Billy Webb Challenge 2015
NZME Billy Webb Challenge 2015 – Sunday 6th December
Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg were in fine form at the NZME Billy Webb Challenge, winning the male and female elite trophies on the Whanganui River this morning. Conditions were rainy with a solid head breeze as hundreds of spectators lined the bank to watch the 40 strong field in action.
Former World Champion Emma Twigg looked strong as she held off fellow New Zealand summer squad athletes including last year’s winner Lucy Spoors to win in a time of 19:22. Starting in lane five, Twigg blasted out of the start, cutting over towards the bank in order to find the best line where she was able to sit out in front of her Rowing New Zealand squad mates and Canadian single sculler Carling Zeeman. Through the middle of the race Twigg was locked in a battle with some of the younger male competitors and eventually finished in 4 th place overall. Rowing New Zealand summer squad athletes Lucy Spoors and Olivia Loe finished second and third respectively.
Reigning Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale was formidable, pushing into the lead at 1000 metres and controlling the race from start to finish, laying down a time of 18:23 and showing a fine display of sculling over the five kilometre distance. Southern RPC athletes Andrew Potter and Cameron Crampton finished second and third respectively.
This year is the sixth year the Billy Web Challenge has been staged on the Whanganui River. The NZME Billy Webb Challenge is a five kilometre race downstream in singles, featuring a mass start in a similar concept to the Swiss “Armada Cup” event. At the start scullers are stationed in a grid pattern with the whole field starting simultaneously on the start signal and finishing near the Waimarie wharf.
Both Drysdale and Twigg pocket a $1000 purse with Twigg set to donate her prize to the World Rowing Kafue River and Rowing Project for which she is an ambassador.
Results can be found here: NZME Billy Webb Challenge 2015