Following some strong performances on Irish rowing machine testing at Limerick, the top rowers from all over Ireland now had their chance to show their speed on the water.
The national rowing centre in Cork was the venue for the first batch of water tests to begin selection for Junior European Championships Irish crews.
In perfect calm conditions the boys took to the water in pairs to complete a 1,900m time trial to be seeded into finals in the afternoon. When the results sheet came back there were three Portora crews at the top of the finish order. After a short break the pairs went back out for the finals side by side and remarkably managed to complete the same finish order. Aaron Johnston and Sam Armstrong crossed the line first in a time of 7.53, closely followed by James Foster and Ryan Ballantine in second with 7.56 and Barney Rix and Euan Gebler in third with 8.00.
All six boys will be considered for the Junior European Championships and will have further testing over the coming months. Connor Keys and Ross Corrigan suffered some equipment failure in their heat but had a very strong performance in their final and will be in the picture for the Home International regatta testing later in the year.
Elizabeth Clarke and Emma Glover had a dominant performance in their morning time trial and were 20 seconds clear of second place. Going into the A final with confidence the girls pushed off the other boats and crossed the line 14 seconds clear of Bann Rowing Club in second place. This strong performance means they are being tested as the pair for the Junior European Championships and will receive further testing over the coming months.
Sophie O’Dolan and Lydia Mulligan recovered from steering issues in the time trial to win the B final and would have been joined at the front by Carrie McShea and Sophie O’Hare had another crew not crashed into them in the last 500m. Despite this incident the girls know the speed was there and will be confident of a place in the home international squad if their performances are of a high standard later in the year.
Leonora Kennedy was also representing Portora at the national trials and finished in second place in the women’s single scull to Lisa Dilleen who she paired with at last years world rowing championships. She will now be firmly in the picture for a world championship crew as they are formed over the next few months.