Olympic stars Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan set for Henley Royal Regatta

Joining them in the Open events is a Quadruple Scull comprising of Gary O’Donovan and Daire Lynch
Olympic stars Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan set for Henley Royal Regatta

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan celebrate victory in the Olympic Lightweight Men's Double Sculls Final at the Tokyo Games. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Henley Royal Regatta will look different this year because of Covid-19 safety protocols, with competitors boating from the opposite side of the river, far away from the finishing enclosures.

It is also a little smaller, but not by much; there are 345 races as compared to 355 in 2019. Understandably perhaps, overseas numbers are down, but significantly, the number of Irish crews is the highest in recent years, numbering 11.

The flagship for Ireland this year is, undoubtedly, our Olympic gold medal lightweight double scull of Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen) and Paul O’Donovan (UCC), who will be hotly tipped to make it through to their final on Sunday.

Joining them in the Open events is a Quadruple Scull comprising of Gary O’Donovan and Daire Lynch (Olympic Team reserves in Tokyo) and Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne (Men’s double scull, 10th overall), and Lydia Heaphy, another reserve in Tokyo, who competes in the Women’s Open Sculls.

Cork Boat Club’s Men’s VIII returns to Henley, having competed well here in previous years. The backbone of the crew is made up of various recent Irish champions.

Their coach, John McCarthy, commented: “Aged between 19 and 26, these athletes, like so many around Ireland, have seen their sports effectively shut down (apart from the elite pathway), have observed pandemic guidelines, waited patiently for their vaccines, and, like their peers around the country, remained stoic at all times.”

Enniskillen Royal Boat Club’s Junior Women’s VIII, who reached the semi-finals of the Henley Women’s Regatta in July, will be hopeful of a good run here, too, having secured a confidence-building victory, at the recent Lough Rynn Regatta. First off Wednesday morning, though, are the junior women from Commercial, Dublin, home to the Olympian Lambe sisters.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

Execution Time: 0.236 s