Saint Clair Home to Rowing World Champion

We have a world champion in our midst at Saint Clair Family Estate, after our Export Manager brought home two world titles from the World Masters Games.

Sarah Lissaman, pictured front, right, headed to Lake Karapiro with her fellow Blenheim Rowing Club masters rowers in April, where she put her best foot forward with rowing partner Cynthia de Joux, pictured back, right.

The pair intended to be competitive, but admit winning was not the ultimate goal.

“When we talked about going to World’s two years ago, I wanted to be competitive and give it our best shot. Winning is kind of a bonus, but it was our aim to do our best so I am proud of all the results from the week,” Sarah says.

Coach Mouse Taylor was confident Sarah and Cynthia had a real chance at the gold medal in the Women’s C Coxless Pair event, after watching them race against the Blenheim mens crews in training.

Sarah walked away in possession of two gold medals; three silver medals, and one bronze medal for her efforts.

“Holding two world titles for our age group is still unreal,” she says.

“The silver medal in the A grade pair (27-34 age group) was the race that I felt we raced our best pairs race. Our correct age group, C pair (43-49 years), which we won gold in, was our very first race of the regatta and I can barely remember it; I just stuck my head down and rowed like we had in training. I still can’t believe crossing the finish line ahead of the other rowers,” Sarah says.

After three rowing seasons in her 20s, Sarah went back to the sport seven years ago as a Blenheim Rowing Club Master following an Interwinery competition the club organises as a fundraiser.

“[I love] getting outside after a day in the office. There is nothing quite like being on the river when it is calm and it is such a contrasting environment to everyday life,” Sarah says.

Training with the crew usually consists of 3 sessions on the water per week, which was ramped up to 4 sessions on the water, plus extra erg sessions in the build up to the World’s.

Training keeps Sarah strong and fit, and allows her to be a part of a great group of people within the club, she says.

While immediately after the race she wasn’t planning on competing again, keeping it up only for the fitness and social aspects, she’ll be off to the national competition in September.

“Yeah, we’ll go to Nationals at Twizel in September. Either that or Lake Bled in Slovenia,” she laughs.

Sarah’s full results:

Gold – Women’s C Coxless Pair (Average crew age 43 – 49 years old); with Cynthia de Joux.
Gold – Women’s C Coxless Four with Cynthia de Joux and friends from North Shore Rowing Club; Tonia Williams and Rebecca Caroe.

Silver – Women’s A Coxless Pair (Average crew age 27-35 years old); with Cynthia de Joux
Silver – Mixed A Quadruple Scull; with Cynthia de Joux and Blenheim Rowing Club mates Keith Nelson and Stephen Mason.
Silver – Mixed C Quadruple Scull, with Cynthia de Joux, Keith Nelson and Stephen Mason.

Bronze – Women’s C Quadruple Scull, with Cynthia de Joux and Union Rowing Club friends Kirsty Mahoney and Dorothee Pauli

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