Three hours after winning gold in the girls U16 double sculls event at the Aon Maadi Cup on Saturday, Izie Murray and Lucy Eastwood were still buzzing.
“When they give you the cup you’re like damn!” said Lucy from Twizel on Saturday evening.
She and Izie said stepping onto the podium, putting on their winners’ shirts and rowing their boat back with supporters cheering on the banks of Lake Ruataniwha were highlights of their day.
“All along the bank people are yelling ‘good work Cambridge’ and you pull in and all your squad comes up and hugs you,” Lucy said.
“That’s what I love about rowing; when you win you win together.”
Lucy and Izie have been aiming to win gold since coming second in the U15 double sculls at last year’s Maadi Cup.
They won all their heats and were favourites going into Saturday’s 4pm final.
“We were so nervous, the whole day, but once we got to the start blocks we chilled out a little bit,” Izie said. “We just knew that as long as we had a good race nothing else really mattered.”
The pair started the 2km race strongly, surging into the lead around the 750m mark and taking control from the halfway point. They crossed the finish line a time of 7:50.68, a boat length and a half ahead of Cashmere High School.
As the girls reached out to congratulate each other, their mothers – standing with other family members and friends near the finish line – both had tears in their eyes.
“Lucy’s mum and I both cried because we know how important it is to them and how hard they’ve worked,” said Izie’s mother Frieda.
“Our rowers have had Covid and lockdown to contend with this season while the South Island schools have been able to keep having regattas, so it’s just amazing they’ve been able to win this. They’ve just had such determination.”
Another factor in the pair’s emphatic win was their lucky matching socks – seagulls and chips for the heats, frogs for the quarter final, ducks for the semi final and seagulls again for the big one.
“Heats day was a really good race, we won by like 100m, so we were like, these socks will do it in the final,” Lucy said.
Lucy was the only Cambridge rower to take home two Maadi gold medals, after winning the girls U16 coxed quad event earlier in the day with Lauren Wood, Libby Tonks, Tegan O’Dwyer and Isabel Oxenham.
St Peter’s Cambridge had two podium finishes, both featuring Harrison McClintock, who came second in the boys U16 coxed quad sculls with crewmates Valentin Barrio, Jack Kidd, Josh Yeoman and Alyssa Sherry-Middlemiss before taking silver in the boys U16 single sculls.