Rowing: Maurogiovanni wants date of Irish Championships switched

But clubs unlikely to agree to such a key change to the domestic calendar in 2019

Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll: impressed at the Ireland trial last week. Photograph: Detlev Seyb/Inpho

Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll: impressed at the Ireland trial last week. Photograph: Detlev Seyb/Inpho

 

Fresh from an outstanding 2018 season, Ireland high performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni has launched a campaign to have the Irish Championships moved from their July date in order to allow top athletes to compete at the highest level both at home and abroad.

In 2019 the championships will clash directly with the final World Cup in Rotterdam (July 12th to 14th).

And big events are pencilled in to follow swiftly afterwards: the World Under-23 Championships (July 23rd to 28th); the Coupe de la Jeunesse (August 2nd to 4th) and the World Junior Championships (August 6th to 11th).

However, it seems unlikely that clubs will agree to a change to the domestic calendar in 2019. It has been a long-standing practice that the programme is set out a year in advance, allowing volunteers to arrange holidays with a firm understanding of the shape of the season.

What may happen in this case is that Maurogiovanni will not allow those in the high performance system – including juniors and U-23 athletes – to compete at the championships. He has hinted strongly that this is his plan, though the told The Irish Times that this could only happen after a decision by the high performance committee of Rowing Ireland.

Neville Maxwell, the chair of that committee, strongly backs the high performance director’s push to have the championships moved. The committee meets next week.

Maurogiovanni has been touring the country, talking to rowers and coaches in open fora.

The Ireland trial at the weekend yielded some interesting results. The pair of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll emerged with a fine win; Jack Dorney enhanced his reputation as a top junior and Molly Curry headed the women’s junior rankings.

Another interesting women’s crew to win their grade was the U-23 pair of Neptune’s Claire Feerick and Eimear Lambe of UCD, who has returned from a year in Germany.

The Neptune head of the river scheduled for this Saturday has been cancelled. The Fours Head in London is a huge event – but not for Irish crews this year.

Next Saturday (November 10th) sees the return of the Dublin Head, subject to a weather check. Twenty-one crews have entered.

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