WEST Cork clubs are heading to Arklow this weekend to compete in the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships.
This competition is centred on the FISA sliding-seat boats with three categories for men and women – the single, double and coxed quad.
This event acts as a qualifier, whereby Rowing Ireland award rankings to crews attending this year’s World Rowing Coastal Championships. These will be held on Lake Geneva in October, launching from Thonon-les-Bains in France.
In the men’s quad category, last year’s Irish champions, Courtmacsherry, will be defending their title and the club has also entered a B team. Castletownbere, Kilmacsimon and Ring are also competing in this category. Ring, who are having an excellent year, have momentum and have entered an impressive three teams in this category.
In the ladies quad category, reigning Irish champions Castletownbere must be favourites. They will face stiff competition, not least from from the other West Cork clubs travelling – Kilmacabea, Kimacsimon, Courtmacsherry and again three crews from the irrepressible Ring.
In the men’s doubles category, GalleyFlash, Castletownbere and Courtmacsherry will be flying the flag for West Cork while in the ladies doubles, Courtmacsherry have two boats competing.
In the men’s singles, Barry Hooper from GalleyFlash is the reigning Irish champion and will be defending his crown. After his excellent performances in the worlds in Monaco last October, he must be favourite, though one of his challengers, Jack Sullivan from Castletownbere, will also be pushing hard for a podium finish. In the ladies singles, Monika Dukarska, of Killorglin, is the red hot favourite, having won the title impressively in Courtmacsherry last year, and then going on to win the world title in Monaco.