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Heating up . . . Oamaru rowers Gemma Dowling (left) and Connie Metcalfe push for gold at the South Island championships on Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend. PHOTO: ROWING CELEBRATION

The heat picked up on Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend as the Oamaru Rowing Club produced some top results at the South Island championships.

Gemma Dowling and Connie Metcalfe provided one of the highlights, claiming gold in the women’s novice double in a time of 8min 20.66sec.

James Scott and Jared Brenssell also had a memorable weekend, winning silver in the men’s senior coxless pair, coming in at 7min 14.64sec.

Scott and Brenssell also managed to claim a bronze medal in the senior double.

Mike Lawrence, coach of the Oamaru girls rowing crews, said he was impressed by the effort and hard work the rowers had put into the championships.

The regatta was a “stepping stone” in the build-up to the Maadi Cup.

More good results were expected over the weeks before the massive schools regatta, Lawrence said.

His “stand up” moment at the weekend was when Laura Preston and Georgia Oakes squeezed past a Rangi Ruru crew on the finish line to win the women’s under-19 double B final.

“That’s massive for them because they’ve gone through seasons and seasons without winning medals,” Lawrence said.

“Although it was the B final, to them it was the A final because they are racing a Rangi crew, which is a top school in New Zealand for rowing.

“The girls are all on their way up. It’s come to a point now where they are trusting themselves – they’ve got the confidence in themselves and that’s what it’s about.

“It’s not the equipment holding them back, and it’s not themselves holding them back. They are physically and mentally stronger than most people out there.”

The Maadi Cup will be held on Lake Ruataniwha from March 19 to 25.