“I don’t think I will experience another day like it. The reaction of the boys in Twizel and the messages of support from family and friends have been overwhelming,” exclaimed Angus Gray of Christ’s College following his schools’ Maadi Cup success last weekend.
The head prefect was in the bow seat of the boat. His role is to provide calls to the crew and ensure stability.
Christ’s established control of the Maadi Cup Boys under-18 final at halfway, holding a half-length lead from Hamilton Boys’ High School. Christ’s pulled further ahead over the last 1000m to win the final by three seconds. For the first time in four years Hamilton Boys’ had to settle for a silver medal.
The ability to control emotions and make sound judgements is something Gray has learned a lot about in the past year.
May 28, 2015 was a dark day for Christ’s. The First XV was humiliated by a record 80-0 in the annual traditional rugby fixture against Christchurch Boys’ High School. The game was broadcast on national television and Gray was playing first-five.
“I was so nervous before that game. I knew it was a big deal, but when I got on the field I just froze, we all did. We should have competed more. We didn’t man-up and it was very hard going back to school the next day. We were embarrassed.”
Overcoming embarrassment and disappointment was a key for focus for Gray when he attended the Crusaders Knights rugby camp.
“A sports physiologist came along and he spent some time talking about how to channel excitement into performance. Everybody gets excited about big games, but the key is to not get carried away or nervous. I found it very helpful,” Gray admits.
Last year Christ’s finished second in the Maadi Cup and Gray says an overly aggressive start was a factor. That problem unearthed itself at the 2016 South Island Rowing Championships in the under-18 coxed fours too. Christ’s finished an extremely disappointing third place. Gray reflects on the result.
“We didn’t row well at all. We went out too hard and had no speed at the end. We knew we were better than what we preformed. We tried to put the result behind us quickly.”
Every year before Maadi Cup Christ’s College’s rowing team descend to Twizel for a week to train. This proved to be highly beneficial to the fours crew of Cameron Smith, Oscar Acland, Rowan Taylor, coxswain Paddy Hon and Gray.
Christ’s improved their time from the South Island championships by 19 seconds at the Maadi meet and won the Springbok Shield in 6:38.49.
“It was an awesome result. I knew we could do a lot better than South Island’s, but to win was bit of a surprise. We peaked at the right time, enjoyed ourselves and left everything out on the course,” Gray says.
Christ’s had three members of their eight’s crew return from 2015. Gray was more confident about winning the Maadi Cup and his crew delivered. Gray explains the advantages of training at the venue in which the regatta was held.
“In Twizel the temperature is cooler so the water feels a bit heavier. By contrast Lake Karapiro is warmer and requires a slightly lighter stroke. This all sounds a bit weird, but the feeling is just different and having the extra time on the course really helped establish what kind of rating and race we had to perform to win.”
Gray hopes the lessons of careful preparation and a more relaxed approach translate to the rugby season. Christ’s have new coaches in former All Black captain Reuben Thorne and Canterbury first-five Cameron McIntyre.
“We have been doing a lot work on strength and conditioning. We were a bit weak in that area last year. We have some new patterns and the boys are quietly confident about an improved showing.”
Christ’s beat Waitaki Boys’ High School, 62-14 in their first pre-season game.
Jack Lopas from Christchurch Boys’ High School won a bronze medal in his debut Maadi Cup regatta. He admits he became “addicted” to rowing from that point on.
At last year’s event he won three silver medals, but a gold medal remained elusive. Whakatane High School’s Lenny Jenkins had proved a particularly difficult opponent to conquer.
“Lenny beat me three times at Maadi Cup last year. I had got it into my mind he was unbeatable, but I worked really hard over the summer and beating him was always in the back of my mind,” Lopas reveals.
Lopas was a victorious member of the under-18 coxed sculls crew on Friday, but his showdown with Jenkins on Saturday for the prestigious Charlie Stapp Cup would be one of the showpiece events of the weekend.
Jenkins led at 500m, but Lopas refused to panic and by halfway he had established a clear lead. From this point on Lopas gave a demonstration of his outstanding quality as he flashed by the finish line in a slick 7:15.05. Jenkins finished with a time of 7:19.20.
“Once I passed him I got a lot of confidence. It hadn’t really happened before. I haven’t had a real break for more than a year now, but I feel like I am in good shape,” Lopas says.
Later, Lopas alongside Angus Foster, landed the double sculls crown in similarly impressive fashion. Holding a marginal advantage from the Jenkins siblings – Elliot and Lenny – of Whakatane Boys’ at halfway the Christchurch Boys’ pairing simply powered ahead over the second half of the course to strike gold by a margin of exactly two seconds in a time of 6:40.76. Whakatane clinched a comfortable silver medal clear of Mt Aspiring College, who took bronze in 6:49.96.
Lopas also won a bronze medal as a member of the Christchurch eight that finished behind Christ’s College and Hamilton Boys’ High School in the marquee event.
Lopas is almost a dead certainty to be selected for the New Zealand Junior rowing team for the World Championships. He attended the event last year and won a silver medal in the B final.
“Getting back to World’s has been a major focus of my season. In club meets I have been competing up a year to get harder competition. That’s been really helpful,” Lopas reveals.
The support of coach and former National under-23 rep Logan Keys has been pivotal to.
“Logan is young enough to be your mate, but he is still the boss. He has really helped improve rowing at Christchurch Boys’ and helps me out outside of school which I really appreciate.”
Lopas also appreciates the support and pedigree of his family. Mum and Dad were avid rowers and his grandfather Jeff represented New Zealand at the World Championships.
Christ's College provided a thrilling climax to the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup by smashing Hamilton Boys High School's recent stranglehold on the Maadi Cup with a resounding victory in the regatta's flagship event.
The Christchurch-based school produced an exemplary row to defeat their longstanding rivals by a near three-second margin to capture their first Maadi Cup title since 2012.
