John Smith and James Thompson at the Lightweight Men's Double Sculls Final race at the Rowing World Cup on Lake Rotsee in Lucerne, Switzerland. Photo: Urs Flueeler

Rio de Janeiro - The bulk of the South African rowing team were resigned to the ergo machine after organisers called off Sunday’s rowing Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon due to problems caused by rough weather.

Four of the country’s five boats were scheduled to get in on the action on Sunday but instead they were resigned to the ergo.

London Olympics gold medallists lightweight double sculls crew James Thompson and John Smith, were among the rowers that will have to wait until Tuesday to get their first taste Rio rowing.

As South Africa’s men’s four coach Paul Jackson pointed out the rowers lived for the pain of taking on the gruelling 2 000m course.

“Us rowers are used to the taste of lactic acid, that is what turns us on,” Jackson said.

Officials initially announced and hour delay to the original programme which was scheduled for 8.30am before they added another hour.

Shortly before the revised 10.30am start it was announced the rowing would be postponed until Monday.

South Africa were set to have four boats in action after the men’s heavyweight pair of Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling safely cruised into Tuesday’s semi-final finishing their heat on Saturday in second place.

“When it is head or tail it is fine because you are rowing with the waves and it bounces the boat up and down but as soon as it is exactly from the side,” Jackson said.

“Yesterday it was across side coming from an angle and you snake down the course and it was hellish and I am surprised they carried on with the rowing

“The wind wasn't that bad but because it was side it was very difficult, you can see over the first 500m of the men’s pair they got a length up before they hit the conditions and they tried to protect it.”

The men’s four crew, women’s pair and lightweight doubles sculls crews were also supposed to row on Sunday but will no instead get a go on Monday.

“Originally my vision of going to the Olympics was flat water and beautiful conditions and I never pictured this but then again it is the same for everyone,” Smith said.

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