WHILE the green and gold army was out in force at the World Rowing Championships in new Zealand yesterday, there was one special fan in the south-west who got all of the attention.
Dennington's Tommy Bertrand survived a last-minute seat shuffle to secure a silver medal in the men's lightweight eight final.
After the "blur" of the disrupted preparation, race and result, Bertrand dedicated his podium finish to his mother Jenny.
"Mum always sits at home and keeps an eye on how I'm going," he told The Standard yesterday.
"Dad came over to watch me but mum is holding the fort back home."
Jenny and Tom (senior) manage Dennington's general store.
Bertrand recognised his parents' commitment to his sport.
"They've put in tens of thousands of dollars to support me," he said.
"They've sacrificed a lot, especially mum.
"So this one's for her."
The 23-year-old was pushed back to the seventh spot in the boat after Ben Cureton (WA) was out of the crew with a back injury.
Cureton was replaced by Blair Tunevitsch (TAS), who had already collected a silver medal in the men's lightweight four.
"It was a bit of a funny lead up into the final," Bertrand said.
"But we were happy with how we handled it.
"One change wasn't going to make a big difference in an eight."
Australia trailed Italy by .19 of a second after the first 500 metres before Germany powered ahead at the 1000m mark.
Bertrand's crew held on to second place to finish with a time of 5.50:27, about two seconds after Germany.
Italy came in third.
"It's all a bit of a blur," he said.
"We were around the Germans the whole way.
"But they were too good and too quick."
The men's lightweight eight A final was raced below packed stands at Lake Karapiro.
"It was a bit of a novelty to race in front of a crowd," he said.