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Seven Irish crews were afloat for the second day of the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, with impressive performances across multiple events.

The women's pair of Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh secured a place in the repechage after finishing second in their heat, while Cork's Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey advanced directly to the A/B Semi of the lightweight women's double.

Cork's Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey were racing in the second day of the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, SerbiaCork's Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey were racing in the second day of the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia

Alison Bergin and Zoe Hyde won their heat in the women's double, securing a place in the A/B Semi and giving themselves a chance to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The women's pair of Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh secured a place in the repechage after finishing second in their heatThe women's pair of Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh secured a place in the repechage after finishing second in their heat

The women's four team of Eimear Lambe, Sanita Puspure, Imogen Magner, and Natalie Long also made it through to the A/B Semi, finishing third in their heat.

However, the men's four and quad teams will need to fight their way through the repechage to progress.

Despite finishing sixth in their heat, John Kearney, Jack Dorney, Adam Murphy, and Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan will race again in the repechage for a chance to make the A/B Semi.

Similarly, the men's quad of Brian Colsh, Andrew Sheehan, Ronan Byrne, and Konan Pazzaia finished sixth in their heat but will have another opportunity to qualify for the Semi in the repechage.

Lightweight sculler Jake McCarthy of SkibbereenLightweight sculler Jake McCarthy of Skibbereen

Skibbereen's Jake McCarthy secured a place in the quarterfinals of the lightweight sculler event after winning his repechage.

Day 2 Results (Irish interest)
W2- Heat 2nd -> Repechage
LW2x Heat 2nd -> A/B Semi
W2x Heat 1st -> A/B Semi
W4- Heat 3rd -> A/B Semi
M4- Heat 6th -> Repechage
M4x Heat 6th -> Repechage
LM1x Repechage 1st -> Quarterfinal

Tuesday Schedule (IST)
9:30am - PR2 Mix2x Heat
10:40am - W2- Repechage
11:15am - M4- Repechage
11:36am - M4x Repechage

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Skibbereen rower Jake McCarthy is into the repechage of the men's lightweight scull after a fifth place finish in his heat on day one of the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Serbia.

Right up until the final 200 metres McCarthy and the sculler from Belgium were sitting bowballs apart, fighting for that fourth place position for a ticket straight into the quarterfinals. Coming to the line it was Marlon Colpaert of Belgium that was able to hold on to the momentum and take that final spot. Jake races again tomorrow afternoon for a place in the quarterfinals.

Siobhán McCrohan (Tribesmen RC) is into the A/B Semi's of the lightweight women's scull at the World Rowing Championships in BelgradeSiobhán McCrohan (Tribesmen RC) is into the A/B Semi's of the lightweight women's scull at the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade

Siobhán McCrohan (Tribesmen RC) has cruised into the A/B Semi's of the lightweight women's scull with a second place finish in her heat. The race was reduced to a four boat race due to the Individual Neutral Athlete Anastasiia Liubich failing to make weight prior to racing. With two boats to progress through to the A/B Semi finals Siobhán made her mark early on in the race, opening up the initial lead. Going with her was the Romanian sculler and after the two created a significant gap to the remaining boats they settled into the race. Siobhán is up next on Thursday morning for the A/B Semi.

Olympic champions Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy had a solid performance in the heat of the lightweight men's double at the World Rowing Championships in BelgradeOlympic champions Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy had a solid performance in the heat of the lightweight men's double at the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade

Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy are back in the winning spirit with a solid performance in the heat of the lightweight men's double. Taking the lead from the start of the race, there was no catching the 2022 World Champions. New Zealand had a good race moving from fourth to second, but with each 500m the Irish double continued to increase their lead. They race again on Wednesday for the quarterfinals.

An impressive race from the Enniskillen duo of Nathan Timoney and Ross Corrigan sends them straight through to the men's pair quarterfinals. Hitting a low of 40 strokes per minute in the first 500m Ireland went out hard, placing themselves in the top two with 2022 World Silver Medallists Spain. Through the middle of the race Timoney and Corrigan challenged Spain, moving into the lead of the race.

