Marlborough-based crews returned from the New Zealand Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro last week with 17 medals.
Rowers representing both Central Rowing Performance Centre and the Wairau Rowing Club, both based on the Wairau River, went stroke-for-stroke with the country’s best and came away with a decent haul of precious metal.
Showing the way was international sculler Robbie Manson who claimed both the premier single and double titles.
In the single, raced on Saturday, Manson prevailed in a comfortable 7:16.97 while Waikato RPC’s Jordan Parry took silver in 7:21.53 and Mahe Drysdale claimed bronze in 7:24.93.
Earlier this year Manson indicated his intention to target the men’s double for the 2020 international season, and was recently selected into the boat alongside Chris Harris for the World Rowing Cup II and III.
Parry is vying for selection into a men’s quad to contest the Final Olympic Qualification regatta, while Drysdale has been selected as the New Zealand men’s single for World Rowing Cup II and III.
In the double, contested on Friday, Manson and Harris were comfortable winners, prevailing by over 11 seconds.
The women’s premier four of Jackie Gowler, Keri Gowler, Beth Ross, and Ella Greenslade also struck gold at Karapiro, beating out a strong Southern RPC crew by over six seconds.
The third fourth gold for Central went to under-20 single sculler Ricky Kiddle.
On Friday, the women’s premier pair of Kerri Gowler and Beth Ross had to settle for silver in one the most exciting races of the day, being beaten by fellow international rowers Emma Dyke and Grace Prendergast from the Southern RPC by a mere .05 of a second. Central’s Jackie Gowler and Ella Greenslade took bronze.
Tom Murray and Phillip Wilson also had to settle for second place in the premier pair, losing to the Southern RPC duo of rowing legend Hamish Bond and James Lassche by a second and a half.
International scullers Jackie Kiddle and Zoe McBride landed a bronze in the women’s premier double while Phoebe Trolove placed third in the under-20 single.
Central RPC head coach Marion Horwell was “really happy” with the performances of her charges, especially after an early setback.
Kobe Miller, a key member of the Central under-20 and under-22 programme, fell ill and was ruled out of the regatta.
“That was really disappointing,” said Horwell. “Kobe started getting ill just before we left and tests showed he had contacted glandular fever. He was an important member of our group and I am sure he would have been very competitive at the championships. However, the rest of the squad were very positive and just got on with it.”
Horwell said Ricky Kiddle’s gold medal in the under-20 single had lifted the small group’s spirits. “[Ricky] can be proud of that, it was a great result for him.”
She also praised the efforts of youngster Trolove, who has battled illness over the summer, and the work of Jamie Hindle-Daniels. “He didn’t medal but it was an outstanding effort [to place fifth in the under-22 single].”
He and Angus MacFarlane were named to trial for the NZ under-23 team in coming weeks.
Horwell was also highly impressed with Manson and the women’s four. “Robbie was just brilliant … he and Chris were outstanding in the double and he rowed a great singles race.”
The week’s highlight for the Wairau contingent came when the crew of Rhys Krappe, Sebastian Krappe, Harrison Somerville and Jordan Gasson combined superbly to take out the premier quad title, earning each a coveted red coat.
Then, on the final day, the Wairau quartet added a second gold, dead-heating with Waikato for first place in the senior quad final. Both Wairau and the Waikato quad of Karl Manson (stroke), Charlie Rogerson, Jack O’Leary and Josh Toa recorded a time of 6:31.05.
The Wairau coaches labelled the quad’s efforts as “a fantastic result”.
“We are so pleased for the boys,” said Kaye Surgenor, who was awarded a Green Coat in recognition of training a premier-winning crew at the NZ Champs.
Brothers Sebastian (23) and Rhys (19) Krappe, who hail from San Francisco and are training under Surgenor at Wairau, underlined their potential with a clear victory in the men’s senior double and bronze in the premier double.
Deciding to take a gap year to focus on rowing in the double, the siblings travelled to New Zealand in September last year, training alongside the club and attending local regattas. They will soon return to the US to target Olympic qualification in April.
Surgenor is delighted to have the newcomers at Wairau. “These boys have proved the worth of a NZ rowing season and will surely feature in the US Olympic trials in this event, upon their return to the States – I am very pleased for them.”
Somerville added to the medal tally with bronze in the hotly contested men’s senior single, being beaten by Karl Manson, and Jack O’Leary both previously with the Central RPC.
Elliot Rose attained a hard-earned bronze in the final of the club single with coach Mark James commenting, “That was a wonderful result, well deserved for this young emerging talent who moved to Marlborough from the Porirua RC and worked locally to support himself to train here”.
Dylan Crick and Will Samson, from the Nelson RC, who trained under Surgenor at Wairau also stood out, medalling in both the pair (silver) and double sculls (bronze).
“The rowed out of their skins,” added Surgenor.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Men’s premier double (Chris Harris, Robbie Manson)
Men’s premier single (Robbie Manson)
Women’s premier four (Jackie Gowler, Keri Gowler, Beth Ross, Ella Greenslade)
Men’s under-20 single (Ricky Kiddle)
Women’s premier pair (Kerri Gowler, Beth Ross)
Men’s premier pair (Tom Murray, Phillip Wilson)
Women’s premier double (Jackie Kiddle, Zoe McBride)
Women’s premier pair (Jackie Gowler, Ella Greenslade)
Women’s under-20 single (Phoebe Trolove)
Men’s premier quad (Jordan Gasson, Rhys Krappe, Sebastian Krappe, Harrison Somerville)
Men’s senior quad (Krappe, Krappe, Somerville, Gasson)
Men’s senior double (Krappe, Krappe)
Men’s lightweight Pair (Dylan Crick, Will Samson)
Men’s premier double (Krappe, Krappe)
Men’s senior single (Somerville)
Men’s club single (Elliot Rose)
Men’s lightweight Double (Crick, Samson)