Rowers surge to trophy success

Blenheim Rowing Club grabbed bragging rights at the Meridian Marlborough Rowing Championships over the weekend.

Competing against rival Marlborough clubs Wairau, Picton and the Central Region High Performance Centre based at Wairau, Blenheim, the host club took out the Fredericks Aggregate Trophy for the second successive year.

Blenheim enjoyed success through the grades led by coxed quadruple scull crew of Connor Irving, Tom Wilson, Mitchell Avery, Troy Gilmore and coxswain Trent Burbidge and they backed up to also take out the men's Under-17 coxed four.

Coach Bill Campbell was very satisfied afterwards. "Overall, a good run down to the Otago champs next weekend. Some boys had a lot of races so the tanks were pretty empty but still performing at the end which is a good sign. We got out of it what we really needed, some good, hard racing."

Blenheim's Harrison Somerville took out the club single sculls and the Under-15 double of Isaiah Miller and Leith Gilmore won impressively from Picton's Alan Harvey and Kaine Marsh.

The Blenheim women's crew of Paige Gilmore, Anna Bishop, Jonny-Belinda Taylor, Karmyn Ingram and coxswain Alex Hill prevailed in the novice coxed four event and the Under-15 four of Campbell Stevens, Miller, Greg Hyson, Gilmore and coxswain Hill won their A final.

The men's novice eight collected another win for Blenheim, Tim Ryan, Jack Delaveau, Jason Cook, Emilien Remond, Damien Decoorey, Sam Beavis, David Bullivant, Glenn Offord and coxswain Joshua Powell doing the business. Richard de Reeper, Angus McFarlane, Sam Beavis, Robson Davies and cox Trent Burbidge won the men's novice coxed quad.

There were plenty of smiles on Wairau faces as well. They also won a host of finals including the coxed club quad of Eve Benger, Milly Greenslade, Hannah Hocquard, Stacey Chandler and cox Jamie Thomas.

The Under 15 coxed eight won. That crew was: Ruby McManaway, Alexandra Pitman, Molly Somerville, Tamara Porter, Lydia Mossman, Georgina Williams, Oliva King, Deenah Farrelly and cox Meg Lamb.

Portia Barcello and Nadja Hyson took out the women's club coxless pair.

The Under-15 girl's quad were successful, comprising Georgina Williams, Mossman, Somerville, Farrelly and cox Lamb. Wairau had more success in the Under-17 girls' eight which was Rachel Chandler, Benger, King, Greenslade, Hyson, Jess Donald, T J Power, Barcello and cox Ingrid Binstead-Pickering. Donald, Power, Hyson, Barcello and Binstead-Pickering backed up to win the women's club coxed four title.

Eloise Boon, Ahlia Hicks, Kate Rawcliffe, Tegan Williams and cox Binstead Pickering were triumphant in the women's novice four. Somerville and McManaway took out the Under-15 girls' double.

Wairau head coach Dave Williamson said, "Way advanced to what we normally are at this time of the year. The girls have rowed really well. The Under-15s dominated and won every event. really happy with the novices. Their first regatta and they've done well."

In one of the best races of the regatta, Wairau's Chris James saw a big length-plus lead shrink to almost nothing as he just held on for a fine win in the men's open singles, Picton's New Zealand junior rep Mitchell McKenzie-Mol putting in a storming finish to come up just short. It was an especially fine row by Mckenzie-Mol, coming just two races after he and Keiran Gaudin took out the double scull event from comeback men Ryan Gaudin and Daniel Karena.

The big disappointment of the regatta was three-time world champion Duncan Grant for the Central RPC failing to make the A final, unable to cope with windy conditions during Saturday's heat.

Coach Mark Stallard wasn't offering any excuses and said Grant had plenty of work ahead of him to sharpen up. Grant did have success in the open coxless four with Wells, Watts and Hunter.

Overall, Stallard was pleased with the weekend's work and said, "It's been a good regatta. Racing against ourselves mainly. Right across the board, considering all the hard training we've been doing, I'm happy."

Caitlin Harvey flew Picton's flag proudly, blitzing the field to win the women's club single scull.

The last event on the card, the open men's eight provided a blast from the past with a composite crew, which included former Olympians Ian Smallman and Rob Hellstrom, plus world junior rep Ryan Gaudin but they were well beaten by the Central RPC crew of Tom Murray, Adrian Riepen, Brook Robertson, Ryan Wilson, Ian Seymour, James Hunter, Joseph Trappitt, Corey McCaffrey and cox Michael Dessoulavy.

Central had plenty of other success too with Geo Rodie winning the open singles and McCaffrey and Murray taking out the coxless pair.

Central RPC rowers also impressed at the Jury Cup regatta in Whanganui where Kerri Gowler, Ruby Tew, Robyn Munro and Erin-Monique all shone in the four and in pairs combinations.

The Marlborough Express