St Michael’s Head of the River will now go ahead on March 31st
The proposed calendar for 2020 has a new event listed, the Corrib Head of the River on March 14th
Gary O’Donovan continues to train in New Zealand and will return next month. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
St Michael’s Head of the River will go ahead on Sunday, March 31st. The rescheduled head – it was cancelled due to bad weather on its original date of March 16th – will be a curtailed event. “We wanted to stand by our commitments,” said Kevin O’Connor, the event secretary. “We will accept late entries.”
The head will be a long one through Limerick city, and is set to feature three new trophies, including one commemorating Ailish Sheehan, who died in 2016 at just 23 after a fall.
The Saturday, March 30th, will feature the Foyle Head.
The weekend – the last before the regatta season starts with Neptune on April 6th – will also feature the Ireland trial, and the Rowing Ireland agm on Sunday.
It is understood that the trial will feature lightweight events, though Gary O’Donovan continues to train in New Zealand, and will return next month. He has not entered the Sydney International Regatta.
The agm will see a new treasurer elected in Leo Gibson of Old Collegians.
The proposed calendar for 2020 has a new event listed, the Corrib Head of the River, with a date of March 14th, which is also the date for Erne Head of the River.
Brenda Ewing, the chair of the domestic events committee, says she wants as many clubs as possible at the fixtures meeting. “I welcome open discussion,” she says.
The reports to the agm reflect on a terrific 2018, with Ireland high performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni recapping a season which featured two senior gold medals at World Championships, and a gold and silver at the Under-23 Worlds. He says there has not been an “adequate” increase in funding given the increase in numbers of carded athletes – in 2018 15 athletes were granted €252,000, in 2019 it is 22 with funding of €290,000.
He thanks Sport Ireland for their support, but says the system will “need to rely on a funding injection from different sources”.
The good results keep coming in for Enniskillen. At the Schools’ Head in London their girls’ eight finished fourth and their boys eight sixth. They then added good results for their junior 14 and 15 crews at the Junior Sculling Head on Dorney Lake.
Tony O’Connor’s elevation to coach of the New Zealand men’s eight is quite an honour for a fine Irish sportsman. O’Connor (49), is a former world rowing champion (2001) and a double Olympian (1996 and 2000).