A great win by the new women’s double of Alison Bergin (21) and Zoe Hyde (26, pictured) commanded the attention on the second day of the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade. The races were brought forward and run at 5-minute intervals because of a worry about bad weather coming in later in the day.
Lithuania led off in Bergin and Hyde’s heat, while Norway and Ireland contended for the second semi-final place … or so it seemed. By the third quarter, Ireland had moved into a clear second, and 100 metres into the final 500, the new combination led Lithuania. They crossed the line as clear leaders.
Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen qualified for the A/B semi-finals of the lightweight double sculls. The top two made it through, and after an early show by Switzerland, Ireland and Romania moved clear in the second half of the race. Romania passed Ireland coming to the line and held on to win.
The women’s four has just one remaining oarswoman, Eimear Lambe, from the 2021 unit which took bronze at the Olympic Games. Sanita Puspure, Natalie Long and Imogen Magner joined her – and they achieved their aim in their heat.
There were three places available in the semi-final. Britain were dominant from early in the race, Australia took them on but could only finish second, while Ireland eased away from Germany and took third.
Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh contended well with the Netherlands in the first 500 metres of their heat. Only the winner would qualify directly for the semi-final, and while Ireland were just 1.34 seconds behind after the first quarter, Ymkje Clevering and Veronique Meester moved away precisely and powerfully from there to win. Ireland slotted into second and Britain third.
In the repechage of the men’s lightweight single, Jake McCarthy achieved his aim of qualifying for the quarter-final – and gave himself the boost of a race win. Two qualified, and Finlay Hamill of New Zealand led into the final stages. McCarthy sprinted past him to win.
The Ireland men’s four is a development crew; they finished sixth in a heat won by the United States. The men’s quadruple had the same placing in their heat, which was won by the Netherlands.
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.
And so it begins! Five Ireland crews compete on the first day of the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade tomorrow (Sunday), with six more scheduled for Monday, and the PR2 Mixed double of Katie O’Brien and Steve McGowan set for their first action on Tuesday.
The Ireland men’s double of Daire Lynch and Philip Doyle compete on the first day: their heat is at 12.50 Irish time.
Programme for Ireland crews at World Rowing Championships, Belgrade
10.08: Men’s Lightweight Single Sculls (Jake McCarthy)
11.12: Women’s Lightweight Single Sculls (Siobhán McCrohan)
11.19: Lightweight Men’s Double (Fintan McCarthy, Paul O’Donovan)
12:01: Men’s Pair (Ross Corrigan, Nathan Timoney)
12.50: Men’s Double (Daire Lynch, Philip Doyle)
9:28: Womens Pair (Aifric Keogh, Fiona Murtagh)
9.49: Lightweight Women’s Double (Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen)
10.25: Women’s Double (Zoe Hyde, Alison Bergin)
11.21: Women’s Four (Natalie Long, Sanita Puspure, Imogen Magner, Eimear Lambe)
11.35: Men’s Four (Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan, Adam Murphy, Jack Dorney, John Kearney)
12:24: Men’s Quadruple (Konan Pazzaia, Ronan Byrne, Andrew Sheehan, Brian Colsh)
9.30: PR2 Mixed Double Sculls (Steven McGowan, Katie O’Brien)
Victory in the prestigious senior men’s four went to Courtmacsherry, at the Irish Coastal Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre today.
The west Cork crew (pictured) beat last year’s winners, Passage West, while Kilmacsimon were third.
Whitegate won the senior women’s four, with Kilmacsimon placing second and Passage West third.
Conditions were windy, with crews negotiating a course with a number of turns.
The Championships, which were hosted by Rosscarbery, ran over two days. The host club won the senior mixed four on Saturday.
More than 1400 competitors are entered in 300 crews. Passage West from East Cork carried off the big prizes in fours for women and men in Schull last year, but Kilmacsimon and Courtmacsherry have been strong in recent competition.
The Championships will be hosted by Rosscarbery Rowing Club who should be a force at underage level, as will Whitegate from East Cork and Kilmacsimon.
Out pictures show action from the Championships last year in Schull.
Bianca Camelia Ifteni of Romania had produced the fastest time in the semi-finals, and she won gold. The 16-year-old looked strong and assured as she won from the front.
Davis and Cloe Callorda of Uruguay chased her but the Romanian showed no weakness. The Irishwoman and the Uruguayan took silver and bronze.