The 52nd and concluding final across two days of exhilarating action at a sun bathed Lake Ruataniwha was eagerly awaited as Hamilton Boys, the champions for the previous three years, came up against a Christ's College crew desperate to claim top spot on the podium having finished second 12 months ago.
It was a formidable Christ's outfit who established control of the race and at halfway holding a half-a-length lead from Hamilton. Yet the anticipated charge from the defending champions did not materialise as Christ's pulled further ahead in the final 1000m to win the final by a near-three second margin in a time of 5:58.09. Hamilton Boys on this occasion had to settle for silver (6:00.93) with Christchurch Boys High 6:02.23 overhauling Auckland Grammar to take bronze.
For Christ's College head boy Angus Gray who was in the bow seat it was a moment of sheer jubilation.
“It is an amazing feeling, it has always been a dream of mine to win it is and amazing to do in so in my last year. It has been an awesome season with such a great group of boys. We have always worked closely as a unit we always knew we had each other's backs. When George (Gould) the cox called a move we always knew we'd do it together.”
Coach Malcolm McIntyre, himself a former Maadi Cup winning rower with Westlake Boys, was immensely proud of the efforts of his team.
“These are really young guys who have done a great service to themselves,” he says. “We went in there knowing we had a good chance of medal, but where they finished was purely up to the boys. We aimed to move at the 1km and the boys are strong and tough and held on.”
Earlier, Diocesan School for Girls claimed an historic first ever victory in the Levin Jubilee Cup with a gripping victory over defending champions St Margaret's which lived up to its pre-race billing as a potential classic encounter.
Sacred Heart Girls College (Hamilton) stole a march on the field to take a lead by a third of a length at 500m. However, by the halfway mark just two metres separated the top three boats at Sacred Heart held a slight advantage from St Margaret's and Diocesan.
With Sacred Heart the first to crack it was Diocesan – who yesterday had secured the under-18 coxed four title – that made what was to prove their winning move in the third quarter of the race. They passed the 1500m with a lead of around a third of a length and although St Margaret's clawed back some of that advantage, Diocesan held on by 0.95 to win a time of 6:46.63 to take the prestigious under-18 eight crown. Sacred Heart were rewarded with bronze following their outstanding row (6:52.59).
Victorious Diocesan rower Alice Grave said: “We just wanted to race a good race and I think we did that. It is pretty exciting and we are pretty proud of ourselves.”
Veronica Wall created Maadi Cup history by securing an unprecedented hat-trick of single sculls titles as well as a fourth title in the under-18 coxed quad final. Yesterday the gifted 15-year-old Ashburton College sculler cruised to victory in the under-16 and under-17 single sculls finals by a combined winning margin of more than 30 seconds. Today she faced a much tougher quest to land the under-18 crown, however she proved equal to it to create her own slice of history.
Brylie Gordon (Hauraki Plains), the gold medallist in yesterday's under-18 double sculls, made a brave bid for victory and held a half-a-length lead at the 1000m from Wall. Nonetheless, the eventual gold medallist made her winning push in the third quarter of the race to break the field and secure gold in 8:00.88.
Fraser High School's Claudia MacDonald mounted a strong challenge to Gordon in the latter stage but the Hauraki Plains College sculler was rewarded for her efforts with silver in 8:04.33 with MacDonald 0.94 further back in bronze.
Later today Wall then put the icing on the cake of an unforgettable regatta by starring in Ashburton College's triumphant under-18 coxed quad crew. Featuring alongside Grace Wilson, Fran Connelly-Whyte, Lara Biggs and cox Emma Jansen, Ashburton hit the front for the first time just after halfway to storm to victory by more than three-and-a-half seconds from Nelson College for Girls in a time of 7:13.14. Napier Girls grabbed bronze in 7:18.29.
An elated Wall said of her success,
“This was definitely the big race and I was really nervous,” she admits. “it was just amazing to win, its surreal, I'm over the moon.
“Taking out all three was the goal, but I was going to be happy with whatever I came away with. It was then awesome to feature on a team and celebrate that success with others.”
Below is a round-up of the day's action.
Boys under-18 events
Christchurch Boys High powered by the brilliance of rising star Jack Lopas completed a clean sweep of the boys under-18 sculling events. Lopas, who was a victorious member of their quad sculls crew yesterday, followed that up today with gold medals in both the single sculls and double sculls events at Lake Ruataniwha.
Lopas was an emphatic victor of the prestigious Charlie Stapp Cup with a dominant display. Trailing Whakatane High School's Lenny Jenkins at 500m he refused to panic and by halfway had established a clear lead. From this point on Lopas gave a demonstration of his outstanding quality as he flashed by the finish line in a slick 7:15.05. Jenkins produced a accomplished effort to take silver in 7:19.20 with Nathan Luff (Wanganui High School) earning bronze 7:27.77.
Later, Lopas alongside Angus Foster, landed the double sculls crown in similarly impressive fashion. Holding a marginal advantage from the Jenkins siblings – Elliot and Lenny – of Whakatane Boys at halfway the Christchurch Boys pairing simply powered ahead over the second half of the course to strike gold by a margin of exactly two seconds in a time of 6:40.76. Whakatane clinched a comfortable silver medal clear of Mt Aspiring College, who took bronze in 6:49.96.
Wanganui High School produced an eye-catching victory from lane one in an absorbing final of the lightweight double sculls. Trailing Glendowie College by half a canvas at halfway the gold medal winning duo of Matthew Wright and Nathan Luff swept to the front shortly after the 1000m and proved too strong for the rest striking gold in a time of 6:54.73. St Peters School unleashed a fantastic final quarter of the race to take silver in 6:57.21 – 0.95 clear of Glendowie, who narrowly held off Nelson College for bronze.
