By Stephen O’Leary
Castletownbere ladies quad crew made their mark on Lake Geneva last weekend, navigating through the heats to qualify for the A final. On their first trip to the worlds, in the A final made up of the top 20 boats in the world, they finished 14th.
As reigning FISA Irish champions, these ladies have been A list rowers at home for two years now. But untested on the international front, could they hold their own against the best from the larger rowing nations? We got our answer on Lake Geneva; yes they can!
The other category in which West Cork rowers excelled was in the men’s singles. Albert O’Sullivan Green of Castletownbere and Andrew Hurley from Bantry both made the A final.
Barry Hooper of GalleyFlash made the B final, narrowly missing out on the A final by just seconds. In fact, he was in the fastest heat, and his time would have got him through easily, had he been in any of the other heats.
The quality of Irish ladies’ coastal rowing was also evident with the other two quads boats from west Cork. Representing the GalleyFlash and Courtmacsherry, they both progressed to the B final, coming in first and sixth respectively.
That first which was won by a composite crew, drawn from west Cork’s top ladies’ teams, was particularly impressive. This crew was assembled very recently and had only a few weeks to train together, following the end of our domestic fixed-seat rowing season. With more time together in the sliding-seat sculling boat, who knows what they might achieve!
In the doubles, two of south west’s top rowers had teamed up; Mark O’Brien of Galley Flash with David Duggan of Kilmacsimon.
They too had recently joined forces and, after only a few weeks training together, they progressing through the heats and made the B final, finishing 17th.
Pride of place overall from an Irish point of view went to our neighbour in Kerry, Monika Dukarska from the Killorglin club. In the ladies singles she came in second in the A final to take silver.