Ireland Juniors take on Europe’s best

Championships a first for team in green

Ireland rowers compete at a championship this weekend for the first time this season. Indeed it is a weekend of firsts as the team which takes to the water in Hazewinkel in Belgium will be the first from Ireland to mount a challenge at the European Junior Championships.

It is just the fourth staging of the event, but it has grown to be a considerable one, with 450 competitors from 31 nations entered.

The strong double scull of Conor Carmody and David O'Malley are in the biggest event, with 23 entries. The women's double scull is the second biggest, with 18, and Eimear Lambe and Jasmine English take their chances here. The pair of David and Brian Keohane and single sculler Erin Barry complete the Irish team.

Hit by flooding The senior European Championships are set for Belgrade in Serbia next weekend, with four Ireland crews entered, all of them medallists from the international regatta in Piediluco in Italy last month.


Serbia has been hard hit by flooding, but the organisers say the water level on the course has not been affected and Belgrade will be ready to host the crews from 36 countries.

Back in Ireland this weekend, the tests to form Ireland lightweight women's crews should bring intense competition to the National Rowing Centre in Cork. Orla Hayes of Skibbereen showed her good form in winning the women's single sculls at Metropolitan Regatta last weekend, while Catríona Jennings and Sarah Dolan teamed up to win the double sculls.

Women’s rowing provided one of the other big talking points of the regatta: the combination crew which won the women eights could offer Trinity and UCD serious competition at the Irish Championships, but first they must find a way around the rule that eights for the championships cannot be a combination of more than two clubs.

Belfast Sprint Regatta and Lee Regatta in Cork are both on tomorrow, with big entries from local clubs at junior level.

Visually impaired Visually impaired people who are interested in rowing have a chance to encounter the sport tomorrow at the ALSAA Sports Hall near Dublin Airport.

Joe Cunningham, the national paralympic rowing coach, will be on hand as those interested can have a go at indoor rowing.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

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