There were several medals but not much satisfaction for Marlborough crews on the opening day of finals at the BankLink New Zealand Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha yesterday.
Central Region Performance Centre crews won four medals, but three of those boats were last in very small fields.
The premier men's quad, including Olympic gold medallist Joseph Sullivan, were beaten into third place in a four-boat field.
The Central RPC crew of Louise Ayling, Erin-Monique Shelton, Louise Trappitt and Linda Mathews won silver in the women's premier coxed quadruple sculls, but it was a soft one, with just two boats in the field. Waikato RPC were the winners by two lengths.
It was the same with the Central RPC under-22 men's eight, third in a three-boat final and bronze medal winners in a result which didn't live up to expectations. Likewise the women's under-22 eight, who finished third in their three-boat final.
The men's premier quad, the last final of the day, was one of the best races. Southern RPC, including Olympic gold medallist Nathan Cohen, pulled away over the latter stages, holding off a strong challenge from Auckland, with defending champions Central third. The Central crew comprised Joe Wright, Sullivan, Karl Manson and Steve Cottle.
Picton's crew of Owen O'Brien, Ryan Gaudin, Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol and Keiran Gaudin put up a valiant effort, staying with the pace in the early stages, but they were no match for the powerful RPC crews over the closing stages and finished fourth.
There was no medal for the Blenheim men's club eight. Despite a strong finish, they left themselves too much to do down the final stretch and finished fifth, a performance which annoyed their coach, Bill Campbell.
Meanwhile Robbie Manson, wearing Wairau colours and rowing for Central RPC, turned in an impressive start to win the second semifinal of the men's premier sculls during the morning's action.
Olympic double sculls gold medallist Cohen won the first semifinal by three seconds from Manson's younger brother, Karl, competing in Blenheim club colours. Those three look set for a ding-dong battle in tomorrow's final, which will also feature Joe Wright from Central RPC.
Others to make A finals from the Marlborough contingent were Mackenzie-Mol in the men's under-20 single sculls, Jess Paton from Central RPC in the women's under-20 single, Central RPC's James Hunter in the men's under-22 single, and Blenheim's Harrison Somerville in the men's club single.
Somerville and Shaun MacDonald combined to cruise into tomorrow's men's club double sculls final, easily winning their semifinal.
The Blenheim women's novice quadruple sculls missed out on a place in the A finals but rowed a good race in the B final to finish runners-up to Avon.
Heading into today's and tomorrow's finals, Marlborough rowers representing Picton, Blenheim, Wairau and Central RPC are in contention for several medals - but as they found out yesterday, the competition is extremely hot.
Men's under-20 single sculls semifinal: Picton (Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol) 3.
Women's under-20 single sculls semifinal: Central RPC (Jackie Kiddle) 5, Jess Paton 3.
Women's novice quadruple sculls semifinal: Blenheim (Karmyn Ingram, Johnny Belinda-Taylor, Richelle Collier, Paige Gilmore, Gill Wallace, coxswain) 5.
Men's premier single sculls semifinal: Central RPC (Robbie Manson), 1 Karl Manson 2, Joe Wright 3.
Women's novice double sculls semifinal: Blenheim (Richelle Collier, Paige Gilmore) 6. Women's club double sculls semifinal: Wairau (Milly Greenslade, Hannah Hocquard) 7.
Men's club single sculls semifinal: Blenheim (Harrison Somerville) 4.
Men's under-22 single sculls semifinal: Wairau (Tyna Williams) 6, Central RPC (Luke Watts) 4, James Hunter 2. Men's under-21 club double: Blenheim (Harrison Somerville, Shaun MacDonald) 1, Zack Andrews, Isaac van Velthooven 8.
Women's novice quadruple sculls B final: Blenheim 2. Women's premier quadruple sculls final: Central RPC (Louise Ayling, Erin-Monique Shelton, Louise Trappitt, Linda Mathews) 2.
Men's under-22 eights final: Central RPC (Sam Wells, Adrian Riepen, Brook Robertson, Ryan Wilson, Tom Nyenhuis, Corey McCaffrey, Tom Murray, James Hunter, Michael Dessoulavy, coxswain) 3.
Men's club eights final: Blenheim (Zack Andrews, Harrison Somerville, Shaun MacDonald, Isaac van Velthooven, Tom Wilson, Troy Gilmore, Connor Irving, Mitch Avery, Trent Burbidge, coxswain) 5.
Women's under-22 eights final: Central RPC (Georgia Hammond, Jess Paton, Sophie Mackenzie, Kerri Gowler, Phillipa Loveard, Robyn Munro, Ruby Tew, Geo Rodie, Lauren McAndrew, coxswain) 3.
Men's premier quadruple sculls: Central RPC (Joe Wright, Joseph Sullivan, Karl Manson, Steve Cottle) 3.
- The Marlborough Express
Who will win the Press Cup on Saturday, 2.30pm, Lansdowne Park, Blenheim?