National champ rowing finalists found

Last updated 18:57 20/02/2013

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Crews had to make the most of their last chance to qualify for finals at the National Rowing Championships today.

There were 49 races completed on the second day of racing on Lake Ruataniwha, near Twizel,

The men's club eight was one of the first races with seven crews racing in the repechage. Only six could progress to the final.

The Wellington Composite crew of Petone/Porirua showed a lot of strength, powering away from the rest in a time of 6:09.55. The Christ's College Rowing Club were second in a time of 6:12.57.

Those placed from third and sixth only had mere seconds between them. Hamilton (6:13.89), Avon (6:14.75), Canterbury Composite (6:16.14) and Waihopai (6:21.12) rowing clubs are also through. The final is tomorrow.

These crews join Hawkes Bay and Blenheim.

Hawkes Bay set the fastest heat yesterday, so will be the ones to watch come finals day.

One of the men's senior pair repechages required a photo finish with Avon Rowing Club's Dacey Caldwell and Andrew Oliver (6:59.05) over the line first, Waihopai second (7:00.57) and Avon's Timothy Osmers and James Harvey (7:00.86) progressing to the final in third spot.

Petone Rowing Club were unlucky, just getting pipped in the last few strokes of the 2000-metre race.

In the second repechage Hamilton Rowing Club won in 6:57.22, well ahead of Otago and Hawkes Bay rowing clubs. They will meet Auckland Grammar and North Shore on Friday after they progressed direct to the final from the heats.

The women's senior pair repechage also required a photo finish for first and second place. Timaru Rowing Club's crew of Emma Dyke and Emma Weith won by just over a bow ball (7:49.12) over Hauraki Plains College's Emily Speedy and Natalie Sorensen (7:49.51).

Six of the seven crews progressed from this repechage to the final.

In the women's senior double sculls repechage there was another close race to make the finals. With Nicola Shanks' crew from Otago University Rowing Club eliminated in a close race for the final spot.

Bay of Plenty Coast, West End and Hawkes Bay rowing clubs all progressed to the final, as did two of the Waihopai crews and Auckland Rowing Club in the second repechage.

Aramoho Wanganui will have a strong presence with three crews represented in the final for the women's club four after qualifying their spots in the repechages. They will be joined by heat winners Avon and North Shore rowing clubs. Avon and North Shore will also each have two crews present in this final and the last spot went to Timaru Rowing Club.

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In the lightweight men's open single sculls, Duncan Grant from Central RPC and Waikato RPC's Josh Butler sealed their places in the finals.

They will be up against some tough competition on Friday's finals day. Peter Taylor and German Jost Schoemann-Finck are likely to set the pace right from the start. 

Pressure will also come from another German, Franz Gravenhorst, who is representing Belvoir Rowing Club in the final. Toby Cunliffe-Steel will compete for Waikato RPC.

Schoemann-Finck could give Taylor a good fight, as he has won silver medals at the 2006 and 2007 World Rowing Championships in the lightweight men's eights, gold in 2009 World Rowing Championships in the lightweight men's four and then gold in the lightweight men's eight at the 2010 World Rowing Championships.

The novice women's eight repechage saw a strong Petone Rowing Club come in over a boat length in front of Star Boating Club.

In the men's novice fours, Avon claimed first in both repechages, but Star Boating Club also has two crews in the final. They will also meet Wellington and Wakatipu Rowing Clubs who won the heats yesterday.

Semi finals will be in the morning and 10 finals will be held tomorrow afternoon with the rest of the finals split over Friday and Saturday.

- The Timaru Herald

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