Racing side by side with another crew from the same school

What’s it like racing side by side with another crew from your school at the Aon Maadi Cup?

That’s what happened to cousins Molly Glover and Emma Flanagan in the final of the under 17 pair on finals day at Lake Ruataniwha today.

What’s more, they were listed as Marlborough Girls’ College No 2 crew, behind Daisy Vavasour and Lexi Timpson.

But coach Sean O’Neill maintained there was little between them.

So, it proved, as the cousins prevailed by about a second.

‘’I couldn’t separate them in training or on the water. I was just hoping for a 1-2,’’ O’Neill said.

‘’They’ve been swapping round all season. It was only in the last couple of weeks we settled on these two.’’

O’Neill likes what he’s seeing from the rowing programme at the college but admitted ‘’we could probably be doing more; we’re trying to make it fun and enjoyable though.

‘’These girls are all friends, they’re a good close group and really supportive of one another. I really didn’t know which way it would go.

‘’We haven’t got a gold medal at Maadi for a while. So it’s nice to tick that off.’’

Glover is six months older and in the bow seat, and while laughing that Flanagan is noisier off the water, reckons she is definitely the boss on the water.

‘’We were definitely very nervous,’’ she said.

‘’Coming out of the heats we were quite confident as we did have the fastest time. But even then, it was also about what if someone else had more in the tank on finals day.’’

They expected their schoolmates Vavasour and Timpson to be their toughest rivals. And what does it say about potential out of the school?

‘’I definitely think it shows if you get out and have a good crack at it, you never know what’s going to happen. You just keep chasing what you want,’’ Glover added.

The cousins were down at the start – “I don’t think we heard the buzzers’’ – but got their nose in front after about 750m and stayed there.

Glover turned 17 in January; Flanagan is 17 in June. This is Glover’s final year at school – ‘’we’re working on that,’’ quipped O’Neill.

There were two other cases of a school providing two podium places earlier in the day.

In the under 18 boys novice coxed four, Hamilton Boys’ High took gold and bronze, while in the under 17 coxless pair, St Bede’s took first and third, separated by Christchurch Boys’ High, to complete a Christchurch trifecta.