Wanganui Collegiate reversed the finishing positions on Sacred Heart College (Auckland) from yesterday's novice eights final to take victory in a gripping novice coxed four final. Wanganui held a slight advantage by a canvas at halfway from Sacred Heart only for that lead to be reduced by half a canvas at 1500m. In a titanic tussle in the final quarter, Wanganui opened up a half-a-length advantage to strike gold by a victory margin of 1.40 seconds from Sacred Heart. Auckland Grammar claimed bronze in 7:02.40.
Girls under-18 events
Avonside Girls High School claimed a memorable success in the lightweight double sculls final courtesy of devastating middle 1000m which powered them to a resounding victory. Stroke Ruby Norton and Arlia O'Sullivan trailed Wentworth College at 500m before establishing control of the final by the halfway mark. They further extended their advantage for the remainder of the race to run out gold medallists in a time of 7:54.99.
Dunstan High School held off a powerful burst over the final 500m from Wakatipu High School to grab silver in 8:02.12 – 1.42 clear of their Southland-based opposition.
St Peters School ended Waikato Diocesan's three-year reign at novice coxed four champion with an assured performance in today's final. The gold medal winning crew held a lead by nearly a length from Howick College at halfway and simply extended their advantage over the opposition in the second half of the race to win in a time of 7:36.81. St Paul's Collegiate finished strongly to grab a well earned silver in 7:40.31 - 0.81 clear of early leaders Howick who were rewarded with bronze.
Boys under-17 events
St Andrews College executed a majestic effort to destroy the opposition and claim a clear win in the coxed four final. The Canterbury-based school dominated from the start and were never challenged as they recorded a slick time of 6:41.34 on Lake Ruataniwha.
Behind, in a thrilling scrap for the minor medals, St Kentigern College, who held second for the majority of the race, just held on to silver by 0.10 in 6:44.90 ahead of the fast-finishing Westlake Boys High School. Wanganui Collegiate were also in the medal mix a further 0.55 down on the podium positions.
Wellington College produced a consummate display to deliver a magnificent victory from the front in a captivating coxed quad final. The gold medal winning crew held a half-a-length advantage from St Peters School at 1000m and their lead was reduced to just over a canvas by three-quarter distance from a determined St Peters team. However, Wellington College lifted their rate and would not be denied as they crossed the finish line in 6.30.77 with the fast finishing Nelson crew in silver (6:32.10). St Peters, having been positioned in second for the majority of the race, had to settle for bronze some 0.82 further back.
Girls under-17 events
St Margaret's College held off a late charge from Diocesan School for Girls to successfully defend their coxed eight title in a thrilling final. The South Islanders left the start with real intent and had opened up a one-length lead on the field after just 500m. Diocesan made a massive push in the final quarter but only hauled themselves within a third of a length as St Margaret's bagged gold by 1.47 in 6:53.12 from their Auckland-based rivals. Columba College grabbed bronze in 6:56.64.
St Peter’s School edged a pulsating battle from Tauranga Girls College in a memorable final of the double sculls. At halfway the St Peters' crew comprising Lily Butler and Jasmine Brake held a narrow advantage of around half-a-length only for Tauranga to slowly chip away at their advantage.
Entering the final 250m the two crews were matching each other stroke for stroke only for St Peters to respond and clinch a breathtaking victory in 7:40.86 by 0.48 from the Tauranga Girls College duo Rebeka Frood and Grace Holland. In an equally compelling race for bronze Nelson College for Girls edged Craighead Diocesan by just 0.11 in a time of 7:44.48.
Boys under-16 events
Christchurch Boys High School lived up to their billing as pre-event favourites to wrestle the coxed eight title from defending champions Hamilton Boys School with an imperious performance. Containing four of the team that secured gold in the coxed four final yesterday, Christchurch Boys took control of the race from halfway and did not relinquish their advantage to claim victory from Hamilton Boys by about a length in a time of 6:09.12. Christ's College were the remaining podium filler in 6:14.28.
The Jenkins siblings – Elliot and Finn – multiple medallists at the 2015 Maadi Cup added to their swag of gold medals in the prestigious event by crushing the opposition to strike gold in the double sculls final. The Whakatane High School duo led from the outset and serenely pulled away from the opposition with an outstanding demonstration of top quality sculling to stop the clock in 6:58.49.
In a competitive scrap for the silver medal a decisive push in the third 500m enabled St Peter’s School to secure silver in 7:06.36 – a little over two seconds clear of Kings College.
Xavier Wright has a hugely impressive winner of the single sculls title running out the champion by a victory margin of more than five-and-a-half seconds. The Verdon College student held a half-a-length advantage from Finn Jenkins at halfway before romping away from the opposition to decimate the field in the second half of the race, recording a time of 7:31.01. In a intriguing battle for silver Jack Gibbs (Roncalli College) just held off Jenkins by 0.22 recording 7:36.59.
Girls under-16 events
Hauraki Plains College enjoyed double success with victories in the quad sculls and double sculls, respectively. The Waikato-based school secured gold in former event, which which had been delayed following a gear breakage. Stroked by single sculls silver medallist Stella Clayton-Greene, the crew stopped the clock in 7:29.86 – to finish a fraction under two seconds clear of silver medallist Villa Maria College. In a terrific battle for bronze St Peter’s School edged Nelson College for Girls by just 0.05 recording a time of 7:32.11.
Later Hauraki Plains powered by Stella Clayton-Greene and Sophie Mischefski were triumphant in the double sculls event. The pair had established a clear lead from Villa Maria College at halfway and were unstoppable for the remainder of the final, recording 7:41.48 to finish 2.32 clear of Villa Maria. Onslow College earned the final podium position in a time of 7:45.04.
The coxed four final was always expected to be a two-way shoot out between St Peter’s School and Rangi Ruru Girls School and to it proved as these two proud rowing powerhouses served up a classic.
St Peter’s bossed much of the race by a solid one-length margin from Rangi Ruru and Wakatipu High School, who were also prominent. Yet Rangi Ruru produced a powerful late surge to challenge the long-time leaders only for St Peters to hold on by a little over a canvas in a time of 7:25.58. Wakatipu plugged gamely on to claim bronze in 7:31.92.
