Two medals are coming home to Ireland as racing finishes up here on Lago di Varese.

Fiona Murtagh and Airfic Keogh are taking home the silver medals for the Women’s Pair. Up against reigning World Champions Veronique Meester and Ymkje Clevering of the Netherlands, the crew from Galway had a tough race ahead. Ireland were the quickest boat through the second half of the race and brought it right down to one second between themselves and the Netherlands when they got to the line.

“It’s our second event since Worlds, our second event in the pair together so we’re constantly learning and this is a good start to the Olympic year” said Fiona Murtagh. On the last few months since the World Championships, Aifric Keogh said, “We’ve had a really good winter together, I think this is the longest we’ve ever been in one boat, usually it’s a lot of chopping and changing so that’s been nice, it gives us the space to try things out”.

The Men’s Double of Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch are also coming home with silverware after winning bronze. Just squeezing past the German crew into third position coming to the line, the medals were theirs for the taking. “We had one of our fastest starts ever” says Doyle “And then we looked around and we weren’t in the medal contentions. The plan was we had a sprint up our sleeves to go early at the 700 meters but then Daire called it early at 750 meters.”

“A part of me was looking at the stroke coach thinking, how is this going to last? But, it did and int increased and the speed was good, and I knew from the speed on the stroke coach that we were coming into the medals no matter what happened because no one could match what we were doing”.

Emily Hegarty (Skibbereen RC), Natalie Long (Lee Valley RC), Eimear Lambe (Old Collegians BC) and Imogen Magner (Carlow RC) crossed the line in fourth position in the Women’s Four, just missing out on the podium. Coming through the pack in the middle of the race, it was the second half that Ireland really kicked into it, with their final quarter being the fastest that they did. Both Great Britain and the Netherlands have already booked their spots for this years Olympic Games so it’s all to play for when it comes to the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in May.

Sanita Puspure racing for Old Collegians BC finished 5th in the A Final of the Women’s Single Scull. Sitting in sixth place right up until the last 500 meters, Sanita made started to wind it up for the last quarter moving as the third fastest boat, enough to bring her up a place to fifth. The podium positions went to Karolien Florijn of the Netherlands, Alexandra Foester of Germany and Inger Seim Kavlie of Norway.

Konan Pazzaia pulled out another incredible race this morning winning the B Final of the Men’s Single. In one of the tightest races of the day, Pazzaia had the grandstand on their toes coming into the final few meters of the race. Andre Pinto of Portugal was ahead from the first marker, but from that point it was just bowballs separating him from Ireland. Konan stepped it up again for the famous Irish sprint but even as the crews crossed the line it was a close call to see who got it. In the end, Ireland came up on top just .6 of a second ahead.

Nathan Timoney and Ross Corrigan of Enniskillen, Fermanagh finished out their World Cup with a win in the B Final of the Men’s Pair. It was the second German pair that had the quickest start off the blocks, but only just about, through the first 500 meters there was less than half a second separating the top three crews. Over the second quarter, Timoney and Corrigan began to create their lead, taking a boat length on the rest of the field. Finishing out strong they continued to pull away from Germany and Italy right to the line.

The Men’s Four of John Kearney, Andrew Sheehan, Jack Dorney and Ronan Byrne finished third in their B Final. Denmark and Australia were the leading two crews from the start of the race however, Ireland put the pressure on coming into the final 500 meters where they clocked the fastest final split out of the four crews. Unfortunately, even with their impressive surge towards the line, it wasn’t enough to get them ahead of the crew from Australia. They finish up the World Cup in 9th position overall.

Next up from the High Performance team is the European Championships taking place in Szeged, Hungary from April 25th to 28th!

Sunday Results

  • Women’s Pair -> SILVER
  • Men’s Double -> BRONZE
  • Women’s Four -> 4th
  • Women’s Single -> 5th
  • Men’s Pair -> 1st B Final
  • Men’s Single -> 1st B Final
  • Men’s Four -> 3rd B Final