Jenkins row their own boats

Family four: The Jenkins lads and dad. From the front, Elliott, Lenny, Finn and dad, Mark, ready for a row on the Whakatane River. Photo supplied

MORE used to rowing together, three young men from Whakatane found themselves racing against each other in different crews at the United States Intercollegiate Rowing Championships.
Lenny Jenkins, 21, and his twin brothers Finn and Elliott, 19, all study at, and row for, different universities in US. They all row in their university rowing eights.
Lenny is at Yale, Finn at Brown and Elliott at Boston.
All three crews made the final at the Eastern Sprints, and this was followed by Lenny and Elliott competing in the same heat at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta in Sacramento.
Yale won and Boston finished second to advance to the semifinal. Finn also advanced into the semifinal with his Brown crew.
Lenny’s Yale crew won the A final, for the third year in a row, while Finn’s Brown crew finished first in the B final, with Elliott’s Boston crew in second.
Lenny, who is going into his last year at Yale, said it was a lot of fun racing each other.
“It was pretty special for us all to be together on the East coast, given it’s so far from home.
“But, yeah, I’m a little sad I don’t get to row in a crew with the boys anymore.”
It was Lenny’s second year in the winning crew.
He said he definitely had aspirations but they were not for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I had a senior trial assessment in the UK to decide whether we should look at it but it didn’t go well enough for the Olympics to be very likely,” he said.
For Finn, he said it was great, as international students, to be representing New Zealand as well as the Whakatane Rowing Club.
“Naturally, it’s different racing against each other after rowing for so many years in the same boat under Graham Watt’s coaching.
“But I think I can speak on behalf of the three of us to say that the opportunity to compete in the US is something that we are very fortunate to experience.”
His goal is to row at the Olympics and, while his preference is to row for New Zealand, it is more likely that he would row for Britain.
“There would most likely need to be changes to Rowing New Zealand’s selection policy to allow for integration into their programme, while my studies continue abroad,” he said.
Elliott, likewise, believes the experience is “pretty cool”.
Lenny, who is studying political science with a focus on energy and the environment, hopes to go into law.
Finn is studying comparative literature in the German department at Brown.
He is planning to continue his studies at Oxford, Cambridge, or the University of London after his undergraduate degree.
Elliott is studying real estate and might end up minoring in business.
“I am currently taking a paper while I train for the Henley royal regatta.
“I still have three more years at college so I’m not set on what the future holds.
“For me, it kind of depends on what I do during my summer. I’ll either be rowing or working.”