Gold medalist again misses out on NZ squad

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 16:49 06/03/2014

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The absence of Olympic champion Joseph Sullivan was again the most notable talking point of the Rowing New Zealand team named today.

There was no place among the sculling group for Sullivan, who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics in the men's double sculls with the now-retired Nathan Cohen.

Sullivan also missed selection initially last year and after a late call-up to the single scull boat went poorly, he pulled the plug on the 2013 season to re-focus on getting to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Rowing NZ named a men's quad sculls crew for the two World Cup regattas to be held in Europe later this year, but didn't select a men's double sculls crew. Instead, brothers Robbie and Karl Manson, Michael Arms and Giacomo Thomas will face another selection trial in June for a belated place in the team.

There was also a surprise in the women's team, with Louise Trappitt replacing Kayla Pratt in the pair to join Rebecca Scown. Pratt and Scown won bronze at last year's world champs in South Korea.

All up, 24 athletes in 10 Olympic class boats were named as part of the Rowing NZ elite team to compete at the second and third World Cups and World Championships in 2014.

Rowing NZ is focusing its energy into Olympic class boats, and the 2014 season will see New Zealand represented in the same number of boat classes as the London 2012 Olympic rowing team at the world rowing championships.

New Zealand will compete in the men's and women's single sculls, men's and women's pair, women's double sculls, men's and women's lightweight double sculls, men's lightweight four, men's and women's quadruple scull at the world championships, with a men's double scull crew to be named in June.

A smaller contingent of 14 athletes will compete at the first World Cup regatta in Sydney, which starts on March 28. New Zealand will compete in the women's single scull, women's pair, women's lightweight double scull, men's eight, with the athletes in the eight breaking down into the men's pair and men's coxless four.

Leading the 2014 team is 2012 Olympic gold medalist Mahe Drysdale in the men's single scull. The men's pair combination of 2012 Olympic champions Hamish Bond and Eric Murray have secured their seats with the aim to remain unbeaten for another season. Emma Twigg was selected in the women's single scull for the seventh straight year.

London Olympics bronze medalist Peter Taylor will see out another season in the men's lightweight coxless four alongside team mates Curtis Rapley, James Hunter and James Lassche. This crew remains unchanged from the 2013 season where they won three World Cup gold medals and silver at the 2013 world championships. Dave Thompson will continue to coach this crew.

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A new look men's lightweight double scull combination will be fielded after its omission from the NZ team in 2013, with Alistair Bond and Adam Ling forming that crew. This boat has been hugely successful for New Zealand in years gone by, with Storm Uru and Peter Taylor setting the bar high. Uru and Taylor won four gold and two silver medals at World Cup regattas between 2010 and 2013 and at the world rowing championships gained gold in 2009, silver in 2011 and bronze in 2010 and these results were capped off with the crew winning bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Fiona Bourke and Zoe Stevenson will make up the women's double scull. This crew were silver medalists at the 2013 World Rowing Championships, and will again be coached by Richard Tonks.

In the lightweight women's double sculls Julia Edward will again race with Lucy Strack, their best results together include a 6th placing at the 2010 and 2013 World Rowing Championships.

A new look men's quad sees Jade Uru and Chris Harris switch the sweep oar for the sculls, Nathan Flannery is the only returning athlete from the 2013 crew, while John Storey makes his return to the quad after a year out post the 2012 Olympics.

Lucy Spoors is a new addition to the women's quadruple scull and teams up with Erin-Monique O'Brien, Georgia Perry and Sarah Gray and they will be coached by Mike Rodger.

Rowing NZ high performance manager Alan Cotter believes all of the crews selected will be capable of producing medal winning performances in their selected events throughout the World Cup series and the world rowing championships.

"We are confident that we will meet our high performance target of five medals at the world championships in August. We are setting our sights on producing these results in 2014 and will look to build on this to qualify all boat classes for the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 2015 international season."

A New Zealand men's eight will feature at the first World Cup in Sydney and the third World Cup at Lucerne, before going on to compete at the Under-23 World Rowing Championships in Varese, Italy. The eight includes the under-23 gold medalists from 2013 with the crew made up of Stephen Jones, Brook Robertson, Alex Kennedy, Joe Wright, Finn Howard, Shaun Kirkham, Isaac Grainger, Tom Murray and coxswain Caleb Shepherd.

