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Rowing kicked off the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this morning. Two Irish crews competed in their heats at the Sea Forest Waterway. Sanita Pušpure raced in the Women’s Single Sculls and Ronan Byrne and Phil Doyle raced in the Men’s Double Sculls.

Sanita Pušpure finished first in the Women’s Single Sculls Heat. Sanita faced competition from Kathleen Noble (Uganda), Anneta Kyridou (Greece), Felice Chow (Trinidad and Tobago) and Joan Poh (Singapore. Sanita won the Heat with a time of 07:46.08.

Sanita has progressed to the Quarter-Final, which will take place on Monday morning. Listen to interview below

The second Irish crew saw the Men’s Double Sculls of Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle finish fourth in their heat. Ronan and Phil competed against, Barnabe Delarze and Roman Roeoesli (Switzerland), Jack Lopas and Christopher Harris (New Zealand) and Miroslaw Zietarski and Mateusz Biskup (Poland). The Irish crew finished with a time of 06:14.40 in a very tight race but the crew from New Zealand just finished ahead of the Irish Crew to secure the final A/B Semi-Final spot.

Ronan and Phil will compete in Repechage on Saturday morning at 01:40.

Irish Results

Heats

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Pušpure – 1st – 07:46.08

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 4th – 06:14.40

Saturday 24th Racing (IST) Repechage

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 01:40

Heats

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 02:10

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 02:50

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 03:30

Women’s Four (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 04:00

Monday’s Racing (IST) Quarter-Final

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Pušpure – 01:00 – 01:30 (Time to be confirmed)

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Five Irish boats competed on the final day of the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. Two Irish crews took home a Silver Medal, and out of six competing crews, four reached A Finals, and two reached B Finals.

The Coxed Men’s Four won Silver in the A Final on Saturday afternoon. Finn O’Reilly, Andrew Sheehan, Ryan Spelman, Adam Murphy and Leah O’Regan (cox) finished second behind the Italian crew. They competed against crews from the USA, Germany, Italy, Nederlands, and France. They finished with a time of 06:12.84 to take home the Silver Medal.

Ross Corrigan, John Kearney, Alex Byrne and Jack Dorney won a Silver Medal in the M4- A Final. Ross, John, Alex and Jack started the race in front, but the Canadian boat closed the gap and took first place. Ross, John, Alex, and Jack finished ahead of the British boat to secure their Silver Medal with a time of 05:58.66.

Alison Bergin competed in the Women’s Single Sculls B Final, placing third with a final time of 08:06.47. Alison faced tough competition with crews from the Netherlands, Italy, USA, Russia and Austria. The boats from the Netherlands and Italy finished first and second, with Alison placing third.

Hugh Moore competed in the LM1x B Final, finishing fourth with a time of 07:18.71. Hugh led early in the race but was overtaken by the American and Danish boats after the 1,250-meter mark. Hugh narrowly missed out on a third-place by a tenth of a second to the German sculler.

Cliodhna Nolan finished fourth in the LW1x A Final. Cliodhna faced tough competition with crews from Italy, Russia, Greece, Germany and Austria. Cliodhna finished ahead of the German and Austrian boats to take fourth place. Cliodhna finished with a final time of 07:59.63.

Eoin Gaffney and Rory O’Neill raced in the LM2x A Final in the final race of the day for Irish Crews. Eoin and Rory finished fourth behind crews from German, France and Belgium. They beat the boats from Poland and Switzerland to secure the fourth-place finish. Eoin and Rory finished with a time of 06:29.91.

The Coxed Men’s Four won Silver in the A Final on Saturday afternoon. Finn O’Reilly, Andrew Sheehan, Ryan Spelman, Adam Murphy and Leah O’Regan (cox) finished second behind the Italian crew. They competed against crews from the USA, Germany, Italy, Nederlands, and France. They finished with a time of 06:12.84 to take home the Silver Medal.

Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni said, “I want to congratulate all of the athletes and coaches on their performances and results in the U23 World Championships this week.

We had six crews competing this week and out of the six, four reached the A Final and two crews reached the B Final. The Coxed Men’s Four and Men’s Four both won Silver in races with very tough competition.

