Rowing: NZ eight upset Cambridge at Henley

The New Zealand rowing eight scored an upset at the prestigious Henley rowing regatta in England today, knocking over the Boat Race-winning crew from Cambridge this morning (NZT).

In the single sculls, defending champion Mahe Drysdale overcame a British opponent to make his semifinal.

The New Zealand men's pair, Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, lightweight pairs world champions Storm Uru and Peter Taylor and the women's quadruple scull of Louise Trappit, Emma Feathery, Paula Twining and Fiona Paterson also made their semifinals.

Defending champion Emma Twigg made it through her women's single sculls heat but withdrew from competition on medical grounds.

Duncan Grant was knocked out of the single sculls by Sweden's top heavyweight sculler Lassi Karonen while in the double, Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan lost to Britons Marcus Bateman and Matthew Wells.

With Britain's Princess Anne, who was accompanied by Rowing NZ chairman Bill Falconer and coach Dave Thompson looking on, the New Zealand eight of Jade Uru, Tyson Williams, Chris Harris, Ben Hammond, Ian Seymour, Sean O'Neill, Hamish Burson, and David Eade (cox Great steerswoman Alison Williams) dominated their clash with the Light Blues.

The New Zealanders were impressive, bursting out of the blocks to take command of the race which they never surrendered.

In a reasonable headwind they got very close to the course records at the early checkpoints as they left their more favoured opposition behind.

They will now race the British number one eight in tomorrow's (NZt) semifinal.

If they win, their opponents in the final will be either the German world champions or Canada.

Drysdale had to sprint for survival in his race against British squad member Nathaniel Reilly-O'Donnell, who veered into the New Zealander's water.

The world champion, who is coming back after a back injury, then put on a burst to get clear.

His semifinal opponent will be Canada's Malcolm Howard who beat former winner Ian Lawson.




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