Slimmed down Dublin Head limited to eights

Sanita Puspure fit to take part in final Ireland trial later this month

Trinity's senior men's eight, which set a new course record at the Erne Head of the River last weekend, will be the first crew off at the slimmed down Dublin Head on Saturday. The event has been limited to eights and there will be just three junior crews involved, although the numbers taking part will still be in the high 20s. The aim is to "get everbody over (Islandbridge) weir and up to the start in a safe manner", according to Jane Riordan, the event secretary.

The sometimes long waiting times before the start for crews may also be cut. The work on Rosie Hackett Bridge has been completed and the head will run from the Marlborough Street Steps to Islandbridge.

On the international scene, Sanita Puspure has recovered from her rib injury and says she will compete in the final Ireland trial on March 21st and 22nd. She relished being able to do long sessions on the water on the recent training camp in Varese in Italy. "I did all the mileage, and was very happy with that," she said.

Puspure finished fourth in the World Championships in the single sculls last year, and the world champion, Emma Twigg, will not compete this season. Puspure scoffed at the suggestion that everybody might move up a notch. "Not at all. You just concentrate on the next event," she said.


Twigg is studying in Europe - with world govering body Fisa - and hoped to fit rowing around this, but Rowing New Zealand would not let her target the World Championships unless she competed in the country's summer programme. Fiona Bourke has been chosen as the New Zealand single sculler this season. Bourke won World Championship gold in the double with Zoe Stevenson in 2014.

Jonathan Doyle finished third at the World Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston in the 40-49 lightweight category. The Dubliner had to give way to two exceptional times: Britain's Mark Mitchell won in six minutes 19.2 seconds, while world record holder Jesus Gonzalez Alvarez was second in 6:20.9. Doyle set a time of 6:28.9.

Irish umpire Kieran Kerr will officiate at the European Junior Championships in Racice in the Czech Republic in May. These championships will be the focal point for many gifted juniors, as the World Junior Championships are an expensive outing for most crews as they are in Rio de Janeiro this year. Ireland will almost certainly not be sending juniors to Brazil.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

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