Rowing New Zealand will continue to back a men's eight getting to next year's London Olympics, despite their disappointing 2011 campaign.

The crew's results culminated in 10th place overall (they finished fourth in the B final). The top seven crews qualified for the 2012 Games meaning the Kiwis will be sent to what's known as the "regatta of death" in Lucerne from May 20-23 next year. They need to win at that regatta to secure the sole remaining position in the Olympic field. It will mean peaking twice in the season, which is not ideal.

New Zealand has not had an Olympic eight since the 1982 and 1983 world champions placed fourth at the Los Angeles Games the following year.

The current team face a drop in their Sparc performance enhancement grants, having been on $20,000 each a year under guidelines set for Olympic team sports ranked fifth to eighth in the world.


Five of the crew - Ian Seymour, Tobias Wehr-Candler, Adam Tripp, Sean O'Neill, Tyson Williams and coxswain Ivan Pavich - were in the eight that finished fifth at last year's world championships. David Eade, Hamish Burson and Jade Uru were part of the coxless four that earned bronze at the same regatta.

RNZ chief executive Simon Peterson says they will persevere with the crew by sending them back to Europe next year.

"We've got a great crop of young athletes in that boat. It is the selectors' view that we continue to invest in them at that 'last chance' regatta."

There were mitigating circumstances in the crew's demise. Coxless four bow-seat Carl Meyer suffered a bulging disc in his back which meant he was unable to take his place at the world championships.

The coxless four was deemed to have greater medal-winning potential than the eight which meant Uru was transferred into the four at late notice before the regatta. Uru came out of the seven seat, pushing Hamish Burson further down the skiff into his spot and creating space for travelling reserve Nick Pusinelli to move into the bow. It was a tough disruption.

It continued a number of injury problems for those crews throughout the season. Wehr-Candler and Seymour were originally in the four but swapped into the eight for Chris Harris and Ben Hammond after the squad left New Zealand.

New Zealand has had another successful regatta, with more medals and Olympic qualification spots set to be secured overnight. Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown defended their world championship title on Thursday evening while the women's quad of Sarah Gray, Louise Trappitt, Fiona Bourke and Eve Macfarlane took bronze.