Club places faith in students
The Timaru Rowing Club's national championships campaign will be fronted entirely by secondary school athletes next week.
Athletes from Craighead Diocesan School, Timaru Boys' High School and Timaru Girls' High School will race under the Timaru club banner on Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel.
All the schools are still trying to finalise their crews, especially Craighead coach Dean Milne, who is waiting to see how the competition shapes up, particularly in the smaller boats.
Much interest will focus on whether TBHS single sculler James Walker can continue his rapid rise this season.
Walker won the under-17 and under 19 single at the South Island championships a fortnight ago and will compete in the under-20 and club single next week.
TBHS have a novice squad of Sam Thomson, Sam Dick, Craig Quested, Seamus Doran, Liam Cooper and Jack Elliotte.
They will compete in the quad, double and four, with their best chance of a medal coming in the quad and double but they have been struck by illness this week which has hampered their preparation.
Craighead have made getting an eight on the water a priority but the most pleasing news for them is top rower Erica Taylor is fit to race despite aggravating a tendon injury in an arm during the South Island regatta, which they feared could keep her out of racing until the Maadi Cup secondary schools regatta at Lake Karapiro next month.
Emma Weith is likely to lead TGHS's charge and could be a regular fixture to row with Dean Milne's Craighead crews.
Former South Canterbury rowers Heather Livesey (Waihopai), Louise Livesey (Avon) and Fin Scott (Waikato RPC) plus Cameron and Russell Crampton (Southern RPC) are all set to race.
The regatta will see several Olympians out on the water, with London gold medallist Joseph Sullivan one of the the big names returning to action for Picton.
The Timaru Herald