekend, Women’s Junior 8+ and 4- and the Men’s Junior 4x and 2x. Another commendable performance was from University of Galway Boat Club, also going away with four championships in the Men’s Senior 4x-, Inter 8+ and 2x and Women’s Senior 2-.

 Shandon Women's Junior 8+ at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork Shandon Women's Junior 8+ at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

Dublin clubs, UCD BC and Commercial RC also brought home four championships each with UCD winning the Men’s Senior 8+, Senior 4- and both of the Men’s Novice events. Commercial improved on their one pot in 2022 winning the Men’s Senior 2- and Club 4+ and the Women’s Club 8+ and 4+.

UCD Senior 8+ Champions celebrate at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, CorkUCD Senior 8+ Champions celebrate at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

The Senior 8+’s were as exciting as ever with very tight races in both the Women’s and Men’s events. In the Men’s event it was a repeat of the 2022 Championships with Cork Boat Club and University College Dublin battling it out right to the finish line. Ultimately it was UCD who came out on top again this year leading Boat Club by about a length. In a much closer race in the Women’s event, neither University of Galway nor the University of Limerick/Castleconnell composite knew who had won after crossing the finish line. Celebrations had to wait for ULRC and Castleconnell until they heard the crowds cheering as they came into the slips. Being pushed to the line by the Galway crew worked in their favour as they also crossed the line with a new course record for the event in a time of 6:22:70.

DUBC Men's Inter 8+ at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, CorkDUBC Men's Inter 8+ at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

DUBC Men's Inter 8+ at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

With the postponements due to weather conditions, half of the racing planned for the weekend was run solely on Sunday, with racing taking place for over 11 hours, an incredible achievement from all athletes, clubs and especially the volunteers who were on the ground all day.

Lee RC J18 4x took silver at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, CorkLee RC J18 4x took silver at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Woods, Cork

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Cork Regatta, a premier event on the Irish rowing calendar, has been cancelled because of the weather.

The annual event was scheduled for this weekend at the National Rowing Centre (NRC) in Farren Woods, County Cork.

Cork Regatta Committee met and consulted with Met Eireann regarding the weather on Saturday and Sunday. The wind speed at 07:00 on Saturday is 20kph and steadily increases to 26kph at 19:00 with gusts over 40kph. The wind direction is a south, south–westerly moving to a southerly direction. This means that the wind is cross-tail moving to a crosswind which is unsafe in any way for rowing.

The situation on Sunday is much the same as Saturday, with the wind moving to a west-south westerly with a wind speed from 24kph at 07:00 to 29kph at 16:00 with gusts again in excess of 40kph. A lot of preparations, along with weekly meetings, have taken place in the last few weeks in order to get Cork Regatta up and running for 2023. It is with great regret that we now have to cancel the event. This is being done in the interest of safety and well-being of the competitors, coaches, volunteers, and the committee.

"This is such bad news. The season in Ireland is already short of big events. Feel really sorry for the prospective competitors and the organisers, Rowing Correspondent Liam Gorman said on Twitter.

"To say that we are disappointed is an understatement, and any decision like this is never taken lightly", James Moroney, Regatta Secretary, said.

The Home International Committee will discuss a new date for Home International trials.

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Rowing Ireland and MG Motor Ireland are delighted to announce their strategic partnership aimed at promoting a shared vision of innovation, performance, and community engagement.

As part of the partnership, MG Motor Ireland will become the official vehicle partner of Rowing Ireland, supporting their initiatives to drive awareness and participation in the sport while also championing sustainable mobility solutions. With a shared commitment to innovation and progress, this partnership aims to inspire individuals to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle while promoting environmentally friendly transportation options.

"We are delighted to announce our partnership with Rowing Ireland," said Natasha Maher, Marketing and PR Manager at MG Motor Ireland. "This collaboration signifies our commitment to supporting Irish sports and our belief in the values that rowing embodies – teamwork, determination, and passion. We look forward to working closely with Rowing Ireland to promote the sport further and contribute to its growth at all levels."

