Two of New Zealand's defending world champion crews got their Lucerne World Cup rowing regatta off to a winning start, albeit in contrasting fashion last night.

The three-time champion men's coxless pair of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond easily won their heat to advance into the semifinals as fastest qualifiers by some distance.

The New Zealand duo clocked 6min 27.02s heading home Canadians Dave Calder and Scott Frantzen by just over three seconds.

The other two heat winners were Italians Niccolo Mornati and Lorenzo Carbonieri in 6:34.78 and Australia's No 1 combination James Marburg and Brodie Buckland, in 6:33.54.

Advertisement

The Aussies headed home new British combination Geoge Nash and William Satch. They have replaced Murray and Bond's old nemesis' Peter Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge, who after three fruitless years trying to catch the New Zealanders have switched to the coxless four.

Fellow world champions Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown also won their heat, but in a significantly slower time, 7:15.29 than the other heat winners, Britain's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning (7:05.93) and Americans Erin Cafaro and Eleanor Logan (7:06.40).

Lightweight double scullers Storm Uru and Peter Taylor were fastest semifinal qualifiers out of their heats, in 6:25.87.

•Olympic canoeing hopeful Teneale Hatton progressed comfortably into the semifinals of the K1 500m at the World Cup regatta in Duisburg, Germany last night.

Hatton, who has yet to be named in the New Zealand team for London, finished fourth in her heat in a time of 1:59.651, in a race in which the first seven finishers progressed.

Hatton's time was 18th best in the heats but she was untroubled in a race won by Italy's multi-medalled veteran Josefa Idem in 1:59.651.

Men's K1 1000m representative Ben Fouhy finished second in his heat. He recorded 3:38.846, crossing fractionally behind quality Norwegian paddler Eirik Veraas Larsen, the Athens Olympic champion of 2004, the year Fouhy won the silver medal. Larsen won last night by a mere .495s.