Rowers rated for NZ teams

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 10:09 11/03/2014
emma dyke, dan kelly
STU PIDDINGTON/ Fairfax NZ
ELITE PERFORMERS: A surprised Emma Dyke and coach Dan Kelly are off to the World Rowing under-23 Championships in Italy.

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Timaru Rowing Club is making history by having three rowers and a coach selected for New Zealand at the World Rowing Under- 23 Championships in Italy.

Emma Dyke, along with twins Russell and Cameron Crampton, spend their time in Christchurch training at the Southern Regional Performance Centre and rowing on the Waimakariri River.

The trio were in the New Zealand junior squads last year but have stepped up into the elite category with their under-23 selections.

Dan Kelly spent his time this year split between coaching Roncalli boys and the Timaru Girls' High School crews..

He has also stepped up from coaching junior New Zealand crews to under-23 and like the rowers could be destined for even greater things.

Dyke was in Timaru yesterday catching up at her former school Craighead, and getting some extra time on the water.

She was both surprised and delighted with her selection and is looking forward to the challenge.

Dyke heads to Lake Karapiro at the end of the month to start the buildup for the championships which will be held at the end of July.

Dyke will row with Kelsi Walters (Auckland), Olivia Loe (Avon) and Johannah Kearney, of Oamaru, in the coxless four and at 18 is still eligible to compete for four more years.

Kelly will coach familiar faces, reuniting with the Cramptons in the quad and he will also coach a lightweight double.

The 37-year-old coach admitted he was surprised to be among the under-23 crews.

Kelly said it would be different as the junior crews at worlds targeted top-six finishes while the under-23 goal was top three.

It is, however, his fourth time to the worlds for the mild mannered coach and it is obvious Rowing New Zealand rates him. As for whether he was keen to go on to a full New Zealand crew and the Olympics at some stage, Kelly was cautious.

"I think this one will tell me whether I will or not."

As coach Kelly had no input into the selection of the crews he was assigned to.

Kelly said the advantage of being with the under-23 crews was they trained with the top crews so he could spend time with the likes of Dick Tonks and those involved in high performance sport.

Kelly, like the rowers, will be way from home for four months so it is a big commitment.

He got into the sport at university, after a rugby injury, and when he moved to Timaru a decade ago was sought out by Geoff McCrostie to see if he would help with Roncalli. "I didn't really see this happening when I started out but it is something special."

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- The Timaru Herald

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