Ireland got off the mark with a facile win against a seeded crew at Henley Royal Regatta.
Trinity's big coxed four sprinted out to an early lead and won easily against Choate Rosemary Hall of the United States in the Prince Albert Cup. The Irish looked good but it has emerged that they only barely qualified from the time trial. The American crew, in their first race at Henley, looked out of their depth.
"I'm not sure how they got selected," said Trinity coach Colm Butler. "It'll be a lot harder for the lads against Orca."
The Dutch crew beat Imperial College easily and will be a real test on Friday for the Trinity crew of Michael Corcoran, Patrick Moreau, Liam Hawkes, Mark Kelly and cox Cian Flynn.
The story was different for Dave Neale and Sean Jacob in the Double Sculls. The experienced Old Collegians men fell behind early against Christiania Roklub of Norway and just could not reel in their younger opponents. In the tough world of Henley, that ends their challenge.
Ireland's Monika Dukarska goes into action for the first time on Friday. She takes on Lisa Scheenaard of the Netherlands in the Princess Royal, an open event. The Dutch woman is seeded.
The Irish Championships are just two weeks away. NUIG’s senior eight took the giant Leander Trophy at Cork Regatta and have served notice of their intent. UCD and Commercial remain the crews to beat, despite their first-round losses at Henley.
Cork Regatta also proved very welcome for the two junior doubles who proved themselves worthy of nomination for the Ireland team for the World Championships next month.
Emily Hegarty and Aoife Casey of Skibbereen had a big win over Bann girls Fiona Chestnutt and Hannah Scott, while Daire Lynch and Ronan Byrne were quite competitive against Ireland senior internationals Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll. Lynch won the B Final of the single sculls and Byrne finished fourth in the A Final of the single sculls.
This final was a demonstration of Paul O’Donovan in all his glory. The lightweight, who will represent Ireland in Rio, was stunningly good as he beat his brother Gary in a time well under seven minutes.
The Ireland Home International senior team was also chosen in the light of results from Cork Regatta. The men’s four – all Portora – looks strong, and the eight, which includes this unit, could also make an impression in Cardiff on July 23rd.
There will be an EGM of Rowing Ireland at the National Rowing Centre on Thursday, June 14th (the eve of the Championships) in order to meet the legal requirement that the name of the organisation be changed.