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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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Katie O'Brien and Steven McGowan had a strong race in the PR2 Mixed Double, staying in touch with Ukraine and Poland from the start on day one fo the European Rowing Championships on Lake Bled, Slovenia. Winding it up coming into the last quarter of the race, Ireland made up two seconds on Poland, the 2022 World silver medallists, to finish just .2 of a second behind them.

Katie O'Brien and Steven McGowan competing on day one of the European Rowing Championships on Lake Bled in SloveniaKatie O'Brien and Steven McGowan competing on day one of the European Rowing Championships on Lake Bled in Slovenia

The crew from the Netherlands led the race from start to finish, beating the current World Champions, Ukraine, by four seconds.

The Women's Pair of Natalie Long and Imogen MagnerThe Ireland Women's Pair of Natalie Long and Imogen Magner

The Women's Pair of Natalie Long and Imogen Magner finished 4th in their heat. Through the 1000m mark, only a bow ball separated the crews from Ireland and Great Britain as they fought for third position. With only one place straight to the A Final, the crew from Ireland are into tomorrow's Repechages.

Hyde and Puspure progress with the second fastest time into the Repechages after a second-place finish in the Women's Doubles heat. Up against the 2022 silver medallists, the crew from Ireland went out strong and held their position from the start. The Netherlands had a significant lead through the halfway mark, but Zoe and Sanita began to pull back from there, reducing the gap to just four seconds at the finish.

The Men's Double made their mark in the heat, winning it ahead of France, the current World Champions. It was a dog fight through the race with Ireland sitting just half a second up on France until the 1500m mark. Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch then tapped into the famous Irish sprint and pulled out ahead to take the win by three seconds. Both crews move on to the A/B Semi-Finals on Saturday.

Siobhán McCrohan took second place in the Lightweight Women's Scull Heat, sending her into the Repechage tomorrow. With a quick time, she goes to the reps as the fastest sculler. McCrohan was sitting fourth through the 1000m mark but easily rowed through the scullers from Turkey and the Czech Republic in the third 500m.

The Men's Lightweight Double put in a solid performance for their first race in this combination. Fintan McCarthy and Hugh Moore led the race from the start but Jerzy Kowalski and Daniel Galeza from Poland stayed right on their heels with barely anything separating the two crews. Ireland and Poland took the two available spots straight into the A/B Semi-Finals.

Next were the Women's Four of Eimear Lambe, Tara Hanlon, Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh. In a tough race with only one crew to qualify directly into the A Final, the crew from Ireland had to go head to head with GB who won both the European and World Championships last year. In a gutsy row, Ireland finished in second place behind GB and had clear water over the Polish and Spanish fours.

Ireland's men's four at the European Rowing Championships 2023 - John Kearney, Ross Corrigan, Nathan Timoney and Fionnán McQuillan-TolanIreland's men's four at the European Rowing Championships 2023 - John Kearney, Ross Corrigan, Nathan Timoney and Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan

Directly after the women's race, the men's four had their go down the picturesque course. In another extremely tight race John Kearney, Ross Corrigan, Nathan Timoney and Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan finished in third place behind Romania and Italy. All three crews stayed within a canvas of each other down the course and finished with just three seconds separating them. They'll take to the water tomorrow where they'll race for a spot in the A Final.

Brian Colsh finished third in his heat of the Men's Scull. Starting off in fourth place, Colsh squeezed into third in the third 500m. It was only one crew to qualify straight into the A/B Semi so it's into the Repechage for Ireland.

The Lightweight Women's Double of Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey are into tomorrow's Repechage after a third-place finish in their heat. Poland's double had a great start, leading the heat up to the halfway point. The Tokyo Olympic Champions moved in at this point to take the lead and finish the race with clear water. Ireland stayed in touch with Poland, but they were able to hold on to their advantage from the start and finished ahead of Cremen and Casey.

