Smith, Persse star | SASCOC - SASCOC

Smith, Persse star

Team South Africa had a fine return of results at the Rowing World Cup II meeting in Hamburg, Germany at the weekend.

The team were involved in four finals during the weekend’s racing and it was Naydene Smith and Lee-Ann Persse who were the stars of the show, writes Mark Etheridge.

The women’s heavyweight coxless pair, who row for Victoria Lake and Tuks respectively, although Capetonian Persse competed in the United States for a long period, were one of two South African combinations to feature in A-finals and ended second behind a powerful New Zealand team.┬áPersse, together with Hayley Arthur, won the C-Final of last year’s World Cup in Munich.

In this weekend’s race New Zealand claimed gold in 7min 10.41sec and Smith and Persse sealed silver in 7:15.25, just over two seconds ahead of Germany.

Our other A finalists were Ramon di Clemente and Lawrence Brittain in the men’s heavyweight coulees pairs and this combo also ended in the medals, taking bronze behind New Zealand and Germany. The SA combo’s time was 6min 35.73 compared to the winning time of 6:20.39 and runners-up clocking of 6:34.33.
Olympic veteran Di Clemente rows for Old Eds while Brittain is a Tuks representative.

Then, in the men’s lightweight coxless fours, the line-up of Andrew Polasek, Matthew Britain, John Smith and Tony Paladin took second in the B-final, crossing the finish line less than two seconds behind the Polish winners. Team SA, all from Tuks except for Paladin who represents Old Eds, clocked 6:06.03 to the winners’ 6:04.38.

Our final representative to feature in a final was Hayley Arthur, the Old Eds rower ending sixth in the B final in a time of 8:16.81, winning time was 7:34.85 by Lithuania.

And in another good showing for South African rowing, Old Eds’ Carolyn Smith won the W1x section at the Women’s Henley Regatta in England on Sunday.

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