Boys under-15 events
Hamilton Boys High School secured the “Grand Slam” of all five titles in this age division with two of their crew members William Thompson and Luke Taylor securing the full quintet of titles available.
Following Hamilton's success in yesterday's double sculls and coxed eight finals the remarkable rowing production factory maintained their sequence of victories in the coxed quad sculls with a beautifully timed effort. Trailing Marlborough Boys College by a length-and-a-half at 1000m that gap remained at about a length by the three-quarter mark. However, the Hamilton number one boat unleashed a stunning final 500m to stop the clock in 6:50.46. Despite leading for a big chunk of the final Marlborough has to settle for silver (6:53.12) with Hamilton Boys number two boat earning bronze in 6:54.59 to further underline the school's enviable strength in depth.
In the coxed four final Hamilton trailed the St Andrews College boat by half-a-length at midway but kept their power dry to unleash a blistering final 1000m to earn them victory by more than two-and-a-half seconds in a time 7:08.16. St Andrews held on to second, 2.02 clear of the bronze medal crew Macleans College.
Hamilton Boys then completed the full complement of titles in this age division with a riveting victory over Christ's College in the octuplets final. Trailing Christ's College by three seats for much of the race they then unleashed a stunning final 500m to overhaul their rival and deliver victory of 0.92 in a time of 6:19.80 to succeed King's College as the inaugural winners of the title 12 months ago. On this occasion King's had to be satisfied with bronze in a time of 6:28.94.
Thompson said of his five-gold medal haul. “It was tough to cope with all the heats and semi-finals but I'm glad the hard work in training as paid off. I didn't really know how I would do because it is hard to compare North Island and South Island times.”
Girls under-15 events
Rangi Ruru Girls School gave yet another demonstration of their quality in eights rowing to successfully defend the Tauranga Girls College Cup in emphatic fashion. The South Island school – containing five students who featured in yesterday's triumphant under-18 novice eight crew – held a half a length lead from St Margaret's College at halfway only to then storm clear over the final 1000m to clinch victory by a margin of more than eight-and-a-half seconds in a time of 6:59.82. St Margaret;s held on for the silver with Epsom Girls Grammar snagging a place on the dais in third (7:11.54).
The Glendowie College duo of stroke Caitlin Brenton-Rule and Sara Everitt produced a technically accomplished display to cruise to a comprehensive victory in the double sculls final. The Auckland-based duo led from the outset and by the time the pair hit the finish line - in a time of 8:00.02 – they had opened up a gap of more than four-and-a-half seconds on the defending champions St Peters School, who took silver. Craighead Diocesan completed the podium positions in a time of 8:10.76.
St Peters School comfortably retained their octuplets crown courtesy of a commanding victory. The Waikato-based school, who won the inaugural final in this event 12 months ago, held a lead by around a length and a quarter from Glendowie College and St Margaret's College at halfway. The leaders then forged further ahead to cross the line in 7:08.41 – more than five seconds clear of Glendowie College who sealed silver from St Margaret's (7:14.50).
For full results from the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup: http://www.rowit.co.nz/mads2016/results
Christ’s College claimed their first Springbok Shield success for 18 years with a gun to tape success in the flagship race of the first finals day at the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup at Lake Ruataniwha.
The triumphant crew of Cameron Smith, Oscar Acland, Rowan Taylor, Angus Gray and coxswain Paddy Hone repelled a powerful challenge from Hamilton Boys in the first three quarters of the race and a late charge from Marlborough Boys College to clinch the win in a time of 6:38.49.
It was a magnificent effort from Christ’s College, who secured their sixth ever success in the prestigious event which was first contested in 1965.
Marlborough Boys unleashed a stellar final 1000m, powering past the fading Hamilton Boys crew in the latter stages and to within half a length of Christ’s College but they had to settle for silver some 1.45 down on the champions.
Hamilton Boys, who were just a canvas down on Christ’s College at halfway, claimed bronze in 6:41.47.
For Christ’s College team captain Angus Gray it was a moment of jubilation, particularly as the crew had finished third behind St Andrews College and Marlborough at the South Island Championships.
“It was a really hotly-contested field but the race went perfectly to plan,” said Gray. “We went out front and held on all the way. We saw Hamilton and Marlborough come back at us at the end, but we held them off.”
The opening day of finals action had earlier suffered a four-hour delay to proceedings due to excessively windy conditions. However, running a compressed programme with A finals contested every ten minutes allowed the full schedule of 26 A Finals to be completed today.
In the day’s flagship final for girls, Diocesan Schools for Girls clinched an historic first ever Dawn Cup success with a dominant display in the under-18 coxed four event.
The triumphant crew of Ella Simanu, Kate Haines, Alice Grave, Georgia Gibson and cox Anna Burns held a length advantage from nearest pursuers St Margarets College at the 1000m mark and they further stamped their superiority on the field in the second half of the race to run out convincing winners in a time of 7:29.73.
The red-hot battle for silver was edged by Sacred Heart Girls (Hamilton), who advanced from fourth at halfway to second on the dais in a time of 7:33.29. St Margarets College, who had slipped at one stage to fourth, rallied in the latter stages to take bronze some 0.81 further back. Nelson College for Girls who looked set for silver at 1500m placed fourth in 7:34.61.
See below for a round-up of the other action on the first finals day at the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup.
Boys under-18 events
Christchurch Boys High School derailed Whakatane High School’s bid for a hat-trick of coxed quadruple sculls titles thanks to a well-judged and patient effort. The Whakatane crew - comprising the three Jenkins siblings – held a clear advantage at the 1000m mark but Christchurch nosed ahead with 700m and accelerated further ahead to clinch the title by a little over three seconds in 6:28.85. Today Whakatane had to be content with silver while Wellington College completed the medal dais taking bronze in 6:37.47.
