Irish Indoor Rowing Championships to be biggest ever

Next on-the-water Ireland high-performance assessment set for February 24th

 Sanita Puspure:  has an   upcoming disciplinary hearing. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Sanita Puspure: has an upcoming disciplinary hearing. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Ireland high-performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni has confirmed that the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships is a mandatory part of his programme. The championships are set for next Saturday, January 20th, in the University of Limerick. The 2018 event will be the biggest ever, with approximately 1,800 individual entries.

The next on-the-water Ireland high-performance assessment is set for February 24th, a switch from the previous weekend.

Maurogiovanni would not comment on the upcoming disciplinary hearing for Sanita Puspure, except to say: “I am supportive of the athlete and the commission [which will hold the hearing].”

The hearing, which it is understood concerns more that Puspure’s tweet concerning the removal of her coach Sean Casey, will be chaired by Andy Wells of the disciplinary committee. No date has yet been set.

Rowing Ireland chief executive Hamish Adams, who is the disciplinary officer of Rowing Ireland and referred the matter to the committee, said he would not comment. “It’s a private matter,” he said.

The board of Rowing Ireland will meet on Saturday, January 13th. The issue of how Adams and the athletes interact will come before the meeting.

Paul and Gary O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan are settling into life in New Zealand. The journey from Ireland took 35 hours. They have already made contact with Caroline McManus, the esteemed Irish physiologist who now works with New Zealand Rowing. The four Ireland internationals are set to compete at the New Zealand Rowing Championships on Lake Karapiro from February 13th-17th. They intend to travel on to Australia and compete there.

Get Going, Get Rowing

Ron Batt, the community development and education officer at Rowing Australia, is in Ireland, and has been observing the Get Going, Get Rowing programme, which has given thousands of young people a taste of the sport.

The Atlantic Challenge rowing race, sponsored by Talisker Whiskey, is coming to a close for the leading crews – and it is set to be the fastest ever. The Four Oarsmen, from Britain, could cover the journey from the Canaries to Antigua in the West Indies in under 30 days. Not far behind are two more fours, Team Antigua and Swiss Mocean.

The next boat home, remarkably, will be Row4Cancer, crewed by solo oarsman Mark Slats. The Dutchman will almost certainly be well inside the fine time of 49 days and 11 hours set by Ireland’s Gavan Hennigan last year.

Fifth and sixth are two fours from Ireland. Home to Portrush, with rowers George McAlpin, Ally Cooper, Gareth Barton and Luke Baker, have seized each day in the past few weeks: they covered 95 nautical miles (176km) in the 24 hours to 4pm on Thursday and may reach Antigua as early as Sunday night/Monday Irish time. The have raised over £10,000 (€11,300) for Portrush Lifeboat, Row for Ross and Willies Orphan Fund.

Donations

Relentless, crewed by three Corkmen and a Dubliner – Sean Underwood, Eoin O’Farrell, Pat O’Connor and Thomas Browne – is set for a Tuesday berth in English Harbour, Antigua. They set a target of raising €20,000 in donations for the children’s unit at Cork University Hospital and have breached it.

Solo oarsman Damian Browne, has also drawn in big funding for his charities, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Strong Roots Foundation, Rwanda and Madra. The Galway man, rowing as Gulliver’s Travels, has dealt with rough seas, capsizes and injury. He crossed halfway on Thursday, and in a Facebook post said he was “at peace with what I’ve done and what’s ahead”.

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