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Displaying items by tag: World Champion

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure says it was harder to defend her World Rowing Championship title that it was to win it for the first time. "Mentally I think [it was harder]. Everyone is looking at you. You're the one to beat and you're like 'oh stop now' but that's what it was. You just try to ignore it as best you can.”

Puspure, an ambassdor for Indeed, the partner of Team Ireland, was speaking in Dublin after her win in the singles sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Austria. She also qualified the boat for the 2020 Olympic Games.  

The world champion spoke about the programme which has brought her along. “We have a really good nutritionist, Sharon Madigan, working with us, making sure we're fueling properly for the loads we're doing. That's made a massive difference. I used to get ill quite a lot while training whereas now I occasionally get a head cold. The training is way more consistent."

 Her competition schedule during the summer was hit by the illness and subsequent death of her sister Inese. Puspure competed at the European Championships (she won), but missed the final World Cup regatta in Rotterdam.

 “(Inese) was getting worse rapidly, so I went over for a few days and then I was home for a little bit. And then I was in Latvia for three weeks and she passed away the same week the World Cup was on.

 "It was scary because I had very mixed emotions. I thought I should be at home training but at the same time, I wanted to spend some quality time with my sister because I knew she was going to pass away soon.

 "It was really hard being so conflicted within myself and not knowing what to do. Because of that, the medal has very high value. And we just needed something nice to happen."

 She paid tribute to her sport pyschologist, Kate Kirby.

 "Even if it was just to seal the qualifying place, I should be happy with that. And there were times when I thought if I just qualify I'll be fine. But then a few hours I'll be 'no I won't be fine, I don't want to just qualify. I want to repeat what I did last year or even just get on a podium.' It was a difficult time but I'm really glad we got on the other side of it."

 The new programme in this Olympic cycle also capitalised on the strengths she had and built her self-belief, which had not always been strong.

 “Yeh, I think a bit of a lack of self belief, definitely.” She was lucky to have  “great physiology” but it may have been better technique and the “harsh training we started two years ago that really kind of gave the confidence”.

 She also paid tribute to her family and her supportive team-mates.

 Team Ireland has updates and behind the scenes action: @IndeedIreland #TalentUnleashed.

Published in Rowing

#Canoeing: The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has honoured wildwater canoeist Darragh Clarke for his achievement in taking gold at the junior European Championships in Macedonia. The 18-year-old from Chapelizod was invited to meet the Taoiseach at Government Buildings.

 Clarke took a silver medal at the junior world championships in Austria in 2017. Though he can compete for the rest of the year as a junior – he will take on the Liffey Descent on September 15th – he says he is already preparing to campaign in the under-23 ranks.  

Published in Canoeing

The Rolex Fastnet Race - This biennial offshore pilgrimage attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between.  The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth. The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
  • Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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