Ireland’s women’s four took a fine silver medal at the World Under-23 Championships in Florida on Sunday, bringing the tally to two in the championships after the men’s lightweight quadruple had taken bronze on Saturday.
Spain and Canada were fast off the start, but the Ireland four of Claire Feerick, Eimear Lambe, Tara Hanlon and Emily Hegarty joined Britain in a two-boat breakaway which sped clear of the rest.
The two crews moved over a length clear by 1,500 metres and then fought it out for gold, with Britain edging it by 1.46 seconds. The United States took bronze.
Hegarty, who had moved into the stroke seat in the place of Lambe, said: “I think that we stuck with the pack, and that gave us confidence. We knew our start was the weakest part, so when we were still with the pack at 500m, I knew we had a shot.”
The Ireland lightweight quad of Eoin Gaffney, Hugh Sutton, Ryan Ballantine and Miles Taylor had taken third in a race which Italy bossed. Ireland and France gained on them in the closing stages and finished in that order.
The Ireland lightweight double of Aoife Casey and Cliodhna Nolan showed character in their final to take fourth, having looked like they were cut loose. Switzerland put the frighteners on the rest, racing into the lead and never letting up until they took gold. The Netherlands and Germany took silver and bronze, while Casey and Nolan closed from sixth at half way to fourth at the finish.
Holly Davis (14), making her debut for Ireland, won the junior women's single sculls (an under-18 grade) at the Home International Regatta in Scotland on Saturday. The junior men's eight, pair and quadruple also won.
Ireland’s best team placing was joint second in the junior women’s section. The junior men were just two points off the top, in third.