Dominic Casey nominated for rowing coach of the year award

O’Donovan brothers’ trainer recognised by governing body Fisa after successful year

The honours keep coming for Irish rowing. Fisa, the world governing body, has chosen Dominic Casey as one of the six finalists for 2016 Coach of the Year.

The Skibbereen man guided the Ireland lightweight double of Paul and Gary O'Donovan to European gold, Olympic and World Cup silver, and coached Paul to a World Championships win in the lightweight single.

However, Casey does not seek the limelight. The winner will be announced on December 2nd, but Casey has given no thought to attending the awards ceremony in Canada in January. "Me and awards don't go!" he told The Irish Times.

Saturday's Skibbereen Head of the River is the immediate concern for Casey. The forecast is for strong winds, but the direction should not be a bother at the venue of the Marina in Cork city, and provisional plans for moving to Sunday will not be adopted.

There should be good competition in the women's events. Lisa Dilleen has strengthened the Cork Boat Club roster.

The club's crew for the women's fours has been hit by an injury to Tara Hanlon, but Grace Collins will come in.

Trinity's women's four and eight plan to go north instead of south, as they have entered the Bann Head of the River in Coleraine.

Further afield

Further afield, in London, the former captain of

Dublin University

ladies’ boat club, Sally O’Brien, is set to compete for her new club,

Cambridge University


O'Brien and Olympian Claire Lambe are named in two separate elite coxed fours at the Fours Head of the River.

Queen’s, who had entered a heavyweight and a lightweight quadruple in London, have withdrawn due to illness and injury. The organisers are concerned by the forecast of windy conditions.

Back in Trinity itself, the Irish Schools’ Indoor Rowing Blitz on Friday has drawn an entry of more than 600. The competition is run on a relay basis, with teams of five covering 400 metres each on the ergometer (rowing machine).

The blitz is part of the Get Going, Get Rowing programme, a Women in Sport initiative which has been going from strength to strength.

Already established in Leinster and Connacht, it is being set up in Limerick and there are plans to move out into Ulster. Bringing girls into the sport and keeping them rowing as seniors has been a big challenge for the sport.

Castleconnell Boat Club have been running an innovative time-trial challenge, the Dirty Dozen, for pairs and single scullers. Two rounds have already been run and the aim is to reach the top 12.

The Grand Final will take place at the club on December 10th.

The 2016 European champion in the lightweight single sculls, Lukas Babac of Slovakia, will compete. Babac took bronze at the World Championships in Rotterdam.