Ten gold, five silver and five bronze medals. Not a bad haul of precious metal for Marlborough rowers at the BankLink New Zealand Rowing Championships, which finished at Lake Ruataniwha on Saturday.
Picton and Central Region Performance Centre star and Olympic champion Joseph Sullivan won another national title, retaining the double sculls crown with Wairau's Robbie Manson, and there were gold medals for all of Marlborough club's, some of them won in club singlets for Central RPC.
Overall, Central RPC, which is based at Wairau, was down on firepower, and that showed as it finished a disappointing last of the four performance centres on the points table.
Nathan Cohen won the men's premier single sculls final in a race which turned out to be as most had predicted - an absolute thriller.
Central RPC's Robbie Manson, in Wairau colours, dominated much of the race and held the lead coming down the home stretch. However, Cohen, with his trademark blistering finish, mowed him down on the line, and so did Michael Arms, the margin between the three being less than 1sec. Karl Manson, in Blenheim colours, was fifth.
Duncan Grant gave the national selectors a reminder when he combined with Jamie Hunter to easily win the men's lightweight premier double sculls title.
The three-time world lightweight single sculls champion and former Marlborough Sportsperson of the Year was delighted with his win, and was very keen to get a national trial. For Hunter, it was his second gold of the regatta and his first premier crown, and he is also a contender for the national trials.
Central RPC's Corey McCaffrey and Tom Murray showed their class in winning the men's under-20 pair in emphatic style, giving the Blenheim Rowing Club another title to add to the gold they won in the men's under-20 final on Friday.
Picton's Gaudin brothers, Ryan and Keiran, turned back the clock several years and added yet another national crown to their already impressive list.
They combined in the senior quadruple sculls with Owen O'Brien and Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol to smash the field by 7sec.
Earlier, the Picton senior men's double sculls combination of Keiran Gaudin and Mackenzie-Mol were beaten by 7/100ths of a second into second place, but the quad gold more than made up for that disappointment.
There were back-to-back golds for the Blenheim club double sculls crew of Shaun MacDonald and Harrison Somerville, a first national club title for both of them.
In the next race, Louise Ayling and Sophie Mackenzie from Central RPC were just as convincing in winning the women's lightweight open doubles sculls title.
In the feature premier eights races, which finished the regatta, the Central RPC women were runners-up to Southern in a three-boat field, never threatening to win, while in the men's event, Central were well off the pace. Southern RPC, with Olympic champion Hamish Bond in the crew, held off Eric Murray's Waikato by three-quarters of a length in a thrilling finale.
Marlborough rowers broke their gold medal duck in emphatic fashion during Friday's action, after failing to win anything on Thursday.
Picton's Sullivan bounced back to form in emphatic style in Friday's final, combining with Robbie Manson to retain their men's premier double sculls title.
The Central RPC second crew of Karl Manson and Joe Wright made the early pace, but Sullivan and Robbie Manson turned on the afterburners down the home stretch to beat off a gutsy challenge from Southern RPC.
Ruby Tew and Robyn Munro won Central's first gold of the regatta, in the under-22 women's pair.
In control throughout, they finished going away from the field, Tew continuing her rapid rise up the national rankings since joining Central last season.
She rows under the banner of Wellington's Star Boating Club, while Munro wears Nelson Rowing Club colours.
Last year's Marlborough Boys' College Maadi Cup Springbok four champions carried on that form for Central RPC, smashing the field to win the under-20 four gold medal. Corey McCaffrey and Tom Murray, wearing Blenheim colours, Ryan Wilson, in the blue and white of Picton, and Brook Robertson, in Nelson colours, rowed a superbly judged race.
James Hunter from Central rowed a controlled race to win gold in the men's under-22 single sculls final, and Wairau's Chris James turned back the clock to win the senior men's single sculls gold 29 years after his father, Central RPC assistant coach Mark James, did it.
The most amazing performance of the regatta was by Hamish Bond and Jade Uru from Southern RPC in the premier pairs final on Friday.
Ahead by three lengths at the 1000m mark, their steering broke, as Bond explained.
"Jade had no control when it broke. The rudder was off centre, and we were heading for the hills [to the side of the course]. We stopped three or four times, fixed things manually. I was ready to throw in the towel, but Jade suggested we carry on, so I started rowing again.
"We had three lengths up on the field before the breakage, and to win it by that margin was very surprising."
Central RPC's top crew of Sean O'Neill and Ian Seymour were disappointing, finishing last in the field and being beaten by the No 2 crew of Tufi Sele and Joe Trappitt, but a back injury to Seymour was the principal cause of that below-par result.
Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol, the youngest in the field, got Picton on the podium with a superb effort over the closing stages, the Queen Charlotte College student winning bronze in the men's under-20 single sculls final.
In one of the best races of the day, the Blenheim men's quad of Shaun MacDonald, Harrison Somerville, Troy Gilmore and Mitch Avery were pipped for bronze in a blanket four-boat finish, a photo deciding the placings.
Nathan Cohen was named New Zealand male Rower of the Year, with Kelsey Bevan and Kayla Pratt joint winners of the women's award and Calvin Ferguson was named coach of the year.
Women's under-20 single sculls B final: Central RPC (Jackie Kiddle) 3.
Women's under-20 single sculls A final: Central RPC (Jess Paton) 6.
Men's under-20 single sculls A final: Picton (Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol) 3.
Women's novice double sculls B final: Blenheim (Richelle Collier, Paige Gilmore) 5.
Men's club quadruple sculls A final: Blenheim (Shaun MacDonald, Harrison Somerville, Troy Gilmore, Mitch Avery) 4.
Women's under-22 pair A final: Central RPC (Ruby Tew, Robyn Munro) 1.
Men's lightweight open single sculls A final: Central RPC (Duncan Grant) 2.
Women's premier pair A final: Central RPC (Rebecca Scown, Linda Mathews) 3.
Men's premier pair A final: Central RPC (Joe Trappitt, Tufi Sele) 5, Sean O'Neill, Ian Seymour 6.
Women's open lightweight single sculls A final: Central RPC (Sophie Mackenzie) 2.
Women's club double sculls B final: Wairau (Milly Greenslade, Hannah Hocquard) 6.
Men's under-20 four A final: Central RPC (Ryan Wilson, Tom Murray, Brook Robertson, Corey McCaffrey) 1.
Men's under-19 double sculls heat: Blenheim (Connor Irving, Tom Wilson) 1.
Men's club single sculls A final: Blenheim (Harrison Somerville) 6.
Men's under-19 double heat: Blenheim (Connor Irving, Tom Wilson) 1, (Zack Andrews, Isaac van Velthooven) 4.
Women's under-22 single sculls B final: Central RPC (Georgia Hammond) 2.
Women's under-22 single sculls A final: Central RPC (Geo Rodie) 4.
Women's premier double sculls A final: Central RPC (Louise Trappitt, Erin-Monique Shelton) 2.
Men's premier double sculls A final: Central RPC (Joseph Sullivan, Robbie Manson) 1, (Karl Manson, Joe Wright) 3.
Men's under-22 single sculls A final: Central RPC (James Hunter) 1.
Women's under-19 double sculls heat: Wairau (Milly Greenslade, Hannah Hocquard) 4.
Men's senior single sculls final: Wairau (Chris James) 1.
Men's premier four A final: Central RPC (Tufi Sele, Joseph Trappitt, Sean O'Neill, Steve Cottle) 4.
Saturday's results Men's under-20 double sculls: Central RPC (Scott Green, Brook Robertson) 4.
Men's premier coxed four: Wairau (Duncan Grant, Tyna Williams, Steve Cottle, Chris James, Michael Dessoulavy, coxswain) 2.
Men's club four: Blenheim (Shaun MacDonald, Troy Gilmore, Connor Irving, Mitch Avery, Trent Burbidge, coxswain) 5.
Men's under-20 pair: Central RPC (Tom Murray, Corey McCaffrey) 1.
Men's senior double sculls: Picton (Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol, Keiran Gaudin) 2, Wairau (Tyna Williams, Chris James) 6.
Men's under-19 coxed four: Blenheim (Connor Irving, Mitch Avery, Troy Gilmore, Tom Wilson, Trent Burbidge, coxswain) 3.
Men's premier single sculls: Central RPC (Robbie Manson) 3, Karl Manson 5, Joe Wright 6.
Women's under-20 double sculls: Central RPC (Kerri Gowler, Phillipa Loveard) 4, Jackie Kiddle, Jess Paton 5, Wairau (Milly Greenslade, Hannah Hocquard) 6.
Men's under-22 quadruple sculls: Central RPC (Sam Wells, Adrian Riepen, Scott Green, Tom Nyenhuis) 4.
Men's lightweight open double sculls: Central RPC (Duncan Grant, Jamie Hunter) 1.
Men's senior quadruple sculls: Picton (Keiran Gaudin, Ryan Gaudin, Owen O'Brien, Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol) 1.
