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#Rowing: The Ireland gold medallists Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll and Paul O’Donovan are due to arrive back in Ireland tomorrow (Sunday). They are due  in Dublin Airport at about 10 o’clock. They will travel to Skibbereen for a special event in the evening.

 Gary O’Donovan, who took a silver medal at the Olympic Games but missed the World Rowing Championships in Florida through illness, will also be flying in.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Ireland team which brought the country glory at the World Rowing Championships in Florida are the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September. In that month, Ireland took two gold medals through Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll in the lightweight pair and Paul O’Donovan in the lightweight single sculls.

 The pair crowned the perfect season with their victory. They won gold at the three World Cup regattas and the European Championships. The pressure was on in World Championship final, with both Brazil and Italy rowing well on the day. But O’Donovan and O’Driscoll were peerless. They set a very high stroke rate, took the lead – and saw off their challengers.

 Paul O’Donovan retained the title he had taken with such an extraordinary set of performances in Rotterdam in 2016, just weeks after he had taken a silver at the Olympic Games in a lightweight double with his brother Gary. This time, Gary had to drop out of the lightweight double, as illness had restricted his training (he supported the team as a reserve). Paul was back in the lightweight single in a boat which was new to him. He won all four races (heat, quarter-final, semi-final and final), seeing off a new set of challengers in the lightweight single, including Matthew Dunham of New Zealand, who took silver, and Kris Brun of Norway (bronze).

 The rest of the Ireland team also gave the suppporters plenty to shout about. Sanita Puspure went on to take fourth in the single sculls and Denise Walsh reached the A Final of the lightweight single sculls, where she finished sixth. Two new heavyweight pairs gained experience of the top level as the team targets Tokyo 2020. Aileen Crowley and Aifric Keogh finished eighth and there was a 16th place for Patrick Boomer and Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan.

 Well done to all the members of the Ireland team, the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September.  

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 will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2017 champions list grow.

Published in Rowing

Cork University Hospital (CUH) is to receive vital funds as four Irish men compete in a 5,500km (3,000 nautical miles) rowing challenge across the Atlantic on December 12th to raise over €20,000 for the hospital’s Children’s Unit. The team, dubbed the ‘Relentless Rowers’, hopes to break the current world record by completing the Talisker Whiskey Challenge from the Canary Island of La Gomera to the Caribbean island of Antigua in under 35 days.

If successful, the group comprising of junior doctors Seán Underwood and Patrick O’Connor, Cork-based podiatrist Eoin O’Farrell and young Dublin entrepreneur Thomas Browne, will also be the first all-Irish four-man crew to complete the challenge. Funds raised will go to the CUH Children’s Unit. To make a donation, visit www.relentless.ie.

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is known as the world’s toughest row, and the team will take part in a specially-designed small 28ft ocean rowing boat, named Saoirse. They will receive no outside assistance and no re-supplies of food, drink or equipment during the race, surviving solely on what’s on-board.

Speaking about the upcoming challenge, Miriam Forde, CUH Charity said: “Everyone at CUH is extremely excited for the team, and we wish them the best of luck as they take on one of the world’s most difficult challenges. Their efforts will have a significant impact on our services and facilities in our Children’s Unit at CUH, which will directly affect the level of care that we can provide to our youngest patients and their families.”

Sean Underwood added: “Fewer people have crossed the Atlantic than have climbed Everest, so we’re well aware of the challenge we’re undertaking, but quite simply, we believe that you only get one shot at life, everybody dies but not everybody lives.

“In the hospitals we work in, we are faced almost daily with the fragility of the human condition. To put a dream on hold in the hope of affording a better time to do it is a dangerous thing. Life fleets past us. There is and will never be a ‘good’ time to row an ocean, so we’re acting on our dreams here and now.

“If we can make a difference to just one child in the CUH Children’s Unit by competing in this race, then it will all have been worth it.”

While their primary goal is to raise funds for the Children’s Unit at CUH, the team is also hoping to raise awareness for suicide prevention charity Pieta House.

