WHILE one set of Skibbereen brothers stole the headlines at the World Rowing Championships, another set was also making their presence felt at the top table.
Aughadown twins Jake and Fintan McCarthy (21) were part of the Irish lightweight men’s quadruple scull, along with Andrew Goff and Ryan Ballantine, that finished fifth in the A final, a terrific achievement for a young crew that was just put together weeks before the worlds.
All four oarsmen are also under 23 and are still eligible to compete at U23 level so to make the A final at their first senior worlds was a feat in itself.
The quad finished third in their heat and second in the repechage to qualify for the A final. Here, they were fourth at the halfway mark and with 500 metres to go they were in contention for a medal, but had to settle for fifth, behind Germany, Italy, Turkey and Denmark. The Irish boat was less than three seconds off the bronze medal won by the Turks.
‘We put together the best race we could and obviously it wasn’t good enough for a medal. Hopefully next year, or in a few years, we can finally get on that podium,’ Fintan said, while Jake added, ‘We were taking it race by race. We didn’t start off as we’d hoped, but we improved race by race. We came into the final wanting to do the best we could and to come fifth in the world leaves us hungry for more in the future. We all gave it all we could, we couldn’t ask for more than that, really.’
Again, considering how little time they had together in the boat and their age, to make an A final at their first senior worlds shows that the McCarthy twins will be a force to be reckoned with in years to come.