Ireland's three semi-finalists were defeated at Henley Royal Regatta this afternoon.
The Skibbereen pair of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll, the 2017 Lightweight World Champions, set off at a very high rating of 48 in their semi-final of the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup.
This established them a 1/2 length lead at the 1/4 Mile signal, but steering issues cost the Irishmen ground and they led by only a canvas at The Barrier, reached in 2:05. With the stream advantage passing to the Argentinians, Skibbereen maintained a high rate which never dropped below 40 throughout.
At Fawley, reached in 3:30, Diaz and Axel Haack led by just 1 foot and then by three feet at the 3/4 mile signal. It was at this point that their opponents, who had settled into a smoother rhythm, pushed ahead past Remenham Club, and went on to win by 2 3/4 lengths.
University College Dublin’s Visitors’ Coxless Four couldn’t manage the heroics of Friday when they defeated an U23 German crew. Against the GB U23 crew from Cambridge University & Leander Club, the Dubliners were up against a strong outfit with a two and half stone average advantage.
Cambridge & Leander stormed off the start and established a good lead of over a length by the 1/4 mile, which they continued to increase to the Barrier equalling the record time of 1:52. The British crew dominated up to the finish. UCD now return to Ireland to defend their Irish Championships next weekend at the National Rowing Centre in Cork.
The final Irish semi-finalist was Commercial RC, who faced the twice defending champions from Thames R.C. Both Thames and Commercial fired off the start at high rates in the mid-forties, with Thames establishing a half length lead by the first signal, and a little more at the Barrier where they led by 2/3 length.
Extending their lead to 3/4 length by Fawley, this was as much as the Londoners would gain. From half-way, Commercial attacked again and again, but these pushes were matched equally by Thames.
In the end, Commercial came up short by just half a length, but have proved themselves to be right up to the standard in this club eights’ event. They, too, now travel back to Ireland to defend their Irish Championship next Sunday.
Day 4 results
Silver Goblets & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup: (Men’s Open Pairs): A Diaz & A Haack (Club de Regatas La Plata & Tigre B C, Argentina) beat M. O'Donovan & S M O’Driscoll (Skibbereen RC) Dist 2 3/4 lengths, Time 7:13;
Thames Challenge Cup: (Men’s Club Eights): Thames RC ‘A’ beat Commercial RC Irl (K D Coughlan, S F Addison, L Cameron, D R Joyce, P C Moreau, F J Groome, M J Corcoran, C J Dowling, M F V Crockett) Dist 1/2 length, Time 6:19;
Visitors’ Challenge Cup (Men’s Intermediate Coxless Fours): Cambridge University & Leander Club beat University College Dublin Irl (S O’Connell, A J Goff, S M Mulvaney, D J M O’Malley) beat Dist 1 3/4 lengths, Time 6:34;