Healy may be Ireland’s best chance at World Coastal Rowing Championships

The solo sculler heads up an Ireland team of 22 crews at the Hong Kong event

Arklow woman Sionna Healy sat looking down on Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on Thursday and got ready to take on the "funniest stretch of water I've ever rowed in".

The 25-year-old accountant may be Ireland's best chance of a medal at the World Coastal Rowing Championships which run from Friday to Sunday. While the Irish crews have encountered no civil disruption, Victoria Harbour has been feisty. "The water is coming from every direction. There's no sea swell, no flow to it. It's choppy," says Healy.

The solo sculler heads up an Ireland team of 22 crews, one of them a mixed double. The Castletownshend women’s double and the Arklow men’s double might also make Sunday’s A Finals. Healy rows in her fourth World Championships. She has climbed the rankings each year–- she finished eighth in 2018. This time she is targeting a higher placing.

As the Ireland Olympic rowing squad head for camps in Italy (heavyweights) and Seville (lightweight), the invitees for the next trial, in three weeks’ time, have been named.


Amongst those not on the list are Mark O'Donovan and Denise Walsh, who both trialled as heavyweights last time out. Molly Curry misses this weekend's junior camp for a pre-arranged family occasion.

Claire Lambe, whose last row for Ireland was in an Olympic final in 2016, is the new Women in Sport Officer with Rowing Ireland.

“It’s an opportunity to work in the sport I love, and it’s something I’m really passionate about – supporting other women, particularly in sport,” the Dubliner told The Irish Times.

She hopes to find ways to help women to think anew about coaching and officiating roles.

Sanita Puspure ranks fifth in the World Rowing top 10 women of 2019, the first Irish woman to make the list. Paul O’Donovan is ninth on the men’s list.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

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