Before jumping to assumptions that New Zealand's rousing performance at the weekend's World Cup rowing regatta in Poland means a swag of medals at September's world championships, think again.

Winning five gold medals in successive A finals in the space of an hour is an outstanding achievement and certainly indicates the team is in solid collective form.

Two of the five were won in world-best time - by coxless pair Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast, and single sculler Robbie Manson - and suggests New Zealand can approach the next big challenge, the third World Cup at Lucerne at the start of next month, with plenty of optimism.

Add in the gold in the non-Olympic lightweight single to Jackie Kiddle 24 hours earlier and New Zealand have jumped to the top of the medal chart and World Cup points leaderboard.


It's worth remembering two of New Zealand's first choice crews in Olympic class events, the lightweight women's double and the men's pair, didn't compete due to forearm injuries to the gifted Zoe McBride and James Hunter respectively. They are expected to be right for Lucerne.

Don't forget the bar will be significantly raised in Lucerne, compared to the quality on show at Lake Malta in Poznan. Traditionally Lucerne is the regatta all the European powerhouses contest.

But what came through in conversations with rowers yesterday was an excitement at what amounts to an opening statement of intent.

The Rio Olympics last year were a disappointment - at least presumably to all bar gold medallists Mahe Drysdale and Hamish Bond and the now-retired Eric Murray, and third placegetters Rebecca Scown and Genevieve Behrent.

But there's no sense of things needing to be put right for that effort. It hasn't been a topic of conversation among rowers and coaches.

It is more a view that Rio is in the past, crews have changed, but also not losing sight that steps need to be taken to lift New Zealand's game this year.

"Everyone's buzzing at the moment," Manson said. "We knew we were going really well. I think we came here with the expectation that the team would do quite well and we have been quietly confident within the camp.

"But it's only the first regatta and the rest of the world is going to step up, so we've got to do that too."'

Manson has made no secret of his determination to hold the single seat through to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. That means, almost certainly, having to withstand a challenge from two-time Olympic champion Drysdale at some point in the next couple of years, assuming Drysdale returns after a break and wants his single seat back.

Manson smashed Drysdale's previous world-best time in clocking an explosive 6min 30.470s.

The other golds came from both double sculling crews, Olivia Loe - daughter of former All Black prop Richard - and Brooke Donoghue, and Chris Harris and John Storey, and the women's eight, who eased past Britain in the final quarter and held off the perennially tough Americans, who have won the last 11 world and Olympic titles. There was also an impressive second placing for the men's eight behind Rio silver medallists Germany.

New Zealand rowing people tend to be a pragmatic lot so won't be getting ahead of themselves. Even so there were encouraging signs.

New Zealand have a week training at Hazewinkel, Belgium before heading to the Henley Regatta in England, starting on June 28, before Lucerne.