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'I wasn't thinking probably' - carousel-riding rower breaks his silence

Published: 6:23AM Sunday July 05, 2015 Source: Sunday

One of the schoolboys who sparked national uproar by riding a luggage carousel at Auckland Airport has spoken for the first time about the fallout from the prank.

Jordan Kennedy, now 18, has left St Bede's College in Christchurch. The school was among the favourites to win this year's prestigious Maadi Cup before the incident which occurred as the school's rowing team was travelling to the regatta.

Mr Kennedy has spoken for the first time to Sunday about joyriding a luggage carousel.

"Eight boys alone in the airport, there was no one else there. Yeah, I suppose it all just got to my head and, yeah, I was just too excited maybe," he said.

"I wasn't thinking probably. That's the thing yeah, just a split second decision."

The two boys were banned from the regatta, their parents suing St Bede's to have them reinstated.

'To this day I still can't see why'

Veteran rowing coach Dave Lindstrom, who lost his job in the ensuing scandal, has also spoken out.

He was one of two coaches in charge of the two schoolboys who rode the luggage carousel.

Lindstrom left his role with St Bede's and subsequently was dismissed from his job as a senior national selector for Rowing New Zealand.

"I've had a record of achieving results for Rowing New Zealand and so to this day I still can't see why I was even brought into it, Lindstrom told Sunday.

Rowing New Zealand, when approached by Sunday, declined to comment.

Lindstrom is one of New Zealand's most accomplished rowers, having represented the country at two Olympics and countless World Championships. 

But His career as a rower, coach and national selector, spanning six decades, counted for nothing after he was caught up in the schoolboy rowing scandal.

"I wasn't a happy coach at that point", Lindstrom told Sunday. "I like to have everything planned to a tee - that wasn't in the plan."

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