Olympians forced to make running repairs in final
Hamish Bond and Jade Uru had to endure more than a few nervous moments before they secured the premier men's pair for Southern RPC on the second day of finals at the National Rowing Championships, on Lake Ruataniwha.
The New Zealand representative duo were leading by two lengths in the final when they had to stop and repair a steering gear breakage.
The other crews rowed past them, but Bond and Uru still managed to fight back and take out the race.
Silver medallists were Auckland RPC's Bobby Kells and Adam Tripp in 6:44.48 just over a boat length behind Uru and Bond. Bronze went to the other Southern RPC crew of James Lassche and Armin Svoboda Jnr in 6:48.86.
The lightweight men's single sculls was won by German Jost Schoemann-Finck who crossed the line ahead of 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Peter Taylor from Auckland RPC.
Taylor and Schoemann-Finck shared the podium for first place, as international winners are entitled to a medal, but not the title, meaning Taylor defended his national title.
The German, representing his club, Saarbrucken, won in a time of 7:13.01. Taylor followed a few lengths back in 7:17.16. Duncan Grant of Central was third.
New Zealand has considerable strength in the men's lightweight class, as they build on the success of the lightweight double in London in the hope to field a lightweight four in the next Olympic cycle.
Rowing New Zealand aims to qualify boats in all 14 boat classes for Rio 2016.
The women's premier pair of Rebecca Scown and Linda Mathews from Central RPC had a fast finish as they stormed up on the crews from Southern and Auckland RPCs but it wasn't enough, and they had to settle for bronze.
Eve MacFarlane and Grace Prendergast won the gold in a strong race for Southern RPC in a time of 7:19.53 ahead of Auckland RPC's Kelsey Bevan and Kayla Pratt in 7:21.43 followed closely in 0.2 of a second by Scown and Mathews in 7:21.63.
The open women's lightweight single sculls was won by Lucy Strack from Southern RPC who took the title off Julia Edward of Waikato RPC.
Edward was relegated to the bronze medal after Sophie MacKenzie from Central RPC took the silver in a time of 7:55.50.
Last year, MacKenzie represented New Zealand in the Under 23 World Championships where she won bronze in the lightweight double sculls.
She is a promising young star in the lightweight class and will hope to break into the elites in 2013.
Strack won in a time of 7:50.51.
Central RPC's Joseph Sullivan and Robbie Manson retained their men's premier double title. After suffering a seat gear breakage on the way to the start, Sullivan and Manson got their nose in front of the young and up-and-comers Hayden Cohen and Nathan Flannery at the finishing line to scoop the gold.
"We didn't have much left in the tank at the 250m to go so we were lucky to hold Southern RPC off," Manson said.
Southern clocked in a time of 6:35.59, just over one second behind Manson and Sullivan.
Central's second crew of Karl Manson and Joe Wright won the bronze.
The women's premier double was won by the Waikato RPC crew of Sarah Gray and Zoe Stevenson in a time of 7:16.25.
Ruby Willis, sister of Olympic Athletics' 1500m runner Nick Willis, competed in the women's novice fours and won silver for Petone Rowing club alongside her teammates Beth Ross, Claire Wright, Amy Wright and cox Niamey Izzett.
Christchurch's Avon Rowing Club won the gold in a time of 7:42.86.
The men's club quadruple sculls was the race of the day.
Only threequarters of a second separated first and fourth, meaning a photo finish was in order for the judges.
Petone Rowing Club won the gold ahead of Bay of Plenty while Blenheim only missed out on bronze by .03 of a second to North Shore.
The women's senior double sculls was another closely fought race for first and second, as the Hauraki Plains rowers fought hard to catch Avon Rowing Club to snatch the gold, but they left their run too late.
Avon won the race in a time of 7:33.20 and Hauraki was less than a second behind in 7:34.17. West End claimed the bronze.
The women's premier coxless four title was won by Auckland RPC's crew of Kelsi Walters, Kayla Pratt, Kelsey Bevan and Abbey Green with clear water to Southern RPC in second.
The last race of the day was dominated by Waikato RPC, who comfortably won the men's premier coxless four.
The regatta concludes today with the last day of finals.
- The Timaru Herald