Thank you to all the athletes, coaches, clubs, and their families for their commitment and hard work in preparation for the World Championships.

The team was well coordinated by the Coaches Coordinator and their Team Manager and all put in a large amount of work over the last couple of months and we are proud of their performances and results. Their passion and enthusiasm has been evident throughout their training camp and competition.

I look forward to seeing these athletes develop further and reach their potential in the next number of years after training as well as they did at the National Rowing Centre.”

Final Results

M4+ (Finn O’Reilly, Andrew Sheehan, Ryan Spelman, Adam Murphy and Leah O’Regan (Cox)) – 2nd – A Final – Silver Medal

M4- (Ross Corrigan, John Kearney, Alex Byrne and Jack Dorney) – 2nd – A Final – Silver Medal

W1x (Alison Bergin) – B Final – 3rd

LM1x (Hugh Moore) – B Final – 4th

LW1x (Cliodhna Nolan) – A Final – 4th

LM2x (Eoin Gaffney and Rory O’Neill) – A Final – 4th

Coaching and Support Staff

Antonio Maurogiovanni – High-Performance Director

Ciro Prisco – National Coach and Coach Coordinator

John Armstrong – National Coach

Nicolo’ Maurogiovanni – National Coach

Michael O’Rourke Team Manager

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The only similarity between the Viking ships that raided Larne Lough in the ninth century and the boats used by the Olderfleet Rowing Club is that they are slender. The name 'Olderfleet' is thought to be a corruption of Ulfrecksfiord (or Ulfried's Fjord), the Viking name for Larne Lough, which lies on the east coast of County Antrim. It is a busy ferry port connecting with Cairnryan in Scotland.

The Club, which offers social and competitive coastal rowing along the Antrim coast, was founded early last year by Barbara Johnston, and with the help of the local business community, the club is going from strength to strength with 97 members and plans for continued growth. Not only that, but Olderfleet Rowing Club is proudly supporting Friends of the Cancer Centre and as well as raising money and awareness of the charity, the club will be giving teenagers and young adults with cancer the opportunity to get out on the water and try rowing for themselves.

Olderfleet Rowing Club, which has members of all ages, trains Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays on Larne Lough and the open seaOlderfleet Rowing Club, which has members of all ages, trains Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays on Larne Lough and the open sea

The club's base is beside the East Antrim Boat Club slip, giving access to the sheltered lough and the Co Antrim coast. The boats, two quads and two doubles, are kept in containers, and the club recently received a grant for a portacabin beside EABC.

Commenting on what inspired her to start her own rowing club, Barbara said: "I come from a rowing family, and I have been rowing myself for eight years. It is an incredible sport that I have fallen in love with, and I decided to establish my own club earlier this year. Olderfleet Rowing Club opened in February, and with the help and support of James Boomer and Norman Black, we are building a really great community".

Norman Black is one of the club's founders and a constant driving force. He coxes and coaches and is a long time Antrim Coast rower. The club is fortunate to have as Club coach James Boomer, who coached at two commonwealth regattas, Canada and Scotland. He was Head Coach for the Scottish regatta when Northern Ireland won its first-ever Gold. He has also coached Irish Junior level rowers at Home Internationals. He explains his outlook; "Coaching ranges from absolute beginners to seasoned racers, with a focus on personal, technical and crew development. Everyone is given the same opportunities to let them develop their rowing ability. Rowing is a truly wonderful sport, and I am only too glad to help people achieve their goals".

The club, which has members of all ages, trains Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays on Larne Lough and the open sea.

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In a new statement, Rowing Ireland has backed down from their claim that the Afloat piece on a media ban on athletes was wrong.

Today's statement, on their site, says:

"Rowing Ireland wishes to clarify the situation regarding media coverage. International athletes have not been available for media interviews since the Lucerne World Cup. These restrictions do not, in our view, amount to a ban.

Rowing Ireland is happy to clear up this miscommunication and we apologise if the wrong impression was given in an earlier statement. We would like to thank the press for their continued support.

