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West Cork coastal rowers make big splash on the world stage

Friday, 8th November, 2019 4:01pm
West Cork coastal rowers make big splash on the world stage

Castletownshend’s Eimear Walsh and Ella Cialis just missed out on qualifying for the world A final by seconds and went on to win the B final.

MIRIAM Sheehan of Castletownbere and Niamh Hayes of Galley both made it through the heats to the A final of the single sculls’ category at the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Hong Kong last weekend, finishing eighth and 14th respectively. These are phenomenal results, given that while both are experienced yawl and FISA quad rowers, both are newcomers to the single’s category this season and were racing against the world’s elite.

John Harrington of Galley also made an impressive transition to the singles, qualifying through the heats to the men’s A final, finishing 16th overall. He came in behind Ireland’s most consistent performer, Andrew Hurley of Bantry who, for the third worlds in a row, made the A final, finishing 13th, up three places from his 16th placing in Canada last year.

West Cork’s other two qualifiers for A finals were in the quad categories. Myross men finished tenth and Castletownbere’s women finished 15th in the finals. Both are consistent elite performers; it was Myross’s second world A final in a row while for Castletownbere it was three in a row, having also made the A finals on Lake Geneva in 2017 and Canada 2018. 

The other stand-out performance from West Cork came in the women’s double where Castletownshend’s Eimear Walsh and Ella Cialis just missed out on qualifying for A finals by seconds. In the fastest heat, they posted a time that would have got them through had they been in any of the other heats. This duo is new to the world stage and set down a marker for the future by going on to win the B final in style.

Other notable West Cork results include the composite men’s quad crew made up of rowers from Galley, Kilmacsimon and Ring which finished fourth in the B final. In the mixed doubles category, Kilmacsimon’s David Duggan and Laura O’Neill finished fifth in the B final but incurred a two-minute penalty which relegating them to tenth place. 

In the men’s double category, two crews qualified for the B final. David Duggan teamed up with Brian O’Donovan of Ring and finished seventh while Brian Whelton and Daniel Whelton of Courtmacsherry finished 13th. 

Of the 21 entries representing Ireland at the worlds, West Cork clubs provided 12, its largest contingent ever, which again confirms that West Cork is central to rowing’s great progress in Ireland.