11 Jul 2015

Strong start for NZ at Lucerne World Cup

9:34 am on 11 July 2015

New Zealand's rowing team is off to a flying start at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Nine crews won their heats, 11 moved into semi-finals and three qualified direct to the finals.

The three crews claiming starts in the 'A' final included the women's eight, women's lightweight single and men's quad, while the women's quad automatically obtained an 'A' final start due to limited crew entries.

rowers

Photo: PHOTO NZ

In the men's pair a win in the heat was the only result that would see the crews through to the semi-final directly. Olympic champions Eric Murray and Hamish Bond made their return to top international competition in style by claiming victory in a time of 6:37.89.

Women's lightweight single sculler Zoe McBride advanced to her 'A' final with an impressive first place in her heat, while Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale comfortably won his men's single scull heat to book his semi spot.

The women's eight won their heat to reach the 'A' final, and the new men's quad reached their 'A' final with a second in their heat.

The men's double scull of Robbie Manson and Chris Harris won their heat to qualify for the semi-finals, as did the women's double scull combination of Zoe Stevenson and Eve Macfarlane, the women's lightweight double of Julia Edward and Sophie MacKenzie, and the men's lightweight four.

Also into the semi-finals are the men's four, the men's lightweight single, the men's lightweight double, the women's single sculler Fiona Bourke.

There are 48 countries represented in Lucerne for the third and final World Rowing Cup regatta of 2015.

Next month the 2015 world rowing championships will be held at Aiguebelette, France from August 30 for seven days. The world championships also double as the major qualifying regatta for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.