Two exciting days of racing took place at the National Rowing Centre in Cork this weekend as the country’s top athletes competed at the 2016 Irish Open. This was the first trial for the Irish HP squad of the 2016 season, and Olympians Sanita Puspure and Paul and Gary O’ Donovan were among the headline names looking to impress HP Director Morten Espersen.
Sunday’s racing was delayed due to heavy fog, but when it eventually lifted it revealed perfect racing conditions, much like the previous day when the River Lee was like a mirror.
Paul O’Donovan won the final of the single sculls with only his Olympic crewmate and brother Gary testing him. Shane O’Driscoll was third and Daire Lynch, who is just 18, fourth.
The O’ Donovans then paired up to win the doubles final, although they were given a tough contest by Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan who led for the majority of the race.
Sanita Puspure was an emphatic winner of the women’s single, while UCD won the women’s and men’s pairs.
Morten Espersen presented all athletes who represented Rowing Ireland in international competitions throughout 2016, from Coupe de la Jeunesse to World Senior Championships, with a certificate acknowledging their achievements. Unsurprisingly, our Rio Olympians received a particularly long standing ovation from the coaches and athletes that were present.
Eight – 1 NUIG, Grainne Mhaol (sen) 6:08, 2 UCC, Shandon (sen) 6:17, 3 NUIG, Grainne Mhaol (u23) 6:21.
Four – 1 UCD (E Gleeson, R Thompson, S Mulvaney, D O’Malley; under-23) 6:34, 2 Trinity, UCD (senior) 6:40, 3 Commercial (junior) 6:57.
Quadruple – 1 Clonmel, UCC, Shandon (J Casey, D Begley, R Byrne, D Lynch; u23) 6:28, 2 Queen’s, Castleconnell (sen) 6:33, 3 Carlow, Clonmel, Cork (jun) 6:36.
Double – 1 Skibbereen, UCD (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan; sen) 6:39, 2 Skibbereen (sen) 6:45, 3 Skibbereen (u23) 6:48; 7 Three Castles A (jun) 7:05.
Eight – 1 NUIG (sen) 7:22.
Four – 1 Cork, Skibbereen (T Hanlon, A Mason, N Casey, E Cialis; u23) 7:37, 2 Queen’s, Belfast BC, Methodist (sen) 7:42, 3 Commercial (jun) 7:51.
Quadruple – 1 UCD, Queen’s, Fermoy (E Lambe, S Bouanane, O Blundell, A Crowley; sen) 7:24, 2 Cork, Kenmare (jun) 7:42, 3 Lee Skibbereen (sen) 7:50.
Double – 1 Old Collegians, Skibbereen (S Puspure, E Hegarty; senior) 7:29, 2 Skibbereen (sen) 7:41, 3 Lee A (jun) 7:55; 9 UCD, Belfast (u23) 8:16.