Rowers in form until wind wrecks champs

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Tough job . . .Oamaru coxswain Joseph Sullivan lugs a pile of oars during the Otago rowing championships in Twizel at the weekend. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Oamaru rowers will be asking for just one thing this Christmas – an occasional day without wind.

The Oamaru crews were again left frustrated at the weekend as wind wrecked the Otago championships on Lake Ruataniwha.

Only about a third of the scheduled 149 races were able to be completed, and finals day, Sunday, was abandoned completely.

“The wind picked up Saturday afternoon. Not gradually or anything – it came up in a real hurry,” Oamaru coach Owen Gould said.

“Sunday morning, we got up and it was blowing from the south. It had been nor-west on the Saturday. It was cold as hell too.

“But the moment we drove over the gates of the dam, the lake went flat.”

Among the Oamaru rowers who showed good form in the time they were able to get on the water were senior boys James Scott, Jared Brenssell, Charlie Wallis and Angus Harper.

The four won their heat of the club quad comfortably, and Gould felt they were arguably the favourites heading into the final.

There was also a fine performance by Will Knight and Denzil Edwards, who won their heat of the under-15 boys double.

“Will’s never actually had a race before, so at least he got one. And to win, he was absolutely elated,” Gould said.

The other Oamaru heat winner was Fran Yanzick, who cleaned up her heat in the women’s club single sculls.

Logan Docherty and Max Smith (under-17 boys double sculls) and Morgan Henderson (women’s under-20 single sculls) qualified for finals.

Oamaru rowers would train right up until Christmas Eve, Gould said, and even those going away on holiday had fitness work to tide them over till the new year.

January will be a busy month with the Canterbury championships (14-15), the annual Oamaru summer camp in Twizel (16-20) and the South Island championships (28-29).