Encouraging performances in Europe from juniors

As the domestic regatta season draws to a close, the international scene is also reaching the business end.

Rowing Ireland’s junior high-performance contingent competed in their final event of 2017 last weekend.

Skibbereen’s Aoife Casey and Lee Rowing Club’s Margaret Cremen raced in the junior women’s double scull at the World Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania, placing seventh overall following four great races over a five-day period. 

They won the B final quite impressively.

Rowing Ireland had three additional crews at the Junior Europeans, all of which placed within the top ten; Ellie McGirr and Gill O’ Reilly (Fermoy) placed ninth in a junior women’s pair while Aaron Johnston and Ross Corrigan (Enniskillen) were 10th in the men’s equivalent, and Barry O’ Flynn (Cork), Jack Keating (Carlow), Matt Dundon (Clonmel) and James Quinlan (Castleconnell) were also 10th in a junior men’s quadruple scull.

The Coupe de la Jeunesse also produced extremely encouraging results for our juniors as the Irish team bagged a whopping five gold medals in the two-day regatta, in which 13 European countries compete, placing them third on the medal table despite having just four boats at the event. 

The Fermoy women’s pair of McGirr and O’ Reilly took their European Championships experience with them to the Coupe and came away with gold on both Saturday and Sunday, as did the junior men’s quadruple of O’ Flynn, Keating, Dundon and Quinlan who also took two golds.

Kenmare’s Georgia O’ Brien won a gold medal in a single scull, while the junior men’s four – Enniskillen’s Aaron Johnston, Ross Corrigan, Nathan Timoney and Cork BC’s Barry Connolly – were fourth in the A Final on both days of the competition.

Ireland’s Under 23s are also coming to the end of their season with the final test of 2017 just around the corner – the Under 23 European Rowing Championships. The event takes place in Kruszwicka, Poland, on September 2-3d. The U23s have already won two World bronze medals this year, Out of Ireland’s three crews to participate at the World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria last month, two came away with medals - UCD students, Shane Mulvaney and David O’Malley in the lightweight men’s pair and another UCD duo Andrew Goff and Shane O’ Connell in a lightweight men’s quadruple scull alongside Commercial’s Niall Beggan and UCC’s Stephen O’Connor.

Skibbereen brothers Jake and Fintan McCarthy were second in the B final of the lightweight men’s double sculls, placing them eighth in the competition.

Some of these athletes will also travel to Poland to the Europeans, and then all attention turns to the grand finale of our high performance unit’s season – the World Championships for our senior athletes in September.

Trinity College announced this week that Richard Ruggieri has taken up the position of new Chief Rowing Coach of their men’s rowing club - Dublin University Boat Club. Richard arrives from the elite rowing programme at the University of Tulsa, where he was Associate Head Coach. 

Prior to that he worked with elite student athletes at Louisville and Clemson universities and is a former head coach for the United States U23 national team.


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