Thursday Results
PR2 Mix2x 4th -> Repechage
W2- 4th -> Repechage
W2x 2nd -> Repechage
M2x 1st -> A/B Semi
LW1x 2nd -> Repechage
LM2x 1st -> A/B Semi
W4- 2nd -> Repechage
M4- 3rd -> Repechage
M1x 3rd -> Repechage
LW2x 3rd -> Repechage

Friday Schedule (IST)
LW2x Rep - 8:15am
W4- Rep - 8:45am
LW1x Rep - 8:55am
M4- Rep - 9:25am
W2- Rep - 9:30am
W2x Rep - 9:50am
M1x Rep - 10:30am
PR2 Mix2x Rep - 10:35am
LM2x A/B Semi - 14:00pm

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The 2023 European Rowing Championships begins tomorrow morning in Bled, Slovenia. All ten of the crews from Ireland will race tomorrow in the heats.

The PR2 Mix2x of Katie O'Brien and Steven McGowan will first hit the water at the Championships. The Galway duo are up against the current World Champions, Laroslav Koiuda and Svitlana Bohuslavska of Ukraine. At last year's European Championships in Munich, Katie and Steven finished 21 seconds behind Ukraine and reduced that gap just a month later to 12 seconds at the World Championships. This week they'll be looking to reduce that gap even further.

The lightweight team are fielding some new combinations with Hugh Moore and Fintan McCarthy in the Men's Double and Siobhan McCrohan in the Women's Scull. Hugh won silver in the lightweight Men's double at U23 Worlds last year and raced the single at the 2022 World Championships. Siobhan previously raced in the lightweight Women's Double with Rio Olympian, Claire Lambe, in the lead up to the London Olympics. Making her return to the international stage since 2016, McCrohan will be aiming to put down a solid race in tomorrow's heat. 2022 World Bronze medallists, Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey race again in the Lightweight Women's Double.

Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch will race the Men's Double in one of the largest events with 22 entries. This combination raced in April at Memorial Paolo D'Aloja International Regatta in Piediluco. After taking away silver medals from that event they'll be eager for more this weekend. The Men's Coxless four of John Kearney, Ross Corrigan, Nathan Timoney and Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan is also a relatively new combination, and will be an exciting watch after the strong performance from Ireland's Four at the World Championships last September where they finished in 8th position. The Men's Single will see Brian Colsh race head to head against some of the worlds best. Colsh also raced the scull at the 2022 World Championships, finishing in 15th position.

2022 World bronze medal winners Zoe Hyde and Sanita Puspure face silver medallists, the Netherlands, in the Women's Double heat in the morning. Due to illness at last year's European Championships, Hyde and Puspure had to withdraw from the event so it's all to play for this weekend. A new addition to the squad, Imogen Magner, makes her debut with Rowing Ireland this weekend in the pair with Natalie Long.

The Women's Coxless Four also sees a new combination with a lineup of Eimear Lambe, Tara Hanlon, Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh. These athletes are highly versed on the international scene, with three of the four racing in the silver medal performance at Europeans last year. Tomorrow they're up against the current World Champions, Great Britain.

Follow the Racing

  • Live Race Tracker and Live Audio for all races on the World Rowing site.
  • Live Video Stream will be available for the A Finals on Saturday and Sunday on the World Rowing.
  • The A Finals on Saturday and Sunday will also be on RTE News Channel and RTE Player.

Thursday Schedule (IST)

PR2 Mix2x Heat - 8:32am
W2- Heat - 8:45am
W2x Heat - 9:05am
M2x Heat - 9:20am
LW1x Heat - 9:40am
LM2x Heat - 10:00am
W4- Heat - 10:25am
M4- Heat - 10:30am
M1x Heat - 10:55am
LW2x Heat - 11:20am

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Irish rowers helped Cambridge to win both the men’s and women’s annual boat races against Oxford on the river Thames at the weekend.

