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Bankstream NZ Rowing Champs commence

  • 16 Feb 16

The 2016 Bankstream National Rowing Championships heats kicked off today with 874 athletes competing for nationals titles across 72 events. New Zealand’s Olympic hopefuls are not only competing for national honours but also with the hope of catching the eye of Rowing New Zealand selectors, with Olympic trials in less than two weeks’ time.

The Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships covers abilities ranging from novice, club, age group, senior right through to premier events. The women’s club quadruple sculls kicked off the regatta with crews aiming to gain the top four finishes they needed to move through to the semi-finals. In the first heat it was Bay of Plenty Coast that clinched first place ahead of Hamilton and Avon Rowing Club. The second heat was won by the Otago University crew while in the third heat Hawkes Bay Rowing Club were the clear winners.

The women’s novice quad heats saw North Shore Rowing Club and Wellington Rowing Club pick up the sole A final spots, while all other crews will face a repechage.

The men’s premier lightweight single scull saw Adam Ling from Waikato RPC take a convincing 9 second win over Hayden Cohen from Southern RPC in the first heat. Cohen took the only A final spot on offer in heat one while in the second heat Waikato RPC’s Toby Cunliffe-Steele took control winning in 7:32.37, with Silvan Zehnder of the Swiss High Performance Centre placing second just over three seconds behind Cunliffe-Steele.

Heat one of the women’s premier lightweight single scull saw Zoe McBride of the Central RPC take the win and qualify for the A final with Sophie Mackenzie placing second meaning she will face a repechage tomorrow. In the second heat Julia Edward took charge winning in 7:53.55 to qualify directly for the final, while Jackie Kiddle snatched second place in 7:58.38 and will also head to the repechages.

The women’s club double had a tough progression in place, with such a large field, meaning only the top crew from the heats heading directly for the semi-finals. The winners of the heats included crews from Dunstan Arms Rowing Club, Wellington Rowing Club, Nelson Rowing Club, West End Rowing Club, Rotorua Rowing Club and Tauranga Rowing Club. The remaining 29 crews face a repechage.

Emma Dyke and Grace Prendergast from the Southern RPC won the women’s premier pair by a boat length over Central RPC’s Rebecca Scown and Fiona Paterson. Grace Prendergast enjoyed racing a new combination with Emma Dyke “We have never raced together before so it was interesting but we were focused on staying in our own boat and were conscious of working on the things we’ve been focusing on in training. The pair is our main race that we’re targeting, being a small boat, so we’d like to put an emphasis on that but ideally we’re aiming to be in the middle of the podium for all our races.”

In the men’s premier pair Hamish Bond and James Lassche of the Southern RPC won heat one over the Swiss High Performance Squad while James Hunter and Tom Murray from Central RPC won heat two over another Swiss High Performance Squad combination.

Hayden Cohen and Toby- Cunliffe Steele won heats one and two on the men’s premier single. In heat three of the men’s premier single Robbie Manson was off to a flying start leading the field with Mahe Drysdale gradually closing in but unable to catch Manson. With the top three from each heat progressing to the semi-finals Manson, Drysdale and third placed John Storey will all progress through to the semi-final on Thursday. Robbie Manson was pleased with his race, “I was able to shoot out of the start and by halfway I had quite a big lead. Mahe started to come back at me in the second half but I had enough to just hold on at the end. The conditions were tricky but that suited me. At the end of the day it’s only the heat and it doesn’t really count for much when it comes to the final on Saturday.”

In heat one of the women’s premier single Sarah Grey was in control and managed to hold off Southern RPC sculler and the 2015 defending champion Lucy Spoors. Emma Twigg always looked comfortable in the women’s premier single ahead of Eve Macfarlane in second and Canadian sculler Carling Zeeman in third. Grey and Twigg will progress to the A final while the remainder will head to the repechages.

In the women’s premier eight race for lanes Central RPC came home in a time of 6:48.82 ahead of Auckland RPC by just under 5 seconds. Waikato RPC were the frontrunners in the men’s premier eight race for lanes, finishing four seconds clear of Auckland RPC.

The 2016 Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships has over 870 rowers representing 49 organisations in 72 boat classes. Heats and repechages occupy the first three days of the Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships, and finals are split over Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Repechages are set to be raced on Wednesday as planned. Due to impending weather, some semi finals will be brought forward to Wednesday afternoon. Please refer to Wednesday’s day sheet for further details.

To see the day sheet for Wednesday 17 February (Day 2) of the 2016 Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships: http://www.rowit.co.nz/nzcc2016/daysheet

For results from the Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships: http://www.rowit.co.nz/nzcc2016/results