Rowing: Kiwis begin Munich campaign

Storm Uru (left) and Peter Taylor (right) cruised to a heat win in the men's lightweight double sculls. Photo / Christine Cornege.
Storm Uru (left) and Peter Taylor (right) cruised to a heat win in the men's lightweight double sculls. Photo / Christine Cornege.

In the absence of world champion Mahe Drysdale, the rest New Zealand's rowers made promising first appearances at the third world cup regatta in Munich overnight (NZT).

Drysdale suffered a training accident on his bike during the week that caused an injury to his shoulder and prevented his participation this weekend - but the crash will not inhibit his quest for gold at the London Olympics.

With Drysdale watching from the sidelines, Storm Uru and Peter Taylor cruised to a heat win in the men's lightweight double sculls. The 2009 world champions showed a sharpened start, taking the lead before halfway and dominating for the rest of the race to win by almost seven seconds.

They again defeated Olympic champions Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter from Great Britain, this time by a very healthy six seconds.

Men's pair Eric Murray and Hamish Bond had a slow start in their heat but were out in front by halfway, powering away from the field in the second half to win by almost eight seconds and qualify for the A final.

Women's pair Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown also dominated their heat and, like their fellow world champions in the men's category, moved directly to the A final on Sunday.

Lone Kiwi sculler Emma Twigg returned to form with a solid heat win in the women's single scull, again clearing the field to win easily. Twigg will race Saturday in the main semifinals.

World champion heavyweight double scullers Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan also made a promising start after a disappointing regatta in Lucerne, moving from fourth to finish second, notably ahead of world silver medallists Eric Knittel and Stephan Krueger. They, too, now head to the semi-finals.

In the women's heavyweight double sculls, Anna Reymer and Fi Paterson gave chase to the benchmark British duo of Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger, but had given away too much early on to make an impression in the last quarter. They had a healthy margin in hand ahead of third placed Ukraine but will now head to the repechage.

Women's lightweight double scullers Louise Ayling and Julia Edward made a quieter start after bursting onto the scene in the first world cup in Lucerne, finishing third in their heat behind Germany and the Netherlands. They will have to progress in this regatta via the repechage.

The men's four had to race hard against Germany 1 and 2 throughout their heat, before eventually taking the vital third place for a direct route to the semifinals after a last-gasp sprint overcame the second German boat.

With only one going through to the A final in the men's quad, Robbie Manson, Michael Arms, Adam Tripp and John Storey finished some way off the pace in sixth. They will have a second chance to make the main final via the repechage.

The women's quad of Fiona Bourke, Louise Trappitt, Sarah Gray and Eve Macfarlane was in its first race together since taking a bronze at the world championships in Bled last year. With all boats will racing again in the A final, the Kiwis finished sixth in a demonstration race.

- APNZ

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