The Irish boat appeared to start slowly compared to the other boats and then struggled to catch up, although a strong final 500m did gain a few extra seconds. They now face a repechage on Tuesday for a place in the semi-finals.
Germany led throughout but tied up in the final 500m; Ireland had finished second and 2.4 seconds behind them in the Olympic qualifying regatta. Poland proved the surprise packet, beating Athens gold medal winners Frnace in the push for the line.
From Gearoid Toweys' blog on Irish Times:
"Our competition started yesterday and it was quite a day. We produced our fastest ever time in a classic lightweight rowing race which was neck-and-neck to the line. We missed out on the direct route to the semi-final by 0.3 of a second. Our time of 5.52min was extremely quick and we would have been delighted any other day.
"We have another race to do tomorrow, which will hopefully see us into the semi-final. The extra race, while an inconvenience, is not a disaster and will allow us to practice key areas of the race again before the ultimate test later in the week.
"The fast time was encouraging though, and it means we are right there amongst it. China, Germany (who won our race) and Denmark all showed as strong contenders yesterday.