Strong winds dealt a cruel blow to New Zealand's hopes of a golden moment at the world rowing champs.
New Zealand's chances of adding gold to their medal tally dived yesterday thanks to blustery conditions on day six of the world championships on Lake Karapiro.
Graham Oberlin-Brown and James Lassche powered to a lightweight pairs silver medal to complement a couple of bronzes on a disappointing opening session of finals for New Zealand.
The first of 22 A finals over the last three days of the regatta turned into a dogfight yesterday as crews were struck with choppy and windy conditions in the afternoon, which hampered the outside lanes.
World champions Fabien Tilliet and Jean-Christophe Bette of France had too much class for young New Zealanders Oberlin-Brown and Lassche over the closing stages. While Oberlin-Brown and Lassche performed beyond expectations, there was general disappointment among the five other New Zealand crews in action, none of whom threatened to win gold on their home course.
The New Zealand women's quadruple sculls team, featuring Tauranga's Genevieve Armstrong, came last in their final which was won by Great Britain.
The Kiwi crew suffered a nasty crab early into the race which they never recovered from, Armstrong said.
"It was probably the worst conditions I've encountered on Karapiro. But all the crews have to deal with it.
"We just decided to try and make every stroke count and tried to make a comeback but ran out of time." Although Armstrong was disappointed to miss a medal, she was happy to make the A final.
"We are a relatively inexperienced crew up against the top dogs. It was a real rowing challenge.
Making an A final is an achievement."
Lightweight double sculls defending champions Storm Uru and Peter Taylor of New Zealand could only secure a bronze medal.
The race was won convincingly by defending champions Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter of Great Britain in 7min 13.47sec, with Italy second and the sub-par Uru and Taylor just doing enough to push Canada into fourth.
It was also bronze for the New Zealand men's four of Jade Uru, Simon Watson, Hamish Burson and David Eade.
Little-fancied France won from Greece, with world and Olympic champions Great Britain shut out of the medals in fourth.
New Zealand missed a medal in the women's four when they were last in the four-crew final.
Genevieve Behrent, Alexandra Burnside, Lucy Spoors and Tauranga's Zoe Stevenson couldn't match the pace of more experienced opponents, with the Netherlands powering to victory.
Fours: France (Jean-Baptise Macquet, Germain Chardin, Julien Despres, Dorian Mortelette) 6min 45.38sec 1, Greece (Stergios Papachristos, Ioannis Tsilis, Nikolaos Gkountoulas, Apostolos Gkountoulas) 6:47.15 2, NEW ZEALAND (Jade Uru, Simon Watson, Hamish Burson, David Eade) 6:48.38 3, Great Britain 6:49.02 4, United States 6:55.94 5, Italy 7:01.58 6
Quadruple sculls: Croatia (David Sain, Martin Sinkovic, Damir Martin, Valent Sinkovic) 6:15.78 1, Italy (Luca Agamennoni, Simone Venier, Matteo Stefanini, Simone Raineri) 6:17.04 2, Australia (Karten Forsterling, David Crawshay, James McRae, Daniel Noonan) 6:18.93 3, Germany 6:19.53 4, Great Britain 6:26.23 5, Russia 6:34.90 6
Lightweight pairs: France (Fabien Tilliet, Jean-Christophe Bette) 7:18.92 1, NEW ZEALAND (Graham Oberlin-Brown, James Lassche) 7:21.29 2, Canada 7:23.79 (Matt Jensen, Rares Crisan) 3, Italy 7:25.82 4, Germany 7:30.16 5, Great Britain 7:39.78 6
Lightweight double sculls: Great Britain (Zac Purchase, Mark Hunter) 7:13.47 1, Italy (Lorenzo Bertini, Elia Luini) 7:15.88 2, NEW ZEALAND (Storm Uru, Peter Taylor) 7:18.31 3, Canada 7:18.34 4, China 7:25.27 5, Portugal 7:33.76 6
Fours: Netherlands (Chantal Achterberg, Nienke Kingma, Carline Bouw, Femke Dekker) 7:21.09 1, Australia (Sarah Heard, Sarah Cook, Paulina Frasca, Kate Hornsey) 7:23.99 2, United States (Mara Allen, Grace Luczak, Adrienne Martelli, Alison Cox) 7:24.56 3, NEW ZEALAND (Genevieve Behrent, Alexandra Burnside, Zoe Stevenson, Lucy Spoors) 7:29.42 4
Quadruple sculls: Great Britain (Debbie Flood, Beth Rodford, Frances Houghton, Annabel Verdon) 7:12.78 1, Ukraine (Kateryna Tarasenko, Anastasiia Kozhenkova, Olena Buryak, Yana Dementiava) 7:14.95 2, Germany (Britta Oppelt, Carina Baer, Tina Manker, Julia Richter) 7:15.26 3, Australia 7:19.81 4, United States 7:20.82 5, NEW ZEALAND (Sarah Gray, Fiona Bourke, Genevieve Armstrong, Linda Matthews) 7:30.76 6
Lightweight double sculls: Canada (Lindsay Jennerich, Tracy Cameron) 8:06.20 1, Germany (Daniela Reimer, Anja Noske) 8:07.33 2, Greece (Christina Giazitzidou, Alexandra Tsiavou) 8:09.14 3, Australia 8:11.17 4, Great Britain 8:13.90 5, NEW ZEALAND (Lucy Strack, Julia Edward) 8:15.69 6.
New Zealand semifinal and B final results today:
Quad sculls B final: NEW ZEALAND (John Storey, Matthew Trott, Robert Manson, Nathan Twaddle) 6min 07.71sec 1, United States (William Miller, Wesley Piermarini, Elliot Hovey, Scott Gault) 6:09.26 2, China (Wei Kang, Zengxin Yang, Quan Zhang, Hui Su) 6:12.64 3. New Zealand will contest the A final on Sunday.
Lightweight single sculls semifinal: Denmark (Henrik Stephansen) 7:20.46 1, Slovakia (Lukas Babac) 7:21.51 2, Italy (Miani Marcello) 7:23.38 3, NEW ZEALAND (Duncan Grant) 7:25.03 4.
Double sculls semifinal: NEW ZEALAND (Nathan Cohen, Joseph Sullivan) 6:44.77 1, Australia (Nick Hudson, Jared Bidwell) 6:46.73 2, France (Cedric Berrest, Julien Bahain) 6:46.79 3. New Zealand to contest A final on Sunday.