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Hamish Bond wins Premier Singles title

  • 22 Feb 14

The current strength of New Zealand rowing was showcased this week at the 2014 Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro, with a number of quality crews battling at all levels in the national regatta to win medals and national titles.

The most anticipated race of the day and the Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships was the Men’s Premier Single Sculls. Hamish Bond and Mahe Drysdale have battled it out in the Men’s Single Scull all season with Hamish Bond gaining the bragging rights in all three contests (Karapiro Christmas Regatta, Cambridge Town Cup and the North Island Club Championships) between the duo. The Men’s Premier Single final saw Bond, Drysdale and Murray head out with a fast start with Murray just taking the advantage. Through the half way mark Bond was in the lead with Murray still in touch and Drysdale a little behind but still on pace. The final 100 metres had the crowd on their feet as Bond lead with Drysdale charging for the line. In the end it was Bond that took out the Championship title of the Men’s Premier Single in a time of 6:41.34 with Drysdale finishing in silver medal position in a time of 6:42.41 and Murray in third.

On the win Bond said “I’m pleased I’ve discovered something in the single and I now know how to win in it. It was Mahe’s title to lose, whereas for me the premier pair title was the one to lose, but I really wanted to win the single. It is time now to hang up the sculls and focus on the pair.”

Emma Twigg had another resounding victory to win the Cato Cup and Stephanie Foster trophy for the sixth straight time in the premier women’s single scull. Twigg is New Zealand’s leading female sculler, and she blew the race open in the first 1000m and set sail for home. Twigg had built up over a significant lead through the 1500m mark and crossed the line in a time of 7:38.31 to lead home Zoe Stevenson and Genevieve Armstrong by three boat lengths. Twigg felt comfortable throughout the race “It felt pretty good through the 1000m and I just tried to hold on to the lead.”

The Men’s Premier Coxed Four is always a highly anticipated contest of the championships with only club crews eligible to enter. The Boss Rooster Trophy is then held in the custody of the club and must be painted within an hour of the race by the new winner. This year Waikato put themselves in a strong position from the start with the Picton crew, the second Waikato crew and Avon Rowing Club all vying for silver medal position. The Waikato Rowing Club crew of Tyson Williams, McKenzie Macky, Anthony Allen, Matthew Glenn coxed by Caleb Shepherd won with a length to spare while Picton Rowing Club’s Joseph Sullivan, Steven Cottle, Ryan Gaudin, Kieran Gaudin coxed by Trent Burbridge finished in second with Avon Rowing Club in third.

Southern RPC has maintained a stranglehold on the premier women’s eight race for the past three years, and were able to produce a stirring performance at Lake Karapiro to remain unbeaten for the fourth year. Stroked by lightweight Lucy Strack, the Southern RPC crew which also featured Kristen Froude, Genevieve Behrent, Lucy Spoors, Fiona Bourke, Johannah Kearney, Olivia Loe, Grace Prendergast and cox Lydia Milner, finished just over a length ahead of Central RPC, while Auckland RPC filled the last place on the podium. The lead was almost four seconds with Southern crossing the line in 6:18.71, while Central finished in 6:22.52 and were three seconds clear of Waikato. Red coats were awarded to Johannah Kearney and coxswain Lydia Milner.

Waikato RPC and Central RPC were wrestling for the Men’s Premier Eight title today. Last year’s title holders Southern RPC crew stroked by Hamish Bond were never in close contention. The crew from Waikato featuring Eric Murray, Alex Bardoul, Evan Kennedy, Tyson Williams, Patrick McInnes, Alex Kennedy, Shaun Kirkham, David Eade and cox Caleb Shepherd saw them move through 500m to go mark alongside the crew from Central before they surged ahead to with a big move with 300m to go. Their lead had stretched to just a canvas as they powered to the line to finish in 6:06.45, with Central taking second position and third went to Southern.

Five crews contested the U20 Men’s Coxless Pair and it was the Auckland number two crew of Michael Brake and John Moody that finished strongly in a time of 6:32.88 clinching the win. The Waikato RPC number two crew looked a sure second until the Waikato number one crew made a late charge for the line but Waikato number two held on to take second with Waikato number one finishing third.

The first race on the final day of competition was the Women’s Club Coxed Four – North Shore rowing club triumphed in a time of 7:15.19, winning by a length and a half over Aramoho Wanganui, with Avon coming in third.

In the women’s senior single sculls there was fiercely fought race for the gold medal, with West End’s Jessica Ellis leading through the 1500m mark, with Ivana Giacon from Porirua right at her heels only half a boat length back. Giacon put in a big sprint to take the win by a boat length in 7:50.87, West End’s Ellis was back to silver, with Auckland’s Ellyce Stehlin well back for bronze.

Wakatipu prevailed over Waikato in the Men’s Club Coxed Four event, Wakatipu stopped the clock in 6:27.52 and took the gold a boat length up, with Waikato getting silver and Aramoho Wanganui getting bronze in what was a gutsy effort in the sprint as they lifted their rating to move through the field to overtake Nelson who were vying for that third spot.

In the Men’s Novice Coxed Eight the Hamilton Boys boat stroked by Gabe Banks who were racing under Waikato colours burst out of the blocks and asserted their dominance on the field and continued building their lead throughout the race. They kept pushing out and away from the field with very sharp technical work for a novice group. At 500m to go they had stretched out the lead to over 3 boat lengths and didn’t take their foot off the accelerator surging to the line in fine form with a great rhythm in their boat taking the gold in 6:03.45. It was Avon taking silver half a boat length ahead of the other two Waikato crews who picked up the third and fourth positions.

Two breakaway crews led the pack in the Men’s Senior Quadruple Scull. North Shore had a one length lead over Wairau Composite with 500m to go, with both lifting their stroke rate in a final push to the finish, North Shore had the edge and the momentum adding to their advantage. North Shore took gold in 6:27.16, with Wairau in silver spot just ten seconds back 6:37.12, and Aramoho Wanganui rounded out the medals with bronze.

Waihopai managed a three-peat in the women’s senior eight claiming a dominant win in a time of 7:06.25. The eight swept to just over a boat length victory over Nelson, while Petone won the bronze medal. In the men’s respective senior eights event there was an outstanding race between the seven crews that took to the water in the hope to come away national champions. Hawkes Bay won in 6:06.45, with silver going to Avon and a canvas back to bronze was Petone.

At the conclusion of racing the Centennial Oar for the top club in all events at the Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships was awarded to Waikato Rowing Club. While the Hallyburton Johnstone Rose Bowl for the top association (leading region) in the eight boat events was Waikato Rowing Association. Waikato also gained the most points in the sculling events to win the Centennial Scull. Hamish Bond was judged the top Male Rower of the year for their achieving the highest standard of rowing, while the female rower of the year was Rebecca Scown, she received the Champions Cup. James Coote and Bruce Jones coach of Auckland RPC were recognized for their outstanding contributions to rowing and were jointly awarded the Lud Brooker Memorial Salver – Coach of the Year.

The Bankstream Trophy was awarded to Waikato RPC who was the top performing Regional Performance Centre (RPC) of the regatta.

Elite and Under-23 trialists will be named on Sunday 23 February, with trials happening at Lake Karapiro from 2-6 March, with crews expected to be named on Thursday 6March.

For more results: ?http://www.rowit.co.nz/results/nzcc2014?lr=1