We will try to facilitate media requests with the athletes depending on their ongoing preparations, training and upcoming travel. The next Rowing Ireland media day will take place in the coming weeks ahead of the Olympics competition, with an opportunity for the media to speak with selected athletes.

Details will be announced in due course. All further media queries should be directed to [email protected]"

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Five Medals were won by Irish Crews at the World Rowing Cup II this weekend. Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy won Gold in the Lightweight Men’s Sculls. Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle won Silver in the Men’s Double, Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley won Silver in the Women’s Pair, Lydia Heaphy won Silver in the Lightweight Women’s Sculls, and Sanita Puspure won Bronze in the Women’s Single Sculls. Nine Irish crews competed at the World Rowing Cup II, and eight crews made it to the A Finals.

Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, John Kearney and Ross Corrigan competed in the Men’s Four B Final, finishing third with a time of 06:16.20. The Irish boat sustained efforts throughout the race, competing against two Swiss crews and one Dutch crew. This result leaves the crew with a standing of ninth overall for this weekend.

Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska raced in the Women’s Pair A Final, resulting in a time of 07.22.17 for second place. Aileen and Monika’s efforts saw them take second place in the final 200 metres, earning their place on the podium with a silver medal.

Tara Hanlon and Claire Feerick also competed in the Women’s Pair A Final and placed fifth with a final time of 07:29.89. Both boats faced crews from Spain, Romania, Chile, and the Czech Republic.

Ronan Byrne and Phil Doyle raced in the Men’s Double Sculls A Final, placing second with a time of 06:19.05. Ronan and Phil faced tight competition from their Chinese counterparts, Zhang Lin and Zhiyu Liu, racing neck and neck from the 1,000 metres mark right up to the finish line. China edged ahead by 0.14 seconds, Ronan and Phil claimed the silver medal and a place on the podium.

After some times recently, Cork's Sanita Puspure is back on the podium. One of five Irish medallists at LucerneAfter some times recently, Cork's Sanita Puspure is back on the podium. One of five Irish medallists at Lucerne World Rowing/Twitter

Sanita Puspure raced in the Women’s Single Sculls A Final, coming third with a time of 07:30.02 to secure a bronze medal. Sanita closed ground in the final hundred metres of the race but was passed by American rower Kara Kohler as they approached the line. Sanita faced rowers from Austria, Switzerland, the United States, and Russia.

Daire Lynch competed in the Men’s Single Sculls A Final, placing sixth with a final time of 07:01.90. Oliver Zeidler of Germany took home the Gold. Daire faced a strong field, racing alongside Norwegian, Lithuanian, Danish and German rowers.

Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy placed first in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls Final A with a time of 06:15.48. Paul and Fintan claimed the lead in the first 900 metres, battling with the Norwegian crew Kristoffer Brun and Are Weierholt Strandli for pole position. The crew won Gold with a 14 metre lead in Ireland’s final race in Lucerne this weekend.

Rowing Ireland’s CEO, Michelle Carpenter said, “I want to congratulate all the athletes and team on their results this weekend. We are delighted to see five medals after all the dedication and hard work in training camp over the last months.

Well done to our High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, the coaches, support staff, and the athletes’ clubs and families. The support the team has is a substantial factor in their continued success. Now that we know where we are, we are looking forward to focusing on the important road ahead.”

Chair of Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Committee, Neville Maxwell, said, “Overall we are very happy with the results of the Irish Team over the weekend in Lucerne. To come away with so many crews in A finals and five medals is a considerable achievement.

The group is now looking forward to having a quick rest and getting ready for the Tokyo Olympics, where further improvements will be made. We are delighted with the weekend, and Irish Rowing is in a good place.”

Irish Results

LW1x Lydia Heaphy – 2nd – A Final – Silver Medal

LM1x Gary O’Donovan – 4th – A Final

M4- Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, John Kearney & Ross Corrigan – 4th – B Final

W2- Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska – 2nd – A Final – Silver Medal

W2- Tara Hanlon & Claire Feerick – 5th – A Final

M2x Ronan Byrne & Phil Doyle – 2nd – A Final -Silver Medal

W1x Sanita Puspure – 3rd – A Final – Bronze Medal

M1x Daire Lynch – 6th – A Final

LM2x Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy – 1st – A Final – Gold Medal

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Irish rower Lydia Heaphy won the Silver Medal in the Lightweight Women’s Single on Day Two of the World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne. 