Caoimhe Dempsey, Cambridge president and member of its winning women’s crew, is a Trinity College Dublin (TCD) graduate from Wicklow, while Tom Lynch is an Irish born oarsman from Vancouver, Canada who was selected for the winning Cambridge men’s crew.

Cambridge made a clean sweep of victories across the four races, watched by a large international television audience, on the Thames yesterday.

Cambridge won the men’s, women’s and two reserve races, with the women’s race regarded as most decisive. The light-blue crew with Caoimhe Dempsey in stroke completed the course in 20 minutes, 28 seconds, 12 seconds ahead of Oxford.

It was the Cambridge women’s sixth win, and Dempsey, who was also on last year’s winning crew, described it as a “whirlwind of a race” with conditions changing considerable over the course.

In the men’s race, an hour later, cox Jasper Parish has been praised for a decisive move which secured a lead for Cambridge – with Dublin-born Tom Lynch on the crew.

Conditions on the Tideway were “testing”, according to the Daily Telegraph, with a northerly wind creating a chop on the water. After leaving Putney Bridge, Jasper Parish, whose brother Ollie is on the crew, steered away from the middle of the river hugging the back of the football stand.

It gave the Cambridge men a decisive advantage, which Oxford did its best to challenge. Oxford stroke Felix Drinkall was so exhausted that he collapsed in his seat after the race.

The Cambridge men’s crew won by just over a length, recording their fourth victory in the past five races.

Tom Lynch was born in Dublin, and is son of distinguished Irish and international Dublin University Boat Club oarsman Kevin Lynch.

Tom Lynch lived in Vancouver, Canada, and wasn’t that serious about rowing initially. He has said in interviews that he dropped varsity rowing after a week when in his first year of mechanical engineering with a biomedical specialisation.at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

He returned to rowing in his third year at UBC, and is in his second year of a PhD at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge.

Caoimhe Dempsey, from Wicklow, is a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge and has been selected for the Blue Boat over several years.

Dempsey previously competed for Dublin University Ladies' Boat Club (DULBC) while taking a degree in psychology at Trinity College Dublin, and represented Ireland at under-23s level.

She completed a master's degree in psychology in Cambridge University, and is now in Newnham College working on a PhD in the same subject.

She is daughter of former Irish hill runner Roisin McDonald and her grand-aunt, Nuala Stanley was an international hockey player for Ireland.

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The 73rd Colours Rowing Race between Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin will occur on Saturday, 25th March from 12:30 pm.

The race sees Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin go head-to-head again on the Liffey, racing from O’Connell Bridge to St. James’ Gate. Watch the high-tempo start at O’Connell Bridge, the mid-course battle at Four Courts or the sprint for the line at the dedicated viewing area at St. James’ Gate on Victoria Quay.

The annual colours boat race began in 1947 and comprises of the Gannon Cup for the senior men’s 8+, the Corcoran Cup for the senior women’s 8+, the Dan Quinn Shield for the novice men’s 8+ and the Sally Moorehead for the novice women’s 8+. The event offers a unique spectacle on the river Liffey with each race consisting of two 60ft racing boats, each with eight rowers and a coxswain.

For the first time, all four clubs will be captained by women in the colours boat race series, with Isabel Doyle and Shauna Fitzsimons as the first female captains of TCD’s and UCD’S men’s boat clubs. Ahead of the event, Isabel Doyle, Captain of Dublin University Boat Club commented, “Colours is one of the premier dates in the Irish rowing calendar and has a great historical significance. It represents some of the highest level of amateur sport and competition in Ireland, fittingly taking place through the heart of our capital city.”

Alicia O’ Neill, Captain of Dublin University Ladies Boat Club commented, “Colours is one of the highlights of our rowing season. It’s the only race where we can row down the Liffey through the heart of Dublin City Centre and where spectators can watch the race from start to finish. Both our senior and novice squads are more than ready to race, and we are looking forward to the 25th of March to showcase the very best of DULBC. UCD are one of our biggest rivals and we are eager to go out and challenge them and hopefully claim the bragging rights for the year!”

