Commercial and Trinity Shine at Metro Regatta

Commercial’s Niall Beggan was a strong winner of the men’s single sculls and the Commercial pair of Colm Dowling and Jack Smith (above) also won well at Dublin Metropolitan Regatta today.

 Trinity had a good run coming up to the close of the afternoon session of finals: in three successive races they won the men’s coxed and coxless fours and the women’s eight. 

 The wins continued – in the men’s Division One eight final, Trinity and UCD fought right to the line, with Trinity winning by under a second. Commercial also added the men’s double to their tally, while Trinity’s women’s four beat UCD.

 The regatta was held in bright sunshine and good conditions. There were some problems with timing, an important part of a Grand League regatta.    

Benefit Concert for Ukraine

A benefit concert for the Irish Refugee Council and Ukraine will be held in St Patrick’s Church, Ringsend this Friday, May 27th.

 The organisers, who have been behind the successful All In a Row charity events on the Liffey, hope for a good turnout. Tickets are available from Eventbrite.

 The lineup will include Phelim Drew (son of the famous Dubliner, Ronnie Drew) and his band.  

 Our picture shows Dave Kelly in his currach right by St Patrick’s church.  

Cambridge Boat Race Winners Bow Out at Trinity Regatta

Cork Boat Club won the men’s senior eight and Cambridge the women’s at Trinity Regatta today – the latter in their last race together.

The Cambridge women’s eight, featuring the world’s number one female rower for 2021, New Zealander Grace Prendergast, was the same crew as that which won the Boat Race. This crew will never compete again together, and only Ireland’s Caoimhe Dempsey and cox Jasper Parish go forward for next season. Dempsey will be attempting to win her third successive Boat Race title.

If Cambridge beat UCD comprehensively, the men’s senior eight final was, unfortunately, decided by a disqualification. Trinity were the guilty party, their wayward steering allowing Cork to continue their impressive early-season run. They won at Skibbereen and had a good placing at London Head of the River. Coach Aidan Bugler said that the last time they won the senior eights at Trinity was 1991.

The men’s club eight provided a close finish for the crowd (below) as they enjoyed the good atmosphere on a beautiful day. Trinity, stroked by Jack Butler, held off UCD to win by a canvas. A clash near the start made the result moot, with the race restarted but UCD being officially disqualified. Commercial’s won the women’s junior 18 eight; Shandon had also been disqualified.

The Commercial-Neptune contest in the men’s masters eight went Neptune’s way.

Commercial reeled off a set of wins later in the day: Niall Beggan won the senior single and they also won the women’s senior double and women’s club coxed four and men’s senior coxed four.

Trinity won the men’s intermediate eight (UCD were disqualified) and club coxed four, while Neptune won the women’s junior 18 coxed quad.

Cambridge Women’s Eight: Adriana Perez, Sarah Portsmouth, Paige Badenhorst, Ruby Tew, Bronya Sykes, Caoimhe Dempsey, Grace Prendergast; cox: Jasper Parish. Coach: Patrick Ryan.

 Cork Boat Club Men’s Eight: Michael Cronin, Tomás Power, Stephen O’Connor, Andy Harrington, Barry Connolly, Barry O’Flynn, Sean O’Sullivan, Johnny Cuddy; cox: Malachy McGlynn. Coach: Aidan Bugler.


Byrne Wins Battle with Sheehan at Cork Sculling Ladder

Ronan Byrne (above) has won the Cork Sculling Ladder outright for a record-equalling fourth time. The UCC man draws level with Brian Crean.

 Andrew Sheehan of Lee (below) had been the fastest in the time trial in November at the Marina course. Having won the toss and selecting the inside station, Sheehan produced his trademark blistering start to open up a half-length lead in the first minute.

 Rowing steadily and staying in the middle of the river, Byrne pulled level at the end of the railings. The UCC sculler started to put on the mid-race power and eased away from Sheehan.  With 250 metres to go, Byrne was very composed and powered home at a comfortable 30 strokes per minute. Sheehan tried right to the end and could not close the four-length gap. 

 Byrne, an Ireland Olympian, has returned from an international camp in Italy which necessitated the postponement of the finalisation of the ladder. At Skibbereen Regatta, Byrne had mixed results.

 Natalie Long of Lee Valley retained her title by winning the women’s overall section.

 The ladder is sponsored by Argos Fire.


University of Limerick and Cork Top Eights Rankings

Cork Boat Club had the fastest men’s eight and men’s four on the second day of Skibbereen Regatta at the National Rowing Centre. In the eight the St Joseph’s junior crew came in second – faster than Shandon, racing as seniors. Commercial’s senior crew placed second in the four.  

