Robbie Manson in good form at NI champs
With a number of the rock stars still off the water, Rowing New Zealand's session musos again grabbed their chance to make a noise at the North Island club champs at Lake Karapiro this weekend.
With Mahe Drysdale and Joseph Sullivan competing in the Coast to Coast, and fellow 2012 London Olympics gold medallists Hamish Bond and Eric Murray out of action, many members of the RNZ Summer Squad were out to stake a claim for the team to contest the World Cup regatta in Sydney next month.
As he did at the Cambridge Town Cup last month, sculler Robbie Manson reminded the selectors of his prowess with a win over another London gold medal winner, Nathan Cohen, in the men's premier single sculls.
Manson won in seven minutes 15.01 seconds, over two seconds ahead of Cohen, with Fergus Fauvel third.
Drysdale won't be back in a single scull till mid-year, leaving a seat open for Sydney should the selection panel wish to be represented in the event.
Manson and Cohen loom as options, although the greater need for Manson could be in the men's quad, which he also collected a win in at the weekend with crewmates Cohen, Fauvel and Hayden Cohen.
The possibility of Emma Twigg joining Rebecca Scown as the replacement for Juliette Haigh in the women's pair grows, with the duo combining to win the premier title in that event ahead of Eve MacFarlane and Grace Prendergast.
Twigg didn't contest the women's single sculls, which was won by Summer Squad member Fiona Bourke ahead of visiting Chinese sculler Wei Wei Zhu, now coached by former Rowing NZ mentor John Robinson.
The heavyweight sweep oars got some revenge on the lightweights at the weekend, with Tobias Wehr-Candler and Jade Uru heading home Curtis Rapley and Peter Taylor in the men's pair.
The victors then teamed up with Adam Kennedy and Shaun Kirkham to beat the lightweight quartet of Rapley, James Lassche, Taylor and Armin Svoboda in the premier men's coxless four by almost five seconds.
The lighweight combination of Lucy Strack and Julia Edward almost upset the heavyweight duo of Zoe Stevenson and Sarah Gray in the premier women's pair, finishing less than two seconds back to gain silver.