Less than a second separated the top three crews in an absorbing pairs final with victory awarded to Marlborough Boys college duo Jordan Gasson and Cameron Donald. The duo executed an outstanding row covering the 2000m distance in a time of 7:15.68 to finish just 0.67 clear of St Andrews College with Auckland Grammar clinching bronze in 7:16.67.
In the lightweight coxed four final there was joy was Nelson College who proved too powerful for the rest to grab an eye-catching gold medal victory in 6:50.27. St Bedes College completed a South Island one-two almost three seconds further back with the 2015 champions Glendowie College (6:54.35) having to settle for bronze in the 2016 edition.
Sacred Heart College (Auckland) secured a commanding victory in the novice eight final by a length from Wanganui Collegiate. The champion-winning crew put in a powerful performance to stop the clock in a time of 6:22.25 to finish 3.04 clear of their nearest opposition. Shirley Boys High picked up bronze in a time of 6:26.35.
The St Pauls Collegiate duo of Tom Seuren and Max Dobbe – who had earlier today taken silver in the boys under-15 double sculls event - showed their exciting potential by taking out a comfortable victory in the novice double sculls race. Just over an hour after the duo landed silver they returned to action at Lake Ruataniwha to climb the top of the podium in 7:29.85 - more than four seconds clear of Shirley Boys High School, who edged a close battle for silver from St Peters School.
Girls under-18 events
The pair served up a genuine candidate for race of the day as Sacred Heart Girls College (Hamilton) edged a titanic tussle from St Margaret College by a little over a second. St Margaret’s put in a huge push for gold around the 1000m mark and opened up a one-length lead before the Sacred Heart duo of Finau Mosa’Ali and Claudia Mecchia timed their gold medal bid to perfection to move into gold inside the final 500m to stop the clock in 8:00.86. Craighead Diocesan banked bronze in 8:04.43.
A powerful second half of the race earned Hauraki Plains College a three-second victory from Nelson College in the double sculls final. Little separated the two top teams at midway, but the duo of Brylie Gordon and Panasse Van Laren’s showed superior strength in the latter half of the race to stop the clock in 7:53.71 to strike gold. Fraser High School finished strongly but had to settle for bronze in 7:57.27.
Rangi Ruru Girls School showed their class to take an emphatic victory in the novice eight final. The South Island school claimed victory by more than two-and-a-half lengths from Columba College in a time of 7:18.56. Diocesan School for Girls claimed the bronze in 7:26.86.
The Villa Maria College duo of Georgia Freeman and Molly Millar shaded an enthralling encounter in the final of the novice double sculls event from John Paul College (Anna Cairns and Hana Stubbing). John Paul put in a resolute performance, but ultimately the girls from Villa Maria were just too good, clinching victory by a winning margin of 0.86 in a time of 8:01.70.
The lightweight coxed four final was secured by Columba College, who rowed the 2000m course in a time of 7:52.36 to finish more than three seconds clear of St Kentigerns College. Wanganui Collegiate completed the podium order in time of 7:59.30.
Boys under-17 events
Mark Taylor produced a measured and dominant performance to take victory in the boys under-17 single sculls – in the day’s first A final. The Waitaki Boys High School student bided his time before overhauling Sam Monkley (Cambridge High School) at the 1250m mark to run out an eye-catching gold medallist in 7:48.69. Monkley held on for second in 7:52.93 with Bradley Leydon (John McGlashan College) taking third.
Spectators were served up a real treat in the final of the eight as St Kentigern’s edged Christ’s College by a canvas in a heavyweight clash to savour. The Auckland-based crew just proved the stronger in a compelling clash to record a time of 6:11.92 – just 0.65 clear of their Christchurch-based rivals. Westlake Boys High School snared the bronze medal in 6:14.24.
Huanui College was denied gold thanks to a late surge from St Patricks College in a thrilling final of the double sculls. The Hunani College duo of Ben Monaghan and Eddie Brownie put a courageous bid for gold over the first 1500m but could not hold on to their significant advantage as the St Patricks duo of Daniel Ward and Joshua Ngaia prevailed by 1.43 in a time of 7:03.43. John McGlashan College clinched bronze in 7:08.20.
Girls under-17 events
Having earlier triumphed in the under-16 single sculls event Veronica Wall added her second single sculls title of the day with yet another comprehensive victory. The Ashburton College phenomenon, who will be seeking to snag a third single sculls crown tomorrow in the under-18 event, gave clear demonstration of her stellar ability by crushed the opposition to stop the clock in 8:18.04 – almost 16 seconds clear of Marlborough College Girls’ Stella Blake, who finished strongly in the latter half of the race to take silver. Georgia Keech of Sacred Heart Girls (New Plymouth) earned the consolation of bronze.
A compelling all Cantabrian battle saw Christchurch Girls High School hold off a late charge from Rangi Ruru Girls School in a gripping final of the women’s under-17 coxed four event. Christchurch Girls held on by half a canvas to edge an absorbing race in 7:48.53. In close pursuit Sacred Heart Girls College (Hamilton) grabbed bronze.
Nelson College for Girls successfully retained the coxed quad sculls title with yet another dominant display. They were challenged strongly by St Peters College in the first half of the race before the Nelson quartet slowly cranked up the pressure in the final 1000m to run out winners in 7:26.84 - a little over two seconds from St Peters School. Tauranga Girls College (7:29.95) secured bronze.
Boys under-16 events
Kings College revealed their formidable strength in depth in the coxed quad sculls division as their number one and two boats banked gold and silver medals. The number one boat stopped the clock in an impressive 6:53.88 with the number two boat more five-and-a-half seconds further back. Roncalli College grabbed the minor medal in a time of 7:00.99.
