Club crews impress at nationals

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Oamaru Rowing Club’s success on a national stage continues.

At last week’s National Rowing Championships, Oamaru’s men’s novice and intermediate coxed eights both won silver, as did the women’s novice coxed eight. The women’s novice coxed four and men’s novice coxed four won bronze.

Club captain and coach Ivan Docherty said he could not be more proud of his crews’ results.

‘‘I can’t recall Oamaru achieving that many medals at a regatta in the past,’’ Docherty said.

‘‘To get two novice eights taking home second placings, for a small club like Oamaru, is pretty outstanding. The athletes did extremely well, showing up on race day and putting their best foot forward.’’

Harry Weir, who was in both the intermediate and novice crews, said while silver was ‘‘not as good as gold’’, the crews were still rapt to medal.

A lot of other intermediate rowers they were up against were ‘‘like grown men’’, making for a daunting challenge. The Oamaru crew was pleased to keep in the race, and was just six seconds behind gold medallists, Avon, he said.

Heading into the race, the crews were unclear what the usually ‘‘dominant’’ North Island clubs would produce, as they had few regattas in the lead›up to compare times.

The women’s eight was delighted to improve on its bronze medal at the recent South Island Championships.

Rower Kyala Fisilau said the crew worked really hard, and wanted to stick alongside Hawkes Bay, who won gold.

‘‘We were kind of focused about [Hawkes Bay] which got us away from all the other crews,’’ Fisilau said.

‘‘It felt pretty good . . . we can all trust each other in the boat and we bet out time from the previous regatta as well — it wasn’t just about the gold.’’

Evie Wilson said the support from Docherty, and fellow coaches Damien Goodsir and Win Stephens, was amazing.

‘‘Thanks to Ivan for helping us physically and mentally, and always putting in the time.

‘‘[They] knew we had the potential to be up there in the national level.’’

This weekend, 36 Oamaru rowers will take part in the Canterbury Junior Championships, in Twizel. Maadi Cup is still scheduled to go ahead at this stage at the end of March.