18 Feb 2017

McBride rows away with singles titles

7:06 pm on 18 February 2017

Zoe McBride has become just the second New Zealand woman to claim both the premier lightweight and premier heavyweight single sculls titles.

Zoe McBride.

Zoe McBride. Photo: Steve McArthur/Rowing NZ

McBride's feat, on the final day of racing at the National Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel, was first performed by Philippa Baker-Hogan in the 1987-88 season.

Two new single scull national champions were crowned on Saturday after Robbie Manson won the men's competition.

McBride, 21 from Nelson Rowing Club, already has two lightweight single sculls world titles to her name, but had never before won a national open title.

"I was so nervous going into it. I knew it was within my ability to win it, but whether I could perform was the question," she said.

McBride clocked a time of 7:55.03.

Her closest rival was Olivia Loe (Southern RPC/Avon Rowing Club) who claimed silver with 7:59.03.

Brooke Donoghue of Waikato RPC/Waikato Rowing Club rounded off the podium to take the bronze medal.

The men's premier single sculls featured Robbie Manson of Central RPC/Wairau Rowing Club winning in emphatic style.

Robbie Manson.

Robbie Manson. Photo: Steve McArthur/Rowing NZ

Manson looked unmatchable, claiming the title in dominant fashion in a time of 6:59.57, a boat length over silver medallist John Storey (Southern RPC/Avon Rowing Club) and younger brother Karl Manson (Central RPC/Blenheim RC).

"I was pretty nervous beforehand. My plan was to ease into the race a bit which I did, I kept it steady for the first thousand and then drove it home," said Manson.

Southern RPC claimed the premier women's eight event with Olympic cox Francie Turner at the helm.

Central RPC, coxed by Lucy Bird took silver, and Auckland RPC coxed by Amber Fordham bronze.

Waikato RPC, coxed by Olympic cox Caleb Shepherd flew to victory in the men's premier eight event in a time of 5:32.85 with Central RPC taking silver, Southern RPC bronze and Auckland RPC slightly off the pace for fourth.