Christchurch Boys prevailed in a competitive coxed four encounter from Hamilton Boys High School. The champion crew unleashed a measured display to clinch victory from their nearest rivals by a little under a second-and-a-half in a winning time of 6:56.51. St Peters College (Auckland) earned bronze in 6:59.41.
Girls under-16 events
Rangi Ruru Girls School snatched a dramatic victory from St Peters School courtesy of a powerful push in the dying embers of a compelling final of the eight. Little separated the duo for the second half of the race but the South Island school forged ahead when it counted to edge the tussle by 0.82, recording a time of 7:07.80. Wanganui Collegiate took bronze in 7:16.13.
Veronica Wall (Ashburton College) proved far too strong for the rest to successfully defend the single sculls title covering the distance in 8:33.35 to finish more than 14 seconds clear of Stella Clayton-Greene (Hauraki Plains), who took silver. Rangitoto College’s Claudia Waite (8:51.33) rounded out the top three.
Boys under-15 events
Hamilton Boys High School enjoyed a memorable day by securing gold in both the men’s eight and double sculls events. In the flagship boys’ eight event the Hamilton crew - containing both stroke William Thompson and Luke Taylor - maintained their streak of success in the event by cruising to victory in 6:25.53 more than five-and-a-half seconds clear of Christ’s College with St Andrews College banking bronze in 6:32.76.
Earlier Thompson and Taylor edged a tight battle from cross city rival school St Pauls Collegiate (Max Dobbe and Tom Seuren) in a thrilling battle in the double sculls event. In an absorbing final, Hamilton Boys crossed the line in 7:29.09 to win by a little under one-and-a-half seconds. Kings College filled the final place on the podium in 7:41.27.
Girls under-15 events
St Peters School have long been a formidable sculling force and that was once against demonstrated in the quadruple sculls final as they claimed back-to-back titles in a time of 7:51.94 – more than eight seconds clear of Glendowie College. Ashburton College snatched a place on the bottom rung on the podium.
In the coxed four final, Waikato Diocesan responded to a powerful challenge from Rangi Ruru College to clinch the race win by a little over two seconds in 7:35.48. The two crews were dominant from the outset but Waikato’s pace judgement proved superior as they edged Rangi Ruru, the defending champions. The St Margarets College number one crew finished one place in front of their number two boat to take the minor medal.
For full results from the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup: http://www.rowit.co.nz/mads2016/results
The final line-ups for the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup (New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Championships) have been confirmed today at Lake Ruataniwha with the semi-finals completed.
Semi finals day at the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup regatta began with calm conditions but due to a front passing through racing was suspended for a period towards the end of the day with the race programme eventually concluding at 5pm.
In the first semi-final of the day, the boys under-17 single, Sam Monkley from Cambridge High School produced an accomplished performance to win in a time of 7:41.53. There was a sprint for the three remaining semi final berths with the scullers from Glendowie College and John McGlashan College grabbing the second and third spot while St Peter’s School finished fourth. Waitaki Boys High School Sculler, Mark Taylor won the second semi-final with the fastest time of the two semi finals in 7:41.76. Verdon College, St Patrick’s College 2 and St Patrick’s College 3 also qualified for the medal final.
The boys under-18 pairs berths were claimed in the first semi-final by Marlborough Boys College, Hamilton Boys High School and St Paul’s Collegiate while Mt Albert Grammar School were also comfortably through. In the second semi-final Marlborough Boys College 1 claimed a convincing win in 7:15.55 seconds, demonstrating the depth of talent at Marlborough Boys. St Andrews College were just under four seconds back in second spot, Auckland Grammar School and Nelson College are also into the A final.
The girls under-16 double boasts the largest field at the regatta and the semi-finals saw St Andrews College proceed straight to the medal final after winning their semi-final in 8:01.66. Villa Maria chased strongly and finished in 8:05.19 while crews from Dunstan High School and Macleans College also advanced. The quickest time was achieved in the second semi-final with Hauraki Plains College posting a time of 7:55.27. Hauraki Plains were not under a huge amount of pressure as they were comfortably over the line six seconds ahead of Onslow College with Glendowie College and Christchurch Girls High School a way back in third and fourth respectively.
Ashburton College rower Veronica Wall is set to contest A finals in the girls under-16, under-17 and under-18 single as well as the under-18 quad. The 16 year old has progressed to the finals unbeaten and looks to have every chance of medalling in all of these events.
Tomorrow is set to be an exciting day with 26 medal finals to be raced culminating with the Sprinkbok Shield (boys under-18 four) and the Dawn Cup (girls under-18 four). The first medal final of the regatta is the boys under-17 single scull set to kick off at 8:30am.
The six day regatta began on Monday 4 April and concludes on Saturday 9 April. The regatta participants contest four age group classes U15, U16, U17 and U18 and a variety of boat classes including singles, pairs, doubles, fours, quads, eights and octuples. There are more than 2200 rowers representing 120 schools at this year’s Aon Maadi Cup regatta.
The 2016 Aon Maadi Cup’s 52 medal finals are divided over Friday and Saturday concluding with two of the most prestigious races at the regatta, the Levin Jubilee Cup for the girls under-18 eights and the Maadi Cup for the boys under-18 eights both to be raced on Saturday afternoon.
For full results from the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup: http://www.rowit.co.nz/mads2016/results
The event will be webcast LIVE on Friday and Saturday
Friday direct link: https://livestream.com/i-filmsport/AonMaadiCup2016Friday
Saturday direct link: https://livestream.com/i-filmsport/AonMaadiCup2016Saturday
The 2016 Aon Maadi Cup (New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Championships) is all next week on Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel.
Here are some facts and figures ahead of this year’s Maadi Cup regatta:
1 - The Aon Maadi Cup is the largest secondary schools sports event in New Zealand and one of the largest regattas in the Southern Hemisphere.
6 – The number of days the regatta runs for. It starts on Monday 4 April and concludes on Saturday 9 April.
120 – The number of secondary schools from across New Zealand lining up at the regatta.
