Squad’s podium presence ‘amazing’ — coach

Dunstan Arm coach Simon Smith (left) is proud of rowers (from left) Elsie Talbot, Jack Pearson...
Dunstan Arm coach Simon Smith (left) is proud of rowers (from left) Elsie Talbot, Jack Pearson and Bridgette Sutton, who won red coats at the New Zealand rowing championships at the weekend. PHOTO: SHARRON BENNETT
Simon Smith is still waiting for the enormity of what his squad has achieved to sink in.

There was no hiding the Dunstan Arm coach’s pride as he reflected on his side’s 17 podium finishes, and three red coats — the club’s first — at the New Zealand rowing championships at the weekend.

"They’ve achieved amazing things with a lot of hard work and a lot of effort.

"To give themselves 18 opportunities at getting on the podium, and executing 17 of them, was pretty impressive ... It hasn’t sunk in yet — I’m still trying to process what we’ve actually achieved."

The Central Otago club finished the national regatta at Lake Karapiro on Saturday with another six medals, and Elsie Talbot, Bridgette Sutton and Jack Pearson each won a much sought after red coat.

Talbot and Sutton, rowing for Hauraki Plains, jumped in the boat alongside Olympian Emma Twigg to finish 0.6sec ahead of Avon, to win the final in 6min 38.37sec.

Pearson, racing for North Shore, also had a tight win, going stroke for stroke against Avon and crossing the line almost simultaneously.

It forced race officials to check through video footage, before announcing North Shore won by 0.07sec, finishing in 5min 55.80sec.

Pearson was speechless after the event, still trying to process winning his first red coat and how they got across the line.

Pearson, Angus Kenny, Henry Clatworthy and Marley King-Smith won gold in the men’s coxless quad sculls, and later won bronze in the men’s premier coxless quad sculls.

King-Smith won silver in the men’s senior single sculls, finishing in 7min 33.16sec, sneaking in front of team-mate Kenny, who grabbed bronze in his time of 7min 37.36sec.

Talbot, Freddy Todhunter, Stina Steffen and Olivia Key won silver in the women’s senior coxless quad sculls, and backed it up with silver in the premier race, too.

Dunstan’s premier quad medals were the club’s first national premier medals.

There is no rest for Dunstan’s elite rowers: Pearson and Kenny are trialling for the men’s national under-23 squad this week, while Talbot and Todhunter are trialling for the women’s national under-21 squad.

Oamaru was also on fire, picking up three medals on the final day.

Kouper Lynch and Ned Newlands-Carter proved yet again they are ones to watch in the novice grades, winning gold in the men’s novice double sculls with their time of 7min 44.96sec.

They also joined Jakob Rohrbach, Louis Belt and Payton Dickson to win gold in the men’s novice coxed four in 7min 29.99sec.

Emma Spittle won bronze in the women’s club single sculls, finishing in 8min 40.43sec.