Three new crews for final World Cup regatta
Three new crews will feature for Rowing New Zealand at the the third and final World Cup regatta in Lucerne next week.
Julia Edward will again contest the women's lightweight single scull event after regular crewmate Lucy Strack decided to withdraw from the rest of the international season after struggling with form.
Edward switched to the lightweight single at the second World Cup regatta in France last month and won gold.
She will return to the lightweight double however for the world champs in Amsterdam in late August, where she will be teamed with Sophie MacKenzie, who will make the jump from the under-23 women's lightweight double. MacKenzie will first compete at the under-23 world championships in Varese, Italy in late July before joining up with Edward to train for Amsterdam.
There will be two New Zealand women's coxless pairs competing at Lucerne - the elite pair of Rebecca Scown and Louise Trappitt will be joined by the highly-promising u-23 combination of Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast.
The under-23 men's eight will also gain further elite experience by contesting the Lucerne regatta from July 11-13.
The young Kiwi eight won bronze at the sparsely-attended opening World Cup regatta of the year in Sydney in March and are aiming to defend their 2013 under-23 World Championship title in Varese.
New Zealand will field 13 boats in Lucerne - women's single scull, women's lightweight single scull, two women's pairs, women's double scull, women's quad, men's single scull, men's pair, men's double scull, men's lightweight double, men's lightweight four, men's quad and men's eight.
''We believe this international elite racing will give the under-23 rowers some fantastic experience heading into the under-23 world championship regatta,'' said Rowing New Zealand high performance manager Alan Cotter.
''Our focus is certainly shifting ahead to Rio and potentially some of these young rowers might be competing at the elite level next year in the hope to qualify boats for the 2016 Olympics.''
New Zealand sits second on the World Cup series standings with 81 points, behind Australia in first with 91 points.
The under-23 men's eight and under-23 women's coxless pair will depart New Zealand on Friday.