Rowing: McBride storms into singles sculls final

Zoe McBrideZoe McBride (Otago) lifted her game at Lake Ruataniwha yesterday to reach the final of the women's open lightweight single sculls.

McBride (16), a pupil at Kavanagh College, is one of the most promising scullers in the country and stroked the New Zealand quadruple sculls to a bronze medal at last year's junior world championships.

She put her foot down at the decisive moment to win her repechage by 8sec from Ana Holt (Auckland RPC). McBride's time of 8min 00.87sec was 15sec faster than her heat time in the race won by Lucy Strack (North End).

One of the most promising performances on the second day of the championships came from Anna Watson-Taylor (Wanaka), who convincingly won her repechage in the women's senior single sculls to gain a finals berth.

She won in 8min 22.16sec and was 9sec ahead of Amy Grundy (Union, Wanganui). Watson-Taylor also reached the semifinals when she finished third in her repechage of the women's under-20 single sculls in 8min 49.19sec.

Wanaka also reached the finals in the men's club coxed four when the crew of Jamie Bowley, James Redai, Jarrod Wellman, Nic Jackson and Mish Harrison (cox) won their repechage in 6min 44.11sec. They were 2sec in front of Hamilton.

The novice women's eight was the most exciting race of the day with six of the eight crews in the repechage making the final.

Petone dominated the race and won by more than a boat length from Star, in 7min 21.56sec.

The excitement came in the next four placings that required a photo finish as four boats crossed the line together. Hawkes Bay claimed third in 7min 30.99sec.

West End followed in 7min 31.04sec, North End in 7min 31.15sec and Hamilton took the final spot in the final with 7min 32.17sec. These crews will join Canterbury and Avon in the final on Saturday. The North End crew of Lili Sabonadiere (stroke), Emma Wallace, Brieana Shea, Emma Pearce, Adrienne Tameilau, Leah Gardyne, Lola Gardyne, Georgia Clarke and Mia Knott (cox) is coached by Alister McClintock.

Sabonadiere and Shea reached the semifinals of the women's novice double sculls when they finished first in the repechage in 8min 35.68sec.

Pearce and Tameilau also reached the semifinals when they came second in their repechage in 8min 42.35sec.

The other Otago provincial crew to reach the finals yesterday was the Otago University men's senior pair of Andrew Annear and TJ Leeming, who won their repechage in 7min 01.03sec.

Other Otago provincial crews to reach the semifinals from their repechages yesterday were: Jack O'Leary (Otago) , third in men's under-20 single sculls (7min 51.69sec); Hannah Duggan and Claudia Grave (Otago), first in women's club double sculls (7min 48.20sec); Eachann Bruce (Otago), first in men's club single sculls (7min 52.92sec); Caitlin Buist (University) first (8min 36.73sec), Anna O'Leary (Otago) second (8min 37.12sec), and Hannah Duggan (Otago) second (8min 41.94sec) in women's club single sculls.

The Southern RPC crew of Nathan Cohen, Hayden Cohen, Nathan Flannery and Fergus Fauvel (Otago University) are favoured to win the gold medal in the premier men's quadruple sculls. It is one of 10 finals this afternoon.