Gary O’Donovan finished fourth in the Lightweight Men’s Single Final. The remaining seven crews will be racing on Sunday morning.

Eight of the nine Irish crews competing this weekend qualified for A Finals.

Lydia Heaphy placed second in the Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls A Final, with a time of 08:25.15. Lydia faced tough competition but held strong ground, and she managed to edge ahead of Italian rower Federica Cesarini, securing second place. Lydia earned herself a spot on the podium with a silver medal. Lydia raced rowers from Switzerland, Italy, China, and the Netherlands.

Lydia Heaphy competed in the Lightweight Women’s Sculls A/B Semi-Final, finishing first with a time of 08:32.81, and progressed into the A Final. Lydia faced tough competition with crews from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Great Britain.

Gary O’Donovan competed in the Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls Final A, placing fourth with a time of 07:24.52. Gary was rowing alongside Chilean Felipe Andres Cardenas Morales, who finished ahead of Gary by a tenth of a second. The race saw tough competition throughout, with two rowers from Italy also earning places on the podium.

Gary O’Donovan qualified for the A Final by finishing second in the Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls A/B Semi-Final. It was a tight race with two boats from France and the Chilean boat competing with Gary for the three available places. Gary finished second behind the French Sculler by less than two-tenths of a second. Gary finished with a time of 07:35.59 and moved into the A Final.

Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska competed in the Women’s Pair Repechage, finishing first with a time of 07:35.44, qualifying for the A final. It was a close race right until the last hundred metres, in which Aileen and Monika fought off the Chilean team to claim first place. They will race in the A Final on Sunday morning.

Tara Hanlon and Claire Feerick also competed in the Women’s Pair Repechage, finishing third and also qualifying for the A final. Tara and Claire finished with a time of 07:40.73. Both pairs faced teams from Chile, China and the Czech Republic. Tara and Claire will race in the A Final on Sunday.

Ronan Byrne and Phil Doyle competed in the Men’s Double Sculls A/B semi-final, finishing in first with a time of 06:27.65. The double made substantial progress in the final 500 metres, beating the British crew by less than a second and securing their place in the A Final on Sunday.

Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, John Kearney and Ross Corrigan competed in the Men’s Four Repechage, finishing fifth with a time of 06:21.50. It was a close race, with teams from Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands battling for two places in the A Final, ultimately resulting in a win for the Dutch team. Jack, Alex, John and Ross will compete in the B Final on Sunday.

In the Women’s Single Sculls, Sanita Puspure finished second with a time of 08:06.18 in the A/B Semi-Final. The race was won by Victoria Thornley of Great Britain, who led by just over one second. Sanita rowed alongside scullers from the United States, Greece, Mexico and the Netherlands and secured her place in the A Final.

Daire Lynch placed third in the Men’s Single Sculls A/B Semi-Final with a time of 07:12.29. Daire fought off competition from Japanese rower Ryuta Arakawa, gaining ground in the last 500 metres and securing the remaining place in the A Final. This was a tight race right until the end, with the top four crews finishing within three-and-a-half seconds of each other.

Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy competed in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final. The double started strong and maintained a steady lead to finish first with a time of 06:36.95. Paul and Fintan finished four seconds ahead of their Belgian counterparts, who finished second. The pair secured their place in the A Final on Sunday morning.

Sunday’s Racing Times (IST)

08:45 M4- (Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, John Kearney & Ross Corrigan) B Final

09:15 W2- (Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska) – A Final

09:15 W2- (Tara Hanlon & Claire Feerick) – A Final

10:28 M2x (Ronan Byrne & Phil Doyle) – A Final

11:13 W1x (Sanita Puspure) – A Final

11:29 M1x (Daire Lynch)- A Final

11:44 LM2x (Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy) – A Final

Saturdays Results

LW1x (Lydia Heaphy) – 1st – A/B Semi-Final

LM1x (Gary O’Donovan) – 2nd – A/B Semi-Final

W2- (Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska) – 1st – Repechage

W2- (Tara Hanlon & Claire Feerick) – 3rd – Repechage

M2x (Ronan Byrne & Phil Doyle) – 1st – A/B Semi-Final

M4- (Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, John Kearney & Ross Corrigan) – 5th – Repechage

