World Rowing Championships 2019 Preview

23rd August 2019

Rowing Ireland has entered in 11 crews to compete at the World Rowing Championships in Linz, Austria. The team with an average age of 241/2 years was finalised last weekend following final trials that led to their selection.

Olympic Qualification possible for seven of the boats competing throughout the week;

The W2- crew of Monika Dukarska (Killorglin) and Aileen Crowley (OCBC), will require a top 11 finish to qualify the W2- boat for Tokyo. Monika and Aileen finished 6th in A Final at the World Cup III in July and 5th in the B Final in the World Cup II as part of the Irish Women’s Four crew.

The M2- crew of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll (Skibbereen Rowing Club) will also need to finish in the top 11 to qualify the M2- boat for Tokyo. The pair have had success at LM2- and won Gold in the 2017 World Rowing Championships that was held in Sarasota, Florida

The M2x crew of Philp Doyle (Belfast Boat Club) and Ronan Byrne (UCC) need a top 11 ranking also to qualify the boat for the Olympics next year. After a slow Winter start due to commitments from Phil to finish his medical career, they took home the Silver Medal at the World Cup III in July.

The newly formed Women’s four of Aifric Keogh (UCC), Eimear Lambe (UCD), Tara Hanlon (UCC) and Emily Hegarty (UCC) need to finish in a top 8 position to bring this boat to Tokyo. Eimear, Tara and Emily competed in the World Rowing U23 Championship recently and brought home a formidable Silver Medal. Aifric Keogh returns to competition following a short period of illness. Aifric finished 6th in the 2018 World Rowing Championships in the women’s pair with her partner Emily Hegarty.

Reigning World and European Champion Sanita Puspure (Old Collegians) will be competing in the W1x boat and she will need to finish in the top ninth to qualify her Olympic boat.

The lightweight double crew (LW2x) of Denise Walsh (Skibbereen Rowing Club) and Aoife Casey (UCC) need a top seventh finish to qualify the LW2x boat. Denise and Aoife previously finished 1st in the C Final in the World Rowing Championships 2018.

The lightweight double of Paul O’Donovan (UCC) and Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club) will need to finish seventh to qualify what is the last of the lightweight rowing event left in the sport of rowing. Fintan and Paul recently took home Silver at the World Rowing Cup III in Rotterdam. Fintan finished 5th in this same category with Jake McCarthy at the European Championships this year. Paul won gold with his 2018 partner Gary O’Donovan at the 2018 World Championships in the Lightweight Men’s Double and the pair also won Silver in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Lydia Heaphy (Skibbereen Rowing Club) will be representing Ireland. Lydia has competed at the U23 World Championships last year, finishing 5th in the LW2x B Final with Margaret Cremen. Lydia also competed with Denise Walsh at the European Championships and World Cup III this year finishing 6th in the B Final

Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club) will be competing in the LM1x category. Gary took home a Bronze Medal in the LM1x category at the World Cup III in July. Gary won Gold at the 2018 World Championships in Bulgaria, Silver at the 2018 European Championships with his brother Paul and a Silver Medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Hugh Sutton (UCC), Ryan Ballantine (Portora/Newcastle), Miles Taylor (Queen’s University) and Jake McCarthy(Skibbereen)  are competing in the LM4x boat. Ryan, Miles and Hugh won Bronze in the World Rowing U23 Championships in Sarasota last month. Jake competed at the European Championships in Lucerne in May and finished 5th in the A Final with his brother Fintan. Jake and Ryan competed in the JM4x category at the 2018 World Rowing Championships and finished 5th in the A Final.

Katie O’Brien (Galway Rowing Club/UCD) is representing Ireland in the PR2 (Paralympic) W1x category. Katie previously finished 6th in the A Final in World Rowing Cup 2013 in Eton. Katie won a Gold medal at the Henley Women’s Regatta and the Home International Regatta.

Claire Feerick (Neptune) and Natalie Long (Skibbereen) will be attending as the Irish Alternatives for the World Rowing Championships.

CEO of Rowing Ireland, Michelle Carpenter said “We are delighted to send our biggest team to this key event in the International Rowing calendar. These athletes and coaching team led by our High-Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni, have dedicated their lives over the last years to our sport. We together with their clubs and our stakeholders and sponsors look forward to cheering them on the World stage as they compete and represent Rowing Ireland so well.”

More Information:

The draw for the heats on Saturday 24th at 2 pm (GMT +1).

Racing begins on Sunday 25th August, W2-, M2-, LM2x, LW2x, W4-, LM1x, LW1x, W1x and M2x crews will all have their heats on Sunday. LM4x will race their heat on Monday and the PR2 W1x Irish boat will have their first race on Wednesday.

Follow the racing:

All the races will be covered on Rowing Ireland’s Social Media Channels;




RTE will be covering the final two days of racing live on RTE 2 on Saturday and Sunday.

Live Commentary and Video will be available on World Rowing’s website.

Confirmed List:


  • Aileen Crowley (OC BC)
  • Monika Dukarska (Kilorglin)


  • Mark O’Donovan (Skibbereen)
  • Shane O’Driscoll (Skibbereen)


  • Philip Doyle (BBC)
  • Ronan Byrne (UCC)


  • Aifric Keogh (UCC)
  • Eimear Lambe (UCD)
  • Tara Hanlon (UCC)
  • Emily Hegarty (UCC)


  • Sanita Puspure (OC BC)


  • Aoife Casey (UCC)
  • Denise Walsh (Skibbereen)


  • Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen)
  • Paul O’Donovan (UCC)


  • Lydia Heaphy (Skibbereen)


  • Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen)


  • Hugh Sutton (UCC)
  • Ryan Ballantine (Newcastle)
  • Miles Taylor (QUBBC)
  • Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen)

PR2 W1x 

  • Katie O’Brien (Galway Rowing Club/UCD)


  • Claire Feerick (Neptune)
  • Natalie Long (Skibbereen)

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