Tauranga Rowing Club members are basking in the glory of their latest world champion, after Adam Ling won gold over the weekend at the World Rowing Championships held in Aiguebelette, France.

Ling blitzed a world class field to win the lightweight single sculls final.

The 23-year-old produced an almost textbook-perfect race strategy from lane one to beat strong challengers from Serbia and Slovenia. He was fourth after 500m but came home strongly over the final 250m to win by 0.79 seconds.

Ling, who was a product of Aquinas College before spending his final year at Tauranga Boys' College, won the men's premier lightweight single scull at Lake Ruataniwha at the 2015 New Zealand Rowing Championships last summer, but has improved dramatically after struggling to finish 13th at the Varese World Cup in June.


The only downside is that the lightweight single sculls is not an Olympic event - but after his golden performance, he must be odds on to win a seat in either the lightweight men's four or lightweight double crews, that hopefully qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Tauranga Rowing Club president Simon Aubrey says Ling's success comes as no surprise to anyone who has known him over the years.

"He is a good lad, who has been in the system a long time and has worked incredibly hard. He is very dedicated," Aubrey said.

Aubrey thinks the Christchurch earthquakes may have been the making of Ling, who was at university there, as he was forced to work on his stamina indoors.

"He couldn't row in Christchurch for 18 months. Every day he did an hour on the ergometer. I think that was the basis of his new-found belief."

Two Tauranga Rowing Club members, Zoe Stevenson and Curtis Rapley, qualified for Rio at the world championships.

Stevenson and Eve Macfarlane took out the women's double ahead of teams from Lithuania and Great Britain, while Rapley was part of the men's lightweight four with James Lassche, Alistair Bond and James Hunter.

Aubrey says the club's high profile stars inspire the next generation of rowers.

"Those athletes come and see the club members and go out with them on the water a couple of times a season. They come and speak to them and keep in touch on social media. It is very inspiring."

Meanwhile, former Tauranga resident Mahe Drysdale is in line to win a record sixth world single sculls title.