MG Motor Ireland's advanced automotive technology and commitment to sustainability align perfectly with Rowing Ireland's values, as both organisations prioritise the pursuit of excellence, innovation, and environmental consciousness. Together, they aim to create a positive impact on the rowing community and society as a whole.

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The European Rowing Championships on Lake Bled, Slovenia are over, and Ireland won't be coming home with any medals.

Brian Colsh showed his strength in the middle of the C Final of the Men's Scull. Passing the first 500m mark in sixth place, Colsh gained three positions by the last 500m. Winding it up for his sprint, Brian finished it out by taking Bahman Nasiri of Azerbaijan and finishing in second place behind Poland.

The Men's Four of John Kearney, Ross Corrigan, Nathan Timoney and Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan narrowly missed out on a third place finish in the B Final. Fighting with Ukraine to the line, Ireland just missed out by .7 of a second, to finish in fourth. Overall it was a very tight race with only two seconds separating first place from fourth place.

Long and Magner put on a stellar performance this morning, winning the B Final of the Women's Pair. In their third 500m, they put on a push and moved from third place to first. They held this lead right to the finish, beating the Czech Republic, Italy, France and Poland. This crew has made their mark on the international stage this weekend, a superb debut for Imogen Magner.

Just outside of the medals, Tribesmen's Siobhan McCrohan finished fourth in the Lightweight Women's Scull. Sitting in sixth place for the middle 1k, Siobhán flipped a switch for the last 500m to challenge Kristyna Neuhortova of the Czech Republic for the bronze medal. Leaving her sprint slightly too late, McCrohan finished just .27 behind to take fourth.

PR2 Mixed Double of Katie O'Brien and Steven McGowan had their best race yet finishing in a competitive fifth place in the A Final. Through the middle of the race there was nothing separating Poland, Ukraine and Ireland for third place. Closing the gap again to the 2022 World Medallists, Katie and Steven continue to go from strength to strength.

Zoe Hyde and Sanita Puspure had a tough race in the A Final of the Women's double and struggled to get going from the start. In a very competitive field Ireland placed 6th, with France, Lithuania and Romania finishing in Gold, Silver and Bronze.

It was Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch who finished out the European Championships for Ireland in the A Final of the Men's Double. In another extremely close finish for the medals, Doyle and Lynch were just .6 of a second shy from taking the bronze medals from Olympic Silver Medallists, the Netherlands. In slightly bouncier conditions than previous days it made it that little bit more difficult to wind it up at the finish. This weekend is a great starting point for the new crew as they look towards the remainder of the racing season.

Ireland Results at 2023 European Rowing Championships 

M2x - 4th A Final
LW1x - 4th A Final
W4- - 5th A Final
LW2x - 5th A Final
PR2 Mix2x - 5th A Final
LM2x - 6th A Final
W2x - 6th A Final
W2- - 1st B Final
M4- - 4th B Final
M1x - 2nd C Final

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Day three of the European Rowing Championships on Lake Bled in Slovenia saw the A Finals of Ireland's Women's Four, Lightweight Women's Double and Lightweight Men's Double.

Three finals are now completed and seven more are to come.

Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch pulled out another great race in today's A/B Semi Final. The crew from Ireland moved through crews in each 500m, continuing to build speed coming into the finish. In the last quarter of the race they pushed into the A Final qualifying positions and began to put pressure on the Croatian double of Valent and Martin Sinkovic. There's definitely more in the two crews but with only 1.3 seconds between them, the A Final on Sunday will be a must watch.

The Women's Four of Eimear Lambe, Tara Hanlon, Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh finished fifth in the A Final. From the start Ireland struggled to push ahead as the other crews got going, making it difficult to stay in the mix as the race progressed. They kept their heads down and squeezed ahead of Spain through the halfway mark.

Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey missed out on the medals in the Lightweight Women's Double, finishing in 5th place. Going off the blocks with a massive 50 strokes per minute, Cremen and Casey went out the quickest but it was Great Britain, Greece, France and Poland who got out in front. Having won bronze medals at the 2022 World Championships, Ireland will be feeding off of this result when they compete next.