Cotter, however, says that although the announcement of a men's eight competing at two World Cups is noteworthy, it is a long term project.

"It's great that we have the depth to announce an eight for the international season, and what is significant is that it contains the same athletes who had an extremely successful 2013 under-23 campaign. We want them to excel at the under-23 level again with the hope to transition them into the elite programme next year. Our view is that the eight is a long-term goal with our aim still being to field 14 boat classes in Rio."

The Rowing NZ selection panel consists of a minimum of three people, one of whom shall be a lead coach (Noel Donaldson - men's sweep, Calvin Ferguson - men's sculling and Richard Tonks - women).  The two other selectors are Barrie Mabbott and Conrad Robertson.

Rowing NZ plans to take competitive squads to the upcoming World Cup events in Sydney, Aiguebelette and Lucerne, culminating in the world championships in Amsterdam. The under-23 team selected will compete in Varese at their world championships.

NEW ZEALAND ROWING TEAM 2014

Team to compete at World Cup regatta in Sydney Australia:

Women's Single Scull
Emma Twigg (Hawkes Bay RC, Auckland RPC)
Gary Hay (Coach)

Women's Coxless Pair
Rebecca Scown (Union Wanganui RC, Central RPC)
Louise Trappitt (Star BC, Central RPC)
Gary Hay (Coach)

Women's Lightweight Double Scull

Lucy Strack (North End RC, Southern RPC)
Julia Edward (Rotorua RC, Waikato RPC)
Gary Hay (Coach)

Men's Eight *
Stephen Jones (West End RC, Auckland RPC)
Brook Robertson (Nelson RC, Central RPC)
Alex Kennedy (Te Awamutu RC, Waikato RPC)
Joe Wright (Wellington RC, Central RPC)
Finn Howard (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)
Shaun Kirkham (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Isaac Grainger (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)
Tom Murray (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)
Caleb Shepherd (Coxswain) (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Noel Donaldson - Coach to Sydney World Cup
Ian Wright - Coach to Lucerne World Cup & Under 23 World Championships

*Also racing in:

Men's Coxless Four
Stephen Jones (West End RC, Auckland RPC)
Brook Robertson (Nelson RC, Central RPC)
Shaun Kirkham (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Isaac Grainger (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)

Men's Coxless Pair

Alex Kennedy (Te Awamutu RC, Waikato RPC)
Tom Murray (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)

Crews to attend World Cup regattas at Aigbuelette, France; Lucerne, Switzerland, and World Championships in Amsterdam, The Netherlands:

Women's Single Scull
Emma Twigg (Hawkes Bay RC, Auckland RPC)
Gary Hay (Coach)

Women's Double Scull
Zoe Stevenson (Tauranga RC, Waikato RPC)
Fiona Bourke (Otago University RC, Southern RPC)
Dick Tonks (Coach)

Women's Coxless Pair
Rebecca Scown (Union Wanganui RC, Central RPC)
Louise Trappitt (Star BC, Central RPC)
Gary Hay (Coach)

Women's Quad
Erin-Monique O'Brien (Petone RC, Central RPC)
Lucy Spoors (Canterbury RC, Southern RPC)
Georgia Perry (Cambridge RC, Waikato RPC)
Sarah Gray (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Mike Rodger (Coach)

Women's Lightweight Double Scull

Lucy Strack (North End RC, Southern RPC)
Julia Edward (Rotorua RC, Waikato RPC)
Gary Hay (Coach)

Men's Single Scull
Mahe Drysdale (West End RC, Auckland RPC)
Dick Tonks (Coach)

Men's Coxless Pair
Hamish Bond (North End RC, Southern RPC)
Eric Murray (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Noel Donaldson (Coach)

Men's Quad
Chris Harris (Aramoho-Wanganui RC, Central RPC)
Nathan Flannery (Union Christchurch RC, Southern RPC)
John Storey (Avon RC, Southern RPC)
Jade Uru (Waihopai RC, Southern RPC)
Calvin Ferguson (Coach)

