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The hard decision has been made to withdraw rower Sanita Puspure from the B Final of the Women’s Single, set to occur tomorrow due to her being unwell.

Speaking this evening, Puspure said: “Over the past few days, I have not been well, and I had to make the difficult decision to withdraw from the Olympic Regatta. This is really disappointing, as I had been going well over the past few months and had hoped to continue this good form. The Olympics is always a big goal, so it’s heartbreaking to have to pull out in this manner.”

As regular Afloat readers know, in the final race of the day for the rowers, there was disappointment for Puspure in the semi-finals of the Women’s Single, where she finished fifth in her race, with only the top three progressing to the A Final where the medals are contested.

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Cork pair Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy have won a historic Olympic gold rowing medal for Ireland in Tokyo.

The Irish favourites dominated their closest German challengers, and the rest of the lightweight men's double sculls field, to win in a time of six minutes and six seconds.

It marks Ireland's second medal of the Games, after bronze for the women's rowing four, and completes their own set of medals — with Paul adding gold to his silver medal from Rio, won alongside his brother Gary.

It makes the Skibbereen pair Ireland's only seventh gold medal winners in the history of Irish sport.

The Irish crew maintained a steady pace throughout, reaching the 500m mark in third, behind Germany and Italy, but by halfway it was clear it would be Ireland v Germany for gold.

It's Gold! A screenshot of the finish shows Ireland as clear winners in the men's double sculls in TokyoIt's Gold! A screenshot of the finish shows Ireland as clear winners in the men's double sculls in Tokyo

O'Donovan and McCarthy edged ahead by 1,500m and they wore out the Germans in the sprint to the line, holding off the nearest challenges by 0.86 seconds, with Italy a further seven seconds back in third.

Speaking after the race, O’Donovan said: “The Germans and Italians always have a quick start, so for the first time we had a quick start as well, not for lack of effort.

“It was a bit of a surprise that it paid off and we weren’t totally dropped in the first 500m, so that was good. And then we put the heads down and ploughed on so it was good.”

McCarthy added: “It feels pretty good. We can’t complain! We had a really good race — but a tough one. The Germans were flying so it was hard. I was really excited when we first crossed the line and there was a bit of relief as well.

“We have had a good time all week, so we are a bit sad that it is all over. We hadn’t had too much time to think about it but it feels pretty good and hopefully it will be that way for a while.”

Meanwhile, in the lightweight women’s double sculls the Irish crew performed outstandingly to finish second in their B Final with a time of 6:49.90.

This resulted in an eighth overall final standing — pushing winners of the B Final, Switzerland, to the line and crossing just 0.74 seconds after them.

Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in May, and throughout the Olympic Regatta have produced top-class performances, which bodes well for the Paris Olympic cycle.

The women’s pair of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley finished fifth in their B Final with 7:02.22, in what was an extremely competitive field, resulting in an 11th place finish overall.

They started strong, putting themselves right in the mix, in a grueling battle with Romania and USA which ensued for the remainder of the race. The Killorglin pair are part of the emerging strong squad of female rowers in Ireland from which the Olympic bronze medal-winning crew was selected.

In the final race of the day for Ireland’s rowers, there was more disappointment for Sanita Puspure in the women's single sculls. The two-time world champion never kept the pace in her semi-final as she finished fifth, missing out on a place in the A final.

Published in Rowing
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Irish rowers Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan finished first in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final. Fintan and Paul raced against, Caetano Horta Pombo & Manel Balastegui (Spain), Niels Van Zandweghe & Tim Brys (Belgium), Stefano Oppo & Pietro Ruta (Italy), Igor Khmara & Stanislav Kovalov (Ukraine), and Arjun Lal Jat & Arvind Singh (India).

Fintan and Paul finished with a World’s Best time of 06:05.33 and will now race in the A Final tomorrow morning.

A/B Semi-Final

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 1st – 06:05.33

Cremen & Casey Fifth in Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final

Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey finished fifth in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final. Margaret and Aoife competed against Patricia Merz & Frederique Rol (Switzerland), Laura Tarantola & Claire Bove (France), Marieke Keijser & Ilse Paulis (Netherlands), Emily Craig & Imogen Grant (Great Britain), Ina Nikulina & Alena Furman (Belarus). Margaret and Aoife finished with a time of 06:49.24 Margaret and Aoife will race in the B Final tomorrow morning

