SPORT: 2018 Irish Rowing Team Selection and International Regatta Season Launch

23 May 2018
By Bryan Smyth



Rowing Ireland have announced the 2018 Senior Irish Rowing team who will represent Ireland at World Rowing Cup I and throughout the international regatta season ahead.

Following a rigorous selection process carried out at national trials on Inniscarra Lake, concluding last weekend (May 17th – 19th) the senior team going forward to represent Ireland at the World Rowing Cup I Regatta in Belgrade, Serbia, is as follows:

  • Lightweight Men’s Double Scull – Gary and Paul O’Donovan
  • Lightweight Women’s Double Scull – Denise Walsh and Margaret Cremen
  • Women’s Single Scull – Sanita Puspure
  • Women’s Pair – Emily Hegarty and Aifric Keogh
  • Women’s Double Scull – Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley
  • Men’s Pair – Mark O’Donovan & Shane O’Driscoll

World Rowing Cup I is the first in a series of three World Cup events which take place ahead of the European and World Rowing Championships, held in August and September respectively.

This year, Rowing Ireland plans to send athletes to World Cup I and World Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland, from July 13 -15 ahead of the World Championships, which take place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from September 9 – 16, 2017.

In addition to the senior team competing at World Cup I, a training squad of athletes who will be based at the National Rowing Centre in Cork ahead of World Cup III has today been announced. These athletes are as follows:
Heavyweight Men – Andy Harrington (Shandon Boat Club), Patrick Boomer (Belfast Rowing Club), Philip Doyle (Queeen’s), Ronan Byrne (UCC)
Heavyweight Women – Tara Hanlon (UCC) and Natalie Long (Skibbereen RC)

Rowing Ireland will also be sending a team to the Under 23 World Championships in Poznan, Poland from July 25 – 29 and the Junior World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic from August 4 – 5.

The pre-selected team of athletes who will train for the Junior World Championships is as follows:
Junior Men’s quad – Jack Keating (Carlow) Jack Dorney, Ronan Byrne
and Luke Nally-Hayes (all Shandon Boat Club)

Women’s Double Scull –
Ciara Moynihan and Ciara Browne (Workman’s Rowing Club)

Announcing the teams, Rowing Ireland High Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, said: “We are very excited about the selection of the crews and are delighted the announce the teams today at the National Rowing Centre which is Rowing Ireland’s world class training facility.
“A lot of hard work has been done already by these athletes and coaches and now we are ready to step into the second phase of preparation to make these boats as competitive as possible for the international events.”

Rowing Ireland is also thrilled to announce plans to host two prestigious international regattas in Cork this summer – the Home International Regatta and the Coupe de la Jeunesse which will take place at the National Rowing Centre in July. These events will form part of Rowing Ireland’s inaugural international ‘Festival of Rowing’, which commences on July 13 with the annual Irish Rowing Championships. The festival is expected to bring thousands of visitors and up to 30,000 bed nights to Cork.

About the events

The Irish Rowing Championships from July 13 – 15, 2018 will attract up
to 3,000 rowers, their coaches, officials and sports fans from across the island
of Ireland to the National Rowing Centre in Cork for the biggest rowing event
of the year. The Championships will be the first event in Rowing Ireland’s international Festival of Rowing. The regatta which is the highlight of the club calendar has grown in size and stature in recent years and is expected to have its biggest entry ever in 2018.

The Home International Regatta on July 21 will see almost 400 rowers, their
families and spectators travel to Cork from all over Ireland, England, Scotland
and Wales to compete in this annual one-day event which is hosted by Ireland
once every four years. Hosting the Home International Regatta in conjunction with the Coupe de la Jeunesse offers an opportunity for visiting athletes and supporters to extend their stay in the Cork region and sample the tourism experiences on offer.

The Coupe de la Jeunesse is a prestigious junior (under 18) international
regatta which takes place from July 27 – 29. This is the first time Ireland has hosted
the Coupe since 2008 and this year’s regatta will see more than 500 athletes
from 14 European countries race over a 2,000m course.

The regatta, which encourages young rowers, has become a platform in Ireland for starting the international careers of some of our most successful and decorated Irish rowers such as Gary O‘Donovan, Shane O’Driscoll and Denise Walsh.

Ireland performed exceptionally well at the Coupe last year, highlighting our young talent in this growing Irish sport, bringing home a total of five Gold medals from Belgium across the women’s pair and men’s quadruple categories.

The Coupe 2018 is supported by Cork County Council and Failte Ireland.

Rowing Ireland’s recently appointed CEO, Michelle McElligott Carpenter said:
“We have an exciting few months ahead in Rowing Ireland, with clubs ramping up for the Irish Championships in just over 50 days’ time.
“The World Rowing season will kick off on June 1st and we are delighted to today announce the team travelling to Belgrade. World Cup III will see the addition of new faces to the team with our focus on heavy weight crews taking shape where we will see the addition of both a men coxless four and a women’s double to our squad.
“Many of these athletes have come through the Rowing Ireland junior pathway formed by such events as the Home International Regatta and Coupe de la Jeunesse.
“We are also delighted to host our first International Festival of Rowing this July which will commence with the Irish Championships, followed by the Home Internationals on July 21st and finishing with the Coupe de la Jeunesse from 27th-29th July. The National Rowing Centre in Cork will host the 13 countries from all over Europe who will come to our state of the art high performance centre in Cork and we are really looking forward to showcasing Irish Rowing and Irish Sport at this event.”

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