Oamaru rowing has had its oarsome foursomes and its super scullers – now it can boast a dynamic double.
James Scott and Jared Brenssell wrote the latest chapter in the Oamaru Rowing Club’s glorious history with a stunning performance at the New Zealand championships on Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend.
The classy oarsmen stormed to victory in the men’s under-19 double scull final in 6min 49.19sec, over 3sec clear of chasing Nelson and Whakatane crews.
Proud coach Owen Gould never doubted Scott and Brenssell were capable of winning a New Zealand title, and they repaid his faith in spades.
“They were exceptional,” Gould told the Oamaru Mail
“Right from the heat to the final, they looked dominant. Something terribly wrong had to happen for them not to be the winners.”
Scott and Brenssell wasted no time taking charge in the final, Gould said.
“There was no mucking around. They poked their nose out and were in front by just over a length at the 1000m mark.
“With 300m to go, they were probably three lengths in front and they just hung on from there.
“The tank was reasonably empty, and the Nelson crew were coming at them, but they were never in danger.”
Great rowing crews – think of Bond and Murray – work as well together off the water as on the water, and Oamaru’s latest national champions are no different.
“They get on really well together,” Gould said.
“Outside rowing, they’re still very friendly. They’re good mates.
“They’re also two young men who train their butts off and are totally committed.”
Scott and Brenssell backed up with a solid effort in the under-19 coxed four, alongside Charlie Wallis, Angus Harper and cox Jessica Mulligan, finishing fifth in the final.
Gould said the four could have made the podium if it had been able to spend more time in the boat this summer.
The same rowers placed second in the B final of the coxless quad.
Oamaru rower Fran Yanzick again showed promise with a fourth place in the B final of the women’s club single scull.
“In her first full season rowing, to finish 12th overall in New Zealand out of 32 or 33 rowers is quite exceptional,” Gould said.
Youngsters Logan Docherty and Max Smith signalled a bright future by making the B final of the under-19 double scull.
Oamaru rowers also enjoyed being on hand to cheer some of their former team-mates.
Former Waitaki Boys’ High School star Mark Taylor won gold in the men’s under-22 coxless quad with his Southern RPC crew, and Maysie Scott and Sydney Telfer were in the gold medal-winning Otago University women’s eight. Scott added a silver and two bronze medals, and Telfer won two silvers.
Oamaru crews are now gearing up for the major part of the secondary school season.