Wairau and Central Region Performance Centre athlete Duncan Grant made a strong statement to the New Zealand selectors at the South Island Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel over the weekend.
Left out of the New Zealand summer training squad this year, the three-time world lightweight single sculls champion proved he has got the bit between his teeth in trying to regain national selection by winning the open single scull final and the open men's double with fellow Central RPC oarsman Jamie Hunter.
Central RPC coach Mark Stallard was pleased with his squad's overall performances but said there are still plenty of work-ons heading towards the National Championships at the same venue from February 19-23.
Others to impress in Stallard's squad included included Ruby Tew and Robyn Munro.
They took out the women's open pairs title then combined in the open four with Kerri Gowler and Erin Monique-Shelton to win the open fours title.
Blenheim Club coach Bill Campbell had plenty to smile about with his large squad brining home 35 gold medals, 15 silver and eight bronze medals.
The under-19 eight were victorious by two lengths.
Several oarsman had to back up soon after in other races because Sunday's finals schedule was compacted after strong wind forced some races to be postponed on Saturday afternoon.
The under-19 squad also gained a silver medal in the coxed four, coxed quad, club double and bronze in the club coxless quad.
The under-19 squad comprised, Mitch Avery, Connor Irving, Troy Gilmore, Tom Wilson, Isaac van Velthooven, Shaun MacDonald, Harrison Somerville, Zack Andrews and coxswain Trent Burbidge.
The Blenheim novice women's quad were impressive winners, that crew comprising Karmyn Ingram, Paige Gilmore, Richele Collier, Johnny B Taylor and coxswain Gill Wallace. Gilmore and Collier also won bronze in the novice double, pleasing women's coach Steve Hill.
The Blenheim under-15 squad were outstanding, clean-sweeping all titles they contested.
Leith Gilmore and Isaiah Miller were particularly outstanding, winning four South Island titles in one day.
The under-15 squad comprised, Gilmore, Greg Hyson, Robson Davies, Angus McFarlane, Miller, Cameron Donald, Campbell Stevens, Jordan Gasson, Alex Hill (coxswain), Jack Deleveau, Nathan Honeybone, Tim Ryan, Hashim Mir (coxswain).
Hyson and Hill won two golds, Stevens and Gasson going even better with two golds and a bronze medal each.
Campbell said the focus will now be on the under-15 group where there's healthy competition for seats and he's also focusing on improving aspects of the under-16/17 age groups.
Picton rowers joined Marlborough's overall success with the Gaudin brothers Keiran and Ryan plus New Zealand junior rep Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol and Owen O'Brien taking out the open quad title.
Caitlin Harvey rowed superbly to win the under-19 single scull title, while the Gaudins and O'Brien also featured in a composite eight with Wairau and Nelson which won a silver medal.
- The Marlborough Express
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