W1x (Sanita Puspure) – 2nd – A/B Semi-Final

M1x (Daire Lynch) – 3rd – A/B Semi-Final

LM2x (Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy) – 1st – A/B Semi-Final

Saturday’s A Final Results

14:15 LW1x (Lydia Heaphy) – 2nd – A Final

14:27 LM1x (Gary O’Donovan – 4th – A Final

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Rowing Ireland had nine crews competing at the World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne today. Six of the crews qualified directly to the A/B Semi-Final and three will compete in the Repechage on Saturday morning.

Crowley & Dukarska Second in Women’s Pair

There were two Irish boats competing in the first heat in the Women’s Pair. Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska finished second behind the Spanish boat. Tara Hanlon and Claire Feerick finished fourth with less than half a second behind the Czech Boat. Aileen and Monika finished with a time of 07:30.12 and Tara and Claire finished with a time of 07:41.36. As only the first-place crew went directly to the A Final, both Irish boats will compete in the Repechage on Saturday.

Men’s Double of Byrne & Doyle first in heat

The Men’s Double of Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle finished first in their Heat. Ronan and Phil led from the start and beat the crews from France, Great Britain and Lithuania. They finished with a time of 06:16.31 and progressed to the A/B Semi-Final on Saturday.

Heaphy first in the Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls Heat

Lydia Heaphy finished first in the Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls Heat. Lydia was competing against two Italian crews and a boat from Bulgaria. Lydia raced alongside the Italian Boats from the start and took the lead after the thousand-meter mark. Lydia finished with a time of 07:54.09 and will now race in the A/B Semi-Final on Saturday.

O’Donovan won the Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls Heat

Gary O’Donovan won the Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls Heat. Gary beat crews from Germany, Algeria, Chile and Japan. He took the lead halfway through the race and maintained the strong lead until the finish. Gary finished with a time of 07:10.15 and will race in the A/B Semi-Final on Saturday.

Men’s Four finished third

The Men’s Four finished third in their Heat. Jack, Alex, John and Ross were racing against crews from Great Britain, Poland and Switzerland. They finished third behind the boats from Great Britain and Poland with a time of 06:13.56 and will race in the Repechage on Saturday morning.

Sanita Puspure won the Women’s Single Scull Heat. Sanita beat crews from Austria, Serbia, Netherlands and Sweden. Sanita held the lead for the majority of the race and finished ahead of Magdalena Lobnig with a time of 07:38.45. Sanita will race in the A/B Semi-Final on Saturday.

Lynch second in the Men’s Single Sculls

Daire Lynch finished second in the Men’s Single Sculls Heat. Daire finished behind Oliver Zeidler from Germany and ahead of the boats from Brazil, Norway and Benin. Daire finished with a time of 07:13.98 and progressed to the Quarter Final later in the day.

Daire raced in the Men’s Single Sculls Quarter Final this afternoon and qualified for the A/B Semi-Final by finishing third. Daire finished just behind the sculler from Lithuania and Sverri Nielsen of Denmark went on to win. Daire booked his place in the A/B Semi-Final tomorrow with a time of 07:11.18.

Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy finished first their Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls Heat. They dominated the heat from the very start and finished well ahead of the chasing pack. They beat crews from Poland, Portugal, Switzerland and Venezuela. Paul and Fintan finished with a time of 06:24.98 and moved to the A/B Semi-Final on Saturday.

