Paul and Gary O’Donovan from Skibbereen will lead an Irish team of 9 rowers at the 2017 World Rowing Cup event in Poznan, Poland, this weekend, the second of three regattas in the series.
Almost 500 athletes will compete from 39 countries with several countries, including Australia, China and New Zealand, arriving on the international scene for the first time this season. The event will be staged from 16th-18th June on Lake Malta, near the city centre of Poznan.
The Olympic gold and silver medallists from the lightweight men’s double sculls are back racing each other again. France’s Jeremie Azou and Pierre Houin and Cork’s O’Donovan brothers met up last month at the European Rowing Championships with the Olympic order staying the same. Both of these talented crews will race strong opposition from Poland and Britain.
Both Australia and New Zealand will be present with new-look crews as these nations are rebuilding after post-Olympic retirements and sabbaticals. For New Zealand, taking the place of Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale in the men’s single sculls will be Robert Manson. Manson will meet Olympic silver medallist Damir Martin of Croatia as well as European Rowing Championship bronze medallist Stanislau Shcharbachenia from Belarus.
At World Rowing Cup I last month, Britain finished first for overall points, the Netherlands second and Poland third.
The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and consists of a series of three events. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after the third event. This year, the three stages of the series are Belgrade, (which took place in May), Poznan, and Lucerne, Switzerland from 7-9 July.
The Irish team to compete at the event is as follows:
Lightweight men’s double sculls: Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club), Paul O’Donovan (UCD Boat Club).
Lightweight men’s pair: Mark O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club), Shane O’Driscoll (Skibbereen Rowing Club).
Women’s single sculls: Sanita Puspure (Old Collegians Boat Club), Monika Dukarska (Killorglin Rowing Club).
Lightweight women’s single sculls: Denise Walsh (Skibbereen RC).
Women’s pair: Aileen Crowley (UCD BC), Aifric Keogh (UCC RC).