2253 – The total number of athletes at Maadi Cup made up of 2145 competitors entered and 108 reserves.
52 – The number of events on offer throughout the regatta
1495 – The total number of crews entered throughout the regatta
63 – The number of crews competing in the Girls U16 Double Scull – making that the event with the largest entries
60 – The number of entries in the Boys U17 Single skull, not far behind!
4 – The number of age group categories - U15, U16, U17 and U18 – in a range of boat classes including singles, pairs, doubles, fours, quads, eights and octuples.
8 – The Boys’ and Girls’ U18 Eights will be competing for the prestigious Maadi Cup and Levin Jubilee Cup silverware.
3 – The number of Maadi Cup titles that Hamilton Boys’ High School has won consecutively. After winning in 2013, 2014 and 2015 will they win again in 2016?
69 – The number of boys’ Maadi Cup regattas there has been. The first was in 1947 and won by Auckland’s Mount Albert Grammar School.
11 The number of times a South Island school has won the Maadi Cup trophy. North Island schools have won 58, with Wanganui Collegiate winning 17 of these, but not since 2004.
7 – South Island schools have been successful in winning the Levin Jubilee Cup, in seven of the last 10 years between them. St Margaret’s College has won three of the past four and Rangi Ruru Girls’ School won four in a row between 2007-10.
12- The number of wins achieved by Wanganui Collegiate teacher Peter Irvine as a coach.
The Maadi Cup New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Championships rowing regatta is on Lake Ruataniwha from 4-10 April – one of the biggest secondary school events on the sporting calendar with 2100 rowers in 1600 crews from 120 schools taking part.
Hamilton Boys’ High School crews have won the last three boys U18 Coxed Eights events, with Christ’s College the last school other than Hamilton to win in 2012. Last weekend Hamilton warmed up by winning the North Island Secondary Schools U18 Eights title.
The Christ’s College crew won the corresponding South Island title last weekend, and is one of several crews out to break Hamilton’s hold on the silverware. College Sport Media caught up with their coach Henry Smith, ahead of this year’s Maadi Cup.
Congratulations on winning the boys U18 Coxed Eights at the SISS Rowing regatta last weekend – how did the big race pan out?
It was a very close race for us. We were able to establish a small lead over St Andrew’s College and Christchurch Boys’ High School out of the start. As the race progressed the crew was able to continue to build on this lead, eventually stretching it out to a 4.5 second margin over Christchurch Boys’ High School at the finish. St Andrew’s College finished a further 10 seconds behind, in third place. We were hoping for a close race heading into the Maadi Cup and this race certainly delivered.
What other regattas have this U18 Eights crew been competing in this season?
Our crews race as school crews for the whole season - Christ’s College is a rowing club in its own right. Results have been: Canterbury Secondary School Rowing Championships – 1st; South Island Club Championships – 2nd, Men’s Open Eight; Canterbury Rowing Championships – 1st, Men’s Open Eight; Otago Rowing Championships – 2nd, Men’s Open Eight.
The Maadi Cup brings the South Island and North Island schools together over six days. Is the Maadi Cup regatta the pinnacle event on the secondary schools rowing calendar, and who are the North Island schools to beat?
Yes, the Maadi Cup regatta is the pinnacle for all rowing schools. It is one of the few regattas where athletes compete for their schools and not for their various clubs.
The competition in the North Island is very intense. There are six or seven schools who are always pushing each other in both the fours and the eights.
They include Hamilton Boys’ High School, Westlake Boys’ High School, Auckland Grammar School, Wanganui Collegiate School, Saint Kentigern College, St Paul’s Collegiate School and Sacred Heart College
If your U18 Eight crew goes all the way to the A final, how many races will they row, and what is the time gap between races?
If the boys go all the way to the A final on the Saturday, they will most likely row two races (possibly three if we have to go via the repechage). The heats for the U18 Eights are around midday Tuesday. The repechage for the eights are held on Wednesday afternoon.
Are the U18 Eight crew members also competing in other races at the Maadi Cup regatta?
Yes. All of the boys race in up to three events during the week. This means that most boys will race in between six and nine races over the six days.
How long has this U18 Eights crew been together? How have they performed in previous Maadi Cups?
The nucleus of this crew has been together for three seasons. Most of the boys have rowed together since 2014 in the U16 crew, with two new boys joining them from the U17s.
Three of the crew are returning to 1st eight from last season’s crew (Angus Gray (Captain of Rowing), Cameron Smith and George Gould (coxswain). Five of the crew also rowed in the winning Under 17 crew from last season (Angus Gray, Rowan Taylor, Cameron Smith, Oscar Acland and Oliver Tyler).
What other Christ’s College crews will be competing at Maadi Cup - you also won the U15 Coxed Octuple Sculls at last weekend’s South Island regatta?
We have Eights, Fours and Quads competing in all year groups: U15, U16, U17 and U18.
Yes, the U15 octuple scull won their event. This was a great result for the crew, as they were able to turn the tables on Marlborough Boys’ College who had narrowly beaten them at the Canterbury Secondary Schools Championships two weeks’ earlier.
Are the students conversant with the school’s rich history in the Maadi Cup?
Yes! It is a major driving force behind the success of our rowing programme. Every race, the boys try to meet the standards set for them in previous seasons. It also links well with the school’s motto Bene tradita, bene servanda (Good traditions, well maintained).
As far as we are aware, Christ’s College is the only school that has rowed in every Under 18 final (consecutively) since 1986.
Although we were the last school outside of Hamilton Boys’ High School to win the Maadi Cup, this is not a major driving factor for us. We strive to give the boys the best opportunity to succeed in rowing and our rowing programme develops skills they can take forward to other areas of their lives.
The Maadi Cup is now in a new era. School rowing programmes are well resourced, heavily funded and driven by enthusiastic parental support. A placing at this regatta is no longer assured and being able to trust a well developed and tested programme ensures the students have every opportunity to succeed at their own levels.
