Fingers crossed for no wind as rowers head to champs

SHARE
Words of wisdom . . . Oamaru rowers were thrilled to get some guidance from Olympic silver medallist Genevieve Behrent (back row, fourth from right) recently. Behrent, who spent her early years in Oamaru, caught up with Oamaru Rowing Club members as she spent a couple of days in the town. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Oamaru rowing coach Owen Gould hopes the weather gods are generous and will allow his crews to get a full schedule of competitive racing this weekend.

Thirty-one Oamaru rowers are heading to the South Island championships on Lake Ruataniwha.

Most of them are a tad underdone, as the season has so far not been particularly kind to the southern rowing community.

A major blow was when the Ashburton regatta was abandoned two weeks ago because of strong winds.

“It was our last real chance to mix novices with experienced rowers to see how they go,” Gould said.

“So it was a real bugger we lost that opportunity.

“We’ve sort of been stuck down at the Oamaru Harbour but even conditions down there have been poor with the winds and high tides.

“I don’t mind if we get a bit of rain this weekend but I really hope the wind stays away.”

The Oamaru rowers have been doing a lot of indoor work, including competing in “erg relays” on rowing machines, and fitness work on the road.

“We do a lot of shuttle sprints. It’s just about pushing the pain threshold to simulate a rowing race to a degree,” Gould said.

Among the leading Oamaru hopes this weekend are the senior boys, who will race for medals in the quad, four, double and single.

Three of Reuben Mihaere, Charlie Wallis, Jared Brenssell, James Scott and Angus Harper will also get the chance to row in an eight with Otago University at this and future regattas.

The Oamaru under-17 boys (Max Smith, Brady McNeill, Jack Smith and Logan Docherty) and under-17 girls (Laura Preston, Rylee Bell, Sophie Brien and Georgia Oakes) should also perform well at the South Island regatta.

Former Oamaru rowers Sydney Telfer and Maysie Scott are rowing for Otago University, and Waitaki Boys’ High School star Mark Taylor will make his competitive debut with the Southern RPC squad.