Home page Rocket Kitchen

Stroke of success for New Zealand rowing team in non-Olympic events

  • 30 Aug 14

New Zealand rowers have claimed a golden double and two world best time records at the 2014 world rowing championships in Amsterdam, with the squad also set up for more glory over the final two days of competition. New Zealand’s women’s four crew of Kerri Gowler, Grace Prendergast, Kelsey Bevan and Kayla Pratt and the men’s coxed pair of coxswain Caleb Shepherd and rowers Hamish Bond and Eric Murray both won Gold in convincing fashion, on a day that also confirmed that four more New Zealand crews have advanced to the A finals.

The women’s four were impressive performers after only being formed into a combination a month ago. The New Zealand crew picked up a good rhythm quickly which meant they gained a one length lead with 700m down. Through the halfway point they changed into a faster gear and continued to add to their lead. By the time the kiwi four crossed the line they led the field by over six seconds for the Gold. The New Zealanders smashed the world best time by more than ten seconds in 6:14.36. Silver went to the crew from the USA and bronze to China. The previous world best time was set by Australia at the 2006 World Rowing championships.

Coxswain Caleb Shepherd pushed Eric Murray and Hamish Bond to a record-breaking performance in the men’s coxed pair. The previous world best time had been in place for 20 years, since the 1994 world rowing championships and it was set by the Croatia. The former record time was 6:42.16 and Murray, Bond and Shepherd clocked in a time of 6:33.26, which smashed the record by nearly nine seconds. This is the second world best time that Murray and Bond are holders of, they claimed the 6:08.5 world best time record in the coxless pair which they attained at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The start of the race saw the New Zealanders take off slowly, but the Kiwis began clearing out on the quick-starting British pair and gained a marginal lead at the first 500m mark. By the second half they had taken a huge open water lead and won by a whopping ten seconds over the crew from Great Britain who claimed the silver, and Germany secured bronze.

In the women’s double scull semi-finals, the New Zealand duo of Zoe Stevenson and Fiona Bourke had a difficult start, and where challenged by steering issues through the 500m mark where they were positioned in fifth. After straightening up their course they unleashed huge determination to catch the other crews with 1000m to go. With the final quarter to play out the kiwis pushed themselves into A finals contention. The New Zealanders finished in third, with Australia blitzing home with a commanding lead and a world best time of 6:37.31, the second finals spot went to Lithuania. The Australians broke the record set by New Zealanders and double Olympic Champions Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell, this was a time that the twins set at the 2002 world rowing championships.

The New Zealanders had a tough semi-final line up in the men’s lightweight four. The kiwis also faced a crew change with Alistair Bond replacing an injured James Lassche. Through the first 500m New Zealand four was in third, behind Great Britain and Denmark. At the halfway point the Chinese were hot on the kiwis heels in fourth. The crew placings remained unchanged with the final 500m sprint remaining. Denmark claimed first and the world best time of 5:43.16, while Great Britain and New Zealand advanced to the A final with the record breakers. The three crews that progressed from the first semi-final will be joined by France, Australia and the Netherlands in the final on Sunday.

In the men’s single scull semi-finals the Cuban sculler blasted out the starting blocks, with Drysdale settling into the second spot through the first 500m mark. Marcel Hacker and Drysdale pulled up alongside the leading sculler just beyond the halfway point. All three bowballs were lined up as they passed through the 1500m, and into the final quarter of the race the Cuban started dropping off the pace. Hacker took the win ahead of Drysdale, and the Cuban took the last qualifying spot. The scullers from the second semi-final will face the scullers from Czech Republic, Lithuania and Azerbaijan from the first semi-final.

Racing in lane one Emma Twigg moved into first position of the women’s single scull semi-finals through the first 500m mark after a steady start. Twigg continued to lengthen the gap on her competitors steadily to win by almost six seconds after easing the pressure off the last few strokes. Twigg will meet scullers from Austria, Ireland, Australia, China and Russia in the final.

