Paton leads titles charge

00:30, Feb 21 2013

Jess Paton kicked off day two of the BankLink New Zealand Rowing Championships on a successful note for Blenheim's Central Region Performance Centre at Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel.

In glorious weather conditions with a light tail wind, she dominated her rivals to win her repechage and progress to the semifinals of the women's under-20 single sculls.

Her team-mate Jackie Kiddle also made it through to today's semis with a second placing in her repechage as Marlborough rowers continued to perform well.

Blenheim enjoyed another successful day with the women's novice double sculls combination of Richelle Collier and Paige Gilmore turning on a vastly improved performance from their heat to be convincing winners of their repechage, despite a hiccup near the end when a missed stroke cost them ground.

They row next in a semifinal.

The men's coxless quad sculls of Shaun MacDonald, Harrison Somerville, Troy Gilmore and Mitch Avery cruised into the final with a faultless display and look genuine gold medal prospects, while the Blenheim coxed four of MacDonald, Gilmore, Irving, Avery and coxswain Trent Burbidge qualified for Saturday's final after a second placing in their repechage.


The day ended on a positive note for Blenheim with Isaac van Velthooven and Zack Andrews qualifying for the semifinals of the men's club double sculls with a determined third placing.

Blenheim club coach Bill Campbell was generally satisfied with the work of his charges so far.

"We've qualified for everything we can so far and the other crews to come are all capable of qualifying for finals," he said.

"The quad showed a big improvement but I felt the four could have gone better.

"However, three of those boys rowed in the quad earlier and may have had the sting taken out of them."

Wairau's Duncan Grant, rowing for Central RPC, put Tuesday's disappointing heat result behind him to easily win his men's open lightweight single sculls repechage, the three-time former world lightweight single sculler leading from almost start to finish.

Wairau's Chris James and Tyna Williams rowed a fine race in sweltering heat to win their repechage and a place in Saturday's final and on that form are certainly a medal chance.

Marlborough crews feature in several finals this afternoon including the Central RPC and Picton men's premier quadruple sculls.

Representing Central are the Manson brothers Robbie (Wairau) and Karl (Blenheim) plus Olympic gold medallist Joseph Sullivan, wearing Picton colours and Joe Wright.

Flying the Picton flag are the Gaudin brothers Ryan and Keiran plus Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol and Owen O'Brien.

Contesting the women's final are London Olympians Louise Trappitt and Louise Ayling plus Erin-Monique Shelton and Linda Mathews.

The Central RPC under-22 eight and Blenheim men's club eight are also chasing gold in today's finals.

The Marlborough Express