Oamaru Rowing Club coach Owen Gould kept his fingers crossed throughout the week – and his boys rewarded him.
Jared Brenssell, James Scott, Logan Docherty, Brady McNeill and Jack Smith performed superbly at the New Zealand championships on Lake Karapiro last week.
A sixth oarsman, Mark Taylor, part of the Christchurch-based Southern RPC squad but still a very proud wearer of Oamaru colours, also had a week to remember.
The biggest moment for the Oamaru club came when Scott and Docherty rowed to bronze in the men’s under-19 double sculls, finishing just behind two strong crews in 7min 13sec.
McNeill and Smith also produced stand-out efforts, finishing fourth in the men’s club double sculls, fifth in the coxless pair and eighth in the under-19 double sculls.
Brenssell achieved his goal of a top-five finish in the senior men’s single sculls, a meritorious effort at 19.
” Just making A finals is quite an achievement on its own,” Gould said.
Gould said months of hard work paid off for the Oamaru rowers.
“They have trained exceptionally hard.”
Competition at the national championships was “really” tough and the crews could be satisfied with their work, Gould said.
“I was really, really pleased.”
Meanwhile, former Waitaki Boys’ High School pupil Taylor had another brilliant week.
He soared to victory in the under-20 single sculls, won silver with the Southern RPC’s coxless quad, and earned himself a trial for the New Zealand under-23 team.
“Although I’ve been preparing for it, it’s still such a big step that it’s surreal,” Taylor said.
Taylor plans to push himself to the limit at the under-23 trial, where he will seek to represent New Zealand for a third time.
“I won’t be taking it easy.”
Taylor decided to put his studies at Lincoln University on the “backburner” this year and take a carpentry course at Ara Institute of Canterbury instead.
Carpentry sessions were just three times a week, lowering the pressure on his rowing commitments.
He believed this season was the best he had had in his rowing career so far.
“Far-fetched” goal setting was cited as being the driving point behind his success.
” My technique has improved beyond what I thought was possible, and that was because I set a goal for myself that I thought was maybe a bit too far-fetched,” Taylor said.