Three Galway rowers were in action at the prestigious Lucerne Regatta, third of the World Cup series, this past weekend. Tribesmen’s Siobhán McCrohan earned a Bronze medal in the Lightweight Single Scull; NUIG’s Niall Kenny was one place off bronze in the Lightweight Quad Scull, and Tribesmen’s Lisa Dilleen featured in the Double Scull.
The Lucerne Regatta, set in a scenic sheltered valley in northern Switzerland, has garnered the reputation for being possibly the most prestigious regatta in the world. As a result, it attracts the best of the best from across the globe.
Into that scene is competing a young Irish squad whose members are mostly in the 22-24 age-group. Their objective was to see how they matched up to the world’s best in preparation for the World Championships in August and the U23 championships in July.
Siobhán McCrohan, scheduled for the first race in the regatta on Friday had a most inauspicious start, failing to qualify directly for the semi finals As a result she had to negotiate the repechage where, though pressed by the Japanese to half way, took over to win and secure one of the last of the semi-final places. A strong semi-final performance, finishing second, earned her a lane in the A-Final –in the last six. Ironically, four of the six finalists were from that fraught heat-1.
In a final replete with World and European medallists, McCrohan was initially fourth, briefly in fifth before forcing her boat to third place at the 1500m mark. She briefly held second, making inroads on the leading Greek, Tsiavou, but was pipped on the run-in to the line by the fast finishing Swiss boat.
In 2010, McCrohan finished sixth at the same venue, and Saturday’s result shows real progress.
The Women’s Double Scull of Lisa Dilleen, just turned 20, and Sanita Puspure, ten years her senior, hoped to emulate a good set of results in Munich. The big guns were in action in their heat and, though the Irish boat held second for a period, fell away to fifth, and a date with the repechage.
A strong second place in the “rep” earned a semi-final berth. In the event, they finished 5th in the “B” final for an 11th place overall.
The remaining Galway interest centered around the men’s lightweight Quad Scull, in which Niall Kenny and his crewmates competed in a straight final.
The Irish boat was quickest to the 500m mark and then dropped to third behind Germany and Italy – both specialists in this category. Ireland held this position for the mid period of the race and it began to look like another medal might be in the offing, but the fast finishing Danes had other thoughts, relegating the Irish boat to fourth..
The team now travel to training camp in Belgium where training for the upcoming Under-23 and Senior World Championships will take place.
Picture Above: Siobhan McCrohan racing the semi final.
Picture Below: Podium L to R: Pamela Weisshaupt (Swi), Alexandrs Tsiavou (Gre), Siobhan McCrohan (Irl).