20 Jun 2015

Strong start in Prague for NZ rowers

6:38 pm on 20 June 2015

Six New Zealand crews have qualified directly for the semi-finals at the World Rowing Cup in Italy while one crew advanced through the repechage.

The Olympic champion single sculler Mahe Drysdale is also through after winning his quarterfinal.

The women's pair of Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast where beaten into second in their heat by the USA who won in 7:01.41 seconds.

The New Zealanders finsihed a boat length behind in 2nd with a time of 7:02.58, fast enough to join the Americans in the semi-final.

The new women's double scull combination of Zoe Stevenson and Eve Macfarlane took the second semi-final qualifying position in their heat after also losing to the USA.

New Zealand were two lengths back in 6:54.73 four seconds behind the winners.

The reigning world champions and New Zealand lightweight women's double sculls crew of Julia Edward and Sophie MacKenzie needed to win their heat to get a direct path to the semi-finals.

They finishing in first ahead of Great Britain in a time of 6:54.69.

Julia Edward and Sophie MacKenzie, Prague, 2015.

Julia Edward and Sophie MacKenzie, Prague, 2015. Photo: Rowing NZ

The men's lightweight four made of crew members Curtis Rapley, James Lassche, Alistair Bond and James Hunter won their heat in a time of 5:54.46

Zoe McBride is safely through to the semi-final of the women's lightweight single scull after leading her heat from start to finish.

McBride won the race in 7:35.04

Jackie Kiddle also claimed her semi-final qualifying position by finishing second in her heat of the women's lightweight single scull.

The men's lightweight scullers Peter Taylor and Hayden Cohen made their final through the repecharge, while Mahe Drysdale won his quarterfinal in 6:53.44

There are more than 750 athletes from 42 countries racing in Varese, Italy for the World Cup regatta.

New Zealand entered 15 boat classes at this second of three world cup events.