NZ rowers take step towards Olympic selection
New Zealand rowers took another step towards Olympic selection over the weekend with the majority of the squad racing at the Cambridge Town Cup at Lake Karapiro and a small contingent racing at the South Island Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha.
Over 3554 athletes competed across the country at the Cambridge Town Cup Regatta and Meridian South Island Rowing Championships held in the North and South Islands respectively. Results at these regattas gave crews of all abilities a good indication of where they are placed just over two weeks out from the Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships.
At the South Island Championships Holly Greenslade teamed up with Ashlee Rowe in the open women's coxless pair and took a comfortable win in a time of 7:19.8 while Paddy McInnes and Anthony Allen won the open men’s coxless pair.
Under 23 World Champions Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle teamed up to win gold in the women’s open double scull in a time of 7:15.17. McBride then took on the women’s open single scull and won from Kiddle by almost 10 seconds.
Karl Manson and Giacomo Thomas won gold and silver respectively in the men’s open single scull and then went on to win gold in the men’s double.
In the men’s club eight Avon took the gold medal ahead of Canterbury who won silver with Christchurch Boys receiving the bronze medal.
At the school level the U15 boys coxed quad was won by Blenheim Rowing Club ahead of Otago Rowing Club and St Thomas of Canterbury who were locked in a battle in the final stages of the race.
Veronica Wall won gold in the club single and then joined her crewmates to win bronze in the women’s club quad. At sixteen years old the Ashburton Rowing Club athlete is one to watch, also entering the women’s open single scull finishing sixth.
In the south the girls U19 eight was won convincingly by St Margarets in 7:03.40 with Rangi Ruru Girls in second and Christchurch Girls finishing in third. St Andrews College won the boys U19 eight over North End and Avon.
The Cambridge Town Cup was raced over three days with 2273 rowers representing 50 clubs or organisations.
In the men’s premier single John Storey took Mahe Drysdale by suprise coming through in the final stages of the race to take first place in an exceptionally quick time of 6:35.57. Drysdale finished second in a time of 6:37.22 with Robbie Manson in third. Emma Twigg won the women’s premier single scull in a time of 7:19.48, three seconds quicker than Eve Macfarlane. Swiss single sculler Jeannine Gmelin, who was fifth at the 2015 World Rowing Championships, finished in third place.
Rebecca Scown and Genevieve Behrent took another suprise win in the women’s premier pair ahead of World silver medallists Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast, winning in 6:49.06 and dipping under the current world best time of 6:50.61. Kelsey Bevan and Fiona Paterson finished in third place.
The six time world champion combination of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray won the premier pair in a time of 6:16.76 just under three seconds ahead of the lightweight pairing of Jamie Hunter and James Lassche who also went under the world best time in the lightweight pair clocking a time of 6:19.49. Brook Robertson and Isaac Grainger were home for third with the Swiss lightweight crew finishing fourth.
Current world champions Zoe Stevenson and Eve Macfarlane claimed the victory in the women’s premier double scull in a time of 6:43.96 over second place Olivia Loe and Sarah Gray. In the men’s premier double scull Robbie Manson and Chris Harris took the honours in front of John Storey and George Bridgewater.
In the men’s four the New Zealand summer squad lightweight combination of Jamie Hunter, Alistair Bond, Peter Taylor and James Lassche stormed home ahead of the swiss four – who boated three of the current world champions in the event. The kiwis claimed the win by over six seconds ahead of the Swiss crew coached by Ian Wright.
The largest event at the Cambridge Town Cup was the girls U17 women’s double, contested by a total of 53 crews, which was won by St Peters’ Jasmine Brake and Lily Butler racing as Cambridge Rowing Club. The girls claimed first in the A final of this event in a time of 7:47.69 winning comfortably ahead of crews from Hauraki Plains Rowing Club and Hawkes Bay Rowing Club.
The boys U18 eight was won by Auckland Grammar School in 6:03.88 just over two seconds clear of Westlake Boys with Hamilton Boys coming in third. Auckland Diocesan won the girls U18 eight by 10 seconds signalling their form as they look towards Maadi in early April. St Peters Cambridge and Epsom Girls Grammar claimed second and third.
For further results from the Cambridge Town Cup and the South Island Championships please see RowIT