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SA crews use Henley to prepare for World Cup action

Henley

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s rowers had a tough time of it at the Henley Regatta in England last weekend but live to fight another day at the World Cup in Switzerland this weekend.

The men’s fours went down to a crack British crew, rowing as the Leander Club and Molesey BC in the semi-finals of The Steward’s Challenge Cup.

The British crew went on to down Team Italia in the final of a weekend’s racing which saw 577 crews from 15 nations competing.

After an early clash of blades the home crew slowly but surely powered away to win by a margin of two and a quarter boat lengths.

The four men in action for the green and gold were the Tuks crew of Jake Green, Lawrence Brittain, John Smith and David Hunt.

The only SA woman in action was Rio Olympian Kirsten McCann who, despite a strong start out of the blocks, lost to her New Zealand opponent, Hannah Osborne in the single sculls on Thursday.

Said national and Olympic coach Roger Barrow: ‘Henley was OK… we learnt some good things on our racing as it was the first race for the four combination this season. Kirsten will also be about this Friday and can hopefully do better in Lucerne, Switzerland.

View from the boat according to David Hunt: ‘We had a decent race for the first race of the season but came up against a strong Great Britain crew who eventually won the competition. It was a good stepping stone to Lucerne’s World Cup this weekend though and we’re confident we can put down a good performance.

‘Conditions were normal for river racing, a bit bouncy and a slight wind but nothing to affect the outcome of the race.

‘The biggest lesson we learnt in Henley is that we are more effective sacrificing some stroke rate for a longer stroke.’

Picture of McCann, far side, in skulls action courtesy of SA Rowing Magazine


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