Rowing Ireland sent eight crews to compete at the World Rowing Senior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from the 9th to the 16th of September.
All the crews represented their country with great pride and all rowed to the best of their ability putting in some very strong performances over the week long regatta, culminating with four crews in A Finals winning two gold medals plus fifth and sixth placings, as well as good performances in other B and C finals.
The men’s lightweight double scull raced in a very competitive field where they gave an inspirational performance, winning Ireland’s first ever World Championship Gold Medal in an Olympic class boat, in a perfectly executed finals race. Twenty six countries competed in this boat class.
The men’s light weight quad, of all under 23 athletes, this year moved up to compete in their first Senior World Championship where they came fifth in the A final, which was a good achievement for their first competition in the senior boat. Eleven countries competed in this boat class.
The women’s lightweight double scull competed with one senior athlete and one athlete from last years Junior Worlds crew. They won their C Final to finish 13th overall in the world this year gaining valuable experience. Nineteen countries competed in this boat class which was highly competitive.
The men’s heavyweight pair crew is a former lightweight boat which has now moved up to the heavyweight category which is a major challenge in itself. They finished fourth in the C Final which ranks them 16th in the world this year. Twenty five boats competed in this boat class.
I want to thank all the athletes for their commitment and dedication throughout the year and congratulate them all on their performances.
I would like to say thanks to all the staff, HP team, CEO, administrators and everyone at the National Rowing Centre for their help throughout the year and their continued support.
A special thanks to all the backroom staff, especially the Irish Institute of Sport, all the clubs for their help, and all the parents and supporters. Keep up the good work.
Wishing Irish Rowing all the best going forward.
Dominic Casey, Rowing Ireland High Performance Coach.
The Heavy weight group arrived in Plovdiv after a long and tough preparation block in Italy.
Being the first World Championships for many of the athletes, we entered the competition with a certain level of unknown. Nonetheless, all crews were determined and prepared to race hard for Ireland.
Our selection process was aimed at sending boats that could push for a position in the `A final` as a push towards the 2019 Olympic selection and ultimately the 2020 Olympic games. And while we managed to move one step closer towards our final destination, the most promising result from the preparation and competition was the feeling of ‘team’. All boats across all categories supported each other, the group stayed relaxed, focused and fun which made for a good race environment and something sustainable for the next two tough pushes.
I was very proud of all the racing results and the individual stories behind each of the results. Each individual athlete and boat overcame their own challenge throughout the training and selection phase to come out and perform. The work of all the coaches back in Ireland to produce such tough driven athletes is a credit to the clubs, universities and support available in Ireland. This was a World Championships where we were able to gain confidence as a team in what we are doing and how we are doing it and gain valuable experience in what it is all about.
A special thanks must go out to John Armstrong, James Mangan and Giuseppe De Vita who spent many hours in the speed boat and in the ergo room with me coaching and working with the various boats. You were a big part of these results and I look forward to working with you next season.
Also to Dominic Casey who is an absolute legend in his knowledge, work ethic and determination. When things got tough he was always close by to support. I have felt so blessed to be surrounded by such a hardworking, passionate and experienced coach as Dominic every day.
Antonio Maurogiovanni whose attention to detail has pushed us all to not leave any stone unturned. Thank you for your persistence, knowledge and non-compromising drive.
And finally a big thank you to all the athletes, those who raced at the World Championships and those who just missed out on selection. Through this period you have shown such grit and been so inspiring to me and your country. Thank you for your patience, your acceptance and for making me feel welcome into your Ireland.
David McGowan, Rowing Ireland High Performance Coach.