While Olympic glory may seem a distant memory, Nathan Cohen says he's happy he switched boats this year.
The London Olympic gold medalist will be part of the New Zealand men's quad sculls crew at the world championships that start at Chungju, South Korea, on Sunday.
And while the quad's results this season have been a long way short of what Cohen and then-crewmate Joseph Sullivan achieved at Eton Dorney last year, he's adamant he made the right move to join a bigger boat.
''It's been a really refreshing year for me,'' Cohen told Fairfax Media from Chungju.
''I've loved being in the quad - I did seven or eight years in the double, so it's been nice to have that change of boat.''
After a silver medal at the opening World Cup regatta of 2013 at Sydney in March against a weakened field, the quad of Cohen, Fergus Fauvel, Nathan Flannery and younger brother Hayden Cohen have failed to make the A final at the following World Cup events at Eton Dorney and Lucerne, finishing ninth and 11th overall respectively.
However, Cohen said those results need to be put into perspective.
''It's very much a development crew, it's the first year in the quad for all of us.
''We're all learning what makes the boat tick, what makes us go well, what makes us not go so well. It's been a new experience for everyone - new for the coach [Calvin Ferguson], new for all us athletes and you learn more and more from every race.
''At the moment it's very much a development boat.
''And being with the younger guys, that's been great as well. They're so enthusiastic and bring a new way of thinking to the boat - it's almost challenged me a bit more to adapt and change as well, and that's been something I've really enjoyed.''
Cohen said the crew have adjusted well to the hot temperatures in South Korea after coming from a New Zealand winter and believes they've made advances since the European races.
''We'll have had two weeks by the time racing comes around, so that's plenty of time to get used to that humidity and heat.
''We've all been injury-free, and that helps a lot, especially in the bigger boats - to be able to row two sessions every day has been great.
''But there's probably been other crews who have also improved over the last five weeks as well.
''That's what's been beneficial from Europe, having all those races and being able to go back and work out what worked well for us and what didn't.
''Then we've been able to work on putting a plan in place for getting things put right for Korea.
''When you start off in a new boat, you very much look at it as one year at a time. If you can keep developing over the next three years, hopefully by Rio it can be a boat capable of being right on the pace.''
While Cohen and the young crew have battled against the world's best this year, Sullivan also had a year he'd prefer to forget, being way off the pace in the single scull before deciding to take a break for the rest of the season.
He's indicated he'd also be keen to seek a place in the quad alongside his former crewmate, and Cohen expects to be in the quad for the long run.
''It's one year at a time, but obviously I'm very happy in the boat. At the moment I don't have any other plans.''
Their replacements in the NZ double sculls boat haven't missed a beat - Michael Arms and Robbie Manson made a clean sweep of gold at the World Cup regattas.
''They've been exceptional,'' Cohen said.
''It's great to see them keeping NZ at the top of the double sculls field and hopefully they can finish the job off over the next couple of weeks.''
For the quad, the aims are a little less lofty, but no less impressive according to Cohen.
''If we could be in the A final, that'd be a brilliant result for us.
''That'd be close to the equivalent of us winning gold last year in the double. It's probably the same sort of relative goal in terms of hardness and what we need to do to achieve that.''
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