The Ireland trials this weekend give junior and under-23 crews a chance to stake their claim for World Championship places. A number of crews impressed at London Metropolitan regatta last weekend – the under-23 lightweight quadruple won on both days. The trial will also determine crews for the World University Championships in September and the Coupe de la Jeunesse in July.
The World Championships this year (August 21st to 28th) include junior and under-23 events as well as senior non-Olympic classes, and so are set up nicely for the young guns to impress. The location, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, is quite accessible for Ireland fans.
Paul O'Donovan confirmed to The Irish Times that he intends to compete in the senior lightweight single at the championships: "That's the plan. I'm going in the single," he said.
Quite a year
A medal in Rotterdam could make for quite a year for the young man, who is set to represent Ireland in the lightweight double at the Olympics in Rio with his brother Gary.
The O'Donovans, along with the women's lightweight double of Claire Lambe and Sinead Jennings and single sculler Sanita Puspure, lead a strong Ireland team for the final World Cup regatta in Poznan (June 16th to 19th). The lightweight pair of Shane O'Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan and lightweight single sculler Denise Walsh complete the Ireland team.
A gold medal would give the men's lightweight double victory in the World Cup series, but the regatta is also a chance for Lambe and Lynch to continue the good form they showed in Lucerne. For Puspure there will be the chance to test herself against the world's best now that she has confirmed her place in Rio. Kim Brennan (nee Crow) of Australia and Emma Twigg of New Zealand will compete against each other for the first time since the World Championships in 2014.
Paul O’Donovan’s club, UCD, won the senior eight at Metropolitan Regatta, despite being without injured stroke man David O’Malley. The UCD eight came through a semi-final which included Commercial and Trinity, and then beat both in the final. They will travel to Dorney Lake again for Marlow Regatta on June 18th in good form. It is understood O’Malley is recovering well and will be back in the crew – and ready for Henley Royal Regatta.