Ireland set up a bumper Saturday at the World Under-19 Championships. Two gutsy wins in the repechages for the men’s and women’s double sculls and a pillar-to-post win for single sculler Holly Davis in her quarter-final, means Ireland will contend on all three fronts.

 A bad weather forecast has led to the Sunday programme being cancelled, with Saturday now becoming a day of semi-finals and finals.

 In Thursday’s heats, Kate Reidy and Ayla O’Neill were pushed out of first by fast-finishing Norway. But today there was to be none of that. The Kenmare and Lee crewmates led Belgium – marginally – through the first 500 metres. The boats matched each other until the third quarter, Ireland pushed into the lead and went on to win. Both crews go to the semi-final.

 The victory for Shane Rafferty and Zach Meegan (pic) also involved seeing off a close rival. While Sweden showed early on, the main battle in the race was between Poland and Ireland. Though both went through, they fought it out. Ireland’s push in the middle of the race saw them take the lead, but they upped their rate to 38 in the final quarter to get them past the Poles.   

 Davis’s win in the quarter-final of the single was impressive, particularly given the company she was in. She set off fast and led – but Poland, Germany and Austria would not give in easily. In tail-wind conditions, Davis set an almost metronomic rate of 36 strokes per minute. It pushed her clear of the other three crews in the third quarter and by 1500 metres she had 22 metres to spare over her nearest challenger, Germany’s Julia Stoeber. The German, involved in her own battle with Austria’s Greta Haider, did close up at the finish, but neither could catch Davis.

The Ireland sculler’s time was the fastest of all the winners of quarter-finals.