Rowing making a splash with two more weekend regattas

All eyes on Trinity while big contingent of Irish rowers set off around the continent

Rowing is hitting its stride with two more regattas this weekend, including at Trinity.

Rowing is hitting its stride with two more regattas this weekend, including at Trinity.

 

Two regattas this weekend following two last weekend - and a big contingent of club rowers heading for the continent. Rowing has finally hit its stride.

Trinity, which starts on Friday night and runs through the day on Saturday, is the traditional regatta, with two-boat racing finishing up at the beautiful old boathouse at Islandbridge. Some new things have been spun in: 500 metre races, with prizes, for quadruples formed from the top junior single scullers in a time trial.

The event also has an international aspect. The host men’s eight take on Blue Star, featuring British Olympian Scott Durant (gold medallist in the eight, 2016) and Ireland’s Cormac Folan, who was bowman in the Ireland four which took tenth in Beijing (2008).

On the women’s side, UCD have withdrawn from the senior eight, but the club one eight sees two Trinity crews face Neptune, Commercial, Bann and a Dutch crew, KSRV Njord.

The huge two-day regatta in Ghent in Belgium has attracted club rowers from Anna Liffey, Blackrock, Carlow, Castleconnell, Commercial, Cork, Methodist College, Skibbereen and Three Castles - in some events the Irish are in the majority.

The flight of such talent has affected Trinity and Lee, which will be held at the Marina on Saturday. And, yet, Lee has hundreds of entries - and the young woman of the moment, Holly Davis, competes with her friends in a junior 16, coxed quad.

Davis, who turned 14 in January, lit up Skibbereen regatta. The Lee Valley girl proved herself the best junior women’s sculler. Attending this regatta and Portadown was instructive: the upsurge in numbers and quality at junior level is real.

The internationals sited at the NRC this week saw their boats come back from the continent, but the riggers have yet to arrive. Spare boats have come into their own.

The European Junior Championships next weekend was not factored into the programme for Ireland crews, but it is understood that the junior men’s coxed four and the junior women’s quadruple are set to compete, with self-funding involved.

Kinetica have come on board as a sponsor with Rowing Ireland for this year, while the link with Waterways Ireland will continue.

Queen’s University took a haul of medals at the BUCS (British University) Regatta in Nottingham.

This weekend sees the start of the World Cup series, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Ireland crews will not attend, but can study the form of potential rivals at the European Championships at the end of the month.

Indoor records are falling before Irish rowers line ninepins. Holly Davis is a world record holder on the ergometer (rowing machine) - she covered 1125 metres in four minutes. Patrick Boomer joined the under-six-minute club for 2,000 metres last week; Killorglin teenager Airida Mateviciute (13) is the joint world record holder for 12 and under for 500 metres.

Jimmy Coughlan (16) and Luke O’Keeffe (17) competed at Skibbereen Regatta on Saturday, then set up at the garage of a friend (Conall Harrington) to row for 52 hours, two minutes and 35 seconds. This is a new world record for the under-19 tandem lightweight, continuous row. They finished on Monday, and appeared back at school on Thursday.

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