Rowing Ireland had eight crews racing in the heats at World Cup II in Poznan. Five of the crews qualified directly to the A/B Semi-Final, the two PR2 crews go straight to the A finals from their test races and one crew will compete in the Repechage on Saturday morning.
The first Irish crew at the start line was the W2- yesterday evening for their heat. The crew came third in their heat and with only one crew to qualify straight to the A Final, they’ll be racing in the Repechage tomorrow morning. The pair of Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty is a new combination, however they have some experience rowing together as they raced alongside each other in the W4- at the Tokyo Olympics, coming home with the bronze medal.
Next up was the PR2 Mix2x of Katie O’Brien and Steven McGowan. Their first competition was last month at the International Para Rowing Regatta in Gavirate, where the crew came 4th in the Final. The test race this morning showed great racing with all crews within eight seconds of each other. The A Final will go ahead on Sunday, where the Galway RC crew can try improve their 4th place test race finish. Katie was kept on her toes today racing the PR2 W1x later in the afternoon. With a commanding lead, Katie finished first in the test race and will race again tomorrow in the A Final. Having won the bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships we’ll be looking forward to hopefully seeing Katie on the podium again.
Both Fintan McCarthy and Gary O’Donovan raced the LM1x this morning. With very strong racing in their heats, the two rowers from Skibbereen qualified straight through to the A/B Semi with Fintan winning his heat and Gary placing second. We will see them race again tomorrow where they will be looking to try make it into the A Final.
Another new combination in the Irish crews was the W4- of Eimear Lambe, Tara Hanlon, Aifric Keogh and Natalie Long. Even with the new 4- combination, all athletes are well established with Eimear and Aifric being part of the bronze medal Olympic 4-, Tara competing at a number of World Rowing events from Junior through to Senior level and qualifying as the Olympic spare last year, and Natalie who has also competed internationally over the last number of years, as well as placing 4th at the World Coastal Championships last year in the Women’s Quad. The crew finished second in their heat and are straight through to the A/B Semi tomorrow morning.
The final two Irish crews were the W2x of Sanita Puspure and Zoe Hyde, and the LW2x of Margaret Cremen and Lydia Heaphy. Both crews qualified straight into their A/B Semis with the W2x winning their heat and the LW2x coming in with a very close second place. Having previously been used to seeing Sanita race in her single, she has gained a double partner, Zoe who was also in the Women’s Quad with Natalie Long that placed 4th at the World Coastal Championships in Portugal last year.
Provisional Saturday Race Schedule (IST)
- LM1x A/B Semi (Gary) ~ 9:30am
- LM1x A/B Semi (Fintan) ~ 9:30am
- W2- Rep ~ 9:40am
- W2x A/B Semi ~ 10:00am
- W4- A/B Semi ~ 10:20am
- LW2x A/B Semi ~ 10:50am
- PR2 W1x A Final ~ 14:20pm
- W2- Heat ~ 3rd
- PR2 Mix2x Test Race ~ 4th
- LM1x Heat (Gary) ~ 2rd
- LM1x Heat (Fintan) ~ 1st
- W4- Heat ~ 2nd
- W2x Heat ~ 1st
- LW2x Heat ~ 2nd
- PR2 W1x (Katie) ~ 1st
Follow the Racing
You can follow the racing on World Rowing’s website, www.worldrowing.com
Live Streaming will be available on Sunday for the Finals.