Medals give hope for nationals

LOOKING TO STEP UP: Morgan Davies (left) and former Gisborne rower James Brott were silver medallists in the senior pairs at the North Island club championships at Lake Karapiro late last month. They will contest the lightweight pair at the nationals at Karapiro next week. Picture supplied

FORMER Gisborne rower James Brott goes into next week’s National Rowing Championships on the back of medal-winning performances at the North Island club champs at Lake Karapiro.

The 19-year-old won a silver medal in the men’s senior pair, with his Hawke’s Bay clubmate Morgan Davies, silver in the senior four and bronze in the senior eight late last month.

Brott was especially pleased with the performances in the pairs and fours.

“It was a good effort considering the distances we have been doing in training lately,” he said.

“We mostly train in eights and I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I’ve been in the four this season.

“A weekly training plan mostly consists of eight rows — six mornings a week and two afternoon pairs sessions — not to mention a couple of gym sessions in the arvos as well.”

The best race

Brott said the pairs final at the North Island club champs was the best race.

“We had a perfect start and quickly jumped into the lead in the first 50 metres by half a boat length.

“The rest of the pack quickly caught up and we sat fourth until the last 500m.

“Three boats crossed the 500m mark in line.

“Waikato were the clear leaders but it was a battle for second, third and fourth.

“We knew we had to go; it was now or never. We slowly brought up the stroke rate and managed to secure second comfortably with 50m to go.

“Overall it was a tough race and thankfully we managed to come out in the top half of the pack.”

Brott, who is studying civil engineering at Waikato University, has been training out of Hawke’s Bay since late November 2017.

“Over the summer I found work in orchards and at SLRacing, to help me continue my course at Waikato,” he said.

“SLRacing is a rowing boat builder in the Bay.

“I row two boats built by this company (the four and the eight). A lot of time and effort is put into them to make sure they are perfect for racing.

Seconds or milliseconds in a race

“Often races are won in seconds or even milliseconds.

“The nationals will be a step up from the North Island club champs. The nationals include the top athletes from the South Island and North Island. This makes for faster finals and better viewing.

“It’s hard to say how we’ll go, but we’ll have a better idea after the heats on Tuesday.

“We’d like to think we could have a shot at a national title in the lightweight pair.

“But a lot can happen in racing, so who knows.”

Brott said he preferred the pairs.

“Even though there are more rowers in the fours and eights, the pairs are harder.

“Being in the stroke seat, I have to set a sustainable rhythm for 2000 metres (the distance of a rowing race) and Morgan has to mimic me exactly for us to get from start to finish as quickly as possible.”

The nationals will be held at Lake Karapiro from Tuesday to Saturday.

Brott, who has been rowing with Davies for two years, said training was always tapered heading into the champs.
“The last week before nationals mostly consists of speed work — short, sharp sprints, usually 250m to 750m.

“These sprints are aimed at improving boat speed without over-exerting ourselves. The aim for this past week has been to do as little as possible while still achieving maximum boat speed.

“We train to peak at the champs.”

This will be Brott’s second nationals with Hawke’s Bay. He helped the club pick up gold, silver and bronze medals at the New Zealand Rowing Championships on Lake Ruataniwha, near Twizel, in 2017.

Brott and his clubmates were first in the senior coxed eights and second in the club eights. He and Davies were third in the lightweight pairs.

FORMER Gisborne rower James Brott goes into next week’s National Rowing Championships on the back of medal-winning performances at the North Island club champs at Lake Karapiro.

The 19-year-old won a silver medal in the men’s senior pair, with his Hawke’s Bay clubmate Morgan Davies, silver in the senior four and bronze in the senior eight late last month.

Brott was especially pleased with the performances in the pairs and fours.

“It was a good effort considering the distances we have been doing in training lately,” he said.

“We mostly train in eights and I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I’ve been in the four this season.

“A weekly training plan mostly consists of eight rows — six mornings a week and two afternoon pairs sessions — not to mention a couple of gym sessions in the arvos as well.”

The best race

Brott said the pairs final at the North Island club champs was the best race.

“We had a perfect start and quickly jumped into the lead in the first 50 metres by half a boat length.

“The rest of the pack quickly caught up and we sat fourth until the last 500m.

“Three boats crossed the 500m mark in line.

“Waikato were the clear leaders but it was a battle for second, third and fourth.

“We knew we had to go; it was now or never. We slowly brought up the stroke rate and managed to secure second comfortably with 50m to go.

“Overall it was a tough race and thankfully we managed to come out in the top half of the pack.”

Brott, who is studying civil engineering at Waikato University, has been training out of Hawke’s Bay since late November 2017.

“Over the summer I found work in orchards and at SLRacing, to help me continue my course at Waikato,” he said.

“SLRacing is a rowing boat builder in the Bay.

“I row two boats built by this company (the four and the eight). A lot of time and effort is put into them to make sure they are perfect for racing.

Seconds or milliseconds in a race

“Often races are won in seconds or even milliseconds.

“The nationals will be a step up from the North Island club champs. The nationals include the top athletes from the South Island and North Island. This makes for faster finals and better viewing.

“It’s hard to say how we’ll go, but we’ll have a better idea after the heats on Tuesday.

“We’d like to think we could have a shot at a national title in the lightweight pair.

“But a lot can happen in racing, so who knows.”

Brott said he preferred the pairs.

“Even though there are more rowers in the fours and eights, the pairs are harder.

“Being in the stroke seat, I have to set a sustainable rhythm for 2000 metres (the distance of a rowing race) and Morgan has to mimic me exactly for us to get from start to finish as quickly as possible.”

The nationals will be held at Lake Karapiro from Tuesday to Saturday.

Brott, who has been rowing with Davies for two years, said training was always tapered heading into the champs.
“The last week before nationals mostly consists of speed work — short, sharp sprints, usually 250m to 750m.

“These sprints are aimed at improving boat speed without over-exerting ourselves. The aim for this past week has been to do as little as possible while still achieving maximum boat speed.

“We train to peak at the champs.”

This will be Brott’s second nationals with Hawke’s Bay. He helped the club pick up gold, silver and bronze medals at the New Zealand Rowing Championships on Lake Ruataniwha, near Twizel, in 2017.

Brott and his clubmates were first in the senior coxed eights and second in the club eights. He and Davies were third in the lightweight pairs.

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