Emma Twigg and the women's pair of Rebecca Scown and Louise Trappitt took the direct route to tomorrow's finals at the World Cup rowing regatta in Sydney but a number of other New Zealand crews will join them because of the small number of competitors in some classes.
New Zealand sent a small team of 14 rowers for the Sydney event, which is missing a host of competitors from the Northern Hemisphere, and many races yesterday were for the middle lanes for tomorrow's finals.
Twigg dominated from the outset in her heat in the women's single sculls, one of the more competitive classes, beating Olympic champion Mirka Knapkova by four seconds. Twigg progressed directly to the final - Knapkova will race in tomorrow's repechage - where she was joined by world champion Kim Crow of Australia who won the second heat.
The women's pair of Scown and Trappitt also progressed to the final in perfect conditions at Penrith Lakes. Trappitt, a former Olympic quad sculler, has replaced Kayla Pratt in the boat after the New Zealand trials and dominated their heat.
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The New Zealand men's pair finished in the unaccustomed position of second. Instead of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, who are bypassing the regatta along with single sculler Mahe Drysdale, it was Thomas Murray and Alex Kennedy in the boat.
The result didn't matter too much, given it was a seeding race for lanes tomorrow, but Murray and Kennedy will have their work cut out to beat the Dutch crew of Rogier Blink and Mitchel Steenman. Julia Edward and Lucy Strack might have a better chance in the lightweight women's double sculls. The duo, who won on the same course 12 months ago, finished second behind the Australian crew of Ella Flecker and Georgia Nesbitt in the race for lanes.
Brook Robertson, Isaac Grainger, Shaun Kirkham and Stephen Jones were fourth in their preliminary race that featured four Australian crews and the world champion Dutch in the men's four and they featured in a young men's eight that finished third in their first senior international race together. It was the same crew that won gold at last year's under-23 world championships.