Rowing: Winds wreak havoc at championships

The World Rowing Championships got off to a false start yesterday as the weather presented organisers with a scheduling headache.

The first day of action at Lake Karapiro in New Zealand began on time but only five races were possible before conditions were deemed too windy.

Officials from world governing body FISA had hoped a resumption would be possible in the afternoon but the forecasted drop in wind did not materialise and racing was called off for the day.

The eight categories that were unable to compete yesterday have been accommodated in today's bumper programme, but it is all dependent on a drop in the wind.

Despite the paucity of action, there was a first British winner, with Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking advancing to the semi-finals in the lightweight women's double sculls after leading from start to finish. The pair will be hopeful of at least matching their bronze from last year's event after claiming a gold and two silvers during the World Cup season.

Goodsell and Hosking were among the few crews who ventured out in similar conditions on Saturday, and they felt that the additional preparation helped them cope.

Hosking said: "We went out training in the same conditions. If you're going to race in those conditions, it's good to get used to it."

Goodsell added: "Mind you, [on Saturday] we nearly sank out there so our coach, Paul Reedy, taped up the riggers and the splashdeck to stop us taking on water, and it worked."