New Zealand crews have raced out of the blocks early on day one at the world rowing championships in Bled, Slovenia, scoring nine heat wins.

The women's quad of Sarah Gray, Louise Trappitt, Fiona Burke and Eve Macfarlane won their heat to secure their place in the final and in so doing also became the first New Zealand crew to book their tickets to next year's London Olympics.

Duncan Grant got the ball rolling by winning his lightweight men's singles sculls heat and was followed by Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan in the men's double sculls.

Joining them in the semifinals stages were women's pair Rebecca Scown and Juliette Haigh.


The men's pair of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond also confirmed a place in the semifinals by winning their heat in a time of 6min 28.72sec.

Fiona Paterson and Anna Reymer were untroubled as they won their women's double sculls heat in 6min 55.41sec to advance to the semifinals.

Scullers Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg both eased to comfortable heat wins in late action to qualify for the next round and the lightweight double sculls of Storm Uru and Peter Taylor also tasted heat success.

Graham Oberlin-Brown and James Lassche finished fourth in their lightweight men's pair heat and will row the repechage round.

Grant won his heat in seven minutes 08.36 seconds, beating off a challenge by Germany's Jonathon Koch who clocked 7min 12.92sec.

Cohen and Sullivan won their heat in 6min 17.03sec easily beating Nils Jakob Hoff and Kjetil Borch of Norway by just over four seconds.

Scown and Haigh clocked 7min 13.57sec to beat a South African crew by almost five seconds.

Oberlin-Brown and James Lassche clocked 6min 45.44sec in a heat won by an Australian pair who timed 6min 36.04sec.


The women's quad clocked 6min 22.47sec to beat off a stern challenge from an Australian crew who clocked 6min 22.89 as they tried to chase down the single spot available for automatic entry into the final and avoid the repechage.

The New Zealand men's eight finished fourth in their heat in a time of 5min 35.38sec and will head into tomorrow's repechage round along with Lithuania, France and the Czech Republic.

Canada were the fastest semifinals qualifiers with a time of 5min 29.83sec.

The men's quad of John Storey, Steven Cottle, Matthew Trott, Robert Manson (5min 53.87sec) were another crew to face a repechage after they finished third in their heat behind Australia (5min 49.23sec) and Poland (5min 51.95) who both qualified for the semifinals.

Drysdale's time of 6min 52.30sec was the third fastest of the six heats while Twigg's 7min 29.88sec was the slowest winning time of the three heats. Drysdale progresses to the quarterfinals, while Twigg's next row will be in the seimfinals.

Uru and Taylor produced the fastest time of the six heats in the lightweight double sculls to advance to the quarterfinals.