Published in Coastal Rowing

The Ireland team for the World Rowing Championships includes a men's and women's pair which were trialled this week. Fionnan McQuillan-Tolan and Patrick Boomer form the men's heavyweight pair and Aifric Keogh and Aileen Crowley the women's. The team is backboned by the lightweight crews which had a wonderful run at the World Cup Regattas and European Championships this season.

The Championships will be held in Florida in September/October.

Ireland team for World Rowing Championships, Florida, September/October 

 Men:

Lightweight double: Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen RC)/ Paul O’Donovan (Skibbereen RC) LIghtweight Pair: Mark O’Donovan (Skibbereen RC)/ Shane O’Driscoll (Skibbereen RC)Pair: Patrick Boomer (Belfast RC)/ Fionnan McQuillan-Tolan (NUIG BC)

Women:

Single Sculls: Sanita Puspure (Old Collegians BC)

LIghtweight Single: Denise Walsh (Skibbereen RC)Pair: Aileen Crowley (UCD BC)/ Aifric Keogh (UCC RC)

Coaches: Dominic Casey, Sean Casey 

Team Manager: Susan Dunlea

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul and Gary O’Donovan won their repechage to secure a place in the semi-finals of the lightweight double sculls at the European Rowing Championships in Racice today. The Irish crew did not start well, but by halfway they were making their move and they led through the second half of the race. As they passed the grandstand, they came under pressure from the Ukraine, but they held firm and won by a length.

European Championships, Racice, Czech Republic, Day One (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Pair – Exhibition (Race for Lanes): 1 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:57.77, 2 Italy 6:59.82, 3 Russia 7:01.75, 4 Britain (J Cassells, S Scrimgeour) 7:03.39.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heats (Winner to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages) – Heat One: 1 France (P Houin, J Azou) 6:26.97. Heat Two: Germany (L Schaefer, J Osborne) 6:37.53.

Heat Three: 1 Poland 6:25.93, 2 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:32.15, 3 Russia 6:36.38, 4 Switzerland 6:40.60, 5 Austria. Heat Four: 1 Italy 6:30.77.

Repechage Three (First two to A/B Semi-Finals): 1 Ireland 6:34.33, 2 Ukraine 6:36.51; 3 Portugal 6:40.75, 4 Sweden 7:05.89.

Women

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat One (First Three to Semi-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Ireland (D Walsh) 7:44.85, 2 Denmark (A Runge Holmegaard) 7:49.49, 3 Poland (J Dorociak) 7:49.90; 4 Czech Republic 8:05.07, 5 Portugal 8:08.19. Heat Two: 1 Switzerland 7:42.510. Heat Three: 1 Sweden 7:39.52.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The new High Performance Director for Irish rowing will be Antonio Maurogiovanni. The Italian will take up the role in August.

Maurogiovanni rowed for Italy at the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games in the four and eight respectively.

As a coach he was involved in seven Olympic Games with several nations including Italy, the Netherlands, and Australia. He moves on from his role with Rowing Australia as Head Coach with the Western Australian team after 15 years. He said he was excited to take up the new challenge.

He said rowing has been his passion and made up much of his life. “It has taken me from Italy to Australia to the Netherlands and back to Australia and now to Ireland. I look forward to applying the experience and knowledge I have acquired over the years and using it to the best of my ability to bring success in Ireland.”

Hamish Adams, the chief executive of Rowing Ireland, said: “We have been through an extremely robust and intensive recruitment process to source the best possible candidate for this demanding role. As a professional coach with a background in sport science and vast Olympic experience Antonio is an exceptional candidate and we are delighted to welcome him to our team.

“I wish to thank Neville Maxwell, Chair of our High Performance Committee, Paul McDermott, Sport Ireland High Performance Director and Gianni Postiglione, World Rowing (FISA) coaching representative for their personal contributions to this recruitment process."

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland crews hit the mark at the European Junior Rowing Championships at Krefeld in Germany today. The Ireland double of Margaret Cremen of Lee and Aoife Casey of Skibbereen qualified directly for the semi-finals by finishing second in their heat, while the three others made their way through to semi-finals by the repechage route.

The Ireland women’s pair of Gill McGirr and Eliza O’Reilly won their repechage, while the men’s quadruple and pair took second in their reps.

