Tauranga Rowing Club members performed with distinction at the 2016 Bankstream NZ National Championships that finished last Sunday at Lake Karapiro.
All Tauranga Rowing Club's three elite athletes won gold again at the nationals and look good for success at the Rio Olympics. The elite rowers entered into six events with Adam Ling unsuccessful in the heavyweight men's single but he won gold in the premier men's single (lightweight). Curtis Rapley was a double gold medallist in the premier men's four and premier men's eight, while Zoe Stevenson won gold in the premier women's double and bronze in the premier women's single.
Tauranga junior rowers entered into 11 different events that resulted in an impressive nine A finals and three B finals.
The strongest result came from Grace Holland who won gold in the women's Club 8 in the Bay of Plenty composite crew. Jack Gilpin and Nathan Oakley won bronze in the men's premier pair (lightweight) and the men's premier double (lightweight).
Three Tauranga rowers at RPC (Regional Performance Centre) level entered into six different events. The highlight was Jordan Parry who won two gold medals in the under-22 men's single and men's double plus a silver medal in the under-22 men's quad. Those outstanding results mean he has received a NZ Elite trial with the possibility of competing at the Rio Olympics.
Courtney Rennie was not successful in the under-20 women's single but Charlie Rogerson won gold in the under-22 men's four and silver in the men's pair.
As the nationals were held close by at Lake Karapiro, Tauranga Girls' College, Tauranga Boys' College and Aquinas College competed this year under the Tauranga Rowing Club banner and enjoyed some strong competition before heading off to the secondary schools' racing in March and April.
This year's Maadi Cup will be held at Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel, from April 4-10.
"We are proud of all our athletes and are particularly looking forward to our prizegiving this year as it will be the first time we can truly celebrate our two world champions (Adam Ling and Zoe Stevenson)," Tauranga Rowing Club president Simon Aubrey said. "We are also proud that TRC is continuing to see school athletes going onto higher honours both with region performance centres and as Olympic representatives."
Tauranga is the only rowing club in New Zealand to have two current world champions after Ling and Stevenson won gold in September at the world championships held in France. Ling blitzed a world-class field to win the lightweight single sculls final while Stevenson (and Eve Macfarlane) took out the women's double. Former Tauranga resident Mahe Drysdale continued his preparation for the Rio Olympics by winning gold in the men's premier single sculls and bronze in the men's premier coxless four at Lake Karapiro.