Rowing – Micheál Bailey steps up to Irish lightweight four

Injured Sinead Jennings to miss final Ireland trial

The last of Ireland’s Olympic-class crews to be formed in the run-up to the European Championships have emerged.

Niall Kenny, based in London, has opted out of contention for Ireland this season. Micheál Bailey steps up to take his place in the nominated Ireland lightweight four, joining Anthony English, Shane O'Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan. This crew will train this Wednesday to Sunday at the National Rowing Centre.

Sinéad Jennings will also be unavailable for the final Ireland trial on the weekend of March 21st due to a rib injury.

“We will nominate Claire (Lambe) and Denise (Walsh) to do the trial in March, with a view to going to the Europeans,” said Ireland lead coach Don McLachlan. “We will have a trial for a (lightweight) single and we will look to try and tie Sinéad in later, and maybe one of the other scullers as well. So we are looking at further testing after the European Championships.”

McLachlan was speaking from Varese in Italy, where a training group have experienced calm water and good conditions.

Back in Ireland, the Erne Head of the River hopes to benefit from similar conditions on Saturday in Enniskillen, though the wind is due to pick up in the evening. Over the last few years the event has provided a very good formline for the domestic season.

Hefty fee

An extraordinary general meeting of Rowing Ireland to deal with fixtures will be held in Garda Boat Club on Sunday, March 8th. The growing size of the Grand League regattas - both Skibbereen and Cork will host two-day events this season – has prompted the dropping of the Under-23 events.

Rowing Ireland have been busy recently: they approved the sale of high performance equipment to the value of €50,000; decided that the hefty fee of €1,000 per athlete for the Coupe de la Jeunesse will not be reduced, and decided to address the problems of para rowing, which they say is at “a low ebb”.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in rowing