European Junior Championships, Krefeld, Germany (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat One: 4 Ireland (A Johnston, R Corrigan) 7:20.35. Repechage: 2 Johnston, Corrigan 7:24.75.

Quadruple – Heat One: 4 Ireland (J Quinlan, J Keating, M Dundon, B O’Flynn) 6:26.69. Rep: 2 Ireland 6:23.38.

Women

Pair – Heat: 4 Ireland (G McGirr, E O’Reilly) 8:13.17. Rep: 1 McGirr, O’Reilly 7:58.85.

Double –Heat One: 2 Ireland (A Casey, M Cremen) 7:43.43.

Published in Rowing

St Michael’s Rowing Club, Dun Laoghaire, launched the 2017 coastal rowing season with the official move back into refurbished facilities

Councillor Mary Fayne joined the committee and members of St Michael’s Rowing Club for the official opening of their newly refurbished facilities at the Coal Harbour boatyard in Dun Laoghaire last Saturday.

The coastal rowing club, whose growing membership of men women and children row the heritage class East coast skiffs, is based out of a stone archway. Up until this year, this boatshed had a leaky roof that caused great difficulty for the maintenance and upkeep of these historic boats. Along with providing a watertight home, the boatshed now has hot water, improved lighting and power, storage for oars and equipment, and other minor improvements.

These repairs were made possible thanks to a grant from the Sports Capital Programme and the on-going fundraising efforts of members. This growing club hopes that this is a stepping stone on route to full clubhouse facilities in line with other watersports in the harbour and their sister rowing clubs along the coast.

SMRC PIC 2The club's beautiful racing skiffs at home in the refurbished boatshed

Last season saw a very successful year for the club, with membership at full capacity, a growing youth section, and the Senior Men’s crew lifting the overall East Coast Rowing Council trophy in their category, and the club placing second overall in the Junior Shield.

The club is holding a further fundraiser race night in Baker’s Corner on Saturday 1st April, and all are welcome – there will be betting, auction and raffles on the night, with a prize pot for the owners of winning horses, with thanks to sponsorship and support of local businesses including Grandstand Sports, K&K Windows, Newtownpark Avenue Service Station, Brady’s Family Ham, Regan Roofing, Frank Keane Volkswagen, Typecraft and Dublin Bay Cruises.

The club will also be doing bag packing at SuperValu supermarket in Blackrock on Saturday 10th June, and all support is greatly appreciated

 

Published in Coastal Rowing

#Rowing: Eamonn Colclough (pronounced Coakley) was elected president of Rowing Ireland at the annual general meeting in Garda Boat Club in Dublin. The Tribesmen member, who is originally from Dublin, beat Kieran Kerr of St Michael’s by just one vote, 25-24. Colclough made a strong speech which was critical of Rowing Ireland’s failure to land a major sponsorship after the stellar year of 2016, when there were two Olympic finalists and one medal. He said that the sport needed to grow; to bring in new recreational members and to put behing it what he saw as over-reliance on the National Rowing Centre in Cork.

Mick O’Callaghan launched a forceful attack on the outgoing board. He said they had forced out Morten Espersen, who is stepping down from his role as High Performance Director. The outgoing president, Con Cronin, defended the board and said he had been transparent in his own dealings.

A Skibbereen motion to add under-21 events to the Irish Championships was defeated.

Published in Rowing

Top Irish internationals saw off challenges in the finals of the Irish Trials at the National Rowing Centre in Cork today. Gary O'Donovan trailed Sam McKeown after 1500 metres of the single sculls final, but the Rio medalist took the lead and won - despite the disadvantage of being a lightweight sculling into a bothersome headwind. Paul O'Donovan missed out through exam pressures.

Top heavyweight Sanita Puspure was a clear winner over Monika Dukarska in the women's single sculls final. Ireland lightweight international Denise Walsh bested outstanding 17-year-old heavyweight Hannah Scott in a fight for third.

Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll had an easy victory in the men's pair. UCD's crew of Shane Mulvaney and David O'Malley had earlier pulled out due to Mulvaney falling ill.
The women's pair of Aifric Keogh and Aoife Feeley came out on top in their battle with under-23 crew Eimear Lambe and Ruth Gilligan.

Published in Rowing
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