Faced with the imminent arrival of Storm Hannah, the organisers of Limerick Regatta have been pushing hard to move the event from Saturday to Sunday. However, last night they could not confirm the move, as they had not locked in the presence of an ambulance and rescue launch at the O'Brien's Bridge venue. They will make a definitive decision today by 10am.
The entry for the event features outstanding juniors, some of whom are set to represent Ireland this season. Grace Healy of Commercial and Chris Kirwan of St Michael’s form a double scull, while Rory O’Neill of Castleconnell and Tom Kelly of Kenmare clash in the junior single sculls.
The weather forecast – at the moment – looks promising for Skibbereen’s two-day regatta on May 4th and 5th. The event has the prospect of some of the best race line-ups ever for an Irish domestic regatta.
The entry includes two crews who are reigning world champions: the double of Gary and Paul O'Donovan and single sculler Sanita Puspure. The O'Donovans, the champions in the lightweight double, are set to take on Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne – the ninth-placed crew in the heavyweight double at the 2018 World Championships. Hoping to oust both will be twins Jake and Fintan McCarthy, finalists at the World Under-23 Championships.
The women's entry also includes Aifric Keogh and Monika Dukarska, the likely Ireland pair this year, and a UCC eight features Keogh and Emily Hegarty, the pair which finished sixth in the world in 2018. Aoife Casey and Denise Walsh compete in a double for the hosts.
The Ireland squad, which has been training in Italy, returns this weekend.
Pat McInerney is retiring from his post as Coach Education Officer with Rowing Ireland.
The St Michael’s man has been with the national governing body for the last 12 years, some of that time as lead coach for juniors.
He steps down with no hard feelings and looking forward, as he turns 62 this year, to opening new chapters in life’s book. One of his plans is to set up his own, Limerick-based fitness business.
Asked for his favourite memory from his time in his job, the moment he chooses is what you would expect from one of the quiet, well-intentioned forces behind Irish rowing. “Walking down the roadway at the [Irish] championships and hearing a coach giving a briefing to a crew and I know I’ve had him practise that briefing in a coaching course.
“It’s great to see that coming through. Watching them then go out to win a championship. Their life’s ambition. I get a great kick out of that,” he told The Irish Times.