Men's club double sculls B final: Blenheim (Zack Andrews, Isaac van Velthooven) 7.
Men's club double sculls A final: Blenheim (Shaun MacDonald, Harrison Somerville) 1.
Women's lightweight open double sculls: Central RPC (Louise Ayling, Sophie Mackenzie) 1.
Men's under-19 double sculls: Blenheim (Connor Irving, Tom Wilson) 8.
Men's senior eight: Picton/Wairau/Blenheim (Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol, Owen O'Brien, Chris James, Peter Benny, Ryan Gaudin, Tyna Williams, Harrison Somerville, Keiran Gaudin, Trent Burbidge, coxswain) 7.
Women's premier eight: Central RPC (Erin-Monique Shelton, Geo Rodie, Ruby Tew, Kerri Gowler, Fiona Paterson, Robyn Munro, Linda Mathews, Rebecca Scown, Lauren McAndrew, coxswain) 2.
Men's premier eight: Central RPC (Tufi Sele, Ryan Wilson, Steve Cottle, Corey McCaffrey, Sean O'Neill, Tom Murray, Joe Trappitt, Tom Murray, Michael Dessoulavy, coxswain) 4.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Tom Murray Corey McCaffrey, James Hunter 2 Ruby Tew, Robyn Munro, Ryan Wilson, Brook Robertson, Joseph Sullivan, Robbie Manson, Chris James, Duncan Grant, Keiran Gaudin, Ryan Gaudin, Owen O'Brien, Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol, Shaun MacDonald, Harrison Somerville, Sophie Mackenzie, Louise Ayling.
Louise Ayling, Erin-Monique Shelton 3, Louise Trappitt , Linda Mathews 2, Duncan Grant, Sophie Mackenzie, Tyna Williams, Chris James, Duncan Grant, Steve Cottle, Michael Dessoulavy, Keiran Gaudin, Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol, Robyn Munro, Rebecca Scown, Ruby Tew, Kerri Gowler, Geo Rodie, Lauren McAndrew, Fiona Paterson
Joe Wright, Karl Manson 2, Sam Wells, Adrian Riepen, Brook Robertson, Ryan Wilson, Tom Nyenhuis, Corey McCaffrey, Tom Murray, Jamie Hunter, Michel Dessoulavy, Georgia Hammond, Jess Paton, Sophie Mackenzie, Kerri Gowler, Phillipa Loveard, Robyn Munro, Ruby Tew, Geo Rodie, Lauren McAndrew, Joseph Sullivan, Steve Cottle, Mitchell Mackenzie-Mol, Rebecca Scown, Linda Mathews, Robbie Manson, Connor Irving, Mitch Avery, Troy Gilmore, Tom Wilson, Trent Burbidge
THEY SAID IT ...
Women's under 22 pairs gold medallists RUBY TEW and ROBYN MUNRO from Central RPC.
Munro in reference to steering problems they had mid-race: "I'm not very good at steering. I'm usually a lot worse than that but at the end I felt like we could go on rowing forever. It felt great."
Tew: "It was exactly what we wanted to do. The second 500m we made our move and the third 500m. My first national title."
JOSEPH SULLIVAN and ROBBIE MANSON on their double sculls win.
Sullivan: "We had to work harder than we planned in the first 1000m.
Joe and Karl got a really good start. The second 1000m was a bit of a struggle but Robbie did all the work."
Manson: "I called a move at 1000m and we were just over cooked a bit at the end. Not much left over the last 250m."
JAMES HUNTER on his gold in the men's under 22 single scull: "The race went really well. Really pumped at the finish. Took the lead from the start, reacted to their moves and rebounded off them. Definitely one of the hardest races of my life."
RYAN GAUDIN after his gold in the men's senior quadruple sculls: "Nice to get that winning feeling back. We've been targeting this all year and was always going to make sure Keiran (Ryan's brother and crew-mate) wasn't going to get second twice in one day."
DUNCAN GRANT on his win in the premier men's lightweight double sculls: "We've kind of been focussing on this boat for the summer. This was the race. A good position for a possible national trial. Don't forget us."
LOUISE AYLING following her win in the lightweight women's double sculls with Sophie Mackenzie, her sixth national crown.
"That's exactly what we wanted. This is what I do, this is why I love it (rowing at the nationals). I love it, especially in Twizel. It's a lot more enjoyable (than being in the summer training squad at Lake Karapiro) and there's less pressure and great to do it with Sophie."
- The Marlborough Express