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Silver for SA in Spain

South Africa took silver in the men’s pairs at the weekend’s World Cup event in Banyoles, Spain.

Olympic rowers Ramon Di Clemente and young Shaun Keeling clocked 6min 33.85sec as they finished behind Great Britain’s Pete Reed and Andy Triggs-Hodge (6:31.70). Bronze went to Canadians’ Derek O’Farrell and James Dunaway (6:38:02).

It was surprising to see, in the first race of the season a crew coming out at a 51 stroke rate pace but the Gkountoulas brothers from Greece did exactly that and took an early lead. But by the 700m mark Keeling and Di Clemente had moved into the lead settling on a 37-stroke rate pace.

Reed and Andy Triggs-Hodge bided their time on a 36 stroke rate and moving into the third 500m, Reed and Triggs-Hodge powered into the lead as the smaller Keeling and Di Clemente grimly held on. The Greeks then slipped back allowing Canada’s new combination of Dunaway and O’Farrell to come through.

Di Clemente and Keeling the only South African crew at this regatta, staged a final attack, rating 40, in the final sprint. But Reed and Triggs-Hodge easily held them off.

‘It was a really good race, a challenge. We were very quick, with a good rhythm, it was really exciting. Experience always helps.’ said Triggs-Hodge.

And Di┬á Clemente was upbeat afterward: ‘We have worked hard in the last six months and we are getting there, it was a good race.┬á We’ll be in Henley Royal Regatta and hope to beat the GBR crew there!’


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