20 Jun 2011

NZ rowers shine at Hamburg regatta

6:08 am on 20 June 2011

New Zealand's rowers have made an emphatic start to the 2011 season, claiming five gold, three silver and a bronze at the Hamburg World Cup regatta.

The men's and women's pairs, the men's heavy and light double and single sculler Mahe Drysdale all won their finals, while women's single sculler Emma Twigg claimed a close second place.

Drysdale demolished a field that included Sweden's Lassi Karonen.

Drysdale's back held up in his first real international test since Karapiro 2010 and his quest for success at the London Olympics next year looks back on track.

Twigg, rowing in the event that had the highest quality field of the regatta, took silver less than a metre behind Olympic and world champion Ekaterina Karsten and well ahead of world champion Frida Svennson.

The world champion men's pair of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond annihilated their opposition. The women's pair of Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown took a comfortable win.

It was a perfect start also for world champion double scullers Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan who cruised to victory after dominating the first half of the race.

World champions in 2009 in the light double Storm Uru and Peter Taylor also claimed gold, putting injury worries earlier in the year behind them.

Ben Hammond, Chris Harris, James Dallinger and Carl Meyer were thrust into the men's four but still managed to claim silver with limited preparation.

On Sunday, three-time world champion Duncan Grant got his season off to a good start with silver in the lightweight men's single sculls.