Tweed's world champions
ROCKET Rick Kranen has returned from a successful World Masters Games in Sydney with an astonishing seven medals.
The veteran rower claimed three gold - C grade single scull, A grade quad and D grade mixed quad, two silver - C grade mixed quad and E grade quad - and two bronze - C grade double and B grade quad.
Kranen spearheaded a small team of eight rowers from Murwillumbah Rowing Club who returned with a total haul of 15 medals between them.
A tremendous result for the small club, particularly considering the 2500-strong field at Penrith's world-class facility included several former Olympians from around the globe.
“Being fit was a crucial component of this regatta,” Kranen, a local personal trainer who also specialises in training rowers, said.
“Most events involved heats, semis and a final, so if you weren't fit, you were going to struggle.
“I was most pleased with winning the A grade quad; it was a fantastic row as we won against 'boys' aged in their 20s.”
Joining Kranen in the A grade quad triumph was stablemate John Ryan, who was ecstatic to return home with a personal tally of three medals.
“The standard of rowing was extremely high,” Ryan said.
“It was like nothing we have experienced before.”
The E grade quad team was unlucky not to secure another gold for the club, with Kranen, Ryan, John Macdonald and John Newcome, missing out on glory by a mere 0.39 seconds.
Kranen had developed and facilitated a team fitness program that saw them take more than 12 seconds off their previous best time at Australian Masters championships in Rockhampton earlier this year, and rival some big name rowers.
“Our vigorous training program has paid off and we couldn't be happier,” Macdonald said.
“There were two former Olympians in the boat that beat us, and we really stuck it to them.”
Joanne Meehan also impressed on the water, putting in remarkable gold and silver performances.
Although fitness wasn't an issue for the local rowers on the last two days of the regatta, the weather conditions proved to be a hurdle that could not be overcome. Action was called off at 11am on the last two days of competition due to dangerously high winds.
However, Kranen and crew are hopeful their home track offers brighter conditions ahead of this weekend's local rowing action.
Tomorrow MRC hosts the Northern Rivers Murwillumbah Regatta, before backing up on Sunday for the Murwillumbah Tweed Heads combined Queensland Regatta, also at MRC.
Boats take to the water from 8am.