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Goldrush for NZ rowers in Italy

The second world rowing cup event for 2015 was held at Varese, Italy and New Zealand rowing crews finished with a sensational medal total earning six medals - four gold, one silver and one bronze.

New Zealand came away with four golds, one silver and one bronze from the champs in Italy Source: Breakfast

The women's lightweight single, men's lightweight four, women's double and men's single scull won gold, the women's lightweight double secured silver and the women's pair collected bronze.

New Zealand had 10 crews feature in the A finals. The crews qualifying for A finals included the women's pair, women's lightweight double scull, women's quad, men's lightweight four, women's double, men's single scull, women's eight, men's eight and Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle in the women's lightweight single.

The world best time holder Zoe McBride capped off a dream regatta romping home for gold in 7:31.15. Silver went to the Brazilian sculler, and bronze to Germany's Judith Anlaud. Fellow kiwi sculler Jackie Kiddle just missed it onto the podium finishing fourth in 7:42.61.

Curtis Rapley, James Lassche, Alistair Bond and James Hunter were patient in their final ousting the French men's lightweight four at the halfway marker to become the race frontrunners. Switzerland then popped up for a challenge, but the kiwis remain composed. The New Zealanders held onto half a boat length lead for gold heading for home in a time of 5:57.38. Silver went to Switzerland in 5:58.91 and France faded to bronze.

The women's double scull was tightly contested throughout the first half with no crew out of contention for medals. In the third 500m the Australian's Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey were just half a boat length in front with the other five crews going stroke for stroke in a line behind them.

USA then took charge into the final phase of the race, as the Australian's faded in lane one. The pairing of Zoe Stevenson and Eve MacFarlane then caused an upset by hammering it home to just get their bowball ahead in the final strokes of the race. Stevenson and Macfarlane snatched the gold away from Meghan O'Leary and Ellen Tomek from USA after a photo finish was required and bronze went to Great Britain.

The men's single scull heat was a tight race with many of the scullers taking turns at the lead through the initial stages of the final. Past the 500 metre mark Stanislau Shcharbachenia, the Belarussian sculler was in the outside lane and took a bit of a gamble pushing out to a clearwater lead to hold off the other scullers.

However Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale was biding his time, stroke by stroke, inch by inch he was reeling in the Belarussian. Into the final quarter Drysdale took over and dug deep to hold onto the gold, with a fast finishing Angel Rodriguez Fournier from Cuba lifting his boat speed to challenge for the medals he claimed the silver. Shcharbachenia managed to hold onto the bronze after a brave standout performance.

42 countries were represented in Varese, Italy for the World Cup regatta. New Zealand entered 15 boat classes at this world cup series event. New Zealand finished second on the medal tally behind Great Britain who won five golds, a silver and four bronze.

The full New Zealand rowing squad will now focus their attention on preparing for the third and final world cup of 2015 to be held in Lucerne, Switzerland from 10 to 12 July.