Lucy Strack (North End) was recovering from a back injury
12 months ago and it cost her a spot at the London Olympics.
She was the dominant single sculler when the New Zealand
championships were held on Lake Ruataniwha two years ago. She
won the premier lightweight single sculls and was second to
Olympian Emma Twigg in the heavyweight event.
This year's championships start on Lake Ruataniwha today and
the finals will be on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Strack (23) was out of the boat for 10 weeks and missed the
vital training she needed to make the Olympic team.
She has been injury-free for the past 12 months and has been
training at Lake Karapiro with Dick Tonks.
''All the girls in the New Zealand elite squad - heavyweights
and lightweights - have been training together and we have
had a hard summer under Dick Tonks,'' Strack said.
''We have been doing lots of kilometres and it has been good
Her aim is to get back the lightweight single sculls title
but she has not had many races to test her form.
''We have trained hard through the regattas,'' Strack said.
''We had one race before Christmas but we only raced the
At the North Island championships, Strack finished fifth in
the premier heavyweight single sculls and second in the
premier double sculls.
There have been five lightweights in the women's summer squad
at Lake Karapiro this season and they will all be racing in
the single sculls this week. They include Olympians Julia
Edward and Louise Ayling, and under-23 representative Sophie
McKenzie and Strack.
It will be difficult to beat the heavyweights in the premier
single sculls because they have spent more time in the single
sculls this year. Olympian Emma Twigg is favoured to retain
the heavyweight singles title.
Olympian Fiona Bourke (Otago University), who won a gold
medal in the women's premier quadruple sculls last season,
has entered the heavyweight single sculls and the premier
Strack will be competing with her in the eight for the
Southern Regional Performance Centre team.
Otago's Zoe McBride (16) will be tested when she competes in
the premier lightweight single sculls against the elite
scullers this week. She is also competing in the women's
under-20 single sculls and the double sculls with Hannah
McBride won three gold medals at the championships on Lake
Karapiro last year and stroked the New Zealand women's
quadruple sculls to a bronze medal at the world junior
championships in Bulgaria last year.
Another member of the New Zealand training squad competing at
Lake Ruataniwha this week is Fergus Fauvel (Otago University)
who will compete in the premier men's single, double and
Johannah Kearney (Oamaru), a member of the Southern RPC squad
training in Christchurch, will be competing in the women's
under-20 eight, coxless four and pair.
Bryce Abernethy (Otago), who also trains in Christchurch,
will be competing in the men's under-20 eight, single sculls
and coxless four and in the lightweight single sculls.
A Dunedin crew to watch is the Otago men's club double sculls
of Jack O'Leary and Eachann Bruce. They will also contest the
Other crews in action are Caitlin Buist and and Nicola Shanks
(University) in the women's club double sculls, Emma Winders
and Anna O'Leary (Otago) in the women's under-19 double
sculls, and Jack Waddell and James McNicol (North End) in the
men's under-20 pair and the under-19 double sculls.
• Date: February 19-23. Finals, February 21-23.
• Venue: Lake Ruataniwha.
• Numbers: 737 rowers, 721 crews.