New Zealand Men’s Rowing Eights claim Bronze, Montreal 1976
The New Zealand eight that went to Montreal – Ivan Sutherland, Trevor Coker, Dignan, Lindsay Wilson, Athol Earl, Dave Rodger, Alec McLean, Tony Hurt and cox Simon Dickie – had a lot on their shoulders because they were defending the crown won so magnificently in Munich four years earlier. The 1976 eight was well-regarded, even if they hadn’t been as dominant as the gold-medal winning team of 1972. Five of the 1976 edition – Coker, Wilson, Earl, Hurt and Dickie – had won gold medals in Munich. At Montreal, the New Zealanders didn’t get the start they were after when they were beaten by Australia in their heat. However, they rowed well in their repecharge, beating Germany and the Soviet Union, and recorded the third-fastest time of the finalists. As coach Robertson wanted, they were away quickly in the final and by the 500m mark had opened a one-second lead. After that things got tougher and they were pulled in first by Britain and then by eventual winners East Germany, and had to settle for the bronze medal.