ROWING Irish Four win 2006 Rowing World Cup

  

IRISH FOUR WIN 2006 ROWING WORLD CUP BY TAKING GOLD IN LUCERNE

FIRST TIME AN IRISH CREW HAS EVER WON ROWING WORLD CUP TITLE

The Irish men's lightweight four (LM4-) cruised to victory in the final of the Rowing World Cup in Lucerne this afternoon (Sun 9th) taking gold again, and becoming the first Irish crew ever to win the Rowing World Cup series outright. Earlier on the Irish lightweight women's double (LW2x) of Sinéad Jennings (St.Michael's) and Niamh NiCheilleachair (Offaly/Castleconnell) were edged off the medals podium right on the line; they finished fourth.

 In a stunning performance the talented Irish quartet (LM4-)of Gearoid Towey (Fermoy), Eugene Coakley (Skibbereen), Richard Archibald (Lady Victoria BC) held their nerve when, from the start, Egypt charged into a length lead ahead of them and reigning World Champions France. The Irish kept to their trusted race plan and upped the pace with 900metres to go, burning off the fading Egyptians and pulling almost a length clear of the field by the time they reached the 1500metre mark. As the line approached the French and German crews gave their final effort but were unable to catch the delighted Irish four who crossed the line in 6.07.59min, over a second ahead of France and Germany.

Just before the medal ceremony a beaming Eugene Coakley said: “It feels amazing to have won the World Cup. We won this regatta last year also but this time it’s much better; we clinched the World Cup series outright and it’s the first time Ireland has done that, to be part of that is just brilliant.”

Beating the World Champions France en route gave the Skibbereen particular satisfaction as he retold the story of the race: “We met them (France) yesterday in the semi-final and we beat them but the final is a different game, we knew they would be up for it today but the Egyptian were the ones who took everyone on from the start. They burst out of the blocks but I knew they just had to be an amazing crew or they’d gone off too hard which they did and we found out in the second half of the race. It was cool passing the enclosure with 750metres to go and the crowd were just behind us and we knew then we had it and we were on the way home”
 
The girls’ final was a closely run thing, the Irish duo eventually finished fourth, pipped at the absolute death for bronze by the Americans; reigning world silver medalists, by two tenths of a second. Canada took gold, with Finland second.

First out on the water today for the Irish was Garda’s Caroline Ryan in the B final of
the women’s single scull (W1x) where she finished fourth, leaving her tenth overall. Ryan has made astonishing progress since she joined the Irish squad earlier this year, moving inside the top ten in the World and is set to benefit hugely from the upcoming training camp at altitude in St.Moritz.

The Irish men’s heavy four (M4-) of Cormac Folan, Sean O’Neill, Sean Casey, and  Alan Martin in stroke seat followed Ryan onto the water in their B final determined to take victory. At the halfway mark they led the field but the next 500metres were to prove their downfall as they slipped to fourth behind the two French crews and the Italians. The quartet upped their effort however over the last stretch and came like a train but the line came too soon and they missed out on victory by a mere tenth of a second, leaving them 8th overall.

As they leave Lucerne and head for high ground in St.Moritz for their pre-Worlds month long training camp the Irish set-up can look back with satisfaction on the season so far. The history making World Cup win is without doubt the highlight to date but in Lucerne Ireland had four boats, all in Olympic classes inside the top ten in the World. The centrepiece of the International season; the World Championships, only six weeks away, is being staged on Lake Dorney across the water in Eton, and the Irish are hoping to have a huge contingent of supporters making the short trip.
Ends.
Issued on behalf of the Irish Amateur Rowing Union by the Irish Sports Council

For Further Information:
Sinéad McElroy, Irish Sports Council 087-6338512
smcelroy@irishsportscouncil.ie
 
SOUNDBITES

Post race interviews with Eugene Coakley & Irish team manager available to download on www.lspireland.org

PICTURES
Race pictures will be distributed by Sportsfile

Irish Results (All in Olympic class boats) – World Cup 3, Lucerne, Switzerland.

Women: LW2x (b) Sinéad Jennings (St. Michael’s)
(s) Niamh NiCheilleachair (Offaly / Castleconnell)
4th in A final

W1x Caroline Ryan (Garda)
4th in B final, 10th overall

Men:  LM4- (b) Gearoid Towey (Neptune)
(2) Eugene Coakley (Skibbereen)
(3) Richard Archibald (Lady Victoria BC)
(s) Paul Griffin (Muckross) 
Won A final, won 2006 Rowing World Cup outright

LM2x (b) Richard Coakley (Skibbereen)
(s) Timmy Harnedy (Skibbereen)
 3rd in C final, 15th overall
  
M2x (b) Sean Jacob (Commercial)
(s) Con Collis (UCD)
5th in C final, 17th overall

M4- (b) Cormac Folan (NUIG)
(2) Sean O’Neill (Central RPC, New Zealand)
(3) Sean Casey (Muckross)
(s) Alan Martin (NUIG)
2nd in B final, 8th overall


Key Dates
U23 World Championships:  Hazelwinkel, Belgium, 20th – 23rd July.
World Rowing Championships:  Eton, Great Britain, 20th – 27th August.