Rowing: Dublin agm may herald major shift in domestic calendar
Exam and work pressures see some top races at Trinity Regatta sited at unlikely times
The increasing number of young women rowing is a feature of the sport in recent years
At last a weekend when rowers can compete and spectators can take the sun! All this and an agm in Dublin on Sunday, which may herald a major shift in the domestic calendar for the sport.
Trinity Regatta begins on Friday with almost two hours of action from 6pm, and offers races on Saturday from 7.30am to 6.45pm.
Exam and work pressures see some of the top races at Islandbridge sited at unlikely times. The men’s senior eights final is pencilled in for 8.45am on Saturday. It features a straight contest between Trinity, recent winners of the University Championships, and the reigning champions of Ireland, Commercial.
The women’s senior eights showcases crews from the same clubs. Commercial will send out two “alumni” eights. The Trinity alumni take on their own university at 9.05am in a semi-final. The crew which emerges will then race Commercial crew drawn from UCD alumni in the final at 11.55am.
The Ireland high-performance director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, returns early from a training camp in Italy for the agm in Garda Boat Club on Sunday. It is an indicator of how important the day may prove to be.
The chair of the domestic events committee, Brenda Ewing, has drawn up a calendar for 2020 which places the Irish Championships in September, a move strongly favoured by Maurogiovanni. It is not a detailed document, but it may point the way forward.
Alongside this, delegates will be able to peruse the report of a working group which suggests a two-tier structure for the season. Young rowers would row through the summer and – in addition to the Schools’ and Irish Championships – would have an All-Ireland regatta in September. This would grow each year and would by 2023 have under-20, under-22 and open events.
Delegates will also have more immediate concerns. The proposed 2019 calendar features a clash in early May between Trinity, Lough Rynn and the Ireland trial. The trial has now been switched, and Trinity may move. Skibbereen Regatta (NRC) and the University Championships at Lough Rynn are both pencilled in for April 13th.
This organisers of this year’s Skibbereen Regatta seem to have made a wise judgment in cancelling the event. Gary O’Donovan told The Irish Times that an attempt to row on Saturday had to be abandoned. Skibbereen have been considering refixing the event for September, but have made no application for a date to the domestic events committee.
Denise Walsh has joined the Ireland training camp in Varese, Italy. This brings the number to six, all women. (Aoife Casey, who may be Walsh’s partner this season in a lightweight double, is sitting her Leaving Cert this year, and was not available for the camp).
The increasing number of young women rowing is a feature of the sport in recent years, and the agm papers show that it may be approaching parity. The Get Going Get Rowing programme has played a big part in this development.
Charlotte Quay in Dublin is the venue for a “Blitzit” event this Friday (April 20th).
Meanwhile, Fermoy Rowing Club have continued to press for repair work on the local weir. They hope to receive a boost from favourable coverage recently on the RTÉ news.