Women’s Pair of Crowley & Dukarska Fifth in A/B Semi-Final

The Women’s Pair of Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska finished fifth in the A/B Semi-Final this morning. Aileen and Monika competed against Helen Glover & Polly Swan (Great Britain), Caileigh Filmer & Hillary Janssens (Canada), Jessica Morrison & Annabelle Mcintyre (Australia), Hedvig Rasmussen & Fie Udby Erichsen (Denmark) and Maria Kyridou & Christina Ioanna Bourmpou (Greece). Aileen and Monika finished with a time of 07:06.07. Aileen and Monika will race in the B Final tomorrow morning

Irish Results

A FINAL

Women’s Four (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 3RD – BRONZE MEDAL – 06:20.46

A/B Semi-Final

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 1st – 06:05.33

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 5th – 06:49.24

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 5th – 07:06.07

B Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 4th – 06:16.89

Upcoming Irish Races Thursday 29th (IST)

B Final

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 00:40

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 01:00

A Final

Lightweight Men's Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 01:50

A/B Semi-Final

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Puspure – 02:30

Published in Rowing
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Rowers Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle competed in the Men’s Double Sculls B Final this morning.

The Irish Men’s Double finished fourth after a photo finish with the Romania Double. Ronan and Phil competed against, Jack Lopas & Christopher Harris (New Zealand), Ilya Kondratyev & Andrey Potapkin (ROC), Ioan Prundeanu & Marian Enache (Romania), Saulius Ritter & Aurimas Adomavicius (Lithuania) and Stephan Krueger & Marc Weber (Germany).

Ronan and Phil finished with a time of 06:16.89 and finished tenth overall.

B Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 4th – 06:16.89

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Rowing was the first sport to win a medal for Ireland at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Women’s Four of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty won Bronze in the Women’s Four A Final in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The four are the first open weight Irish crew and female athletes to win a medal for Ireland in Rowing at an Olympic Games. Aifirc, Eimear, Fiona and Emily were racing against crews from Great Britain, Australia, Netherlands, China and Poland.

The Irish boat finished with a time of 06:20.46 to secure their Bronze medal.

A FINAL

Women’s Four (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 3RD – BRONZE MEDAL – 06:20.46

Published in Rowing
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In her third Olympic Games, the current World Rowing Champion in the Women’s Singles Sanita Puspure won her quarter-final in impressive style in today’s race in Tokyo, and will now compete in the semi-final A/B next Tuesday.

The Women’s Pair of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley and the Lightweight Women’s Double of Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey also progressed to the semi-finals from their repechages this morning.

There was disappointment for the Men’s Double of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne though, whose sixth-place finish in the semi-final in 6.49.06 was not enough to progress to the A Final.

Four Irish boats were racing on the third day of rowing at the Tokyo Olympics. Three Irish boats qualified for the A/B Semi-Finals and the Men’s Double will race in the B Final.

The Women’s Pair of Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska finished third in the Repechage this morning. Aileen and Monika competed against Megan Kalmoe & Tracey Eisser (USA), Kaifeng Huang & Jinchao Liu (China) and Maria Kyridou & Christina Ioanna Bourmpou (Greece). Aileen and Monika finished with a time of 07:31.99. Aileen and Monika will race in the A/B Semi-Final Tuesday morning

Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey finished third in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls Repechage. Margaret and Aoife competed against Valentina Cavallar & Louisa Altenhuber (Austria), Thi Thao Luong & Thi Hao Dinh (Vietnam), Patricia Merz & Frederique Rol (Switzerland), Yulisa Lopez & Jennieffer Zuinga (Guatemala) and Anatasia Lebedeva & Maria Botalova (Russian Olympic Committee). Margaret and Aoife finished with a time of 07:23.46. Margaret and Aoife will race in the A/B Semi-Final Tuesday morning.

Sanita Pušpure finished first in the Women’s Single Sculls Quarter-Final. Sanita faced competition from Wing Yan Winnie Hung (Hong Kong), Jovana Arsic (Serbia), Kara Kohler (USA), Yan Jiang (China) and Alejandra Alonso (Paraguay). Sanita won the Heat comfortably with a time of 07:58.30 finishing ahead of Kara Kohler (USA) and Yan Jiang (China). Sanita will now race in the A/B Semi-Final on Wednesday morning.

Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle finished sixth in the Men’s Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final. Ronan and Phil competed against Miroslaw Zietarski & Mateusz Biskup (Poland), Jack Lopas & Christopher Harris (New Zealand), Graeme Thomas & John Collins (Great Britain), Hugo Boucheron & Matthew Androdias (France), and Stephan Krueger & Marc Weber (Germany). Ronan and Phil finished with a time of 06.49.06 and Ronan and Phil will now race in the B Final on Wednesday morning.