The Ireland doubles, which reached the A Finals with creditable second places in their semi-finals, took fourth and sixth overall at the regatta.
The women’s final featured a fine battle for gold, with Britain producing the goods coming to the line to beat Greece. Italy had not troubled the top two, but they managed to stay ahead of Ayla O’Neill and Kate Reidy, their main challengers for the bronze.
Italy were the gold medal crew in the men’s double. They held off Germany, only for Greece and Switzerland to come through the fading Germans coming to the line. Ireland’s Zach Meegan and Shane Rafferty were part of a close race, but got stuck in sixth and could not close the gap in the final quarter.
Ireland has three A Finalists at the World Under-19 Championships. Two doubles and a women’s single scull will represent the country later today in Paris after good semi-final results.
Holly Davis wants gold in the single and she won her heat and her quarter-final. Today, in cross-wind conditions, she saw Cloe Callorda of Uruguay (lane three) lead it out (Pic, courtesy WorldRowing), but in the second quarter Davis took over. Callorda and Holly Crews of South Africa launched attempts to catch her, but Davis pushed away from them each time and won again.
The Irish woman’s big challenger in the final (11.35 Irish time) is Bianca Camelia Ifteni of Romania. The 16-year-old won the second semi-final impressively – and with over a second to spare on Davis’s time.
Ayla O’Neill and Kate Reidy came absurdly close to winning their doubles semi-final. The three A Finalists were set in place by the final quarter, with Greece and Ireland charging ahead of Italy coming to the line. Ireland led, then Greece – who took it on the line by one hundredth of a second. The final is at 10.47 Irish time.
Zach Meegan and Shane Rafferty also raced well to take second in their semi of the men’s double. Germany made the running through the race, but Switzerland and Ireland pushed them out of first, with the Swiss finishing well to take one of the two the best lanes on offer in the final (10.59 Irish time).
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.
Holly Davis is competing in her third World Championships – and she is just 18. The Lee Valley woman took silver at the World Junior Championships, in the double with Rachel Bradley, in 2021. She also competed last year.
Racing in the single at the World Under-19 Championships today in Paris, she was simply dominant in her heat, winning from South Africa and Italy.
The first four went through to quarter-finals, with just three of the 27 competitors losing out.
The two Ireland doubles – Kate Reidy and Ayla O’Neill and Zach Meegan and Shane Rafferty – were very competitive in their heats, but second placings see them face into repechages.
The women’s race was extraordinarily close between four crews until the final quarter. Germany, Australia, Ireland and Norway contended for the one spot which would secure direct qualification for the semi-final. With 500 metres to go it became a battle between Ireland in lane one and Norway on the far side in lane six. With 1850 gone, Norway had wrestled the lead from their opponents and did not relinquish it.
Meegan and Rafferty hit 50 strokes per minute in heat four of the men’s double – but Turkey still led them out. The Turkish crew were under fierce pressure from Switzerland and Ireland, and it was these two which fought it out over the final quarter. Even as Ireland hit 41 strokes per minute, it was the Swiss who came through to win by 1.04 seconds.
These Championships were delayed one day due to bad weather on Wednesday and it has been raining in Paris today.
The junior men’s double of Lochlan Crooks of Neptune and St Michael’s man Jack Rafferty (pic courtesy Orla Brennan) had a good regatta. They came through heats to the A Final on both days. They won their heat on the Sunday and were a comfortable third behind Italy and Britain in the final.
The junior men’s coxed four had straight finals on both days. Britain and Italy took the gold and silver in that order in the two finals. However, Italy just held off the Ireland crew in a battle for second and third on the Sunday – the Irish were just .31 of a second behind in the fight for silver.
Junior single sculler Moya Knowles qualified for the A Final on both days. She finished fifth on Saturday and fourth on Sunday, with Britain taking the gold.
The two other Ireland crews found themselves in B Finals on both days.
The Ireland junior women’s quadruple won their B Final convincingly on the Sunday, taking seventh overall. They had missed out on an A Final place by just over a second in the heat. They led in Saturday’s B Final, only to see Denmark come through them late on, pushing them to eighth overall.
The junior men’s quadruple, which had finished 11th on Saturday, improved on the Sunday, taking third in the B Final, ninth overall.