O’Donovan brothers to head up Ireland’s team for World Cup
Erne Head of the River attracts biggest ever entry and a very strong field
Gary O’Donovan (bow) and Paul O’Donovan will compete for Ireland internationally for the first time this season at the World Cup regatta in Belgrade. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images.
Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan will compete internationally for the first time this season at the World Cup regatta in Belgrade on the first weekend in May.
The Ireland lightweight double will head up a team of proven internationals. The lightweight pair of Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan, who finished fourth in the world in 2016, will also compete, as will single sculler Sanita Puspure and lightweight sculler Denise Walsh.
The team, and perhaps some of those who have shone at the recent Ireland trial, will travel on to a training camp at Gavirate in Italy after the World Cup. This will be sited at the impressive European Training Centre for the Australian Institute of Sport.
The Ireland team for the European Championships in late May, at which the O’Donovans will defend their title, will be decided after the final Ireland senior trial in three weeks’ time (March 25th and 26th).
Back in Ireland, the Erne Head of the River this Saturday has its biggest ever entry – 91 crews and close to 700 competitors – and impressive quality.
Commercial, the senior eights champions of Ireland, are hoping to seize the momentum as they target retaining their title.
The opposition on the Erne is strong: UCD, Trinity – who go off first – and two crews from NUIG, one with a Gráinne Mhaol man, Gerard Mannion, in the number-five seat.
Amongst the 10 masters eight crews are two from Portora Boat Club, which sprung from supporters and parents from the old Portora Royal School club.
The Irish Coastal Rowing Federation is upset at how their link to Rowing Ireland was cut off.
They say the announcement by Rowing Ireland was made without consultation and was contrary to what was agreed at a meeting in January.
The ICRF says that they will have police vetting in place in both the Republic and Northern Ireland in time for the coastal rowing season and that clubs will still be able to apply for capital funding.
The ICRF says they are in touch with Rowing Ireland and will update their members on the outcome.
Carpenter says that the Get Going Get Rowing programme can be a useful talent identification programme.