Silver for rowers at national champs
A Porirua Rowing Club crew have gone from the back of the repechage field as novices to a silver medal, breaking the club’s medal drought in the process.
The club women’s coxed four of Stella Parker, Breah McKay, Anna MacQuarrie, Olivia Taylor and coxswain Nicole Taylor claimed silver at the national rowing championships in Twizel earlier this month.
They became Porirua’s first crew to medal at nationals since Ivana Giacon took two medals in 2014.
Three of the crew are from Kapiti - Parker and McKay are at Kapiti College, and Nicole Taylor is at Paraparaumu College.
All apart from Nicole Taylor rowed in crews which finished well back in their repechage fields as novices in 2014.
‘‘We’ve worked so hard over four seasons, and we’ve really upped it this season,’’ Parker said. ’’We were always working towards getting older and getting stronger.’’
The change this year has been in a 90-minute Thursday morning training session, starting at 6am, to go with a combined 11 hours of afternoon trainings, Parker said.
‘‘It gives you the edge I think, not physically but mentally.
‘‘You know you have to get up at 5:20 and work out.’’
They shot out to an early lead in the final - Parker said adrenaline meant they started at 41 strokes per minute compared to their usual 38. They settled at 35, up from their usual 32.
‘‘It was a really hard race. I was so happy after it finished,’’ she said.
The crew’s final time, 7:39.93, was about six seconds behind the winning crew from North Shore, but about four seconds ahead of third-placed Avon.
They qualified third for the final after winning their repechage heat.
Coach Tim Parker said the crew deserved their success.
‘‘They all gel well together as a crew. They’re all prepared to do the hard yards ... I’ve enjoyed coaching them. If I tell them to do something they don’t question it. They just do it.’’
It is likely to be the final time the crew races together - Olivia Taylor is considering scholarship offers from American universities.
MacQuarrie also went on to won bronze in the club women’s single sculls later in the regatta.
Parker and McKay were fourth in the club women’s pair, and the four crew finished fifth in the under-19 race, which took place half an hour after MacQuarrie’s singles race ended.
The Porirua Rowing Club’s women’s coxed four after their silver medal win - Stella Parker, Breah McKay, Nicole Taylor, Olivia Taylor and Anna MacQuarrie.