Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy got their programme at the World Rowing Championships off to a good start with a heat win.
The Ireland lightweight double had the luxury of knowing that the top four would qualify for the quarter-finals in Belgrade, but their calling card is winning each race.
The Irish set the early pace and led right through. New Zealand’s Matt Dunham and Christopher Stockley were 2.66 seconds behind at 1500 metres, and they pushed the rate up to 40 in an effort to cut the gap. O’Donovan and McCarthy more than covered the push – they moved away, making their last 500 metres the fastest of the whole race.
However, the fastest crew of the five heats was the Swiss unit of Raphael Ahumada Ireland and Jan Schaeuble. Their time of 6 mins 11.93 seconds was over three seconds faster than O’Donovan’s and McCarthy’s.
Siobhán McCrohan qualified for the semi-final of the lightweight single sculls with second in her heat. She swapped the lead with Gianina von Groningen of Romania until the final 600 metres, when the Romanian took over and won.
The young Ireland men’s pair had a fine battle with Spain in their heat. The Spanish would take it in the final quarter, but Ross Corrigan and Nathan Timoney (pictured) qualified with ease in second and the top four made it to the quarter-finals.
Jake McCarthy was the first Irish rower in action, but it did not go well. The first four crews would avoid the repechage in the lightweight single sculls, but McCarthy lost a battle with Belgium’s Marlon Colpaert for that fourth place. The Skibbereen man will compete in a repechage on Monday to endeavour to make the top 24 and a quarter-final place.

 The Ireland double of Daire Lynch and Philip Doyle kept the good run going with second place their heat and qualification for their quarter-final. The United States crew of Sorin Koszyk and Ben Davison were impressive winners, while Lynch and Doyle beat France to second place.   

 Due to forecast bad weather, the Tuesday schedule was brought forward and shortened. The Irish women’s pair race first at 8:52; lightweight women’s double 9.02, women’s double 9.22, women’s four 9.59, men’s four 10.09, men’s quadruple 10.44 and lightweight single sculler Jake McCarthy has his repechage at 11.55. All times Irish.