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Calm before the storm . . . Denzil Edwards (left), Will Knight, James Sheppard and Blair Searle prepare for their under-16 coxed quad heat at the Canterbury championships on Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Stay focused . . . Hannah Cunningham (left) and Bailey Collins row in the under-15 double sculls. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Stay focused . . . Hannah Cunningham (left) and Bailey Collins row in the under-15 double sculls. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Oamaru rowing coach Owen Gould has given his star crew a big vote of confidence ahead of the busiest part of the season.

The men’s club coxless quad of James Scott, Charlie Wallis, Jared Brenssell and Angus Harper was the outstanding Oamaru crew at the Canterbury championships on Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend.

The young rowers smashed their opposition in the A final, posting a time of 3min 32.81sec – Sunday finals were reduced from 2000m to 1000m due to forecast winds – and winning by nearly 6sec.

“The quad just looked awesome. They were three boat lengths ahead of the rest,” Gould said.

“The boys really looked good. I think they’re now the dominant force in the South Island.”

Scott and Brenssell backed up with another excellent performance in the men’s under-19 double sculls.

The Oamaru rowers were seeded No 1 after winning their heat in 7min 5.52sec but their final was scratched when the regatta was called off early due to wind.

“They were 14sec quicker than anyone else in the heats,” Gould said.

“They would have won the final handsomely, I think.”

Gould was also delighted with the efforts of Fran Yanzick, who showed her potential in the single.

Yanzick qualified for the A final of the women’s club single – the final was one of those scratched – and narrowly missed out on the A final of the open single.

“She didn’t qualify in the open but there was less than 1sec between second and fifth,” Gould said.

“For a girl who’s only in her second year of rowing, she’s done exceptionally well. She’s quite a performer.”

Of the other Oamaru finalists, Logan Docherty and Max Smith were seventh in the boys under-17 double sculls, and Denzil Edwards and Will Knight were sixth in the boys under-15 double sculls. Seven other crews made finals that were called off.

Nearly 30 rowers stayed in Twizel for the Oamaru club’s annual summer camp.

“It’s all going quite well. I’ve just sent them away on a massive walk over a nearby ridge, so that’s a good challenge for them,” Gould said.

“It’s an important week for us, on and off the water. We basically finalise our crews for the national champs.”

The next major event is the South Island championships next weekend, followed by the New Zealand championships – on Lake Ruataniwha – on February 14-18.

The major school regattas are the South Island championships on March 11-12 and the Maadi Cup, on Lake Karapiro, from March 27 to April 2.

Oarsome foursome . . . Oamaru rowers (from left) James Scott, Charlie Wallis, Jared Brenssell and Angus Harper compete in the coxless quad. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Oarsome foursome . . . Oamaru rowers (from left) James Scott, Charlie Wallis, Jared Brenssell and Angus Harper compete in the coxless quad. PHOTO: SUPPLIED