Taylor leads way for Otago at SI champs

Grayson Small, Jacob Bolwell, Cody Campbell, Heny Kirk and cox Jake Burgess, of Otago Boys’ High School Rowing Club, on their way to silver in the boys under-16 coxed quad sculls. Photos: Sharron Bennett
Grayson Small, Jacob Bolwell, Cody Campbell, Heny Kirk and cox Jake Burgess, of Otago Boys’ High School Rowing Club, on their way to silver in the boys under-16 coxed quad sculls. Photos: Sharron Bennett
Mark Taylor showed his class against the South Island’s best at the weekend.

The Oamaru rower, representing the Southern RPC, claimed two gold medals and a silver in the premier grade at the South Island Championships on Lake Ruataniwha.

He finished in 7min 21.34sec to secure silver in the single sculls, narrowly edging third-placed Kobe Miller.

Golds followed in both the double and quadruple sculls.

Otago University’s Juliette Alm-Lequeux also claimed silver, in the women’s premier single sculls.

Nathan Luff and Mark Taylor (in yellow), of the Southern Regional Performance Centre, race out of...
Nathan Luff and Mark Taylor (in yellow), of the Southern Regional Performance Centre, race out of the starting blocks in the men’s premier double sculls event to claim gold
Eva Hofmans, of the Otago Rowing Club but representing Southern RPC, bagged a silver in the premier double and gold in the quadruple sculls.

In the lower grades, it was the Central Otago clubs which stood out from the South.

Dunstan Arm secured 14 gold, six silver and two bronze medals.

Notable among those was the Smith family — Simon and children Sophie, Ruby and Max all in the medals.

Simon claimed gold in the senior single sculls, while also winning silver alongside Greg McLaughlin in the double sculls.

Sophie (15) won a convincing gold in the under-16 double sculls, alongside Malia Banks.

She and Banks also joined Paige Furrie, MacKenzie Ealson and younger sister Ruby (11) to win the under-19 coxed quadruple sculls.

Alongside that, she was part of the under-17 eight which won bronze.

Meanwhile, Max (10) coxed three boats and returned home with two silvers.

Wakatipu had similar success, notching up 20 medals, including 10 golds.

Many of those golds came in the masters races, although several age-grade crews featured strongly.

Georgia Thomson, Olivia Key, Zara Mackley, Mia Burgess and cox Emily Howick combined to win the girls under-15 coxed quadruple sculls.

They edged Dunstan Arm’s quartet of Marzella De Beer, Aime Wright, Mackenzie Bryant, Billy Grant and cox Ruby Smith in a very close race.

The Cromwell crew of Simone Wilson, Kate Spriggs, Olivia Piebenga, Greer Ferguson and cox Aimee Coudret came in third to make it a Central Otago sweep.

That Wakatipu group also formed half of the silver medal-winning under-15 octuple sculls crew.

Mackley and Key finished third in the double sculls, while Thomson was third in the intermediate single sculls.

Oliver Bisley and Oliver Herron also had a successful regatta, claiming silver in the under-17 double sculls and gold in the under-19 quadruple sculls.

Wanaka — racing in black arm bands in memory of stalwart Lorraine Bruce — also had success in winning five medals, including three golds.

Pipi Horan won two of those golds, alongside Ruby Boyd in the under-15 double sculls and also in the under-16 quad.

Sam Pearce also claimed gold in the men’s club single sculls.

The Otago club was the best of the Dunedin clubs.

Jack Pearson won gold in the under-17 single sculls and bronze in the double with Mark Smith.

Beating them were Bisley and Herron, as well as fellow Otago crew Freddy Wright and Ben Dyson.

Smith and Pearson were also part of the gold medal-winning crew in the under-16 quadruple sculls.

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