Prov. Saturday Times (IST)

09:24/09:30 LW1x (Lydia Heaphy) – A/B Semi-Final

09:36/09:42 LM1x (Gary O’Donovan) – A/B Semi-Final

10:00 W2- (Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska) – Repechage

10:00 W2- (Tara Hanlon & Claire Feerick) – Repechage

10:24/10:30 M2x (Ronan Byrne & Phil Doyle) – A/B Semi-Final

10:36 M4- (Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, John Kearney & Ross Corrigan) – Repechage

10:42/10:48 W1x (Sanita Puspure) – A/B Semi-Final

10:54/11:00 M1x (Daire Lynch) – A/B Semi-Final

11:06/11:12 (Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy) A/B Semi-Final

Rowing World Cup Day One Results

W2- (Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska) – 2nd – Heat

W2- (Tara Hanlon & Claire Feerick) – 4th – Heat

M2x (Ronan Byrne & Phil Doyle) – 1st – Heat

LW1x (Lydia Heaphy) – 1st – Heat

LM1x (Gary O’Donovan) – 1st – Heat

M4- (Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, John Kearney & Ross Corrigan) – 3rd – Heat

W1x (Sanita Puspure) – 1st – Heat

M1x (Daire Lynch) – 2nd – Heat

M1x (Daire Lynch) – 3rd– Quarter-Final

LM2x (Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy) – 1st – Heat

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The Rowing Ireland team for the World Rowing Cup II has been confirmed by Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni.

Eight Senior Irish crews will be looking to continue the success of the European Rowing Championships and the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta.

The eight Irish crews will be competing in Lucerne this weekend 21st – 23rd May.

Four of the six qualified Olympic Boats will be competing this weekend, Women's Single (W1x), Men's Double (M2x), Lightweight Men's Double (LM2x) and Women's Pair (W2-).

Women’s Pair

Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska will be competing in the Women’s Pair. Last month they finished 6th overall at the Europeans in Poznan and they also qualified the Women’s Pair for the Olympics at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. Aileen went on to win Bronze at the 2020 European Rowing Championships in Poznan in the Women’s Four. Monika is a two-time World Coastal Champion in the Women’s Solo, winning in 2016 and 2009, missing the 2020 European Rowing Championships due to an injury.

Tara Hanlon and Claire Feerick will be competing in the second Irish Women’s Pair. Tara and Claire competed together at the World U23 Rowing Championships in Sarasota in 2019, and they won Silver as part of the Women’s Four. In 2020, Tara finished fifth in the Women’s Pair at the European Rowing Championships alongside Emily Hegarty. Claire and Tara both competed at the U23 European Rowing Championships in Duisburg, with Claire racing in the Women’s Single Scull, finishing fourth in the A final, and Tara competing in the Women’s Pair, taking home the Bronze Medal.

Men’s Double

Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne will be competing in the Men’s Double in Lucerne. The Men’s Double competed in the 2021 European Rowing Championships in April, finishing 1st in the B Final. Philip and Ronan qualified the Men’s Double by winning Silver at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz, they also won Silver in the Men’s Double at the World Rowing Cup III in 2019.

Men’s Four

Alex Byrne, Ross Corrigan, Jack Dorney and John Kearney will be competing in the Men’s Four. Alex, Ross, Jack and John competed together at the U23 European Rowing Championships in Duisburg last September and won the Bronze Medal. The Men’s Four has a lot of experience at international regattas and have represented Ireland internationally over several years. They have been training together in the National Rowing Centre before joining the Senior Team on camp in Varese.

Women’s Single Scull

Sanita Puspure will be competing in the Women’s Single Scull in Lucerne. Sanita last competed at the 2020 European Rowing Championships and retained her Championship by winning Gold. Sanita is a two time consecutive World and European Champion, winning the World Championship in 2018 & 2019 and the European Championships in 2019 & 2020. Sanita has also competed for Ireland in two Olympics (2012 & 2016) and qualified the Women’s Single for the Tokyo Olympics at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.

Lightweight Men’s Double

Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy will be competing in the Lightweight Men’s Double. The Lightweight Double won Gold at the 2021 European Rowing Championships last month. Paul and Fintan won Gold at the 2019 World Rowing Championships and qualified the boat for the Olympics. They also won Silver at the World Rowing Cup III in Rotterdam earlier that year. Fintan went on to win Bronze in the Lightweight Men’s Single at the 2020 European Rowing Championships. Paul is a four-time consecutive World Rowing Champion, having won Gold in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Paul won an Olympic Silver Medal alongside his brother Gary at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also won Gold (2016) and two Silver Medals (2017 & 2018) at previous European Rowing Championships.

