LYDIA Heaphy is hoping to build on her first A final appearance at a senior international regatta.
The Skibbereen Rowing Club woman (23) finished sixth in the A final of the lightweight women’s single sculls last Sunday morning at the European Rowing Championships.
While she was disappointed with how the final played out, Heaphy is focussing on the positives.
‘A bit disappointed with my race (on Sunday) but glad I was able to get into my first A Final at a senior event and finishing top six,’ Heaphy tweeted.
‘Learned a lot and hungry for more!! Excited and motivated for six weeks of camp getting ready to race better and smarter at the World Cup 2, Lucerne.’
The Leap rower will look back on the 2021 European Rowing Championships as a sign of her progress. At the 2020 Europeans she finished seventh overall, so her sixth-place finish last weekend shows improvement, as does qualifying for her first senior A final.
Heaphy won her heat on Friday, leading from the start to beat crews from Romania, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Italy. In the A final she started well, was third at 500 metres, but couldn’t keep pace with the front runners as the final played out.
She knows that she went out of the blocks a little too hard and that meant she didn’t have it in the tank to stay with the other boats through the middle of the race – but Heaphy put herself in the conversation during the Europeans and now she’s motivated to kick on ahead of Rowing World Cup II in Lucerne next month.
The gold medal went to Alena Furman of Belarus in 7:41.81 while Heaphy finished in 7:58.70.
The Skibbereen rower was in the mix for the Irish lightweight women’s double before Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen took the two seats in that boat, and now the European U23 gold medallist will focus on the lightweight single and continue her development.