Gary O’Donovan can only take second at Skibbereen Regatta

After returning from wrist injury he’s thrilled to be ‘boat fit and race ready’ again

Gary O'Donovan returned from injury to compete at the Skibbereen Regatta at the National Rowing Centre, but could only take second in the men's single behind a fellow lightweight, Fintan McCarthy.

O’Donovan, who suffered a wrist injury while in New Zealand, said he was thrilled to be “boat fit and race ready” again - he had only returned to on-the-water training in the last two weeks.

Margaret Cremen of UCC was the fastest in the women's single sculls - a class from which Sanita Puspure had withdrawn because her boat has not arrived back after a camp in Italy. There was a remarkable result in this race: in third place, and the fastest junior 18 competitor, was Holly Davis of Lee Valley, a junior 14 rower.

The tricky, windy, conditions early in the day forced some changes in the programme.

Two crews with international experience won the pairs races. Monika Dukarska and Aifric Keogh won the women's pair and Shane O'Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan the men's.

Juniors came to the fore in the final session: the Ireland junior men’s coxed four which has been pre-selected to go to the World Championships, continued their fine run with a Division One win. The Ireland junior women’s quadruple, pre-selected for the Coupe de la Jeunesse, beat the Skibbereen/UCC senior crew by two seconds.

Denise Walsh had to pull out of the senior crew, but the unit of Aoife and Niamh Casey, Lydia Heaphy and Orla Hayes would have been favourites to beat Anna Tyther (Killorglin), Sadhbh Scully of Carlow, Aoife Lynch of Lee and Lucy McCoy of Belfast Boat Club.

Lee’s junior 18 men’s crew won the Division One quadruple final, just ahead of Neptune A. All of the six crews were juniors.

Wind also affected the Portadown Regatta. The young rowers dealt well with the difficulty. In bright, cool, conditions Enniskillen came out on top in both boys and girls junior 16 eights.

Carrick-on-Shannon had a good day. Among their winners were Shauna Murtagh, who took the junior 18 women's single. The junior 18 quadruple - which also featured Murtagh - and double also won.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

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

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