Big turnout expected at Castleconnell Head of the River

River Shannon event has almost 400 crews from 20 clubs entered

Polish-born Monika Dukarska will assess her participation with the Irish high-performance programme. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Polish-born Monika Dukarska will assess her participation with the Irish high-performance programme. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

 

What may have been the busiest ever October for Irish rowers – the new Irish Open elegantly finding a place in the programme of international and local events – concludes with a high-performance camp at the National Rowing Centre (NRC) and the Castleconnell Head of the River on Saturday on the Shannon.

There is novelty in the Castleconnell event, in the shape of the Bulls and Bears race, where two completely new men’s and women’s eights, formed from the top pairs of the morning session, race against each other over a mile on the attractive stretch between O’Brien’s Bridge and Castleconnell.

Regatta secretary Owen Silke says he is pleased with the entry of almost 400 crews. There are 20 clubs on board, stretching from Sligo to Waterford.

The interviews for the high-performance coaching roles are being held this week. Some of the candidates also involved in this weekend’s high-performance camp.

Media work

Their extensive media work might give them a high profile but Paul and Gary O’Donovan will also be at the NRC over the weekend putting the miles in on the water – a crucial component in their splendid performances in 2016. Last weekend they formed a combination crew with the British heavyweight double from the Olympics, Jonny Walton and John Collins, to record the fastest time in the Directors’ Challenge Men’s Quads at the Head of the Charles in Boston.

Sanita Puspure also returns to Cork with a winning record from the HOCR – she was part of the Great Eight of top scullers which dominated the Championship Eights, and she teamed up with Magdalena Lobnig in the Championship Doubles and finished second to Kimberley Brennan (the world and Olympic champion in the single scull) and Emma Twigg.

Monika Dukarska guaranteed that it would be a memorable weekend with her win at the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Monaco. However, the Killorglin woman may not be in the Ireland high-performance programme in the season ahead.

The Coastal Rowing “solo” champion was absent from the Irish Open and told The Irish Times that she will “assess” her position on participation in the Ireland high-performance programme early in the New Year.

Starkly put, Dukarska, who grew up in Poland, would be a player in the Poland system, and perhaps their best single sculler. In the Ireland system, where Puspure is the queen of the single, Dukarska could be part of a crew boat. But where are her likely crew-mates?

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.