Five golds for New Zealand rowers at World Cup

WINNERS AGAIN: Kiwi pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.
WINNERS AGAIN: Kiwi pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.

The Kiwi contingent rowed away with a handful of gold medals at the latest World Cup regatta in Aiguebelette, France, overnight.

The Rowing NZ team claimed five gold and added a bronze, a fourth place finish and three B final golds in a hugely successful event as they work towards this year's world championships in Amsterdam in August.

The New Zealand men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray added another gold to their vast collection in dominant style as expected.

It was the 17th consecutive title at Olympic, world championship and World Cup level - a world record for successes - for the duo who haven't been beaten since they teamed up in the pair at the start of 2009.

Bond and Murray headed home second-placed Germany by over 10 seconds in a winning time of six minutes 22.51 seconds.

Women's lightweight single sculler Julia Edward won an unexpected gold when she triumphed in 7:41.17, almost two seconds ahead of Great Britain's Ruth Walczak.

Edward was originally scheduled to contest the lightweight women's double sculls with regular crewmate Lucy Strack, but Rowing New Zealand left an out-of-form Strack in New Zealand to work on her technique with a view to possibly teaming up with Edward again at the final World Cup regatta of the year in Lucerne next month.

The NZ lightweight men's four of Curtis Rapley, James Lassche, Peter Taylor and James Hunter had to win their repechage to make the A final and then gained some revenge on their Danish arch-rivals by winning gold.

Denmark beat the Kiwi quartet to win gold at last year's world champs but this time the NZ boat pulled out to a lead after the first 500m and were never headed, winning by over two seconds in 5:53.81.

Men's single sculler Mahe Drysdale produced a superbly-timed race to defeat the Czech Republic's Ondrej Synek, the defending world champ and the man Drysdale pushed into second place at the 2012 London Olympics.

Drysdale was last after 500m, fourth at the halfway stage but up into second with 500m to row and mowed down Synek to win in 6:55.15, with Synek almost two seconds back and Cuba's Angel Fournier Rodriguez claiming bronze.    

Emma Twigg, who won at the opening World Cup regatta of the season in Sydney in March in the women's single scull, claimed her second gold of the year in France.

Twigg held off a late dash by China's Jingli Duan with a winning row of 7:40.16, with Austria's Magdalena Lobnig third and current Olympic champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic out of the medals.

The NZ women's quad of Erin-Monique O'Brien, Lucy Spoors, Georgia Perry and Sarah Gray produced a tremendous display to win bronze in their A final behind winners Germany and runners-up United States.

The Kiwi quartet were third in their heat and then won their repechage to make the final.

Men's double scullers Karl and Robbie Manson were fourth in the A final in their first senior international competition as a crew after finishing third in their semi.

Zoe Stevenson and Fiona Bourke won silver in the double at last year's world champs but had to settle for a B final victory in France.

The Kiwi women's pair of Rebecca Scown and Louise Trappitt were pipped by China for third in their semi by 0.01 seconds and also won their B final last night, as did the NZ men's quad of Chris Harris, Nathan Flannery, John Storey and Jade Uru.

The previous day, the new men's lightweight double sculls combination of Alistair Bond and Adam Ling won the C final.

The final World Cup regatta of the year will be held in Lucerne from July 11-13.