Niall Kenny and Justin Ryan set for Copenhagen International Regatta

Lightweight double scull have been training in Denmark in run-up to European Championships

Lightweight sculler Sinead Jennings was the fastest woman at Limerick Regatta last weekend. Photograph: Inpho

Lightweight sculler Sinead Jennings was the fastest woman at Limerick Regatta last weekend. Photograph: Inpho

Fri, May 17, 2013, 02:00

An Ireland crew will have its first international competition this season when the lightweight double scull of Niall Kenny and Justin Ryan compete at the Copenhagen International Regatta this weekend.

Kenny and Ryan have been training in Denmark in the run-up to the European Championships at the end of the month and have taken the chance to take part in an event with a strong entry from Nordic countries.

The Ireland high-performance director, Morten Espersen, has engaged a remarkably experienced coach to work with the duo. John Faulkner has been head coach of lightweight rowing in Denmark and the Netherlands. He is on what Espersen describes as a “loose contract”, but will travel to Seville for the European Championships with the Ireland crew and is set to spend time in Ireland this summer working with Irish lightweight crews and coaches.

The Ireland squad has been joined by a new member Leonora Kennedy.

The 26-year-old Enniskillen woman has rowed with some success for Britain. She won gold at the World Under-23 Championships in 2009 and bronze last year at the European Championships, both in eights, and gold in the World University Championships in a four in 2010.

Rowed for Ireland
She also stroked the winning eight at the recent Women’s Head in London. She is the daughter of Iain Kennedy, who rowed for Ireland at the 1976 and ’80 Olympic Games. Ireland head coach Don McLachlan coached her at Imperial Boat club and also coached her medal-winning European Championship crew. McLachlan yesterday said: “It’s a good coup for us.”

One possible combination McLachlan will be looking at is a pair or double of Kennedy and Killorglin’s Monika Dukarska. Dukarska has been chosen to represent Ireland in the single sculls at the Universiade, a huge third-level sporting festival at Kazan in Russia in early July. The team will be completed by Amy Bulman in a lightweight single.

The St Michael’s athlete Sinead Jennings was the fastest woman at Limerick Regatta last weekend.