Irish rowing is going from strength to strength! The women’s team is gaining more experience on the international stage, showing they are a force to be reckoned with. Sanita Puspure heads the team, on brilliant form at 37 years of age. We look forward to seeing Puspure and the other senior athletes in action soon but first up is the Irish women’s four in Sarasota at the World U23 Rowing Championships comprised of Eimear Lambe, Tara Hanlon, Emily Hegarty and Claire Feerick.
These athletes have been competing with Puspure, as well as Monika Dukarska, Aileen Crowley and Aifric Keogh, pushing each other on to succeed at international regattas. Earlier this year at World Cup II in Poznan and at Piediluco Regatta, the squad showed great potential. The experience the U23 athletes have had in the last 12 months has been invaluable and we anticipate a competive crew at the World Under 23 Rowing Championships.
Eimear Lambe is back in action after a year abroad and has picked up right where she left off. Having stroked both the Senior 8+ and Senior 2- to victory at the Irish National Championships in 2017, she fit right into the squad upon her return. Lambe has previously competed at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014, as well as the World University Games in 2016. Lambe and Feerick recently went to World Cup II in Poznan, a senior international event, where they made it to Final B. An impressive finishing place from the young pair. Lambe is representing UCD, while Feerick is rowing for Neptune, both primarily based in Islandbridge this year.
Claire Feerick has moved away from sculling this year, as she paired up with Lambe. Feerick was mostly competing in a single scull or double scull with Ava Clarke last year, coached by Irish Olympian Frank Moore. The Neptune native has competed previously at the European U23 Championships in 2017 and a number of Home International Regattas. This year she has stepped up, competing at World Cup II in the Women’s Pair with Lambe.
Emily Hegarty of Skibbereen Boat Club has raced several times with Tara Hanlon of University College Cork. The pair raced in the U23 Women’s Pair last year at the Championships. Hegarty has the most international experience of the four, having competed at the World Championships and three World Cups during 2018 & 2019. She also raced at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Rotterdam in 2016. Over the past 12 months she has competed at World Cup II in the Women’s Four with Tara Hanlon, Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley, as well as at the World Championships in Sarasota last year. She also competed at the European U23 Championships in the Women’s 8+ with Claire Feerick.
Tara Hanlon now races for UCC but rowed as a junior for Cork Boat Club. As mentioned, she competed at last years U23 Championships and this years World Cup II in Poznan. Hanlon also competed at the World Cup III in Lucerne in 2018, in a pair with Aifric Keogh. In 2016, she competed at Coupe de la Jeunesse. Hanlon has had success at both sweep and sculling events, since taking up the sport at a young age in Cork.
The U23 World Championships draw takes place tomorrow and the racing kicks off in Sarasota, Florida on Wednesday, 24th July. Tune in to the World Rowing YouTube Channel to catch the Irish in action.