It was just the time they had to settle for silver as Whanganui rowing export Kerri Gowler and her Women's Pairs partner Grace Prendergast discovered at the 2018 Rowing World Championships in Bulgaria on Friday, NZ time.

Defending world champions, the Kiwi girls had won at the World Rowing Cup regattas earlier in the season, but they found the Canadian pair of Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssess to be tough competition, as they beat them in the semifinals in Plovdiv.

Sitting next to each other for the final, the Kiwi boat got off to the lead from the first stroke, with Gowler and Prendergast just holding their advantage by the 500m mark.

But the Canadians got their nose in front as the two boats way out-stripped the rest of the field, with Italy, China and Spain fighting it out for bronze, while Ireland was out of contention.

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Getting the advantage, Filmer and Janssess held their stroke rate at 36, while the Kiwis were working to catch up at 39.

It meant Filmer and Janssess had something left in the tank and they powered home to win in 6m 58.57s, just over a second outside a world best time, with official world records not kept for rowing due to the changes in conditions between various regattas.

Gowler and Prendergast followed them home in 7m 0.32s, while the Spainish pair got up for third after overtaking Italy.

"We knew that New Zealand would be with us in the first 500m so we just stuck to our plan," said Jansseens.

"We are still very young, so this winter we will work on our technique and our fitness to keep getting better."

Prendergast was not about to offer excuses for silver.

"We put everything out there. We tried to improve the first 500m in the race.

"We knew that Canada were going to be very tough but are very satisfied with the outcome.

"We're a little disappointed with not winning but we know we gave it our best."

There was still a chance for more medals for Whanganui as expat Chris Harris and partner John Storey were lining up overnight in the Men's Double Sculls final, having come second to the Great Britain team in their semifinal.

Gowler's sister Jackie Gowler was racing in the B Final of the Women's Eight against China.