New Zealand's Olympic rowing squad laid down an early marker at the second World Cup regatta of the pre-Games build-up period in Lucerne.
That included a world's best time set by the lightweight women's double scull of Louise Ayling and Julia Edward as they steamed home in 6:49.43, breaking China's 2006 record by 34/100th of a second. That also saw them progress directly to Sunday's final.
The men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray and their women's counterparts Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown both dominated their heats to qualify comfortably for semi-final spots, as did Mahe Drysdale in the single scull, though he will now compete in a quarterfinal.
Men's lightweight double sculls Peter Taylor and Storm Uru comfortably won their heat to advance to the semi-finals, while single sculler Emma Twigg was second in her opening race to advance to the penultimate stage.
The two-time world champion double scull of Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen finished third in their heat to make it directly into the semis. They put in a big 37-stroke sprint, but could not haul in France or Argentina
Women's double scullers Fiona Paterson and Anna Reymer earned the fast route straight to the final when they finished second in their heat behind the quality Polish duo of Magdalena Fularzcyk and Julia Michalska.
That was a feat matched by the men's four whose second place behind Great Britain's outstanding four gave them passage to Sunday's final. The Brits scorched home in a time that broke the previous world best by four seconds.
The Kiwi men's and women's quad sculls both also finished second in their heats to earn the easy path to the final.
It was a promising hit out by the New Zealanders given they had only arrived in Europe less than a week earlier, though the real indication will come over the next couple of days when places in finals, and medals, go on the line.
- © Fairfax NZ News