12 Jul 2009

Grant wins as NZ crews have good day at Lucerne

5:46 am on 12 July 2009

Duncan Grant became the first New Zealand winner at the third World Cup regatta in Lucerne with a start to finsih win in the Men's Lightweight single sculls.

The Wairau sculler - targetting an unprecendented third straight lightweight single scull title this year - saw off a late challenge from Mads Rasmussen of Denmark to take the win on the Rotsee.

Grant's success means he has a 100% record in all of the heats, semis and finals he has raced this season on the Rowing World Cup trail.

New Zealand will have seven out of its eight other crews in the A finals at the third World Cup regatta in Lucerne.

All of the crews racing in the semi finals apart from the new look lightweight four made it into the main finals, a slight improvement over the memorable performance three weeks ago in Munich.

Women's double scullers Paula Twining and Anna Reymer were keen to make the A final at Lucerne after racing in the B final in Munich and they duly did that with a solid repechage.They led the field at halfway and although the chasing Italian double forged through to take the win, the Kiwi crew came home a comfortable second ahead of the British, Finnish, Swiss and Danish combinations.

Emma Twigg finished second again behind this season's pace setter Mirka Knapkova in her semi final.

Mahe Drysdale was the only heavyweight single sculler in a busy field to dip under the 7 minute mark, his 6 minutes 58 seconds eclipsing other A final qualifiers Olaf Tufte, Tim Maeyens, Mindaugas Giskonis and Mahias Rohr. Significant for Mahe was that the semi final brought his first encounter this season with Czech Olympic silver medallist Ondrej Synek. Fifth at the first 500 metre mark after a very cautious start, Synek moved through the field confidently to take the runner up spot just a couple of seconds behind Drysdale.

Men's double scullers Nathan Cohen and Matthew Trott continued their winning way with another very polished performance in their semi, winning as they pleased ahead of the French and Slovenian doubles.

Both the men's and women's pairs qualified directly to the finals with heat wins yesterday, and the women's quad has a straight final.