There was jubilation and despair for Marlborough rowers during this morning's finals at the World under 23 rowing championships at Brest in Belarusia.
Kylie Wright, a novice club rower last season and Tarsha Williams, both from Wairau Rowing Club were in the New Zealand women's eight which rowed a great race to finish second and take the silver medal behind USA.
However, the news was not so good for the Manson brothers, Robbie from Wairau and Karl from the Blenheim Rowing Club, coached by Central Region Performance Centre coach Mark Stallard. After winning their double scull heat and finishing a solid second in their semifinal, they faded in the last stretch to finish a disappointing fifth in the final.
In an email sent to The Marlborough Express this morning, Robbie Manson said, "The final was tough. We started as fast as we could. We didn't manage to get into a really good rhythm but held onto the Lithuanians until about 500m to go. Germany and Latvia had cleared out.
"Coming into the last 500m we had used all the energy we had. We started slipping and, as we did, our balance went and we fell to pieces. We are both very disappointed."
Robbie, who won the title last year with Joseph Sullivan, then went on to thank everyone who has supported them through the whole campaign, especially those who helped raise funds. He added, "Now we will go home, train even harder and hopefully come back next year stronger and faster."
The women's eight with Williams and Wright in the crew were always in medal contention throughout the final although the USA controlled it most of the way.
The Kiwis were in a real dogfight for the minor placings against Canada, but, despite their inexperience, rowed away from Germany and pulled out all the stops over a frantic last 500m to edge out the Canadians for an outstanding second place.
- The Marlborough Express