Trappitt mishap turns dream into nightmare

23:41, Jul 30 2012
Sarah Gray, Louise Trappitt, Fiona Bourke and Eve MacFarlane start their heat in the women's quadruple sculls

Wairau's Louise Trappitt was almost inconsolable as she relived the moment when the Olympic dream of her and her three crewmates was shattered in a freak sweep of the oar at Eton Dorney.

Trappitt and the Kiwi women's quadruple scull of Sarah Gray, Fiona Bourke and Eve Macfarlane looked to be coasting into the final with just 500m left in yesterday's repechage.

With four progressing and the Kiwis on the charge from third, they looked certainties.

That was until disaster struck.

Trappitt, in the two seat, brought her oar around, as she has done thousands of times in her career, and felt it catch on something, then snap. It was as though a handbrake had been applied to the charging boat which dropped out the back, and out of the Games.

“We were having a flyer and just really enjoying it, then suddenly we kicked up some water, my blade hit it and it just shot out of my hand,” said a highly emotional Trappitt a little over an hour after the dramatics. “It caught the water and snapped in half and I couldn't get it back.


“It was just stuck there next to the boat. So I just had to sit back and enjoy the ride for the last 500m.

“I still don't quite know what happened. I'm a bit in shock and disbelief.”

Trappitt could not hold back the tears at that stage, and nor should she have. Crewmate Macfarlane offered her support, as best she could. “Everyone is gutted, but we're already looking forward to Rio,” she said.

There was better news for the women's double scull and the men's quad on day three of the Games regatta.

Fi Paterson and Anna Reymer trailed the crack British combination home to finish second in their heat and qualify directly for the final. “We just wanted a good start, get rid of a few nerves, row to our race plan and make the final,” said Paterson.

The men's quad of John Storey, Michael Arms, Matthew Trott and Robert Manson completed an impressive repechage victory to power into tomorrow's semifinals.

“We've got plenty more in the tank which is a really good feeling both mentally and physically,” said Trott.

The men's four, including Sean O'Neill, finished fourth in their heat, and head to a repechage tonight.

Fairfax NZ

The Marlborough Express