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#Rowing: The Afloat Rower of the Year 2018 is Sanita Puspure. The Old Collegians competitor proved herself the best single sculler in the world. She took silver at the World Cup regattas in Belgrade and Lucerne, running the defending champion, Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland, extremely close (.23 of a second) in the Lucerne final.

Working with coach Dave McKenzie McGowan and high performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni, who set a very heavy training schedule, Puspure decided to miss the European Championships so that she could concentrate on the World Championships in Plovdiv in Bulgaria in September. She won her heat and semi-final, and then overcame bobbly conditions in the final. She established a clearwater lead. Gmelin came back at her in the third quarter; Puspure was not for catching. She won by two lengths of clear water.

Sanita Gmelin glum Lobnig podiumSanita Puspure (centre) smiles after being presented with her gold medal at the World Championships. Jeannine Gmelin (silver) is on the left and Magdalena Lobnig (bronze) on the right. Photo: Liam Gorman

Sanita with Dani and Patrick and gold medalSanita with Daniella and Patrick, her children, after winning World Championship gold. Photo: Liam Gorman

The win was a twin highlight at the end of a wonderful year. The O’Donovan brothers, Gary and Paul, won the lightweight double sculls gold in Plovdiv, making history as the first Ireland crew to take World Championship gold in an Olympic boat. They overcame terrible conditions and a poor lane draw to win in the quarter-final. This was succeeded by a semi-final in which they looked tired and could only take third. The final saw them in the unfavoured lane six for the final.

Gary Paul podium Plovdiv with Italy and Belgium 1Ireland gold medalists Gary and Paul O'Donovan on the World Championship podium in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, with Italy (silver) and Belgium (bronze)

In a stirring race, the Skibbereen men saw off Italy. They would describe it as the best race they had ever rowed. They were outstanding in their steadiness, and over the second, third and fourth quarters they were the fastest crew. They took over the lead from Italy between 1200 and 1500 metres and rebuffed the charge by the men in blue to win by three-quarters of a length.

 In a first for a women’s sweep crew from this island in an Olympic boat, Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty, the Ireland women’s pair, also reached an A Final at the World Championships. The World Under-23 Championships were also laden with success, with four A Finalists, gold for Shane Mulvaney and David O’Malley in the lightweight pair and silver for Miles Taylor, Niall Beggan, Ryan Ballantine and Andrew Goff in the lightweight quadruple.

 Come the Fisa World Rowing Awards, Dominic Casey was honoured as the coach of the year.  

 In a season of success, Sanita Puspure is the Afloat Rower of the Year.

Afloat Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, and David O'Brien, editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year appeared on afloat.ie.

Published in Rower of the Year

#Rowing: The Ireland Trial set for tomorrow, Saturday, at the National Rowing Centre at Farran Wood in Cork has been cancelled because of bad weather. No plan for Re-scheduling has been announced.

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: Ireland’s Jack Dorney came in fastest of 36 starters in the Men’s Youth Singles at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston.

Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll placed eighth in the Directors Challenge Men’s Quadruple, while O’Driscoll and O’Donovan were seventh in the Championship Double. Shannon took second in the Men’s Masters Eight.

The Trinity men’s eight finished 11th in the Club Eight despite starting at the back of the field.

Gary O’Donovan, who entered the men’s Championship Single, did not travel.

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: Ireland’s Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne took fifth in their semi-final at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria this morning. They will compete in the B Final for places six to 12. The top three took A Final places and Ireland actually led through the first 500 metres. Britain’s Angus Groom and Jack Beaumont took over the lead and built it. They would go on to win. The Irish crew were still their nearest challengers at halfway, but from there New Zealand took over in second and held it. Ireland stayed well in it, but were passed by Romania and Poland. The Romanians took third.

In the first race of the day, the Britain women’s eight squeaked through to the A Final by taking the fourth of four qualification places in their repechage – by .16 of a second from New Zealand. Rebecca Shorten from Belfast is the stroke woman for the crew.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day Six (Irish interest)

Men

Double – Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): Britain 6:06.59, 2 New Zealand 6:08.00, 3 Romania 6:08.17; 5 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:10.95.

Women

Eight – Repechage (First Four to A Final): 4 Britain (8 R Shorten) 6:04.63.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan finished third in their semi-final and qualified for the A Final of the lightweight double sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv. Italy were the early leaders and held on even as the O’Donovan brothers produced a good middle third. Coming up to the line, Belgium found a big finish and took second, while Ireland held off Poland to qualify.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day Five (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Quarter-Final Four (Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Canada 6:26.04, 2 New Zealand 6:30.36, 3 Czech Republic 6:35.01; 5 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:44.28.

Double Sculls – Repechage Four (First Two to A/B Semi-Final):

Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:16.96, 2 Bulgaria 6:20.15.

Lightweight Double – Semi-Final Two (Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Italy 6:21.94, 2 Belgium 6:22.83, 3 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:23.78.

Women

Pair – Semi-Final (Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:14.67, 2 Italy 7:14.99, 3 Spain 7:15.30.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan won a thrilling quarter-final of the lightweight double sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bugaria.

The Ireland crew were fourth at 500 metres and third behind New Zealand and Norway at half way. But the Skibbereen men produced a brilliant second half to pass both crews and win – beating New Zealand by just six-tenths of a second.

The lightweight quadruple of Fintan McCarthy, Ryan Ballantine, Jake McCarthy and Andrew Goff became the first Ireland crew to qualify for an A Final with a steady second place behind Turkey in their repechage.

Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley hoped to stay on course with a top three place in their repechage, but they could only finish fifth and go to C/D semi-finals.

