Kirsten McCann and Nicole van Wyk highlighted their potential winning the women’s lightweight double sculls silver medal at the World Rowing Cup in Belgrade on Sunday.
They were the best of the four South African boats at the opening regatta of the three-leg series finishing second behind the Dutch crew of Ilse Paulis and Marieke Keijser.
McCann and Van Wyk lay in fourth place for the majority of the race making their move over the final 500 metres to edge out the British crew by 0.32 of a second.
“It is Nicole’s first senior race and I think it’s a pretty good start to her senior rowing career,” McCann said.
“We went out there to race our race and to just do what we do best. I think we got a bit of a sniff of the other crews and just got going. We’ve been in and out of the double a lot, but we are having lots of fun and trusting in the process.”
The Dutch boat consisting of Olympic double sculls gold medallist Ilse Paulis and Marieke Keijser finished behind McCann at last year’s World Rowing Championships turned in a dominant performance finishing two seconds ahead of the South Africans.
Charles Brittain and James Mitchell were the top South African male crew finishing sixth in the heavyweight pair class with a time of 6:31.350.
Croatia’s Martin and Valent Sincovic took the spoils posting a winning time of 6:19.370 leading from start to finish.
Racing in the C-final, Leo Davis and Luc Daffarn had to be content with fourth place with a time of 7:00.220 almost five seconds behind the winners from Hungary.
The quartet of John Smith, David Hunt, Kyle Schoonbee and Sandro Torrente finished ninth overall after missing out on the A-final.
They finished third — a position they held from start to finish — in the B-final with a time of 5:57.810, four seconds behind the winning crew of Romania.