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Oarsome effort . . . Oamaru rowers (from left) Brady McNeill, Jack Smith, Eli Winders, Denzil Edwards and cox Isabella Hanning compete in the quadruple sculls at the Otago championships on Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend. PHOTO: SHARRON BENNETT

Oamaru’s leading rowers hit top form at a wind-reduced Otago championship regatta on Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend.

James Scott (left) and Jared Brenssell

Heavy breezes forced most of the races to be cut in half, from the regulation 2000m to 1000m, and a bunch of A finals were scratched altogether.

The gun Oamaru crew of James Scott and Jared Brenssell had time to fly to victory in the open double sculls, delighting coach Owen Gould.

“Jimmy and Jared looked really, really good. They rowed well.

“It was close enough over 1000m but if it had been 2000m, they would have won comfortably.

“Jimmy is living in Kurow now and not getting to train with us during the week, so he’s having to do a lot of catching up.”

Brenssell had also looked good in finishing second in his heat of the open single sculls.

One of the other shining lights, St Kevin’s College rower Logan Docherty, completely dominated his heat of the under-17 single, but there was no chance to row for a title as the A final was scrapped.

“Logan was outstanding,” Gould said. “He just rows away from his opposition at that level.”

Gould was also impressed with under-17 single sculler Denzil Edwards, who also won a heat.

“Denzil is not too far away. He’s showing the results of some real heard work he’s done over the last month or two.”

Eli Winders and Hamish McAtamney impressed with a silver in the novice double sculls.

“They are really looking food. They’re a very promising crew four months out from Maadi Cup.”

Winders and Edwards combined with Brady McNeill and Jack Smith to place fifth in the under-18 quad, while McNeill and Smith were fifth in the under-18 double sculls.

Hannah Cunningham continued her steady improvement with fourth in the under-17 single sculls.

The next major regatta for the Oamaru rowers is the Canterbury championships (January 13-14), followed by the South island championships (January 27-28).

The New Zealand club championships are on Lake Karapiro from February 13 to 17. Ruataniwha then hosts the South Island secondary schools regatta (March 3-4) and Maadi Cup (March 19-25).