New Zealand rowers ready to contest finals

Last updated 12:13 07/07/2013

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Four Kiwi boats will contest finals tonight at the Henley Royal Regatta.

The in-form New Zealand men's double sculls crew of Michael Arms and Robbie Manson won their semifinal overnight (NZ time) and will meet the Great Britain combination of Bill Lucas and Matt Langridge in the final.

Arms and Manson have won gold at both World Cup regattas to date this year.

Women's single sculler Emma Twigg reached the final of the Princess Royal Challenge by beating Vicky Thornley of Great Britain by over three lengths in her semifinal.

Twigg, who won gold at the second World Cup regatta of the year at Eton Dorney last month in her first competitive outing of the year, will now face Olympic champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic in the finals. Knapkova won gold at London last year, with Twigg fourth in the same race.

"I expected Victoria to be pretty strong opposition, she did well in the World Cup at Dorney," Twigg said.

"I expected her to go out fast which she did. It was a matter of staying relaxed, composed and rowing through.

"It's been a busy few weeks for me. I was in Amsterdam last week and I'm doing four regattas in four weekends, which is challenging. So it's all about recovering and making the most of what we're doing before the World Championships in South Korea."

Eric Murray and Hamish Bond will start as hot favourites to win the men's pair final after seeing off a South African combination and should have few problems when they meet another South African pair in David Hunt and Vincent Breet.

The NZ quad sculls crew will make their first appearance at the prestigious annual regatta on the Thames River in London tonight when they face a crew representing the Leander Club and Reading University in their final.

The NZ men's lightweight four were pipped in their semifinal of the Steward's Cup Challenge by a Great Britain crew while the Kiwi heavyweight four were also narrowly beaten by the South African lightweight four.

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- Fairfax Media

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