The biggest rowing regatta ever to be held on the island of Ireland will take place on Inniscarra Lake in Cork this weekend.
The Irish Rowing Championships 2018 will see more than 1,600 athletes, representing over 60 clubs, from all four provinces compete over the 2,000m course at the National Rowing Centre in Farran Woodfrom Friday July 13th – Sunday July 15thinwhat is the highlight of the Rowing Ireland domestic calendar.
The Championships event, which will this year have an international element and a real festival feel to it,is expected to host more than 10,000competitors and spectators at the high performance centre over the course of the weekend.
The regatta sponsored by Quish’s SuperValu, Ballincollig and supported by the ESB also kick starts Rowing Ireland’s inaugural three-part international Festival of Rowing which includes the Home Internationals Regatta between Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales on July 21, and the Coupe de la Jeunesse from July 27 – 29 which will see junior rowers from 15 European countries compete over two days at the National Rowing Centre.
Championships Secretary, Kieran Kerr, said entries have increased from 1,048 in 2017 to 1,127 crews this year, amounting to 1,600 athletes. He added that rowing, which has seen a boost in popularity since the 2016 Olympic silver medal win by Gary and Paul O’Donovan, has also seen an upsurge at masters level. The Championships are closed events to Irish clubs with the exception of masters races. This year Fairmount Rowing Club from Philadelphia in the U.S will have four crews competing while the U.K based Roxbourne Rowing Club has a single sculler entered in the men’s masters x1.
“This year’s Irish Rowing Championships will be the biggest in the history of Irish rowing and the committee has been working hard to ensure that everything is in place to make it a fantastic weekend of racing,” said Mr. Kerr.
“Despite the recent warm dry spell of weather, water levels are holding well and haven’t dropped much since Cork Regatta at the end of June, so we’ll have six-lane racing over the 2,000 metre course from Rooves Bridge to the finish line in front of the National Rowing Centre in Farran Wood. The Irish Championships will make for a fantastic start to the Festival of Rowing which runs until the end of July,” he said.
The festival site has been taking shape at the NRC throughout the week and in addition to the grandstand which overlooks the finish line on the banks of the River Lee, this year’s Championships regatta plays host to an artisan food market which will be staged inside a marquee by the umpire’s box.
The Taste Cork market will see ten local food and drink producers showcase their fare to the rowing community with the support of both Cork City and County Councils and the Local Enterprise Office (LEO).
Joe Burke, Spokesperson for Taste Cork said: “Having a visible and high-impact presence at a major national sporting event like the Irish Rowing Championships is a very important part of ensuring that Cork continues to grow its reputation as a renowned food region.
“At Taste Cork we believe it is vital to reinforce a positive message, not only about Cork’s high-quality food and drink products, but about the rich and creative food culture that makes it a really special place.
“Cork’s food producers are some of our greatest ambassadors. They are passionate about what they do and about their region. Having them present at event’s such as the Irish Rowing Championships brings vibrancy, energy and gives visitors an authentic taste of Cork’s food culture.”
Racing at the 2018 Irish Rowing Championships commences at 9am on Friday July 13thand continues throughout each day until 6pm on Sunday July 15th. For a full schedule of the events see: https://www.rowingireland.ie/documents/_Timetable%20-%202018.pdf
Further details on the Irish Rowing Championships can be found here: https://www.rowingireland.ie/regattas/436/events/
Meanwhile at international level, Rowing Ireland’s senior team of high performance athletes including Olympic medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan and World Champions Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll, and 2018 World Cup 1 silver medallist SanitaPuspurewill compete at World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland this weekend.
The draw for the World Rowing Cup regatta takes place on Thursday July 12th at 3pm and further details on race times and events will be issued by Rowing Ireland thereafter.
Senior level Racing Highlights for Press Representatives attending the 2018 Irish Rowing Championships
Friday July 13th
1.10pm – Men’s senior double sculls final: Fintan& Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen); Miles Taylor (who races in an U23 LW Men’s Quad with Niall Beggan, Ryan Ballintine & Andrew Goff) & Tiernan Oliver (Queens/Leander)
5.25pm – Men’s Senior Coxless Four final: UCD (David O’Malley, Shane Mulvaney, Andrew Goff & Shane O’Connell all Ireland U23 LW squad); Shandon, NUIG, Cork Boat Club (Stephen O’Connor) & Commercial
5.50pm – Men’s Senior Single Sculls final – Daire Lynch (Clonmel) Tiernan Oliver (Queen) Ronan Byrne (UCC / Shandon), Andrew Goff (UCD)
6.15pm: Women’s Senior Double sculls final –featuring Denise Walsh (Skibbereen RC) and Aoife Casey (Skibbereen RC)
Saturday July 14th
12.20pm – Men’s Senior Pair: Shane Mulvaney & David O’Malley (UCD – A); Shane O’Connell & Max Murphy (UCD – B); Fionnan Tolan & Kevin Neville (NUIG)
5.50pm – Men’s Senior coxless quad: Castleconnell; Clonmel; Skibbereen RC; Lagan Scullers Club; Galway RC/Grainne Mhaol
6.10pm – Women’s Senior Pair: Commercial; NUIG; Skibbereen RC
6.30pm – Women’s Senior Single Sculls: Emily Hegarty (UCC); Selma Bouanane (Fermoy RC); Lisa Dilleen (Cork BC); Georgia O’Brien (UL); Ellen O’Mahony (Lee Valley RC)
Sunday July 15th
11.40am – Men’s Lightweight Single sculls: Andrew Goff (UCD); Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen RC); Luke Sutton (New Ross RC); Adam Green (Waterford BC)
12.10pm – Women’s Lightweight Single Sculls: Margaret Cremen (Lee RC); Orla Hayes (Skibbereen); Victoria Wallace (QUBLBC); Anna O’Sullivan (Fermoy)
5.00pm – Women’s Senior Eights: DULBC; NUIG A; NUIG B; Skibbereen RC
5.20pm – Men’s Senior Eights: Commercial A; Commercial B; Cork Boat Club; DUBC; NUIG/Queens; UCD.