Otago smokes opposition at Mainland champs

Crews line up to compete at the Mainland Interprovincial Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha...
Crews line up to compete at the Mainland Interprovincial Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend. PHOTO: SHARRON BENNETT
Under a cloud of smoke, Otago emerged victorious.

The province reclaimed its Mainland Interprovincial rowing crown at Lake Ruataniwha over the weekend, against a backdrop of smoke from the nearby Lake Ohau fire.

Otago finished with 30 points, edging Canterbury’s 26 over a weekend in which conditions forced half the races to be cancelled.

That ensured the trophy returned south, Canterbury having won last year’s regatta to snap a four-year winning streak by Otago.

Otago’s dominance in the sculling races had been key, winning three of the four.

Mackenzie Ealson, Paige Furrie and the two Sophie Smiths claimed a big 15 second win over Canterbury in the women’s under-20 coxless quad to claim Otago’s first win.

Ealson and junior world champion Eva Hofmans then combined to claim a similarly dominant win in the open double, while Hannah Coulter and Pipi Horan came in third.

Shortly afterwards, Bradley Leydon and Mark Taylor combined to win the men’s double, beating Canterbury duo Jared Brenssell and Will Johnston by just over a second.

Otago’s Ben Mason and Logan Docherty came in third.

Meanwhile, Furrie, Dunstan’s Smith, Siena Snow and April Linares-Fontona claimed a nine second win over Auckland — competing at the regatta for the first time — in the under-20 coxless four.

Each win bagged five points for Otago, while it also claimed three second places and a third.

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