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Summer squad ready to set pace at North Islands

  • 02 Feb 15

The North Island Championships this weekend will provide the last major hit out for rowers before the 2015 Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships. The event will run from Waitangi Day (Friday 6 February) over three days with finals to be completed on Sunday 8 February. The regatta will have over 800 athletes in more than 600 crews representing 31 clubs.

The New Zealand Summer Squad has entered 46 crews to compete in the following events over the three-day regatta: women’s open lightweight single scull, women’s premier pair, men’s premier pair, women’s premier double, men’s premier double, men’s premier coxless four, men’s premier single scull, women’s premier single scull, women’s premier quad and women’s open eight.

There is huge summer squad representation in the men’s premier single scull with eleven entries. Scullers contesting this event include Mahe Drysdale, Hamish Bond, Eric Murray, Robbie Manson, John Storey, Chris Harris, Jade Uru, George Bridgewater, Karl Manson and lightweights Adam Ling and Logan Rodger. Those scullers will again face a large field in the men's single sculls with a total of 23 entries. Drysdale would look to be the frontrunner after his win at the Cambridge Town Cup, however Robbie Manson and Hamish Bond (2014 title holder) could both provide a good challenge.

The women's single sculls will also be a tough battle with five summer squad entries including Fiona Bourke, Zoe Stevenson, and lightweights Julia Edward, Zoe McBride and Sophie MacKenzie. There are a total of nine entries in the women’s singles.

A lightweight men's four will feature in the premier men’s four event, with the crew seeing Curtis Rapley in stroke seat, with Alistair Bond, James Lassche and James Hunter slotting in behind him. The other fours are made up of the men’s sweep squad. This event has a total of five entrants.

The men's pair will be a duel of the men’s sweep oar squad with eight crews coming from the summer squad out of a total of ten entries. Two of those summer squad entries include the lightweight group, with James Hunter and James Lassche, Alistair Bond and Curtis Rapley, while Tom Murray teams with Anthony Allen, Stephen Jones with Brook Robertson, Shaun Kirkham with Alex Kennedy, Michael Brake with Alex Bardoul, Paddy McInnes with Isaac Grainger and Joe Wright with Finn Howard.

The women’s pair has five entries, with four coming from the summer squad. It will be a tussle for the medals, with the under-23 world champion women’s pair of Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast teaming up together, that duo will face Rebecca Scown and Gen Behrent who last week won the women’s open pair at the South Island Championships, while Kayla Pratt crews with Holly Greenslade, and Kelsey Bevan lines up with Ruby Tew.

Jackie Kiddle will be one of nine athletes racing the women’s open lightweight single.

The women’s double has six summer squad entries including Sarah Gray and Lucy Spoors, Sophie MacKenzie and Julia Edward, Olivia Loe and Erin-Monique O’Brien, Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle, Brook Donoghue and Kirsten Froude. There are a total of nine crews contesting the double.

The men’s double scull will see a fierce contest between Jade Uru and Robbie Manson, George Bridegewater and Chris Harris, John Storey and Karl Manson and Logan Rodger and Adam Ling round out the final crew. There is a field of five contesting the men’s premier double.

The women’s premier quad will have two summer squad crews that will face two other crews at this regatta. The first crew features the 2014 elite crew of Erin-Monique O’Brien, Georgia Perry, Lucy Spoors and Sarah Gray, while the second crew includes Kirsten Froude, Eve Macfarlane, Brook Donoghue and Olivia Loe.

The regatta will also see a women’s open eight take to the water, with Rebecca Scown setting the pace as stroke, Gen Behrent will sit in behind her, with Kerri Gowler, Grace Prendergast, Kelsey Bevan, Ruby Tew, Holly Greenslade and Kayla Pratt rounding out the crew. There are five crews entered in this event.

The summer squad will train for one more week together after the North Island Club Championships before joining back up to their Regional Performance Centre (RPC) on the 9 th February to prepare for the Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships. The 2015 Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships will be hosted at Lake Ruataniwha from 17-21 February.

Large entries for the North Island Club Championships come from smaller boats including the women's club double with 30 entries, the men's club double with 26 entries, the women's club single scull with 29 entries and the men's club single scull with 28 entries. In the larger boat classes the men's club eight has 12 entries, with 96 rowers and 12 coxswains competing.

For daysheets and results from the North Island Championships please see RowIT