Close call for the twins
Close call for the twins
Atrocious winds from the bad weather to hit New Zealand today caused havoc for the rowers in the first day of finals at the BankLink New Zealand Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro - and came very, very close to costing Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell the Premier Double Sculls title which have they have won eight times in the last eleven years as a crew.
The twins - 2004 Olympic champions - came into the last 500 metres with rivals from a little close for comfort. As they approached the finish line, Georgina in the bows was caught out by the ocean-like waves and lost her bow side blade. As the crowds gasped and the crews from Central RPC's two top women's doubles of Anna Stantiall and Rosslyn Knox and Candice Hammond and Louise Ayling bore down on the Hamilton duo, Georgina fought to get her sculling blade back, a feat she accomplished in the nick of time. The twins executed a last gasp blast more like a racing start and got themselves over the line with around half a boat length to spare.
There was calmer water for the Men's Premier Coxless Pairs - but rivalry was nevertheless fierce as the race pitted the two halves of New Zealand's world champion coxless four against eachother in a classic North vs South scrap. Racing for Waikato RPC, Eric Murray and James Dallinger did everything in their power to beat Southern RPC's Carl Meyer and Hamish Bond. It was the latter pair that won, with a stunningly fast time of 6 minutes and 22 seconds. Two weeks ago Bond teamed up with Murray and they recorded a 6 minutes 22 seconds time at the North Island Championships. With the world record just a few seconds away, and Karapiro a notoriously slow course, Bond has marked himself out as a world beating strokeman in the pair as well as the four.
In the closest of the top events today, Peter Taylor and Storm Uru went head to head in the Lightweight Single Scull final. Both have been performing well in singles and in a double scull combination, with Taylor particularly fast in recent races. He held on to win by the narrowest of margins - 0.4 seconds - after a spirited attack from the young and up and coming Uru, who has two Under 23 world titles under his belt. Both athletes are looking good ahead of national trials that will decide a Lightweight Double Scull that will try to qualify for the Olympic Games. World Lightweight Champion Duncan Grant was absent, after illness forced him to withdraw.
Picture shows; Georgina Evers Swindell (right) struggles to get her oar back after the rough water at lake Karapiro caught out the Olympic champions. They recovered to take a narrow win over central RPC.
Results here: http://www.rowinginfo.info/nats08/news_feed/results.html