Jess Loe is accustomed to people always wanting to talk about her famous father - but hopes that may change soon.

Loe, a key member of the New Zealand women's eight that will race the 'B' final today, knows that her Dad, All Black legend Richard Loe, will always provoke comment.

"People ask about him and then they often say, 'Oh you look just like him," she says. "I know my dad's a legend," she says, "and I'm very proud of him. I'm never going to match his achievements in rugby and I think [rowing] is the only way I can possibly outshine him.

"Imagine my Dad in a boat - it would be a disaster," she laughs.

The 21-year-old is regarded as a promising rower and specialist sweep oar and feels she has inherited some important characteristics from her notoriously competitive father.

"He made me bit of a hard-ass," she says. "I've got his willpower and he has always taught us that if you want something bad enough and work hard enough, you can do it."

At St Margaret's College in Christchurch it was a PE teacher who first suggested the tall third former should give rowing a try.

"I was 1.78m and taller than almost all most of the boys," she said. That led to "unfortunate situations" at the school dances, but also gave the powerful Loe a natural advantage in the boat. At her first Maadi Cup in 2004, the novice picked up three golds and two silvers.

"I thought it was beginner's luck," she says, "but then I began to think that maybe I could be good at this."

Loe has progressed strongly since then, being part of the eight that took silver at the under-23 world championships last year. I love the challenge and the lifestyle.

"I like the physical side of it - we get up at a ridiculous hour to train for two hours, rest for a while, and then go back for more.

"It is all about pushing yourself and finding your limits."

Standing at 1.84m, Loe describes herself as a typical "outdoors girl" and has dabbled in many sports. She was a netballer until a coach told her she was "too aggressive" for the court and suggested she switch to rugby.

She was a prop - no surprise there - and enjoyed representing the Canterbury schoolgirl team.

"Dad thought it was cool and I enjoyed it, but rowing is where my heart is at."

The rookie crew, with an average age of 20, held off the powerful Germans to finish third in their heat on Tuesday and left nothing on the water in their repechage on Thursday, narrowly missing out to China.

"It was an amazing race, an exciting dogfight. We were going at [a rate of] 39 the whole way and just weren't strong enough to hold on."

The eight, who only had four weeks together before the event, will need to finish in the top five at next year's world championships in Slovenia to qualify the boat in London in 2012.

"I would like to go to the Olympics and I want to win," she says. "I think it is only onwards and upwards for this crew."