Men's Lightweight Coxless Four

Curtis Rapley (Tauranga RC, Waikato RPC)
James Lassche (Avon RC, Southern RPC)
Peter Taylor (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)
James Hunter (Wellington RC, Central RPC)
Dave Thompson (Coach)

Men's Lightweight Double Scull
Alistair Bond (Otago University RC, Southern RPC)
Adam Ling (Tauranga RC, Waikato RPC)
Dave Thompson (Coach)

Note: The Men's Double Scull will be selected from the following squad
at the conclusion of Rowing New Zealand's Winter Series #2 on June 1
Robbie Manson (Wairau RC, Central RPC)
Michael Arms (Auckland Grammar RC, Auckland RPC)
Giacomo Thomas (Hawkes Bay RC, Auckland RPC)
Karl Manson (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)
Calvin Ferguson (Coach)

Men's Eight *(Will compete at Lucerne World Cup only)
Stephen Jones (West End RC, Auckland RPC)
Brook Robertson (Nelson RC, Central RPC)
Alex Kennedy (Te Awamutu RC, Waikato RPC)
Joe Wright (Wellington RC, Central RPC)
Finn Howard (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)
Shaun Kirkham (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Isaac Grainger (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)
Tom Murray (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)
Caleb Shepherd (Coxswain) (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Ian Wright (Coach)

Non-travelling reserves

Linda Matthews (Star BC, Central RPC)
Kayla Pratt (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)
Kelsey Bevan (Counties-Manukau RC, Auckland RPC)
Two non-selected athletes from Men's Double Scull Squad

Team Managers
Jan Taylor & Andrea Harper

Team to compete at the Under-23 World Rowing Championships:

Women's Coxless Four
Emma Dyke (Timaru RC, Southern RPC)
Kelsi Walters (Auckland Grammar RC, Auckland RPC)
Olivia Loe (Avon RC, Southern RPC)
Johannah Kearney (Oamaru RC, Southern RPC)
Gary Roberts (Coach)

Women's Quad

Claudia Hyde (Rotorua RC, Waikato RPC)
Brooke Donoghue (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Kristen Froude (Waihopai RC, Southern RPC)
Ashlee Rowe (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)
James Coote (Coach)

Women's Coxless Pair
Kerri Gowler (Aramoho-Wanganui RC, Central RPC)
Grace Prendergast (Avon RC, Southern RPC)
Marion Horwell (Coach)

Women's Lightweight Double Scull
Zoe McBride (Nelson RC, Central RPC)
Sophie McKenzie (Wairau RC, Central RPC)
James Coote (Coach)

Lightweight Women's Single Scull

Jackie Kiddle (Star BC, Central RPC)
James Coote (Coach)

Men's Eight
Stephen Jones (West End RC, Auckland RPC)
Brook Robertson (Nelson RC, Central RPC)
Alex Kennedy (Te Awamutu RC, Waikato RPC)
Joe Wright (Wellington RC, Central RPC)
Finn Howard (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)
Shaun Kirkham (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Isaac Grainger (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)
Tom Murray (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)
Caleb Shepherd (Coxswain) (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Ian Wright (Coach)

Men's Coxed Four
Michael Brake (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)
Patrick McInnes (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Anthony Allen (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Alex Bardoul (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Sam Bosworth (Coxswain) (Avon RC, Southern RPC)
Marion Horwell (Coach)

Men's Quad
Hayden Cohen (Canterbury RC, Southern RPC)
Russell Crampton (Timaru RC, Southern RPC)
Cameron Crampton (Timaru RC, Southern RPC)
Lewis Hollows (West End RC, Auckland RPC)
Dan Kelly (Coach)

Men's Lightweight Double Scull

Toby Cunliffe-Steel (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)
Matthew Dunham (Cambridge RC, Waikato RPC)
Dan Kelly (Coach)

Non-travelling reserves
Michael Longuet-Higgins (Auckland Grammar RC, Auckland RPC)
Louis van Velthooven (Auckland Grammar RC, Auckland RPC)
Briar Murphy (Cambridge RC, Waikato RPC)

Team Manager
Michele Munro

- Fairfax Media

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