No guide to form as top Athletes test each other out at Twizel

Tuesday 27 February 2007, 5:48PM
By Infonews Editor


The first day of the BankLink New Zealand Rowing Championships passed without any major surprises, with New Zealand’s top scullers and rowers all progressing safely.

Halberg Award winner Mahé Drysdale has something to think about in at least three of the six events he is racing in. Arch rival Nathan Cohen looked strong and fast in his heat of the Men’s Single Sculls. Both now progress to the semi final, though they will have to wait until the final before they meet.

Gamesmanship was the name of the game in both the Elite Coxless Fours and the Elite Eights, with Drysdale’s Auckland RPC crew winning the number one lane for the final, by crossing the line first. Waikato RPC and the Southern RPC, however, both finished within three seconds of Auckland. With all crews bulging with top class athletes who have competed for their country, and all having taken a turn leading the race, form for the final is difficult to gauge.

The final of Men’s Elite Eights is similarly difficult to predict. In today’s heat, Auckland RPC – again with Drysdale on board – looked sharp out of the starting blocks, but it was Waikato who came through to finish the race almost a length ahead. Auckland crossed the line just ahead of Central RPC, but it was clear all three crews had reduced both the tempo and power of their rows by the 1500 metre mark.

One performance of note came in the Women’s Novice double sculls Kendra Titheridge and Emma McGeorge – who despite experience limited to less than six months of sculling comfortably won their heat. Emma (21) is a former Capital Shakers and Under 21 New Zealand netball player and has been sculling with Kendra (17) out of the Wairau club.

Also of note at Lake Ruataniwha today was the good weather and perfect racing conditions. A man who should know – Canterbury regional manager for Rowing New Zealand, John Wylie – reckons the good weather is here for the week, and that will be news welcomed by all athletes.