SKIBBEREEN Rowing Club’s top rowers led the way for Ireland on Day 1 of the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida today.
European champions Shane O'Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan in the lightweight men's pair, in which they are unbeaten in 2017, took first place in their heat with a cushion of over five seconds. They produced the quickest time of the day across both heats in the lightweight pair category, and secured a spot in the A final as a result.
Soon after, Skibbereen club mate Paul O'Donovan took to the water to race in Heat 3 of the lightweight men's single sculls, again producing a win for Rowing Ireland. Just a top four finish was required to progress to the quarter-finals, but O' Donovan was out to make an impression and also finished with one of the quickest times of the day.
Denise Walsh then secured Ireland's third win of the afternoon, with an impressive victory in the lightweight women's single sculls. She now looks towards the A/B semi-finals.
Finally today, the new Irish men's pair of Patrick Boomer (Belfast Rowing Club) and Fionnan McQuillan-Tolan (NUIG Boat Club) were sixth in their heat and will need to race in the repechage for another chance to progress to the semifinals.
Lightweight men's pair, Heat 1: 1. Ireland (M O’ Donovan, S O’ Driscoll) 6:33.20, 2. Britain 6:38.57, 3. Italy 6:40.39, 4. Hungary 07:24.30 Lightweight men's single sculls, Heat 3: 1. Ireland (P O’Donovan) 6:54.68, 2. Brazil 7:05.75, 3. Italy 7:09.88, 4. Thailand 7:17.50, 5. Guatemala 07:19.380
Men's pair, Heat 1: 1. Italy 6:27.88, 2. France 6:33.03; 3. Spain 06:39.930, 4. South Africa 06:43.620, 5. Netherlands 06:50.270, 6. Ireland (F McQuillan-Tolan, P Boomer) 6:50.82
Lightweight women's single sculls, Heat 3: 1. Ireland (D Walsh) 7:43.87, 2. South Africa 7:44.38, 3. Italy 8:03.34, 4. Germany 08:03.340, 5. Tunisia 08:37.950