The new Lightweight Men's Double combination of Fintan McCarthy (right) and Hugh MooreThe new Lightweight Men's Double combination of Fintan McCarthy and Hugh Moore

The new Lightweight Men's Double combination of Fintan McCarthy and Hugh Moore crossed the line in 6th position in today's A Final. Ireland were behind off the start but winding up into the finish they began to make some ground on the Ukrainian double. Ukraine were able to hold off McCarthy and Moore to the line, and it was 6th place for Ireland.

Saturday Results
M2x A/B Semi 2nd -> A Final
W4- A Final -> 5th
LW2x A Final -> 5th
LM2x A Final -> 6th

Sunday Times (IST)
M1x C Final - 8:35am
M4- B Final - 8:58am
W2- B Final - 9:03am
LW1x A Final - 10:01am
PR2 Mix2x A Final - 11:20am
W2x A Final - 11:37am
M2x A Final - 11:53am

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Day two of the European Rowing Championships on Lake Bled, Slovenia is over, and it was another busy day of racing for Irish crews.

Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey were first up this morning in the Repechage of the Lightweight Women's Double. In an exciting finish, three doubles were all within touching distance of each other with only two to qualify for the A Final. Ireland stuck it out and finished in second place behind Greece, winning the ticket into the A Final tomorrow.

The Women's four of Eimear Lambe, Tara Hanlon, Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh finished in third place behind Denmark and the Netherlands. Finishing in a time of 6:40.26, the crew from Ireland is heading into the A Final tomorrow afternoon.

"Siobhán McCrohan of Tribesmen Rowing Club had a fantastic race"

Siobhán McCrohan of Tribesmen Rowing Club had a fantastic race this morning, winning the Repechage of the Lightweight Women's Scull. Leading from the first stroke, Siobhán powered down the 2km course, taking a qualifying position for the A Final without any doubt. On Sunday she'll be fighting for the medals against Romania, Greece, Czech Republic, Turkey and Switzerland.

The Men's Four just missed out on the A Final in today's Repechage after a fourth place finish. There were only two spots up for grabs for the A Final and it was the Netherlands and Switzerland who came out on top. The crew from Ireland raced to the finish, going bowball for bowball with Ukraine. On the line Ukraine got it by just .07 of a second.

Natalie Long and Imogen Magner improved their time hugely in today's Repechage of the Women's Pair, dropping 12 seconds from their time yesterday in the Heat. It was Ireland, Croatia and GB at the top of the field throughout the race but only two spots to the A Final. Croatia won in a time of 7:12.34 followed by GB in second, less than a length ahead of Ireland. Natalie and Imogen will race the B Final on Sunday morning.

The Women's Double of Zoe Hyde and Sanita Puspure won their Repechage and are heading to the A Final on Sunday afternoon. Ireland led from the start but France and GB kept them on their toes throughout the race. All three crews finished within a second and a half of each other but Zoe and Sanita held their ground and finished ahead.

The PR2 Mixed Double of Katie O'Brien and Steven McGowan have booked themselves into the A Final after a fourth place finish in their Repechage this morning. With each race this combo improves, so there's definitely more to come on Sunday.

University of Galway rower, Brian Colsh, finished 4th in his Repechage sending him through to the C/D Semi in the afternoon. In the Semi Brian went on to place second, qualifying for the C Final on Sunday.

In the short afternoon session, Fintan McCarthy and Hugh Moore raced the A/B Semi of the Lightweight Men's Double. The top three boats qualify for the A Finals and Ireland did just that. Finishing in third position behind Switzerland and Greece, McCarthy and Moore have another go at it tomorrow in the A Final.

Friday Results
LW2x 2nd -> A Final
W4- 3rd -> A Final
LW1x 1st -> A Final
M4- 4th -> B Final
W2- 3rd -> B Final
W2x 1st -> A Final
M1x 4th -> C/D Semi
PR2 Mix2x 4th -> A Final
LM2x 3rd -> A Final
M1x Semi 2nd -> C Final

Saturday Times (IST)
M2x A/B Semi - 9:56am
W4- A Final - 11:22am
LW2x A Final - 12:57pm
LM2x A Final - 13:13pm

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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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