Women's eight lays down early marker

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 20/02/2013
timaru rowing club
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ

FLYING START: The Timaru Rowing Club's women's club coxed eight, at rear, of Zoe Dobbs (cox) Emma Dyke (stroke), Erica Taylor, Paige Cook, Harriet Sutton, Alice Murdoch, Emma Weith, Renee Olley, and Surrey Collett win a thrilling heat on Lake Ruataniwha.

nz rowing championship 2013
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ Zoom
PLENTY TO DO: Hawkes Bay's Hamish Boult returns the sculls after completing his race.

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On a day where crews tried to race under the radar and conserve energy, Timaru Rowing Club crews certainly made an impact at the National Rowing Championships on Lake Ruataniwha.

The women's club coxed eight of Emma Dyke, Erica Taylor, Paige Cook, Harriet Sutton, Alice Murdoch, Emma Weith, Renee Olley, Surrey Collett and cox Zoe Dobbs set the tone for the day by producing a strong final 500m to pip Avon for the win by 0.02 seconds.

Craighead Diocesan School coach Dean Milne, who is looking after the women's crews, said it was a race they had hoped to win.

"It showed we are where we want to be at this stage," Milne said. "Our time (6.53.96) was not a slow time and to win as well was just the icing on the cake."

All crews went straight through to the final.

James Walker ensured he enjoyed his debut at the regatta, earning the fastest time in the heats of the men's club single and a third in his heat of the under-20 single.

The men's novice double sculls of Sam Thomson and Sam Dick qualified for the semifinals by finishing second in their heat and fourth fastest across all four heats.

The same could be said for the women's club double sculls duo of Erica Taylor and Renee Olley, who made the semifinals by finishing second in their heat and fourth fastest overall.

Milne said it was a good effort because several of his team had multiple races in high temperatures yesterday.

He said conserving as much energy as possible for later in the week was now a top priority.

The women's senior coxless pair of Dyke and Weith face a repechage despite finishing second in their heat.

It was the same result for the women's club coxed four of Cook, Sutton, Murdoch, Collett and cox Dobbs.

Dyke and Taylor finished a distant third in their heat of the women's under 20 coxless pair and will face a repechage.

The men's novice quad sculls crew, who were first out yesterday morning, finished third.

The crew of Thomson, Dick, Craig Quested, Liam Cooper and cox Jack Elliotte will have to row again to try to make the final.

Timaru Boys' High School coach Brian Smith said that while Walker impressed with his performances, his re-jigged fours combination did well too.

"James did really well in the under-20 single and to back it up to win his club heat was very good because he said he was lacking a bit of energy after the first race.

"The novice quad did well considering Craig has been ill this past week."

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