Irish juniors bidding for glory at Coupe de la Jeunesse
Dervla Forde one of several Irish rowers hoping to repeat last year’s success
Barney Rix (left) and Aaron Johnson, the Portora pair will represent Ireland at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Szeged in Hungary.
The European junior tournament comes on the back of good results at the next level down, as Ireland’s junior men won at the Home International Regatta, and the junior women finished second.
The Coupe comes just a week before the World Junior Championships in Rio de Janeiro, but, along with Ireland, some European countries opting to compete in the Coupe, instead so the bar may be high.
Driving herColm HennessyEoin WhittlePatrick MunnellyAndrew Goff
Junior women’s single sculler Dervla Forde also has last year driving her on: she took silver on both days in a pair with her sister Oisin. And Dervla, who lives in Torrevieja, is the junior single sculls champion of Ireland and Spain.
She also has experience as a coastal rower, and it has been windy in Szeged.
The women’s and men’s pairs are from the top junior club, Portora from Enniskillen, and the team is completed by the Cork/Shandon double of Shane O’Connell and Ronan Byrne, and the young Skibbereen women’s double of Aoife Casey and Emily Hegarty.
The Ireland senior team for the World Championships in Aiguebelette in France will feature at least one change from the one which competed at the final World Cup in Lucerne.
The Ireland pair of Monika Dukarska and Leonora Kennedy finished 17th in Lucerne, and will not go forward. However a four has been formed, with Dukarska, Kennedy and Ireland pairs champions Aifric Keogh and Barbara O’Brien. This is being coached by Sean Casey, who will also coach the lightweight men’s pair of Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan.
Back on the domestic front, Carrick on Shannon sprint regatta has become a well-liked annual event - and the men’s senior eights champions of Ireland, Trinity, are among a big entry for Sunday’s races over 450 metres. The regatta also hosts the finals of the Waterways Junior “Row for It” Leagues.