World Championships, Amsterdam ~ The same Garda crew that won the Prince Philip at Henley represented Ireland at the World Championships at the Bosbaan Course, Amsterdam. They missed the final by 0.5 of a second and went on to win the Petite Final for the third successive year in the row, finishing seventh in the world. Willie Ryan describes the repechage:
We were late for the start and got a caution from the umpire, which may have led to a more cautious and slower start than usual… As the race unfolded we were sitting in second place, exactly where we had planned, if we had held our position we would have qualified for the Grand Final…out of the corner of my eye I could see the Yugoslavs in lane one closing the gap; we reacted too late and they crept in 0.5 of a second ahead of us. There was a slight cross wind blowing which gave lane one a serious advantage especially in the last 500 metres.
The Irish Independent reported:
The Bulgarians (6.16) quickly slipped into a half a length lead and dominated the race all the way. Slow into their stride the Irish eased their opening rate of forty to thirty-six and pulledBulgarians led by half a length. At 1,000 metres Ireland were a length down on the winners, but a canvas ahead of Yugoslavia (6.19) whose attack before and after the 1,250 mark were repulsed by the Irish (6.20). But in a pulsating drive Ireland just couldn’t lift themselves to counter the Yugoslavs final burst.
Garda had a convincing display in the Petite Final, when we outclassed the rest of the field with the closest rival nine seconds behind us. While times achieved by crews in separate races can differ considerably depending on conditions, it is reasonable to compare the times of the Petite Final and Grand Final which took place only ten minutes apart. Our winning time in the Petite Final would have placed the crew in fourth place in the Grand Final and only three seconds behind Bulgaria the bronze medallist.
Irish Coxed IV, 1977
Bow Willie Ryan (3) Jim Muldoon
(2) Christy O’Brien Str. Mick Ryan
Cox Liam Redmond
Coaches Brendan Duane and Pat Grace
Grand Final – Amsterdam
Petite Final – Amsterdam