The Ireland trial at the National Rowing Centre and the massive Head of the Charles regatta in Boston will give Irish rowing people plenty to talk about this weekend.
In just over nine months a big Ireland team will compete at the 2020 Olympics. The on-the-water trialling process for the season starts on Saturday and Sunday at the National Rowing Centre. If Ireland is to secure a fifth boat to add to the four already qualified – which includes a women's pair – it looks set to be the women's four. Eight women will trial in pairs: surprisingly, Niamh Casey and Denise Walsh, who hoped to compete in this company, are named to trial in single sculls rather than pairs on Saturday.
There is plenty of quality across the classes. Top junior women Molly Curry and Holly Davis compete against each other in singles on the Saturday.
Shandon’s Jack Dorney has been one of Ireland’s top male juniors, but he will be in Boston rather than Cork. Last year he won the Men’s Youth Singles at the Head of the Charles and he defends his title. Trinity send an eight, while Limerick man James Quinlan has won a place in Princeton’s eight.
New Ross head of the river is also scheduled for Saturday, while Castleconnell head next weekend has drawn a huge entry.
Ireland will send 47 competitors in 22 crews to the the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Hong Kong from November 1st to 3rd. It has the biggest entry for a coastal event at a venue outside Europe.