12 athletes across 6 boats qualified quota spots for Team Ireland at the recent World Rowing Championships which took place in Belgrade, Serbia in September.
After a short break, Team Ireland rowers are back in training and leaving no stone unturned as they prepare for the Olympic Games in less than 275 days. Part-funded by the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Discretionary Fund, Rowing Ireland travelled to Vaires-sur-Marne to test out the Olympic rowing course, last weekend, before embarking on their first block of squad training in this, the Olympic year.
The lightweight squad moved on to Seville, where they will train for the next couple of weeks, while the open-weight crews flew on to Varese in Italy.
Off-season training for the Olympic rowers sees them train two or three times a day, mixing their sessions between rowing on the water, on the rowing machine, running or cycling, and working out in the gym. At this time of the year the focus is on building their strength and endurance base, and they can train up to six hours in a day.
This was the first time that the Irish rowers tested the Paris Olympic course. Each course is marginally different, and it is important for the crews to get a chance to understand things like the prevailing winds, and general water conditions, as this helps with familiarity on the big competition days.
Last weekend the team who travelled to the course comprised of the athletes who had qualified boats for the Paris Olympic Games at the World Championships in September. They also stayed in Manoir-de-Gressy, the boutique hotel in which they will stay for the duration of the Games. This hotel, which will also house the Swiss and New Zealand teams, is a twenty minute drive from the rowing course, which will significantly reduce commuting time for the athletes as they target podiums and top performances at next year’s Games.
Over the course of the weekend, the athletes maximised their time at the venue, training on the course, as well as getting back to the grind in the gym. The team were joined by the high-performance coaching team at Rowing Ireland.
Photos @Sportsfile – Brendan Moran