Ireland had eight crews competing on the final day of the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese. The Lightweight Men’s Double won a Gold Medal and Women’s Four took home the Silver Medal. We had six crews competing in A Finals and one in the B and C Finals.
Daire Lynch kicked off the racing with an impressive race finishing second in the Men’s Single Scull C Final. Daire faced competitors from Russia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Hungary. Daire finished behind the Russian sculler with the Czech Republic boat taking third. Daire finished with a racing time of 07:09.01 less than a second off the Russian boat.
The Irish Men’s Double of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne won the B Final on Sunday morning. Ronan and Phil caught the Italian Double in the last 500 meters and finished strongly in first. They beat boats from Italy, Germany, Romania and Czech Republic. The Irish boat finished with a time of 06:21.470.
Lydia Heaphy finished sixth in the Lightweight Women’s Single Scull A Final. Lydia took the lead early on in a very competitive A Final. Alena Furman from Belarus won Gold by beating crews from Romania, France Netherlands, Great Britain and the Irish boat. Lydia finished with a time of 07:58.75.
Gary O’Donovan finished fourth in the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull A Final. Gary had an impressive finish to the race and caught the German and Spanish boat in the second half of the A Final. Peter Galambos from Hungary won the A Final with the Italian and Polish boat finishing second and third. Gary finished the race with a time of 07:05.82.
The Women’s Pair of Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska finished sixth in the Women’s Pair A Final. The Irish Crew were in tough final with the crews from Spain, Greece, Romania, Great Britain and Croatia. Monika and Aileen fought hard throughout the race but the crew from Great Britain took home the Gold with the Romanian and Spanish crew taking 2nd and 3rd. Monika and Aileen finished with a time of 07:11.830.
The Women’s Four of Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh won the Silver Medal in their A Final. The Irish crew raced brilliantly and were in medal contention from the start. Emily, Eimear, Aifric and Fiona almost caught the crew from the Netherlands in the last 200 meter and finished ahead of the boat from Great Britain to take second and win the Silver Medal. Emily, Eimear, Aifric and Fiona finished the race with a time of 06:27.96.
The Lightweight Women’s Double of Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen finished fifth in their A Final. The Irish crew race well and were strong out of the blocks. The Italian crew won Gold with Great Britain and Netherlands taking second and third. Aoife and Margaret finished with a time of 07:07.42.
Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy won Gold in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls. Paul and Fintan had a confident performance beating crews from Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Ukraine. The Irish crew had a strong race despite the tough competition. Paul and Fintan won the A Final with a time 06:18.14 to take home the Gold Medal.
Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni said, “We are delighted that we are taking home two medals, one Gold and one Silver. I want to congratulate Paul and Fintan for becoming European Champions after a challenging year. I would also like to congratulate the Women’s Four for claiming the Silver after winning the Bronze in 2020.
I am happy with our team’s performance and out of eight crews entered, six reached the A Final in their category, and two achieved first and second in the B and C Finals. On the last day, all our crews raced at their best showing a great attitude.
We are grateful for the opportunity to compete in tournaments given the current global pandemic, and we thank World Rowing for organising this event.
I want to thank our athletes, coaches, support staff and all the clubs for their continuous hard work, dedication and support.
This is the start of our season and we will continue to prepare for months ahead. we look forward to the next World Cup and Olympic Qualifier in May. “
M1x – Daire Lynch – C FINAL – 2nd Place
M2x – Phil Doyle & Ronan Byrne – B FINAL – 1st Place
LW1 Lydia Heaphy – A FINAL – 6th Place
LM1x – Gary O’Donovan – A FINAL – 4th Place
W2- Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – A FINAL – 6th Place
W4- Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh & Fiona Murtagh – A FINAL – 2nd Place – Silver Medallists
LW2x – Aoife Casey & Margaret Cremen – A FINAL – 5th Place
LM2x – Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy – A FINAL – 1st Place – Gold Medallists
RTE will have a highlight show on the Sunday evening.