Strong Irish team heads for World Cup event in Serbia

The first World Cup event of the season looms large for Ireland’s senior rowers. World Cup One takes place in Belgrade, Serbia from May 5-7.

Strong Irish team heads for World Cup event in Serbia

The Rowing Venue is located on Ada Ciganlija Island (colloquially shortened to Ada), a river island that has artificially been turned into a peninsula, located in the Sava River’s course through central Belgrade.

“World Cup 1” is the first of three World Cups in 2017, and the Irish team to travel to the event in Belgrade consists of Rio Olympians Paul and Gary O’Donovan (UCD Boat Club and Skibbereen Rowing Club) and Sanita Puspure (Old Collegians Boat Club), as well as Denise Walsh, Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’ Driscoll, all from Skibbereen Rowing Club.

The team departs next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the next generation of international competitors tumble off the conveyor belt, with 10 athletes selected to represent Ireland at the upcoming Junior European Rowing Championships in Krefeld, Germany from May 20-21.

Cork is particularly well represented, with half the team hailing from Cork clubs. Ellie O’Reilly and Gill McGirr from Fermoy RC team up in a women’s pair, while Barry O’Flynn flies the flag for Cork Boat Club as part of the men’s quadruple crew.

Lee and Skibbereen Rowing Clubs are represented by Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey. Aaron Johnston and Ross Corrigan, both members of Enniskillen Royal Boat Club will compete in the men’s pair, while James Quinlan (Castleconnell Boat Club), Jack Keating (Carlow Rowing Club) and Matt Dundon (Clonmel Rowing Club) make up the rest of the men’s quadruple alongside O’ Flynn.

The team was selected following two Rowing Ireland Easter training camps at Lough Rynn in Leitrim and at the National Rowing Centre in Cork.

On the sweep side, 12 junior men and 12 junior women were invited to the Lough Rynn camp and on the sculling side, 14 junior men attended Lough Rynn while 15 junior women attended the camp at the National Rowing Centre in Cork. Athletes were in attendance from 17 different clubs.

Both camps went extremely well in near perfect conditions and coaches Fran Keane, Ray Morrison and Dan Buckley commended all the athletes on their attitude and commitment.

Domestically, this weekend Portadown Boat Club will celebrate their 140th anniversary with a record 200 racing crews from 15 clubs taking part in the annual Portadown Regatta on the River Bann on Saturday.

This year’s regatta is the largest entry the Club has ever received with 15 clubs attending from as far afield as Dublin and Carrick-on-Shannon to compete in what is seen as one of the major regattas in Rowing Ireland’s calendar. As well as junior racing (12- 18 years old) there is also novice, club and masters racing.

The oldest racing category is for competitors aged 65+.

The club will be running 167 races during the course of the day with competition starting at 7:30am and finishing at 7pm.

Club captain Matthew McAdam says, “The success of the event as always is due to the great teamwork of the Portadown Boat Club volunteers, rowers and umpiring officials. It’s great to be celebrating our 140th year as a club with our regatta being the only 1000m regatta still running in Northern Ireland”.

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