Ireland hit their marks well in the early stages of the World Cup regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, this morning, even producing a surprise result as Zoe Hyde won her heat of the single sculls – in her first time race in this discipline at this level.
Hyde could not have expected to be racing in the single sculls. She shot to prominence as the doubles partner of Sanita Puspure last year, and their season ended with a magical bronze medal at the World Championships.
However, Puspure is injured and Hyde was entered in the single. She was up against star quality in her heat in Alexandra Foester of Germany, and started fourth in the time trial format. But this did not deter the 26-year-old Irishwoman. She proved faster than the German, and the three other scullers in her heat, and will have a favourable lane in the quarter-finals.
The men’s pair and the men’s double were also the fastest in their heats, which were also run on a time trial basis.
The pair of Ross Corrigan and Nathan Timoney have been doing well in training and they brought that form to bear on their heat – they won it in the second fastest time of the day (Britain had the fastest). With a huge field of 26 crews, the top crews moved into quarter-finals.
Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch were also far faster than their rivals in the heat, and the win sent them straight to the semi-final. Doyle and Lynch also featured well when their times were compared with other heat winners. The Netherlands were fastest and New Zealand second, with Ireland’s time of 6:18.08 next up.
Natalie Long did well at the European Championships when partnering Imogen Magner in the women’s pair. This time she is teamed with Tara Hanlon, and the partnership took second in their heat to qualify for the semi-final.
In his heat of the lightweight single sculls, Hugh Moore finished fifth. He is set to compete in a repechage. Four more Ireland crews, including the Olympic champions Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, compete in the first session today.