Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy won a cracking semi-final against their main rivals, Switzerland, and Ireland brought their A Final haul to seven on another exciting session at the World Cup regatta in Lucerne.
The Swiss-Ireland shootout promised much – and delivered. After a short period when Germany led them out, the Swiss, who have won everything in the absence of the Olympic line-up for Ireland, duked it out with their rivals. The lightweight doubles were level at halfway, and continued to match each other until 1200 metres. McCarthy and O’Donovan edged into the lead and built it to just about a boat length. The Swiss came back … but crews led by Paul O’Donovan do not yield coming to the line. Ireland won by exactly .9 of a second.
And on Sunday the two meet again in the final.
Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen also needed all their experience in sprints for the line to take third in their semi-final, annexing a place in the A Final for the women’s lightweight double.
Britain were winners from way out, while Canada clung to second. Ireland and Romania fought it out for the third and final place in the A Final. As often happens, the warring crews overtook the crew ahead of them: Romania shot into second and Ireland took out Canada for the crucial spot in the final.
The one B Final place for Ireland fell to Zoe Hyde, a debutant at this level in the single sculls. The Killorglin woman caused a shock by winning her heat, and while she faltered a little in the quarter-final, she was not far off the mark in the semi. The world and European champion, Karolien Florijn won from Germany and Bulgaria, with Hyde taking fourth after winning a mini race with Serbia’s Jovana Arsic.