New Zealand crews respond to weather threat with dominant display.

 

The threat of a weather bomb turned the morning’s programme into a frenetic race against time.

Wave after wave of repechages and semifinals came hurtling down the course, at what seemed like 500m intervals.

Even the commentary team seemed in a hurry to move things along, the lines coming at race-pace plus down the course.

This call to urgency also seemed to infiltrate the New Zealand crews as they fought it out for A-Final spots on day two of the World Cup III regatta in Poznan, Poland.

The concertina effect only emphasised the fact there were two New Zealand crews in the repechages of the Men’s Pair.

Phil Wilson and Dan Williamson weren’t hanging about in the first race, leading through the 500m, and building. They were two seconds up on the rest of the field through the 1500m to eventually win in 6min 59.96sec, almost four seconds up on Australia.

Before there was time to gather breath, it was Ben Taylor and Campbell Crouch hot on the heels of the previous race, leading by four seconds at the 1000m and making sure there was no uncertainty about qualifying for the A Final as well. Ben and Campbell winning in 7.04.44, just over two seconds ahead of the boat from Great Britain.

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Men's Pair (2) crew Ben Taylor and Campbell Crouch racing in the repecharge at 2024 World Rowing Cup III. Photo: Art Of Rowing 

The rush hour continued with Bella Carter and Kathryn Glen racing from the front in the first repechage of the Women’s Double Sculls. They had a two-second lead at halfway into the building breeze, finishing second in 7.27.69, just 0.12s behind Great Britain.

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Bella Carter and Kathryn Glen racing in their women's double sculls repechage at 2024 World Rowing Cup III. Photo: Art Of rowing 

The next thing you knew Jordan Parry and Robbie Manson were hitting the mid-40s to open a promising lead at the 500m in the first semifinal of the Men’s Double Sculls. They extended the margin to two seconds at the 1000m before getting into a bow-for-bow battle with Ireland at the finish. Jordan and Robbie winning in 6.47.41, 0.20s up on the Irish.

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Jordan Parry and Robbie Manson racing in the first semifinal of the Men’s Double Sculls at 2024 World Rowing Cup III. Photo: Art Of rowing

Ben Mason and Flynn Watson were next in the second semifinal and heading for a spot in the B Final.

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Ben Mason and Flynn Watson in the W2x (2) crew racing in the semifinal at 2024 World Rowing Cup III. Photos: Art of Rowing

Thomas Mackintosh ended the semifinals stampede after taking the lead just after the 500m to build a four-second margin over Denmark’s Sverri Nielsen at the finish. Tom clocking 7.26.11.

Croatia’s Damir Martin won the second semifinal in 7.33.10.

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Tom Mackintosh racing in the semifinal at 2024 World Rowing Cup III. Photo: Art Of Rowing 

And then to finish the day, Stella Clayton-Greene's foray in the Women’s Single Sculls finished with success, storming home in the last 1000m to win the C Final. It was a great demonstration of how to get stuff done when you’re on a tight deadline.

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Stella Clayton-Greene racing in the C Final at 2024 World Rowing Cup III. Photos: Art of Rowing. 

Eight New Zealand crews will be in action in tonight’s A Finals, where an imminent weather event seemed to spark a domino-day of domination on the water for the black boats.

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Andy Hay

Andy Hay is a freelance producer, writer and rowing coach. He was cox of the world champion New Zealand eight of 1982 and '83. He is NZ Olympian #446.