Ireland’s Daire Lynch and Philip Doyle gave the team a boost with a good win in their heat of the double sculls at the European Championships here in Bled (pictured above as they power to the finish).
France gave the new crew a good race down the course, with tiny margins separating the crews at the 500, 1,000 and 1500 marks. But Ireland led through each of these and confirmed their good form coming to the line as France did well to take the second A Final place on offer ahead of Romania.
Ireland’s first three crews each had just one place to aim for; they did not secure that and will go on to repechages.
The PR2 Mixed Double of Steven McGowan and Katie O’Brien were in just about the toughest heat imaginable. Ukraine are the world champions, while Poland and the Netherlands took silver and fourth place last year. Ukraine and the Netherlands duked it out to take first – Ukraine won. Ireland fought it out with Poland for third, but were pipped by .33 of a second.
There was also a fourth place for the new Ireland women’s pair of Imogen Magner and Natalie Long.
In the women’s double, Ireland’s Zoe Hyde and Sanita Puspure gave way to Laila Youssifou and Roos de Jong of the Netherlands, who took the one A Final place. Ireland did close at the finish, but the Netherlands made their point well. When it came to the second heat, Romania were also impressive winners.