Enniskillen duo of Nathan Timoney and Ross Corrigan are straight through to the men's pair quarterfinals at the World Rowing Championships in BelgradeEnniskillen duo of Nathan Timoney and Ross Corrigan are straight through to the men's pair quarterfinals at the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade

It was only in the last sprint that Spain picked up their boat speed and came through Ireland beating them by just 1.19 seconds.

Irish rowers Philip Doyle (Portora BC) and Daire Lynch (Clonmel RC) are into the men's doubles quarterfinals at the World Rowing Championships in BelgradeIrish rowers Philip Doyle (Portora BC) and Daire Lynch (Clonmel RC) are into the men's doubles quarterfinals at the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade

Philip Doyle (Portora BC) and Daire Lynch (Clonmel RC) are into the men's doubles quarterfinals with a second-place finish in their heat. It was the American double that led from the start but there was only just over a second separating the top four crews to the first marker. Doyle and Lynch sat in third position until they made their move on the French double coming into the final 400 meters. The French crew, including reigning champion Hugo Boucheron, could not catch Ireland on the line.

Day 1 Results (Irish interest)
LM1x Heat 5th -> Repechage
LW1x Heat 2nd -> A/B Semi
LM2x Heat 1st -> Quarterfinal
M2- Heat 2nd -> Quarterfinal
M2x Heat 2nd -> Quarterfinal

Monday Schedule (IST)  (Irish interest)
9:28am - W2- Heat
9:49am - LW2x Heat
10:25am - W2x Heat
11:21am - W4- Heat
11:35am - M4- Heat
12:24pm - M4x Heat
15:47pm - LM1x Repechage

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Sunday, September 3, marks the beginning of the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. This is the first opportunity for the rowers to qualify Ireland for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

This year, Rowing Ireland has 28 athletes competing across 12 boat classes. This is the largest number of athletes representing Ireland at a World Rowing Championships.

At last year's Championships, Ireland won four medals; LM2x Gold, PR2 W1x Gold, LW2x Bronze and W2x Bronze.

Jake McCarthy picked up rowing in 2012 after twin brother Fintan joined Skibbereen RC. A major highlight in Jakes's rowing career was in 2016 when he and Fintan made it to the A Final of the European Championships in the LM2x. Jake last raced at the 2019 World Championships where he finished 8th in the LM4x.Jake McCarthy picked up rowing in 2012 after twin brother Fintan joined Skibbereen RC. A major highlight in Jakes's rowing career was in 2016 when he and Fintan made it to the A Final of the European Championships in the LM2x. Jake last raced at the 2019 World Championships where he finished 8th in the LM4x.

Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen RC) will be the first down the course for the heat of the lightweight men's scull. If McCarthy can finish in the top four boats he'll go straight into the quarterfinal, avoiding the repechage. He faces World Cup III silver medallist, Artur Mikolajczewski from Poland and the Austrian sculler Lukas Reim who won the B Final of the same event. This is Jake's first appearance at a World Rowing event since the 2019 World Championships where he finished second in the B Final of the lightweight men's quad.

World Cup III silver medallist, Siobhán McCrohan (Tribesmen RC) has had an impressive season so far picking up a medal in Lucerne and placing fourth at the European Championships in Bled. There has been a mix of athletes on the podium for the lightweight scull in 2023, and with the 2022 World Champion and 2023 European Champion from Romania, moving into the lightweight double, the single scull event is wide open. Two crews progress to the A/B Semi with the remainder going to the repechage. Keep an eye on Gianina Van Groningen, the new sculler for Romania. Groningen finished 6th at the Tokyo Olympics in the lightweight double and raced in the Romanian eight that won bronze at World Cup III.