 The University of Limerick won the women’s senior eight from Enniskillen and were also best in the four, with UCC taking second.

 In good conditions, Gary O’Donovan was on the mark for Skibbereen in the men’s double, while Killorglin’s Rhiannon O’Donoghue and Monika Dukarska (pic) were the fastest women’s double.

 Ayla O’Neill of Kenmare, who is 16, won the women’s Division Two women’s single sculls, while Fionn McDonnell of St Michael’s – a junior 16 competitor – was the fastest in the men’s equivalent.  

Olympic Champion McCarthy and Kelly of NUIG Excel

Fintan McCarthy was the fastest man in the men’s single sculls at the Skibbereen Regatta today. The Olympic gold medallist had clear water at the end to Tom Kelly of NUIG, who pushed Gary O’Donovan into third. Kelly, an under-23 rower from Kenmare, had also shown well in the heats.

 In the women’s single, Margaret Cremen was fastest, ahead of her Olympic crewmate in the lightweight double, Aoife Casey. Cremen had also been fastest in the heats.

 An experienced Commercial/Neptune men’s quadruple fell to a University of Limerick/Castleconnell composite crew and University of Limerick’s senior crew were also the fastest women’s quadruple.  Commercial won the men’s pair.

Big Entry and Big Names at Skibbereen Regatta

There’s a big entry in every sense for Skibbereen Regatta at the National Rowing Centre this weekend. The event covers two days, Saturday and Sunday, and there are over 700 crews entered and a good selection of internationals.

 Olympians Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen (pictured) along with lightweight colleague Lydia Heaphy are just back from training camp in Italy, and Monika Dukarska, Gary O’Donovan, Ronan Byrne and Olympic gold medallist Fintan McCarthy are also entered.

  Medical student Paul O’Donovan is exam-tied. The understandable paucity of university entries for the same reason does highlight the alarming lack of adult rowers outside the university and international systems just now.

 The big numbers of young rowers competing in the Grand League format holds out the prospect of hot competition for the greatest regatta of the year so far.  

Gold for Hanlon and Murtagh in Italy

Tara Hanlon (pic) and Fiona Murtagh won gold in the women’s pair on day two of the Memorial Paolo d’Aloja in Piediluco, Italy today.  Zoe Hyde and Natalie Long also made the podium, taking bronze in the five-boat final. Romania took second.

 Lydia Heaphy took silver in the lightweight single sculls – just over a second ahead of Italy’s Federica Cesarini, a gold medallist in the lightweight double at the Olympic Games last year. Romania’s Cozmiuc Ionela Livia came in ahead of both on the day.  

 Emily Hegarty was a medal winner in the women’s single sculls, taking bronze, while Holly Davis took her second medal of the two days in the under-19 single. She added a bronze to the silver she had won on Saturday.  

 Fintan McCarthy and Gary O’Donovan just missed out on bronze in the men’s double sculls, and Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen also took a close-up fourth in the women’s double sculls. Both these Irish crews were made up of lightweight rowers competing in the open weight class.

Gary O’Donovan One of Four Ireland Medallists in Piediluco

Three silver medals and a bronze was Ireland’s haul on the first day of finals at the Memorial Paolo d’Aloja regatta in Piediluco, Italy today.

 Gary O’Donovan took second behind Tybo Vyvey of Belgium in the lightweight single, after Holly Davis (pic) had set the trend with her placing of second in the under-19 single sculls.

 In difficult conditions, Ireland had a few crews finish just outside the medals before the women’s pair final allowed them to complete the medal haul for the day – Tara Hanlon and Fiona Murtagh took silver and Zoe Hyde and Natalie Long bronze.  

UCD Seize the Day at University Championships

UCD won the men’s and women’s senior eights to finish off a very successful day for them at the University Championships of Ireland at Lough Rynn in Leitrim.

 The Overall winners’ award went to UCD. They won the Wiley Cup for men, as they had won the men’s club eight and novice eight before taking the senior eight. Trinity came out victorious in the men’s intermediate eight.

 The UCD women took the Bank of Ireland trophy through their wins in the senior and intermediate eights. NUIG (above) won the Club eight.

  Though Queen’s University’s decision not to take part was a blow, there was a spread of winners through the day. NUIG had five, including Brian Colsh’s win in the men’s senior single; University of Limerick won three times and took the women’s senior four title. A win in the men’s senior pair was UCC’s one victory on the day.  

 The two races at the end of the programme matched the tenor of the day. UCD’s men’s senior eight beat Trinity by 3.6 seconds, while in the women’s senior eight, NUIG were the closest to UCD, coming in over eight seconds behind the winners.

PICTURE CREDIT: Mark Kelly @thewateredge