In the men’s double sculls semi-finals the Manson brothers, Karl and Robbie, had a slow start with the Italians taking the early lead, with Lithuania and Australia moving with the front-runners. The New Zealanders had to fight to catch up, but inch by inch they pulled up on the leading crews. With 500m to go the New Zealanders cranked up the stroke rate to 41 and produced some good boat speed and were going neck and neck with the Australians for third. The sprint took its toll and they just couldn’t deliver on a top three placing, and were nudged out by the Australians who claimed the third and final qualification spot behind the Italians who nabbed second, and the Lithuanians were the winners. The Mansons will contest the B final on Sunday.

Tomorrow (30 August) New Zealand will contest A finals in the women’s pair, men’s pair, lightweight women’s double scull and women’s quadruple scull and a B final in the men’s quadruple scull. On the final competition day New Zealand will compete in A finals of the women’s double scull, lightweight men’s four, men’s single scull and the women’s single sculls as well as a B final in the men’s double scull on Sunday (31 August).

World Rowing Championships 2014 – New Zealand Crews

Women’s Single Scull

Emma Twigg (Hawkes Bay RC, Auckland RPC)

Gary Hay (Coach)

Women’s Lightweight Double Scull

Julia Edward (Rotorua RC, Waikato RPC)

Sophie MacKenzie (Wairau RC, Central RPC)

Gary Hay (Coach)

Women’s Coxless Pair

Rebecca Scown (Union Wanganui RC, Central RPC)

Louise Trappitt (Star BC, Central RPC)

Gary Hay (Coach)

Women’s Double Scull

Zoe Stevenson (Tauranga RC, Waikato RPC)

Fiona Bourke (Otago University RC, Southern RPC)

Dick Tonks (Coach)

Women’s Coxless Four

Kerri Gowler (Aramoho-Wanganui RC, Central RPC)

Grace Prendergast (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Kelsey Bevan (Counties-Manukau RC, Auckland RPC)

Kayla Pratt (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)

Marion Horwell (Coach)

Women’s Quad

Erin-Monique O’Brien (Petone RC, Central RPC)

Lucy Spoors (Canterbury RC, Southern RPC)

Georgia Perry (Cambridge RC, Waikato RPC)

Sarah Gray (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Mike Rodger (Coach)

Men’s Single Scull

Mahe Drysdale (West End RC, Auckland RPC)

Dick Tonks (Coach)

Men’s Coxless Pair

Hamish Bond (North End RC, Southern RPC)

Eric Murray (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Noel Donaldson (Coach)

Men’s Coxed Pair

Hamish Bond (North End RC, Southern RPC)

Eric Murray (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Caleb Shepherd (Coxswain) (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Noel Donaldson (Coach)

Men’s Lightweight Double Scull

Alistair Bond (Otago University RC, Southern RPC)

Adam Ling (Tauranga RC, Waikato RPC)

Dave Thompson (Coach)

Men’s Double Scull

Robbie Manson (Wairau RC, Central RPC)

Karl Manson (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)

Calvin Ferguson (Coach)

Men’s Quad

Chris Harris (Aramoho-Wanganui RC, Central RPC)

Nathan Flannery (Union Christchurch RC, Southern RPC)

John Storey (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Jade Uru (Waihopai RC, Southern RPC)

Calvin Ferguson (Coach)

Men’s Lightweight Coxless Four

Curtis Rapley (Tauranga RC, Waikato RPC)

James Lassche (Avon RC, Southern RPC) – raced in the heats

Alistair Bond (Otago University RC, Southern RPC) – for semi-finals

Peter Taylor (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)

James Hunter (Wellington RC, Central RPC)

Dave Thompson (Coach)

Travelling Reserves

Linda Matthews (Star BC, Central RPC)

Giacomo Thomas (Hawkes Bay RC, Auckland RPC)

Team Managers

Jan Taylor & Andrea Harper