Racing was later suspended.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day Four (Irish interest)

Men
Lightweight Quadruple Sculls – Repechage One (First Two to A Final): 1
Turkey 5:51.12, 2 Ireland (F McCarthy, R Ballantine, J McCarthy, A
Goff) 5:54.09
Lightweight Double Sculls – Quarter Final Three (First Three to A/B
Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P
O’Donovan) 6:44.44, 2 New Zealand 6:45.04, 3 Norway 6:46.70.

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: The Ireland team for the World Cup Regatta at Lucerne from July 13th to 15th has been announced. There will be two men’s heavyweight pairs, as Patrick Boomer and Andy Harrington join Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll. Philip Doyle will compete in the open single sculls.

Sanita Puspure (silver) and the lightweight double of Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan (bronze) both had podium finishes at the first World Cup in Belgrade and will compete again. The women’s double of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley also win their place and a women’s four or pair will be announced after a trial in the coming days.
Ireland Team for World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, July 13th to 15th

Men
Pair: M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll; A Harrington, P Boomer
Lightweight Double: G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan
Single Sculls: P Doyle

Women
Pair or Four: to be chosen
Double: M Dukarska, A Crowley
Single Sculls: S Puspure

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: The Ireland teams for the Under-23 and Junior World Rowing Championships have been chosen. The U23 World Championships will be held from July 25th to 29th in Poznan, Poland. The Junior World Championships will be held in Racice in the Czech Republic from August 9th to 12th.

Ireland Under-23 Rowing Team:

Men

Pair: Shane Mulvaney, David O’Malley

Lightweight Quadruple: Niall Beggan (Commercial), Miles Taylor (QUBBC), Ryan Ballantine (Portora-Newcastle), Andrew Goff (UCD)

Lightweight Double: Jake McCarthy, Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen)

Lightweight Single Sculls and Reserve: Hugh Sutton (UCC)

Single Scull: Ronan Byrne (UCC)

Women

Pair: Emily Hegarty, Tara Hanlon (UCC)

Lightweight Double: Lydia Heaphy (Skibbereen), Margaret Cremen (Lee RC)

HPD: Antonio Maurogiovanni

Coaches: Dominic Casey, David McGowan, Paul Thornton

Team Manager: Paul Thornton

Ireland Junior Team

Men

Quadruple: Jack Keating (Carlow), Jack Dorney (Shandon), Luke Hayes-Nally (Shandon), Alex Byrne (Shandon)

Four, coxed: Eoin Gaffney (Shandon), Conor Mulready, James O’Donovan (Castleconnell), Fintan O’Driscoll. Coxswain to be announced.

Women

Pair: Gill McGirr, Eliza O’Reilly (Fermoy)

Double: Ciara Moynihan, Ciara Browne (Workmen's)

HPD: Antonio Maurogiovanni

Coaches: Ray Morrison and Fran Keane

Team Manager: Michelle Carpenter

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure booked her places in the semi-finals of the World Cup in Belgrade with a commanding win in her heat. The Ireland single sculler had a slight lead by the 500 metre mark over Diana Dymchenko of the Ukraine. Puspure extended her advantage by halfway and then moved clear in the second 1,000 metres. Carling Zeeman of Canada tried to push into the second – and final – qualifying spot but could not get past Dymchenko, who finished almost nine seconds behind Puspure.

World Cup Regatta, Belgrade (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat Four (Winner to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Czech Republic 6:41.22; 2 Spain 6:48.03, 3 China One 6:51.79, 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:51.91.

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Britain One 7:19.05, 2 Britain Two 7:22.92, 3 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:23.77.

Double Sculls – Heat Three (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Netherlands 7:10.90, 2 China One 7:16.89, 3 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:20.40.

Single Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:50.48, 2 Ukraine (D Dymchenko) 7:59.30.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll took fourth in their heat of the pair at the World Cup Regatta in Belgrade this morning. Only the winner nailed down a place in the semi-final and the Czech Republic took this after a battle with Spain. Well behind them, China One won their battle with O’Donovan and O’Driscoll.

 The Irish, the world champions in the lightweight pair, are hoping to establish themselves as a heavyweight pair. They were 13th of the 22 contenders on time.

World Cup Regatta, Belgrade (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat Four (Winner to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage):

1 Czech Republic 6:41.22; 2 Spain 6:48.03, 3 China One 6:51.79, 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:51.91.

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Britain One 7:19.05, 2 Britain Two 7:22.92, 3 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:23.77.

Published in Rowing
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RORC Fastnet Race

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that 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 for 2021 is in Cherbourg 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 Cherbourg.

Fastnet Race - FAQs

The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August 2021.

The next two editions of the race in 2021 and 2023 will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin at the head of the Normandy peninsula, France

Over 300. A record fleet is once again anticipated for the world's largest offshore yacht race.

The international fleet attracts both enthusiastic amateur, the seasoned offshore racer, as well as out-and-out professionals from all corners of the world.

Boats of all shapes, sizes and age take part in this historic race, from 9m-34m (30-110ft) – and everything in between.

The Fastnet Race multihull course record is: 1 day 4 hours 2 minutes and 26 seconds (2019, Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier)

The Fastnet Race monohull course record is: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing).

David and Peter Askew's American VO70 Wizard won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall.

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.

The winner of the first Fastnet Race was the former pilot cutter Jolie Brise, a boat that is still sailing today.

Cork sailor Henry P F Donegan (1870-1940), who gave his total support for the Fastnet Race from its inception in 1925 and competed in the inaugural race in his 43ft cutter Gull from Cork.

Ireland has won the Fastnet Race twice. In 1987 the Dubois 40 Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall for the first time and then in 2007 – all of twenty years after Irish Independent’s win – Ireland secured the overall win again this time thanks to Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland in Kilrush.

©Afloat 2020

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Fastnet Race 2021 Date

The 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Sunday 8th August 2021.

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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