Nixon applies to join British system

Ireland’s Holly Nixon celebrates with her silver medal after coming second in the junior Women’s Single Sculls at the World Junior Championships at Eton Dorney Rowing Lake, Windsor  in August 2011.  Photograph:  PA Wire

Ireland’s Holly Nixon celebrates with her silver medal after coming second in the junior Women’s Single Sculls at the World Junior Championships at Eton Dorney Rowing Lake, Windsor in August 2011. Photograph: PA Wire

Fri, Feb 21, 2014, 01:00


The Ireland trial this weekend on Newry canal seizes the unlikely honour of being the first event of the year. However, the natural lift as competitors finally take to the water after the weather disruption will be tempered by the news Holly Nixon has applied to leave the Ireland system for the British one.

The Enniskillen woman became the first Ireland rower to medal at the World Junior Championships when she took silver in the single sculls in 2011. She formed an Ireland double scull with Laura D’Urso at the World Under-23 Championships in 2012, finishing seventh. Nixon won a scholarship to the University of Virginia, but an injury laid her low and she returned to Ireland and has been coaching at Portora Rowing Club.It has been a hard decision for the 21-year-old, who did not want to discuss the transfer request yesterday.

Ireland performance director Morten Espersen says he has two aims for this weekend:

“A clear ranking order of the athletes on the water. Then see whether there is a crew that is doing well.” He has prioritised the early formation of crews.

Claire Lambe, who has been doing well in Australia, is set to be be Ireland’s sole representative at the first World Cup in Sydney next month. However, Sinéad Jennings will miss this season; she is set to have her third child in July. She remains committed to qualifying for the Olympic Games.

The distance of Sunday’s trial may be cut because of concerns over the weather.

Meanwhile, Cork head of the river has been rescheduled for March 8th.