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.

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