Ben Taylor exceeding his own rowing expectations

TALENT: Avon rower, Ben Taylor is proving he is up to international standard straight out of high school. Photo: Rowing NZ.

Avon rower Ben Taylor is achieving his goals so quickly he’s having to create new ones.

The 18-year-old thought he would have been spending more time around the clubrooms after finishing up at St Andrew’s College last year, but he’s spent more time overseas with New Zealand teams.

He had an impressive world under-23 championships in Poland where his coxed four took silver.

He is now in Bulgaria with the New Zealand elite team for the world championships, which got underway over the weekend, in the reserve pair with Joe Wright.

“It’s been an unbelievable 18 months,” he said.

“I need to set new goals because I’ve achieved so many of my two-to-five year ones.”

Taylor was part of the winning Maadi Cup squad in 2017 which not only brought back the top prize for the first time in the college’s history but the Springbok Shield as well.

Rowing is in Taylor’s blood, the last time the school raised the shield was when his father, Andrew, was in the boat 34 years ago. While Taylor is essentially injury-cover in Bulgaria he said he was still making the most of the elite environment.

“It’s been very welcoming so far,” he said.

“In training for the event, it’s been great to watch how some of the more experienced guys go about their business.’’

Taylor said he had a bond with top Kiwi single-sculler and fellow former St Andrew’s College rower Robbie Manson.

“Robbie has been super helpful,” he said.

“He doesn’t give you a lot of help but if you ask for it, he’ll make the time.”

Taylor said his rapid rise had allowed him to realistically dream about being part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I definitely wouldn’t have dreamed about that 18 months ago.” He said he wouldn’t mind what boat he was put into.

“It doesn’t matter I’ve been looking at everything as an opportunity so far so I’ll try to make the best out of any situation.”