Success for NZ Men’s Eight in Seattle
The New Zealand elite men’s eight have tasted success in their first international outing for 2015. New Zealand finished ahead of the three crew field in the Men’s Eight Windermere Cup final in Seattle, USA on Saturday 2 May at Montlake Cut. The kiwi crew finished just two seconds in front of the Washington Husky crew in a time of 5 minutes and 43 seconds. Columbia were crushed by both New Zealand and Washington University as they were over 15 seconds behind in a time of six minutes and four seconds.
The race unfolded with New Zealand confident and in charge over the 2000m course. In the first 500m New Zealand’s eight had the slight edge over Washington with just one and half seconds between them. New Zealand continued to push out their lead into the halfway mark claiming a two and half second margin and they held onto that frontrunner status into the final charge to the finish line.
Coxswain Caleb Shepherd steered the kiwis to victory and was delighted with the result "We had a strong first 750m and put ourselves in a good position. The Huskies put up a really good fight and pushed up on us coming into the cut. We responded well and are happy with our first competitive race of the year."
Isaac Grainger was pleased with the win and simply said "We did what we set out to do."
The atmosphere at the Windermere Cup was an amazing experience for the men's eight and crew member Alex Kennedy said "It was a one-of-a kind race."
The New Zealand men’s eight was invited by University of Washington Rowing and Windermere Real Estate to compete at this year’s event.
New Zealand’s celebrations will be subdued as they are due to fly out of Seattle back to New Zealand on Monday 4 May to continue preparations for their elite world rowing season at Lake Karapiro. The New Zealand team will depart New Zealand’s shores on Friday 12 June for the second world cup regatta in Varese, Italy.
Men's Windermere Cup Final Results:
1st. New Zealand - 5:43
2nd. Washington - 5:45
3rd. Columbia - 6:04
New Zealand Men’s Eight - Windermere Cup 2015
Stephen Jones (West End RC, Auckland RPC)
Brook Robertson (Nelson RC, Central RPC)
Alex Kennedy (Te Awamutu RC, Waikato RPC)
Joe Wright (Wellington RC, Central RPC)
Isaac Grainger (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)
Shaun Kirkham (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Michael Brake (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)
Tom Murray (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)
Coxswain: Caleb Shepherd (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Marion Horwell (Travelling Coach)
Rose Sewell (Team Manager)