Ellie Scott, Captain of UCD Women’s Boat Club commented, "I am really excited to be racing once again in The Colours Boat Races. It is always an honour to represent your college while racing through the centre of Dublin.”

Shauna Fitzsimons, Captain of UCD Men’s Boat Club commented, "It’s always a special race, remembering one of our great Captains Ciaran Gannon and we’re delighted so many of his family are able to make the trip to Dublin this year to join us for this historic boat race."

Colours Boat Race Schedule, Saturday, 25th March 2023:

  • 12:30pm – Sally Moorehead Trophy
  • 1:00pm – Dan Quinn Shield
  • 1:30pm – Corcoran Cup
  • 2:00pm – Gannon Cup

The coin toss for the 2022 Colours Boat Races took place on the Sunday, 5th March at the dining hall of Trinity College Dublin, overseen by the Minister for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne. Dublin University Boat Club won the toss and will take the north station for the Gannon Cup and the Dan Quinn shield. Dublin University Ladies Boat Club won their coin toss and chose to race on the north station for the Corcoran Cup and the Sally Moorhead Trophy.

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It has taken a while for regular success in ocean rowing to come Ireland’s way, but 2022 saw a massive leap forward with Galway Bay’s Karen Weekes and Damien Browne each completing the crossing, Karen east-west in April, and Damien west-east from New York to Galway in October.

However, 2023 was barely two weeks old when another remarkable achievement was added to the tally with Wicklow’s five-strong “Row Hard Or Go Home” team crossing the finish line in Antigua on January 14th, after setting an east-west record from the Canaries of 33 days 12 hours and 38 minutes.

Wicklow is already a noted port for coastal and cross-channel oarsmen, but now a new dimension has been convincingly added by the RHOGH crew of Tom Nolan, Shane Culleton , Derek McMullen, and brothers Diarmuid and Gearoid O Briain, whose success is raising funds for the RNLI and Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice. Buoyed by their achievement, they were well able to give a full-throated rendition of their voyage anthem “The Irish Rover” as they berthed in Nelson’s Dockyard.

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The University of Galway says it is inquiring into a recent incident on the river Corrib where up to ten people were rescued after their rowing craft were swept towards the salmon weir.

The university says no one was injured, but emergency service representatives in Galway have said the incident was potentially very serious as the sport of rowing is exempt from mandatory life jacket use.

A multi-agency group involving the Garda, the RNLI, Galway fire service and Civil Defence has called for a dedicated rescue craft to be stationed on the river upstream of the weir.

Three rowing boats- two with university students and one with secondary school students- were involved in two separate incidents last Saturday morning (Jan 14) on the river, which was in spate after recent heavy rain.

Both incidents occurred between 11 am and 12 noon, with the first being the capsize of an octuple or “eight” rowing craft with students from Coláiste Iognáid or “ Jez” secondary school.

The capsized octuple or “eight” rowing craft Photo: Niall McNelisThe capsized octuple or “eight” rowing craft Photo: Niall McNelis

The capsize occurred up river from the weir and across from their clubhouse. All students were rescued by their club safety launches within minutes and taken ashore.

A more serious incident occurred shortly after that when two rowing craft with University of Galway students were swept towards the salmon weir, where they were caught by pontoons and capsized due to the strength of the river flow.

Ten rowers - none of whom are obliged to wear lifejackets due to the sport’s exemption - had to be taken from the top of the weir by club safety launches in very challenging conditions.

The Irish Coast Guard confirmed that its Valentia Rescue Coordination Centre was alerted through the national 112/999 call answering service at 12:08hrs on January 14. It said it was reported that ten rowers were “possibly in difficulty at the weir”.

