Nine more Marlborough college crews moved into A finals at the Aon Maadi Cup national secondary schools rowing regatta yesterday.
Six Marlborough Boys' College combinations booked a place in the top eight while three Marlborough Girls' College crews made it through to the medal race at Lake Ruataniwha.
After qualifying three crews for finals yesterday, MGC head coach Dave Williamson was thrilled to add three more to the mix. "The under-15 quad had the third-fastest time in the semis so they were pretty excited about that. They aren't far away.
"The novice four came back at the end of the day in atrocious conditions. They had to fight their way back from about seventh. It was a pretty gutsy row. I watched it from the start to about the 1000 and I thought they were out of it. Then we had an excited phone call from the finish saying they had made it."
The under-17 coxed four of Georgina Williams, Lydia Mossman, Sammie Woollcombe, Tamara Porter and coxswain Meg Lamb came home fourth in their semifinal to qualify for the final, starting the ball rolling for MGC. They were followed on to the water by the under 15 coxed quad comprising Sophie Robinson, Kate Rawcliffe, Charlotte McKee, Stella Blake with coxswain Isabel Cowlishaw who came third in their semi, then the surprise package of the day, the under-18 novice coxed four of Ella Irvine, Susie Grigg, Tahlia Thompson, Brydie Godsiff and cox Chloe Crawford who stormed home to finish fourth and grab a final spot.
Under-18 single scullers Portia Barcello and Jess Donald came first and second respectively in the C final, producing times that would have stood them in good stead in better company, perhaps victims of the controversial time trial qualification system employed on Wednesday, Williamson suggested.
Six MBC crews bagged final spots on a busy day for a squad beset with illness. Key oarsmen Robson Davies and Rainer Wichman have been affected by a tummy bug, Davies unable to row yesterday but hoping to be in better shape for the finals.
MBC crews to reach finals were: the under-15 double (Jack Delaveau, Nathan Honeybone); under-16 coxed quad (Greg Hyson, Isaiah Miller, Angus McFarlane, Leith Gilmore, Trent Burbidge); under-18 lightweight coxed four (Campbell Stevens, Zack Andrews, Jordon Gasson, Rainer Wichman, Burbidge); under-16 coxed four (Gilmore, Miller, Delaveau, Cameron Donald, Alex Hill); under-16 double (McFarlane, Gilmore) and the under-18 lightweight double of Andrews and Gasson.
A notable effort came from under-16 rower Gilmore who competed in five events yesterday, eventually being pipped for a place in the single late on a crowded day, after an exhausting schedule.
While his charges have reached seven finals, MBC head coach Bill Campbell wasn't a particularly happy man, especially with the manner his under-18 eight had fallen out of contention for the prestigious Maadi Cup final. After finishing third in their heat, the MBC eight faced a repechage and had high hopes of progressing, but after delays on day two they were forced to race a time trial on Wednesday to decide places for the final.
Campbell explains why he is no fan of the time trial system: "We should have been in probably eight finals. The boys were good enough to make the Maadi eight final but they changed the system to a time trial.
"In a time trial you should have a clear lane, unimpeded water. We ended up catching a girls' crew that was set off 45 seconds in front . . . the big eights put out a big wake. One of the boys caught a bit of dirty water and the whole bow side crabbed . . . stopped the boat dead. We would have lost four seconds, and we lost out in the end by about a second. The other boat shouldn't have been there. I'm really disappointed. Crews are getting eliminated without racing."
The MBC eight wound up fourth fastest, albeit narrowly, needing to be in the top two to make the final. Ahead of them was a boat they had beaten by nine seconds in the heat. Although Campbell has lodged a protest, he has little hope of having the placings revisited. However, with four A finals today and three tomorrow, he is optimistic of a good showing from a squad that has already had to battle adversity on and off the water.
Queen Charlotte College's sole representative at Lake Ruataniwha, Caitlin Harvey - a bronze medallist in the 2013 under-17 single sculls, missed the A final in the under-18 event, finishing fifth in her semifinal yesterday and will compete in the B final.
MAADI CUP WRAP
Results from Thursday's racing:
Marlborough Boys' College: Under-17 single (Taylor Evans) 7th in C final Under-15 double (Jack Delaveau, Nathan Honeybone) 3rd in semifinal – to A final Under-16 coxed quad (Greg Hyson, Isaiah Miller, Angus McFarlane, Leith Gilmore, Trent Burbidge) 4th in semifinal – to A final Under-18 lightweight coxed four (Campbell Stevens, Zack Andrews, Jordon Gasson, Rainer Wichman, Burbidge) 4th in semifinal – to A final Under-16 coxed four (Gilmore, Miller, Delaveau, Cameron Donald, Alex Hill) 2nd in semifinal – to A final Under-17 double (Greg Hyson, Evans) 8th in C final Under-16 double (McFarlane, Gilmore) 3rd in semifinal – to A final Under-18 lightweight double (Andrews, Gasson) 4th in semifinal – to A final Under-16 single (Leith Gilmore) 5th in semifinal – to B final
Marlborough Girls' College: Under-17 coxed four (Georgina Williams, Lydia Mossman, Sammie Woollcombe, Tamara Porter, Meg Lamb) 4th in semifinal – to A final Under-15 coxed quad (Sophie Robinson, Kate Rawcliffe, Charlotte McKee, Stella Blake, Isabel Cowlishaw) 3rd in semifinal – to A final Under-15 coxed four (Robinson, Miranda Binsted-Pickering, Grace Lawson, Blake, Cowlishaw) 6th in semi – to B final Under-18 novice double (Ella Irvine, Tahlia Thompson) 3rd in C final; (Godsiff, Grigg) 8th in semifinal – to B final Under-16 coxed quad (Ahlia Hicks, Meg Hocquard, Samantha Lawrence, Molly Ramsay, Bianca Sisson) – 2nd in C final Under-18 single (Portia Barcello) 1st in C final; (Jess Donald) 2nd in C final. Under-18 novice coxed four (Irvine, Grigg, Thompson, Godsiff, Crawford) 4th in semifinal – to A final
Queen Charlotte College: Under-18 single (Caitlin Harvey) 5th in semifinal – to B final.
- The Marlborough Express