Fine entry for Neptune’s event

Wind on Blessington Lakes set to drop off for Head of the River

Mark O’Donovan and Niall Kenny, with coach John Holland. O’Donovan and Kenny were part of the lightweight quadruple which finished 10th at the Fours’ Head of the River in London last weekend.

Neptune Head of the River tomorrow has a fine entry – and a good weather forecast. The winds over Blessington Lakes are set to blow today, but drop off significantly by tomorrow.

The Ireland junior trials process for 2015 begins in two weeks’ time and some of the crews will be hoping to impress the selectors. The presence of a big entry from Portora of Enniskillen is also notable.

There are four senior men's eights entered, but the senior men's pairs should be one to watch: 12 crews have entered, including the combinations of Alan Prendergast and Micheál Bailey, Rob O'Callaghan and Richie Bennett and Ryan Corcoran and Niall Byrne.

The entry of top international Lisa Dilleen, alongside Ruth Morris, Siobhán Forman and Amy Bulman, spices up the women's senior single sculls.


There are two “heads” (time trials), at 11am and 2pm.

At the Head of the River Fours in London at the weekend, the lightweight quadruple of Nathan O'Reilly, Anthony English, Mark O'Donovan and Niall Kenny were third in their class and 10th overall. All four competed at the Ireland trial last month.

Kenny is teaching at Windsor Boys’ School and has joined Tideway Scullers’, where he trains alongside O’Reilly, while English rows with Nottingham Rowing Club.

The organisers of the Castleconnell Head on the Shannon last weekend had to suspend racing for approximately an hour in the afternoon because of poor weather, but there was racing before and after the suspension. As expected, single sculler Sinéad Jennings was among the fastest of all the crews on the water on the day.

It is just four years since the World Coaches’ Conference was held in Limerick, but this year it is being staged further south, in Rio de Janeiro.

High-powered panel

Ireland performance director Morten Espersen will be part of a high-powered panel which will deal with one of the main themes: “What makes a successful coach of women – the myth and the reality.”

Over the next few days participants will also be able to visit the Olympic rowing course and the Olympic village for 2016.

The talent identification programme in Belfast is looking for rowers and non-rowers who fulfil set criteria. John Armstrong is now in charge of this programme.

The Run in the Dark for the Mark Pollock Trust takes place this Wednesday. In Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Singapore the entries are full, but there is a waiting list.

It is an excellent portrayal of a brave man who started his serious sporting endeavours as a rower.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in rowing