The Coastguard was informed that ten rowers were “possibly in difficulty at the weir” Photo: The Coastguard was informed that ten rowers were “possibly in difficulty at the weir” Photo:Niall McNelis

The Galway Fire Service, An Garda Siochana, Coast Guard Helicopter R118 from Sligo, Galway RNLIlLifeboat and Costelloe Bay Coast Guard unit were tasked, it said.

“During the 112/999 call the caller confirmed all boat occupants had been recovered to the club safety boats responding locally,”the Irish Coast Guard said, and rescue units were stood down.

The University of Galway said support boats were on the water at the time the two boats capsized and no-one was injured.

“ All rowers were brought safely from the water to the river bank within minutes,”a spokesman said.

“The university is deeply grateful to other rowing clubs for their support and prompt response. We are also thank the emergency services for their rapid response,”he said.

He confirmed the university is compiling an internal report, has engaged with Rowing Ireland, the national representative body, and is reviewing all safety measures and precautions which are in place for our rowing club and other river users”.

It said it would cooperate fully with any inquiry by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), and would support any initiatives to improve water safety and rescue services on the Corrib.

The MCIB said it was “aware” of the incident and had not yet decided if there would be an inquiry.

A spokesman for Coláiste Iognáid said that it was satisfied that all safety procedures were followed when its boat capsized, and said all students were fine and parents were informed.

Speaking on behalf of the Galway water users’ multi-agency group, RNLI Galway operations manager Mike Swan said that a dedicated rescue craft above the weir which was on call “24/7” was essential.

There has been no rowing on the Corrib this week, and clubs were meeting last night.

Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club said it supported calls for a dedicated rescue boat, as the nearest service up river is the Corrib-Mask Rescue Service in Lisloughrey, Co Mayo.

“We are calling on Galway city and county councils to act on our concerns immediately before there is a serious tragedy on our city’s waters,”the club said.

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Ocean rowing has come up before in our Sailor of the Month listings. But it’s an understandably rare feat, and noted former rugby player Damian Browne’s huge achievement of rowing from New York to Galway is put into deeper perspective by knowing that his shipmate at the start of the voyage had to be air-lifted off at an early stage owing to illness. Thus Damian made his way solo across a notably obtuse ocean in what was essentially a two-man boat, resulting in a time scale which is difficult to grasp.

He departed on June 14th and reached Ireland on October 4th, by which time the ocean swell and the Atlantic winds were already well into the beginnings of their winter routines.

 

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Extreme adventurer Damian Browne rowed into Galway Bay after his transatlantic crossing and is due into Galway docks from 10.30 am on Tuesday.

The former Connacht rugby player will have become one of a handful to have rowed both ways across the Atlantic when he berths after 112 days at sea.

Browne rowed east-west solo from San Sebastian to Antigua in 2018. This year’s west-east crossing was to have been completed with his close friend Fergus Farrell after the pair left New York in mid June for Galway.

However , Farrell had to be evacuated at sea after 13 days, when his oxygen levels dropped to 86 per cent and he was at risk of blood clots.

Transatlantic oarsman Damian Browne passing a crowded Inis Meain pier last evening. Liam O'Brien of the Co Clare Doolin ferry company provided an escort for Browne in his RIB Photo: Paddy CroweTransatlantic oarsman Damian Browne passing a crowded Inis Meain pier last evening. Liam O'Brien of the Co Clare Doolin ferry company provided an escort for Browne in his RIB Photo: Paddy Crowe

Farrell, who survived a traumatic spinal injury in 2018 and  learned to walk again, said his online medical support took just 30 seconds to inform him his row was “finished”.

Video by Michael Gill

The pair were attempting to set a new Guinness world record in their purpose-built Seasabre 6.2m craft.

Entitled Project Empower, the row continued by Browne is raising funds for  four charities: National Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, Ability West, Madra and Galway Simon Community.

Browne survived a number of capsizes and has been living on cold food after losing vital equipment in storms.

He  could have  made his landfall in Kerry, as his first sight of Ireland was of the Irish south-west coast  last Thursday.

