Strong showing from Otago rowers

Dunstan Arms’ Sophie Smith and Kirsty Mahoney celebrate silver in the women’s double club sculls...
Dunstan Arms’ Sophie Smith and Kirsty Mahoney celebrate silver in the women’s double club sculls at the National Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel, yesterday. PHOTO: SHARRON BENNETT
A condensed schedule has not kept Otago out of the medals at Lake Ruataniwha.

The province’s clubs returned from the national rowing championships with 18 medals as the regatta concluded on Saturday.

That included six gold medals, five silver and seven bronze.

The championships were to begin on Tuesday and be held over five days.

However, the event was cut to three days after heightened Covid-19 Alert Levels meant racing could not be held on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

Dunstan Arm supplied half of Otago’s medals, the Central Otago club bagging nine medals to beat its tally from last year by one.

Its two golds came in the novice grade, as Ruby Smith and Tahlia Nelson won the double sculls and then joined Ellie King, Emer Bryant and cox Tessa Handford to win the quadruple sculls.

Eva Hofmans had a successful weekend in the senior grade too.

The sculler, who would have been at Yale University in the United States had Covid-19 not hit, claimed two silver medals.

She finished in 8min 24.63sec to take second in the single sculls, while combining with Mackenzie Ealson to also claim silver in the double sculls.

Club single sculler Sophie Smith also claimed a bronze.

Meanwhile Dunstan’s men’s intermediate coxed eight, women’s senior coxless quadruple sculls and women’s intermediate coxless quadruple sculls — combined with Otago — crews all took bronze as well.

The latter of those races was won by Wanaka, which also had an impressive championships.

It claimed four medals, Pipi Horan being involved in three as the club dominated the women’s intermediate sculling races.

Horan finished second in the single sculls, one place ahead of Otago’s Grace Twaddle.

She combined with Emily Findlay for gold in the double sculls.

They then added Bella Sarginson, Neve Faed and cox Thomas Mitchell to claim gold in the quadruple sculls.

Aaron Maxwell added a fourth medal for Wanaka, taking bronze in the men’s intermediate single sculls.

Otago Boys’ High School’s Reuben Cook had the strongest regatta of the region’s men.

He took silver in the club single sculls in 7min 35.96sec, before teaming with William Haley to win gold in the club double sculls.

Oamaru also bagged two medals; gold in the women’s intermediate eight and the women’s intermediate coxed four.


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