Five heat wins, including an emphatic performance by the men’s lightweight double and a surprise win for single sculler Zoe Hyde, made it another remarkable day for Ireland at the World Cup Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Because they have shone so often on occasions such as these, the temptation is to overlook the challenge faced by the lightweight double of Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy (pic). The Olympic champions were making their season debut in the seventh month of the year and at a huge regatta.
In the event, they scaled up to the same high standard that we expect. There were four heats, run on a time-trial basis, and they won theirs with by far the fastest time of the day: 6:11.66. Switzerland, who beat the crew of McCarthy and Hugh Moore at the European Championships, clocked 6:15.11. Both crews qualified for the semi-finals.
Hyde shot to prominence last year partnering Sanita Puspure in a double which took bronze at the 2022 World Championships. Puspure’s injury propelled the 26-year-old into Hyde made her debut at senior international level in the single sculls – in a heat featuring German wunderkind Alexandra Foester, the reigning World Under-23 champion and winner of the second World Cup in Varese.
With four to go to the quarter-final, Hyde might have been expected to be happy with one of the four places, but her time was the fastest, making it an auspicious debut in this testing class. Her quarter-final is set for 4.35 Irish time today (Friday).
Daire Lynch and Philip Doyle’s had to win their heat to progress to the semi-finals, and duly did – in the third fastest of the heats in this tough event.
There have been good reports of the young men’s pair of Ross Corrigan and Nathan Timoney and they proved to be on the mark. Their win lifts them into a quarter-final later today (3.10 Irish time).
Siobhán McCrohan’s win in her heat of the lightweight single takes her all the way to the A Final. The Galway woman took the only direct qualification spot, beating Britain’s Olivia Bates to it.
Also directly into the A Final are the women’s four. The Olympic bronze medallists, with Imogen Magner coming in for Emily Hegarty, took second behind Romania with a well-timed finish.
The women’s pair of Natalie Long and Tara Hanlon qualified directly for Saturday’s semi-final with second behind Romania.
The women’s lightweight double of Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen took second in their heat, a time trial won by New Zealand’s Jackie Kiddle and Shannon Cox. The Irish face into a repechage at 5.10 Irish time.
Lightweight single sculler Hugh Moore, who finished fifth in his heat, has a repechage at 4.0pm.