Instead, he  has been transiting north along the Irish Atlantic seaboard to ensure his first landfall is in his native city.

Challenging conditions forced him to deploy his para-anchor, with south-westerly winds sweeping him up to Foul Sound between the Aran islands of  Inis Meáín and Inis Oírr  last  evening (mon) where a crowd of islanders greeted him from shore and a large bonfire was lit on Inis Oírr.

Weather permitting, a flotilla of vessels will accompany him in on his last leg into Galway docks early this morning.

“"When I started out on this project some three-and-a-half years ago, the final destination was clear from the start; Galway. Home,”Browne said in a statement from his boat, Cushlamachree, yesterday.

A welcoming bonfire for transatlantic oarsman Damian Browne lit on Monday evening on Inis Oírr Photo: Paddy CroweA welcoming bonfire for transatlantic oarsman Damian Browne lit on Monday evening on Inis Oírr Photo: Paddy Crowe

“The great hope with this was to give the next generation of kids in the west and throughout the country a real image, and touchable action to emulate, and hopefully inspire them to dream big and work hard in whatever avenue of life they decide to explore,” he said.

 “After 112 days of stresses, strains and doubts only an endeavour like attempting to row 3000 miles across the unforgiving North Atlantic can elicit, I’m incredibly excited to close out this beautiful project in my hometown, surrounded by my family, friends and supporters; making my dream a reality,”he said.

It is anticipated that he will be greeted in Galway docks by his partner Rozelle, baby daughter Elodie, parents Mary and Joe Browne and siblings Andrew and Gillian and their families, along with Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan and supporters including Fergus Farrell and MacDara Hosty.

A golf buggy has been provided to drive him around the docks to meet wellwishers, before he is taken to the Harbour Hotel for a private reception.

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English firefighter Paul Hopkins (55) had recovered from a brain haemorrhage and entrepreneur Phil Pugh (65) was renowned for undertaking extreme physical challenges in honour of his son when they rowed into Antigua in a fourth-hand wooden rowing boat in February 2020.

The pair, who undertook the transatlantic challenge on a tight budget, had no family there to greet them after 70 days at sea.

Phil Pugh and Paul Hopkins before (above) and after their voyage Photos: Atlantic CampaignsPhil Pugh (below) and Paul Hopkins (above) before and after their voyage Photos: Atlantic Campaigns

Phil Pugh and Paul Hopkins before (above) and after their voyage Photos: Atlantic Campaigns

However, Irish-born author and former television director Niamh McAnally and her husband Gary Krieger were there on their yacht, Freed Spirit, and the result is a compelling book which records how two “disparate alpha males” learned to work together by focussing on solutions rather than problems during a life-changing high-seas voyage.

Paul and Phil arriving in Antigua. Photo by Niamh McAnallyPaul and Phil arriving in Antigua. Photo by Niamh McAnally

McAnally and Krieger spoke to Wavelengths about how the book came about. You can listen to the podcast here and details of the book are below.

Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua. L to R Gary Krieger (author's husband) Phil Pugh, Niamh McAnally (author) Paul Hopkins taken before dinner onboard Gary and Niamh's sailboat home, Freed Spirit. Three hours later the idea for this book was bornNelson's Dockyard, Antigua. L to R Gary Krieger (author's husband) Phil Pugh, Niamh McAnally (author) Paul Hopkins taken before dinner onboard Gary and Niamh's sailboat home, Freed Spirit. Three hours later the idea for this book was born

Flares Up: A Storm Bigger than the Atlantic by Niamh McAnallyFlares Up: A Storm Bigger than the Atlantic by Niamh McAnally

Flares Up: A Story Bigger than the Atlantic by Niamh McAnally with a foreword by Jeremy Irons ( Pitch Publishing £14.99) is available in print and on audiobook form, and more details are on McAnally’s website 

A video of Jeremy Irons speaking at the Dublin launch of Niamh McAnally's book FLARES UP is below.

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