Lightweight Men’s Quad through to World Champs semi-finals
27 September 2017
ROWING: Hot and humid conditions once again greeted the Australian crews competing on day 3 of the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota.
The Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Scull of Cameron Fowler, Redmond Matthews, James Kerr and Hamish Parry needed a top three finish in their repechage to ensure a place in Thursday’s semi-finals.
The young crew took to the water in the midday sun and by the halfway point of the race, they had muscled into second place with Japan in the lead and Brazil in third place.
As they approached the final 500m, the Swiss crew passed both Australia and Japan to take the top spot, leading to the other two crews to sprint to the line and book themselves a place in the semi-finals ahead of Brazil and Norway.
“Today's repechage was a step up from our heat performance. We tackled the race with a little less nerves and a much larger focus on holding onto the front-runners out of the blocks,” admitted James Kerr.
“We trust that Ian's [Wright] program has given us enough steam to hold it on the limiter, to the line, even if we spend a bit more fuel in the initial phase of the race.
Semi-finals are the next step for us, with our goal being to race the A final. If we can take the same approach [as we did for this race] to another level, I am confident we can get the job done,” admitted the West Australian.
The young Men’s Eight crew of Hamish Playfair, Nathan Bowden, Ben Coombs, Tim Masters, Angus Moore, Simon Keenan, Campbell Watts, Alexander Purnell and coxswain James Rook faced more experienced crews from Italy, Great Britain, Russia, the Netherlands and China in what was to be a hotly contested heat.
Needing a first place finish to automatically qualify for the A-Final, Italy took the lead early on and held off any challengers.
As the race progressed, reigning Olympic champions Great Britain attempted to chase down the Italians to no avail, while Australia battled it out with Russia and the Netherlands for third place.
The excitement came as Great Britain approached the final 200 metres and Australia’s crew began to charge. James Rook gave the call and the Australians dug deep, however they had left it a little too late with the British clinging on to take second with Australia in a close third.
Australia’s Men’s Eight will now contest Thursday’s repechage, with only Italy qualifying for the A-final from this heat, as the winner.