Lightweight Women’s Single

Lydia Heaphy will be competing in the Lightweight Women’s Single in Lucerne this weekend. Lydia returns in the single after a strong performance last month, finishing sixth in the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese. Lydia had a successful 2020 after winning Gold, alongside Cliodhna Nolan, in the Women’s Lightweight Pair at the European U23 Rowing Championships. Lydia and going on to finish first in the B Final at the Senior European Championships in October.

Lightweight Men’s Single

Gary O’Donovan will be competing in the Lightweight Men’s Single. Gary competed in the single last month and finished 4th at the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese. Along with Paul, Gary won Silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics and won a World Championship in 2018. He also won Gold at the 2016 European Rowing Championships in Brandenburg and won Silver in 2017 and 2018. Gary won Bronze in the Lightweight Men’s Single in the 2019 World Rowing Cup III in Rotterdam.

Confirmed Irish Crews

Women’s Pair (W2-)

Aileen Crowley (OCBC)
Monika Dukarska (Killorglin)

Women’s Pair (W2-)

Claire Feerick (Neptune)
Tara Hanlon (UCC)

Men’s Double (M2x)

Ronan Byrne (UCC)
Philip Doyle (Belfast BC)

Men’s Four (W4-)

Jack Dorney (Shandon)
Alex Byrne (UCC)
John Kearney (UCC)
Ross Corrigan (Queens)

Women’s Single (W1x)

Sanita Puspure (OCBC)

Lightweight Men’s Double (LM2x)

Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen)
Paul O’Donovan (UCC)

Lightweight Women’s Single (LW1x)

Lydia Heaphy (UCC)

Lightweight Men’s Single (LM1x)

Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen)

Staff Team

Antonio Maurogiovanni – High-Performance Director

Fran Keane – Rowing Ireland Coach (not attending)

Dominic Casey – Rowing Ireland Coach

Giuseppe De Vita – Rowing Ireland Coach

Feargal O’Callaghan – Team Manager

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Two more Irish rowing crews have joined the four already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics this summer after this morning’s (Sunday 16 May) races in Lucerne, as The Irish Times reports.

The women’s four of Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh led the charge in their A Final ahead of China, where as previously reported on Afloat.ie only the top two were guaranteed Olympic places.

Meanwhile, the lightweight women’s double pairing of Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen finished third behind the US and home team Switzerland to confirm their spot in Tokyo.

Elsewhere, Daire Lynch missed out on the men’s single scull final after he finished fourth in his A/B semi.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Rowing Ireland adds: 

The Irish Rowing Team qualified an additional two boats for the Olympics. There will now be six boats representing Ireland in Tokyo this summer.

The Irish crews led by High-Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni and Coaches Dominic Casey and Giuseppe De Vita all had strong performances over the two days. They secured the two extra Olympic boats on Sunday morning.

The Women’s Four of Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh qualified their boat by winning the Women’s Four Final and taking one of the two available slots. The Irish crew beat crews from China, Italy, Russia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. Emily, Eimear, Aifric and Fiona dominate the race, and they finished with a time of 06:31.99. The Women’s Four will now compete in the Tokyo Olympics later this summer.

Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen secured the Lightweight Women’s Double for the Olympics by finishing third in the Final. They fought hard throughout the race and caught the Chinese boat in the final 600 meters, and took the last Olympic Spot. Aoife and Margaret finished with a time of 07:09.22 to secure their spot for Tokyo.

Earlier in the morning, Aoife and Margaret finished second in their Semi-Final and qualified for the Final. They beat crews from China, Denmark, Greece and Brazil and finished behind the boat from the United States. Aoife and Margaret finished with a time of 07:21:23 and progressed to the Final.

Daire Lynch finished fourth in the Men’s Single Scull Semi-Final this morning. Daire faced tough competitors from Poland, Canada, Romania, Chile and Austria. Daire narrowly missed out on a place in the Final, the Romanian sculler who finished less than half a second ahead. Daire finished with a racing time of 07:05.46 after a strong performance throughout the two days.

Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, said, “We are very proud of all of the performances from our athletes this weekend, and all seven athletes gave a brave and spirited effort in each of their races over the two days.

