O’Driscoll to compete in lightweight doubles in bid for Olympic place
Cork race to go ahead while Dublin event organisers to shorten course over water levels
Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll celebrate winning gold at the 2017 World Rowing Championships, in Florida. Photograph: Detlev Seyb/Inpho
The Cork and Dublin sculling ladders at the Marina and Islandbridge respectively will draw big entries. Cork offers competition for coxless pairs for the first time. The high water levels have prompted the organisers of the Dublin event to shorten the course and ask inexperienced rowers to bow out. A final decision will be made at 9am on the day.
The Tribesmen Head of the River set for next Saturday has been cancelled due to a small entry. It was set to go head-to-head with the first Ireland trial of the new season. The test, at the National Rowing Centre, sees former world champion Shane O’Driscoll return to the lightweight ranks. He will be one of seven shooting it out for the two Olympic places in the lightweight double. Denise Walsh is entered in the openweight ranks: she may team up with Niamh Casey in a pair.
Top junior Molly Curry and outstanding prospect Holly Davis finally look set to compete against each other.
Trinity had a strong entry in the men’s under-23 ranks. However, the Dublin college are sending an eight to the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston (October 19th and 20th) and will call on their rowers for this. Paul Thornton has joined Trinity from UCC as assistant coach.
Rowing Ireland has set up workshops around the country on the future of the sport. The stunning results at international level are a comforting backdrop, though the relatively small number of adult rowers competing beyond college level is worrying. The shape of the domestic rowing calendar will be discussed. The expense of the sport, even for the successful, might also be a topic.