Women are featuring prominently in the Blenheim Rowing Club's success this season and among them is the novice double sculls pair of Richelle Collier and Paige Gilmore.
After a disappointing fifth place in their heat on Tuesday, the duo stormed back superbly yesterday to win their repechage and a place in today's semifinal.
First-season rowers, they were both attracted to the sport by rowing promotions.
"I had my first row at the inter-winery competition for Delegats and loved it," Collier said.
Gilmore added, "I joined the Learn to Row programme at Blenheim last year.
"I thought I'd go down and have a try for fun."
Not only are the duo having fun but they have proved very fast learners and already have a title under their belts.
"I started rowing with Richelle at the Otago champs. Our first ever row together in the heat we won and we won the title," said Gilmore.
Explaining their poor heat race at the nationals, Collier said, "We had a bit of a rubbish start out of the blocks in our heat and we were chasing from the start. We got it back in the repechage."
Both have pedigree on their side. Former All Blacks Jamie Joseph and Terry Mitchell are Collier's uncles on her father and mother's sides respectively and she is a Canterbury touch representative.
Gilmore, the baby of the women's squad at 17 (she will be 18 on Sunday) has brothers Troy and Leith both rowing for Blenheim and she agreed bragging rights were all important in the household.
- The Marlborough Express