Lincoln University sports scholar Sam Bosworth has become the first male coxswain to win a Women's World Rowing event.
This is in the wake of a recent rule change in international rowing which allowed him to be selected as cox for the New Zealand women’s eight.
Sam from Waipara, in North Canterbury, claimed gold at the World Cup II regatta in Poznan, Poland, last month and has gone on to add a silver from World Cup III and a win over Great Britain at the prestigious Henley Regatta.
Coxswains are now gender neutral so they can jump in the boat with any crew, male or female.
He was selected for the women's eight in March.
“We had a solid 14 weeks training up at Lake Karapiro before heading to Europe in June. The last month has been packed with racing and training.”
Coxing women is not really that that different to coxing men, Sam said.
“Women have to be more delicate and aware of their technique as they cannot just rely on power. In terms of boat dynamics however, it is no different.
“We have to work very hard, perform as a team and have the common goal of wanting to get better.
“The girls bring energy and intent to everything we do and are very responsive. We talk about changes and make them. We have a great coach Dan Kelly and a great squad of girls, so we also have a lot of fun which I think is important,” he said.
They raced in Poznan, beating Great Britain, China and USA to win gold, then moved to Belgium for an intensive week of training ahead of the Henley Royal Regatta.
“Henley has been raced since 1839 and was a very different regatta with a head to head race with one other boat and a knock out situation over several days. We raced in the Remenhan Challenge Cup and had a good win over Great Britain in the final.
“The atmosphere of Henley is great, with the banks lined with boats, supporters, bars and party goers.”
It was then on to World Cup III in Lucerne where they were narrowly beaten by the Romanian crew.
“We were all very happy with our form and the progress we have made since being selected. It has been a very successful European campaign for the women's eight and the rest of the team.”
Sam and the eight are now back at Lake Karapiro but the work continues as they are in training for the September World Championships in Florida.
“We are pleased to be home and will now need to find more speed,” Sam said.