Brothers face off in single sculls final
Brother versus brother, club versus club.
That's the scenario for two highly talented Marlborough siblings heading into tomorrow's men's premier single sculls grand final at the BankLink New Zealand Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha.
Robbie Manson wearing Wairau colours, a London Olympian in the quadruple sculls, blitzed his semifinal, winning in convincing style while younger brother Karl, wearing the black and white of Blenheim, rowed a very good race for second place, 3sec behind Olympic double sculls gold medallist Nathan Cohen.
It's the first time the Marlborough brothers have gone head to head at the nationals and Robbie is not about to let his younger sibling get the better of him in the big dance.
"It was a good race today. Just a good hit out before the final and I worked on a few things during the race which I needed to.
"I've got to watch him (Karl). He's a cheeky young bugger and he's going very well. I think Nathan (Cohen) and Karl will be big rivals in the final."
Karl was pleased with his race. "My aim was to make the final and I've done that. Pretty solid pace for the first 1500m and the last 500m just held it. I'm happy to be in the final and now I can see what I can do. I haven't beaten Robbie in a race yet," he said.
On current form you wouldn't bet against both brothers being on the medal podium with Cohen definitely the man to beat now that Mahe Drysdale is taking a sabbatical.
Probably just as nervous as her sons will be their mum, Kay Surgenor, as one of the assistant coaches of the Wairau contingent but the big smile on her face suggested she is very proud, whatever happens tomorrow.
The Marlborough Express