We are delighted that the Women’s Four and Lightweight Women’s Double qualified their boats for the Olympics this summer. All of the team performed strongly this weekend. Daire narrowly missed out on the Final and gained invaluable experience this weekend that will benefit him for Paris 2024. Margaret and Aoife have continued to grow and develop in the double, and we are delighted that they qualified for the Olympics. Congratulations to Aifric, Eimear, Fiona and Emily for qualifying the Women’s Four Boat with a strong performance in their Heat and the Final

We have six boats confirmed and qualified for Tokyo, and we continue to train and prepare for the upcoming Olympics. Having these six crews qualified at the next Tokyo Olympic Games has put Ireland in a very challenging and exciting position not just for Tokyo but also for Paris 2024. As we all know, this is also year 1 of the 2024 cycle and the current Rowing Ireland squad, if well supported, has everything to keep the fantastic momentum going.

Behind these results, there is a huge amount of systematic work of athletes, coaches, and administrators that need to be reinforced and more supported to consolidate the current level.

I want to thank all of the athletes, coaches, support staff and their clubs and families for their continued support as we continue to move forward in Irish Rowing and look forward to competing again next weekend.”

Irish Results

M1x – Daire Lynch – 4th – A/B Semi-Final

W4- Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh & Fiona Murtagh – 1st -Final

LW2x – Aoife Casey & Margaret Cremen – 3rd – Final

Six Irish Boats Qualified For the Tokyo Olympics

Women’s Single Scull (W1x) – Qualified by Sanita Puspure
Lightweight Men’s Double (LM2x) – Qualified by Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy
Men’s Double (M2x) – Qualified by Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle
Women’s Pair (W2-) – Qualified by Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley
Women’s Four (W4-) – Qualified by Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty and Fiona Murtagh
Lightweight Women’s Double (LW2x) – Qualified by Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey

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Ireland had three crews competing at the 2021 World Rowing Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne today.

There are already four Irish boats qualified from the 2019 World Rowing Championships and the three Irish boats progressed today to the next round.

The Women’s Four on their Heat and qualified directly to the Final. The M1x and LW2x will compete in the A/B Semi-Finals early Sunday morning with a view of progressing to the Finals later in the morning.

Due to poor weather conditions that are forecasted for Monday, World Rowing made the decision to move the Finals to Sunday morning.

Women’s Four

The Women’s Four of Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh won their Heat with the quickest qualifying time in the Women’s Four category across the two heats. The Irish crew beat crews from Russia, Ukraine, and Germany. Emily, Eimear, Aifric and Fiona finished with a time of 06:29.22 and progressed straight to the A Final on Sunday where the top two crews will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Men’s Single Scull

Daire Lynch finished third in the Men’s Single Scull Heat. Daire faced competitors from Canada, Bulgaria, Serbia, Chile and Venezuela. Trevor Jones from Canada won the Heat with the Bulgarian sculler finishing just ahead of Daire in second place. Daire finished with a racing time of 07:03.95 and moved to the Men’s Single Scull Repechage later in the day.

Daire went on to win his Repechage and booked his place in the A/B Semi-Final for Sunday morning. Daire finished the race with a time of 06:59.99 beating out the crews from Spain, Cuba and Moldova. Daire will need a top-three finish to qualify for the Final. There are two qualifying spots available in the Men’s Single Scull Final for the Olympics.

Lightweight Women’s Double

The Lightweight Women’s Double of Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen won in their Heat. They beat crews from Australia, Spain, Brazil and Hungary. Aoife and Margaret finished with a time of 07:09:29 and progressed to the A/B Semi-Final on Sunday morning where the top three crews will enter the Final later in the morning. There are three qualifying spots available in the Lightweight Women’s Double Final for the Tokyo Olympics.

Confirmed Sunday Racing Times (IST)

08:30/08:35 – LW2x – Aoife Casey & Margaret Cremen – A/B Semi-Final

08:50/08:55 – M1x – Daire Lynch – A/B Semi-Final

09:30 – W4- Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh & Fiona Murtagh – FINAL

Men’s Single Scull Heat
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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