Irish crews win five medals at world masters in Italy

Fran O’Toole and Donal McGuinness win two medals

The spotlight will be on the stars of the future at the first Ireland trial in two weeks' time, but the older rowers showed the way at the World Masters Regatta in Varese in Italy at the weekend.

Irish crews won five medals at the huge event, which had 3,355 athletes from 40 countries competing – the biggest ever entry. Donal McGuinness and Fran O'Toole won in the pair in both C (over-43) and D (over-50) and their Commercial clubmate, Denis Crowley, won in the C single sculls. Colm Hunter of Belfast Boat Club and Geoff Canning, a former Belfast Boat Club man who now rows with Drummoyne in Australia, won in the E (over-55) pair.

An Ireland eight which included these five oarsmen along with Mick Heavey (Commercial), Dan Donnelly (Old Collegians) and Pat Murray (Cappoquin) along with cox Jonny Malloy of Belfast Boat Club won the Grade D eights.

Grand Leagues
Receiving their cheques at the National Rowing Centre in Cork yesterday were the winners in the 2013 eFlow Grand Leagues. Skibbereen won the women's Division One and Division Two, and the men's Division One, while Lee won men's Division Two. Skibbereen were the overall winners.

Rowing Ireland are seeking volunteers to come on board as coaches, managers and drivers for the international programme. Those interested should contact Ireland high performance director Morten Espersen by the end of this month. Just one week remains to the deadline (September 20th) for “expressions of interest” for the post of Ireland para rowing coach. The job is part-time, with work for up to 50 days a year.


Registration has opened for the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships. The event will be held in the University of Limerick Arena on November 23rd. Next month will offer on-the-water action: the Tullamore Time Trial and the Skibbereen head of the river are set for October 5th and 19th and the time trials for the sculling ladders in Cork and Dublin are fixed for October 6th and 12th respectively.

Rowing Ireland has scheduled an extraordinary general meeting for October 19th at the National Rowing Centre. Rules to be tidied up include those on the intermediate grade and on para rowing.

The Bulls and Bears head, set for November 2nd at Castleconnell, has switched format. The top eight scullers will form two quadruples. The previous format saw pairs sorted into eights.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

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