2021 Rocket Foods Championships finally underway

Racing commenced at 8am this morning after a two day delay to the beginning of the 2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships. Originally scheduled to run across five days, the regatta has been entered by 887 athletes from 44 clubs and is now proceeding as a three-day condensed schedule after the South Island returned to Alert Level 1 yesterday evening.

Athletes competing across 98 races at four minute intervals were welcomed this morning by calm waters at Lake Ruataniwha. The regatta includes 62 Championship events with all Finals now being contested on Saturday.

Women’s Intermediate Single Scull

24 entrants lined up for four heats in the women’s intermediate single sculls. Pipi Horan (Wanaka Rowing Club), Elsie Talbot (Timaru Rowing Club), Grace Twaddle (Otago Rowing Club) and Jenna Brangwynne (Tauranga Rowing Club) each placed first in their respective heats, with first to fourth place getters progressed to the event’s semi-final.

Men’s Intermediate Single Scull

The men’s intermediate single sculls heats were won by Fergus Scott (North Shore Rowing Club), William Talbot (Timaru Rowing Club), Aaron Maxwell (Wanaka Rowing Club), Matthew Pearce (Ashburton Rowing Club) and Matthew King (Cromwell Rowing Club).

Women’s Senior Quad

North Shore's Olivia Hay, Catherine Layburn, Atlanata Bruce and Louise Ayling won Heat 1 of women’s senior quad, while Dunstan Arm’s Sophie Smith (1), Sophie Smith (2), Paige Furrie and Mackenzie Ealson (coached by Simon Smith) took first place n Heat 2.

Women’s Premier Single Scull

Emma Twigg, Brooke Donoghue and Jackie Kiddle placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in the women’s premier single heat. In 2019 Twigg placed second at the World Rowing Championships and was named as New Zealand’s women’s single scull for 2021, while Donoghue was named in the women’s double scull and Kiddle in the lightweight women’s double (New Zealand Olympic Team selections are still pending). Donoghue and Kiddle are also reigning world champions from 2019 in the women’s double and lightweight women’s double scull.

Men’s Premier Single Scull

Jordan Parry, Tom Murray and Mahe Drysdale took 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Heat 1 of the men’s premier single sculls heat, with Jack Lopas, Chris Harris and John Storey in Heat 2. Karl Manson and Isaac Grainger also progress to the A Final.

Due to the condensing of the regatta’s schedule, all Showcase Events, have unfortunately been cancelled.