11 Jul 2009

Rowers off to a good start at Lucerne

12:54 pm on 11 July 2009

The New Zealand rowing team has continued its winning form in Europe, with wins in five heats at the Lucerne World Cup event.

Mahe Drysdale in the single sculls was again dominant in winning his heat However, he will face a tougher test this weekend with top scullers Ondrej Synek and Olaf Tufte looking for a way to topple Drysdale. Synek could be the danger man - Drysdale has beaten the rest of the field with effort to spare.

New Zealand's other single sculers Duncan Grant, in the lightweight men, and Emma Twiggs also won their heats.

Munich World Cup regatta winners Rebecca Scown and Emma Feathery continued their good form with a comfortable win in their heat, beating a good field that included China, the two top United States crews and Bulgaria. Theys led all the way and maintained a comfortable clear water advantage for most of the race. They qualify directly for the A final.

Men's pair Eric Murray and Hamish Bond also made no mistake in their heat - dominating the race from the first 500 metre mark with a lead of almost four seconds. Arch rivals Triggs Hodge and Reed of Great Britain also qualified with a comfortable win, some five seconds slower than the Kiwi pair.

Paula Twining and Anna Reymer will have to make the final through the repechage after a third place in their heat.

Nathan Cohen and Matthew Trott qualified for the semi finals with a heat win, tracking the Estonians and Slovenians until the 1600 metre mark where they upped the pace and moved ahead. The doubles field is significantly more competitive than in Munich, but Trott and Cohen still look to be comfortably at the sharp end of the field, along with the British, the French and the Germans.

Lightweight double Storm Uru and Peter Taylor - another winning crew from the Munich World Cup - progressed to the semi finals in another competitive lightweight double sculls field after a solid performance in a field that included crews from Hungary, Korea, Poland and Greece.