Reigning World Champions, Paul O'Donovan (UCC RC) and Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen RC) are back in the lightweight men's double and they're going for gold. At World Cup III in Lucerne they were narrowly beaten on the line by the French double. Just .09 of a second separated the two boats. After their four week training camp in Banyoles they're ready to go again. With four crews to qualify it's likely the Skibbereen boys will bypass the repechage and head straight into the quarterfinals.

Nathan Timoney began rowing with Enniskillen Royal BC in 2015. In his junior years, he represented Ireland at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in the JM2-. Nathan is currently doing a business degree in University Belfast and competing for their rowing team. He was selected for last year's U23 World Championships where he won bronze in the men’s fourNathan Timoney began rowing with Enniskillen Royal BC in 2015. In his junior years, he represented Ireland at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in the JM2-. Nathan is currently doing a business degree in University Belfast and competing for their rowing team. He was selected for last year's U23 World Championships where he won bronze in the men’s four

Nathan Timoney (Queen's University Belfast BC) and Ross Corrigan (Portora BC) race the men's pair tomorrow afternoon. They made their debut in the pair in July at World Cup III, where they finished sixth in the A Final. They have been drawn against Spain in tomorrow's heat, who beat them by less than a second in 8the World Cup final. Again four crews go through to the quarterfinals from the heat.

The men's double of Philip Doyle (Portora BC) and Daire Lynch (Clonmel RC) won bronze in Lucerne and finished in fourth place at the European Championships earlier in the year. The USA double of Benjamin Davison and Sorin Koszyk came second in World Cup II so they're a double to watch but with four crews to qualify for the quarterfinals, Doyle and Lynch are in a good place.

On Monday the women's pair, lightweight double, four, double and the men's four and quad will hit the water for their heats.

Sunday Schedule (IST)
10:08am - LM1x Heat
11:12am - LW1x Heat
11:19am - LM2x Heat
12:01pm - M2- Heat
12:50pm - M2x Heat

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Ireland has announced the selection of 12 crews that will compete at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

The event, taking place from September 3rd to 10th, serves as the first opportunity for Irish rowers to secure Olympic qualification spots for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

The selected athletes will face a tough challenge, as this event is their last chance to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics after the final qualification event in Lucerne next May. 

In 2019, Rowing Ireland qualified four boats for the Tokyo Olympics, followed by two more at the final qualification event. This year, 28 athletes will be racing in just two weeks' time, the largest number of Irish athletes to compete at a World Rowing Championships for Ireland, with 26 of them being in Olympic class events.

The selected crews are as follows: Katie O'Brien and Steven McGowan for the Para Mixed Double (PR2 Mix2x); Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey for the Lightweight Women's Double (LW2x); Siobhán McCrohan for the Lightweight Women's Scull (LW1x); Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy for the Lightweight Men's Double (LM2x); Jake McCarthy for the Lightweight Men's Scull (LM1x); Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh for the Women's Pair (W2-); Alison Bergin and Zoe Hyde for the Women's Double (W2x); Eimear Lambe, Sanita Puspure, Imogen Magner, and Natalie Long for the Women's Four (W4-); Nathan Timoney and Ross Corrigan for the Men's Pair (M2-); Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch for the Men's Double (M2x); Brian Colsh, Andrew Sheehan, Ronan Byrne, and Konan Pazzaia for the Men's Quad (M4x); and John Kearney, Jack Dorney, Adam Murphy, and Fionnan McQuillan-Tolan for the Men's Four (M4-).

The High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, leads the team, along with coaching staff Dominic Casey (HP Lightweight Head Coach), David Breen (HP Para Coach), Giuseppe De Vita (HP Women's Head Coach), Ashley Rowe (HP Women's Coach), Fran Keane (HP Men's Head Coach), Nicolo Maurogiovanni (HP Men's Coach), physiotherapists Heather O'Brien and Orla Doolin, and team manager Michael O'Rourke.

With the eyes of the world watching, Ireland's rowers will be pulling hard to secure their place on the Olympic stage in Paris.

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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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The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020