OUT OF THE WILDERNESS
It has been 18 years since Hawke’s Bay has won a national rowing title, but the national championships next week at Karapiro could see the province emerge from the wilderness.
The hope of a title rests with single sculler, Tony Bone, who finished third last weekend at Karapiro to the two other strong contenders for the title, Murray Watkinson and Dave Molesworth.
A victory is well within Bone’s reach because only half a length separated first and second placings and Bone was only four feet further back in third position.
“It’s going to be pretty tough going, but I’ll certainly be doing my best,” Tony Bone said this week.
And Bone knows just how hard that title is to attain. For several seasons now he has reached the national final and while he has not won, he has never been so very far back in the field.
Molesworth and Watkinson have had international experience and have had tougher competition this season, but a stiff test at Wanganui this weekend against South Island crews heading for the national events could give Bone the last-minute opportunity to reach a peak.
The national championships start next Wednesday and continue through until the following Saturday.
The Hawke’s Bay club will be sending a maiden eight and Tony Austin and Laurie Sunde, the senior pairs, will also be competing at Karapiro.
There is even an outside chance that Austin and Sunde could bring home another title, although their opposition of the Webster brothers from Auckland and the Union (Christchurch) combination of R. Satherley and J. Little will be a tough nut to crack.