Cox grows into rowing role
Cox turned rower Hooper Kelly-Smith is enjoying his conversion at the Maadi Cup on Lake Ruataniwha.
Kelly-Smith has been a cox for five years but his growing stature and desire for a change saw him in a seat, rather than motivating the crew from the bow of the boat.
The Timaru Boys High School (TBHS) sculler made four A-finals among the strong competition and he made his first final as a sculler a golden one when he teamed up with Edward Armstrong in the under-18 novice double.
Kelly-Smith backed that up with a silver in the under-18 coxed quad with 15-year-old James Walker and the experienced Crampton twins Cameron and Russell.
The 17-year-old got into the sport when his sister Ruby's Craighead crew were short a cox on a training day at Ruataniwha.
Spotting he had some talent, TBHS snapped him up, even though he was in his last year at Waihi Primary School.
Competing at his fifth Maadi, he now has six medals, including his double yesterday.
Kelly-Smith said he loved the sport and enjoyed the camaraderie of being part of crew.
He said winning a medal with Armstrong was special as they had been mates since primary school and also played football together.
In the quad it was completely different, he said.
"The was a lot more pressure but Russell and Cameron (Crampton) really make it work," Kelly-Smith said.
Armstrong said he tried rowing in his first year at TBHS.
"I gave it a go but it was going to take up too much time."
In his final year at school, he decided to make time and had enjoyed every moment.
Armstrong will have one more shot at a medal today.
TBHS will likely add to their medal haul and appear a good chance for at least two more title with the Crampton's hot favourites to win the under-18 double and could well fight out the singles title as well.
- © Fairfax NZ News