Organisers and athletes pictured at the launch of the Coupe, to be held in Cork this weekend.
This weekend will see in excess of 500 young rowers from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and all across Ireland descend upon Cork, to compete in the 2018 Coupe de la Jeunesse on Inniscarra Lake at the National Rowing Centre.
That number will include five Limerick rowers who will wear the green of Ireland. Rory O'Neill (Castleconnell) and Ryan Spelman (St Michael's) will both row in the JM4x Sculls, while Lauren O'Brien (Castleconnell) is part of the Women's Sculling team.
James Desmond (Castleconnell) will row in the JM1x Sculls, while Ellen Murphy (St Michaels) will row on the JW4- Sweep team.
The Limerick influence does not stop there. Pat McInerney (St Michaels) will lead the Junior Mens Sculling team as head coach.
The Coupe de la Jeunesse is an annual international junior rowing regatta rowed over 2,000 metres; a two-day team event open to rowers 18 years or under. Each category is raced separately on the first and second day of the regatta, allowing for different Coupe de la Jeunesse event winners on each day.
Ireland performed exceptionally well last year, bringing home a total of 5 Gold medals in the women’s pair and men’s quadruple categories. This year, there are 47 Irish athletes taking part and will compete in both sweep rowing (one oar each) and sculling (two oars each) events.
The regatta, which encourages young rowers, has become a platform in Ireland for starting the international careers of some of our most successful and decorated Irish rowers, such as Olympic medallist Gary O‘Donovan and World Lightweight Champion Shane O’Driscoll.
Ahead of the busy upcoming weekend, Rowing Ireland CEO and Limerick native, Michelle Carpenter added, “We are delighted to be hosting this prestigious event on the ultimate weekend of our International Festival of Rowing in Cork. It is great to see a full Irish team taking part in this event. The Coupe de La Jeunesse has long been seen as a significant development pathway for our athletes including our Olympic medallists Paul and Gary O'Donovan. It is an honour to host the event here at the incredible facilities of the National Rowing Centre in Cork, and we are delighted to partner Cork County Council in running this exciting event.”
Racing will kick off with one event on Friday evening (27th July), the junior women’s eights, followed by an opening ceremony where all teams will parade with their native flags meeting at the National Rowing Centre. Then on Saturday from 9:00am all other events will run, ending on Sunday afternoon before a closing ceremony takes place.
For more information on the Coupe de la Jeunesse see www.coupe2018.ie .