On day one of the 2006 World Rowing Championships on Lake Dorney in Eton all three Irish boats in action started strongly.
Drawing their respective World Champions in their heats didn't faze either of Ireland's single scullers; Caroline Ryan (W1x) and Sean Jacob (M1x), and both rowed confidently and assuredly to finish third in their respective heats and progress to Tuesday's repechages. The men's heavyweight four (M4-) finished fourth in the fastest heat of their category to advance to a repechage on Tuesday also.
In his first competitive outing in the single scull this season Commerical's Sean Jacob (M1x) put in a fine performance finishing in third behind world champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand and Sweden's Lassi Karonen. Similarly Jacob needs to claim one of the top two spots in his repechage on Tuesday to advance to the semi-finals.
The men's heavyweight four (M4-) of Cormac Folan, Sean O'Neill, Sean Casey, and Alan Martin contested the last race of the day, finishing fourth in it to progress to the repechages on Tuesday. Their race turned out to be the fastest of the event's three heats and was won by New Zealand in a time of 5.50.93.
Ireland's three lightweight boats begin their Championships in the morning (Mon 21st), with the women's lightweight double (LW2x) first out at 10.18am. Jennings and NiCheilleachair must win that heat if they are to progress directly to the semi-finals. They will need to overcome the reigning world silver medallists, the USA, who so narrowly edged the Irish duo out of the medals at the final World Cup regatta in Lucerne, if they are to do so.
The lightweight men's double (LM2x) of Skibbereen duo Richard Coakley and Tim Harnedy take to the water at 10.32am in heat two of their event. The top two finishers in each heat advance directly to the semi-finals with the remaining crews taking the repechage route. The Irish double will fight it out with Russia, the Czech Republic, Italy and Austria for the qualifying spots.
The World Cup winning lightweight men's four (LM4-) of Gearoid Towey, Eugene Coakley, Richard Archibald and Paul Griffin contest the last of four heats in their event at 11.30am tomorrow morning. The Irish quartet must win their heat to take the direct route to the semi-finals and will be quietly confident of doing so having avoided most of the main players in the draw.