Day 3 Results

Repechage

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 4th – 07:31.99

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 3rd – 07:23.46

Quarter-Final

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Puspure – 1st – 07:58.30

A/B Semi-Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 6th – 06.49.06

Next Irish Races (Confirmed)

Tuesday 27th Racing (IST)
A/B Semi-Final

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 02:58/03:08 (TBC)

Lightweight Men;s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 03:18/03:28 (TBC)

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 03:38/03:48 (TBC)

Wednesday 28th (IST)
B Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 00:42

Women’s Four (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 01:50

A/B Semi-Final

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Puspure – 02:58/03:08 (TBC)

Published in Rowing
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Five Irish crews were competing on the second day of rowing at the Olympics. One A Final, two A/B Semi-Finals, one Quarter-Final and two Repechages are confirmed after the racing this morning.

Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle competed in the Men’s Double Sculls Repechage. The Irish Men’s Double finished third and qualified for the A/B Semi-Final. Ronan and Phil competed against Jakub Podrazil & Jan Cincibuch (Czech Republic), Saulius Ritter & Aurimas Adomavicius (Lithuania), and Stephan Krueger & Marc Weber (Germany). Ronan and Phil finished with a time of 06:29.90 and will race in the A/B Semi-Final tomorrow morning.

Aileen Crowley, left, and Monika Dukarska of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Pair at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Seb Daly/SportsfileAileen Crowley, left, and Monika Dukarska of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Pair at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The Women’s Pair of Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska finished fourth in their Heat. Aileen and Monika competed against Aina Cid & Virginia Diaz Rivas (Spain), Grace Prendergast & Kerri Gowler (New Zealand), and Hedvig Rasmussen & Fie Udby Erichsen (Denmark). Aileen and Monika finished with a time of 07:24.71. Aileen and Monika will race in the Repechage tomorrow morning

Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey finished fifth in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls Heat. Margaret and Aoife competed against Valentina Rodini & Federica Cesarini (Italy), Laura Tarantola & Claire Bove (France), Patricia Merz & Frederique Rol (Switzerland), Mutiara Putri & Melani Putri (Indonesia) and Mary Reckford & Michelle Sechser (USA). Margaret and Aoife finished with a time of 07:17.67 and will now race in the Repechage tomorrow morning.

Aoife Casey, left, and Margaret Cremen of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Lightweight Double Sculls at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Seb Daly/SportsfileAoife Casey, left, and Margaret Cremen of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Lightweight Double Sculls at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan won the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls Heat. Fintan and Paul competed against Jiri Simanek & Miroslav Vrastil (Czech Republic), Jerzy Kowalski & Artur Mikołajczewski (Poland), Igor Khmara & Stanislav Kovalov (Ukraine), Bruno Cetraro Berriolo & Felipe Kluver Ferreira (Uruguay) and Arjun Lal Jat & Arvind Singh (India). They finished with a time of 06:23.74 and will race in the A/B Semi-Final on Tuesday morning.

Speaking after the race, Olympic Silver Medallist Paul O’Donovan said, “We won the race, so it’s hard to do much better than that – you don’t want to win by 20 seconds either, because it’s very hot out there. It was still tough, all the races at this regatta will be tough. But it’s difficult to complain with that result.”

Commenting on the changeable conditions, Fintan McCarthy added: “I reckon we row in all sorts of conditions in training and we are used to adapting to whatever condition is thrown at us. It’s about being adaptable and doing what we do in training.”

Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Four at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Seb Daly/SportsfileAifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Four at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The Women’s Four of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh qualified for the A Final by finishing second in their Heat. Aifric, Eimear, Emily and Fiona competed against crews from Australia, Romania, Denmark and the USA. The Irish Women’s Four finished with a time of 06:28.99 and will now race in the A Final on Wednesday morning.

Day 2 Results

Repechage

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 3rd – 06:29.90

Heats

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 4th – 07:24.71

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 5th- 07:17.67

Lightweight Men;s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 1st – 06:23.74

Women’s Foul (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 2nd – 06:28.99

Next Irish Races (Confirmed)

Sunday 25th Racing (IST)

Repechage

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 01:50

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 02:20/02:30 (Time to be confirmed)

Quarter-Final

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Pušpure – 03:00 – 03:30 (Time to be confirmed)

A/B Semi-Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 04:40/04:50 (Time to be confirmed)

Tuesday 27th Racing (IST)

A/B Semi-Final

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 03:18/03:28 (TBC)

Wednesday 28th (IST)

A Final

Women’s Foul (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 01:50

Published in Rowing
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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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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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