Are there former Christ’s College students who have recently been in or are now in New Zealand elite rowing squads?
Yes, several Old Boys have rowed in various New Zealand crews.
The coaching staff includes four full-time teachers:
Angus Gray (Head of Rowing), Oliver Tyler (Deputy Head of Rowing), Rowan Taylor, Cameron Smith, Oscar Acland, J. Beadel, M. Sandston, M.Smith, S. Tillman, J. McArthur, F. Mann, G. Clarke, D. Harnett, George Gould (Under 18)
J. Newton, R. Turnbull, A. O’Shannessy, M. Batchelor, T. Bosworth, P. Hone, J. Wade (Under 17)
J. Sprott, H. Hawkins, G. Flynn, H. Black, S. Darry, H. Voice, H. Zarifeh, S. Swanson, S. Smith, J. Pye, C. Nicholson, L. Batchelor. S. Aitken, B. McGuigan, A. Finlay, W. Murray, T. Hawley, M. Goodwin, Z.Cran (Under 16)
F. Smith, J. Batchelor, R. Acland, T. Davis, T. Vincent, A. Todhunter, E. McBride, J. Elvy, Z. Gallagher (Under 15).
Diocesan has a strong rowing programme and one of its top hopefuls is Ella Simanu.
The 17-year-old Year 13 student will lead the charge at the Maadi Cup next month in Twizel. She is an old hand at this marquee event, the 2016 regatta being her fourth since she took up the sport as a fresh-faced Year 9.
Last year she medalled once, a bronze in the Under 17 eight, but Simanu has her sights on more silverware this time with her Diocesan teammates.
"It's pretty hectic and busy, but really cool to be surrounded by so many rowers all doing the same thing you are. It's such a cool vibe," says Simanu.
"We prepare well for it. We'll be at Maadi for 11 days, so you know when to switch on and race."
Read the full article by NZ Herald HERE
The North Island and South Island Secondary Schools rowing championships were held over the weekend. They serve as the main warm up before the Maadi Cup in April. Unlike last year the South Island Championships were not affected by weather which meant the full program went ahead.
Hamilton Boys' High School won nine of the 26 titles available, including the Under-18 coxed eight and four. St. Peter's Cambridge won 10 titles overall, including eight out of 26 girls events, but it was Diocesan School for Girls who captured the Under-18 coxed eight. The regatta was held at Lake Karapiro.
Under-17 Singles Sculls: Sam Monkley, Cambridge High School
Under-15 Double Sculls: Hamilton Boys' High School
Under-18 Coxless Pairs Oars: Hamilton Boys' High School
Under-16 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: King's College
Under-18 Novice Double Sculls: St. Peter's, Cambridge
Under-17 Coxed Eight: St. Kentigern College
Under-18 Lightweight Coxed Four: Sacred Heart College
Under-18 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Whakatane High School
Under-16 Coxed Four: Hamilton Boys' High School
Under-18 Novice Coxed Eight: Sacred Heart College
Under-17 Double Sculls: St. Patrick's College, Wellington
Under-15 Coxed Eight: Hamilton Boys' High School
Under-18 Coxed Four: Hamilton Boys' High School
Under-16 Double Sculls: Whakatane High School
Under-18 Singles Sculls: Lenny Jenkins, Whakatane High School
Under-15 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Hamilton Boys' High School
Under-17 Coxed Four: St. Kentigern College
Under-18 Lightweight Double Sculls: Wanganui High School
Under-16 Coxed Eight: Hamilton Boys' High School
Under-18 Double Sculls: Whakatane High School
Under-15 Coxed Four: Auckland Grammar School
Under-17 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: St. Peters Cambridge
Under-18 Novice Coxed Four: Sacred Heart College
Under-16 Single Sculls: Finn Jenkins, Whakatane High School
Under-16 Coxed Octuple Sculls: Hamilton Boys' High School
Under-18 Coxed Eight: Hamilton Boys' High School
Under-17 Cocked Four: Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland
Under-15 Quadruple Sculls: St. Peter's Cambridge
Under-18 Double Sculls: Hauraki Plans College
Under-16 Singles Sculls: Claire Watson, Glendowie College
Under-18 Novice Coxed Eight: Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland
Under-17 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: St. Peter's Cambridge
Under-15 Coxed Four: Waikato Diocesan School
Under-18 Coxless Pair Oars: Hillcrest High School
Under-16 Coxed Eight: St. Peter's, Cambridge
Under-18 Lightweight Coxed Four: St Kentigern College
Under-17 Singles Sculls: Anna MacQuarrie, Aotea College
Under-18 Novice Double Sculls: Glendowie College
Under-18 Coxed Four: Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland
Under-16 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Hauraki Plans College
Under-18 Singles Sculls: Brylie Gordon, Hauraki Plans College
Under-15 Double Sculls: Glendowie College
Under-17 Coxed Eight: Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland
Under-18 Lightweight Double Sculls: St. Paul's Collegiate
Under-16 Coxed Four: St. Peter's Cambridge
Under-16 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: St. Peter's Cambridge
Under-18 Coxed Eight: Waikato Diocesan School
Under-17 Double Sculls: St. Peter's Cambridge
Under-18 Novice Coxed Four: St Peter's Cambridge
Under-15 Coxed Octuple Sculls: St Peter's Cambridge
Under-16 Double Sculls: Glendowie College
Under-18 Coxed Eight: Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland
This year's Maadi Cup will be held at Lake Twizel, the venue for the South Island Championships. Christchurch Boys' High School was the most successful boys' college capturing five titles, but Christ's College won the under-18 coxed eight. In the girls events St. Margret's and Rangi Ruru each won four titles. Veronica Wall from Ashburton College won the under-16, 17 and 18 single sculls titles and Jack Lopas from Christchurch Boys' High School had an outstanding meet winning two gold medals and one silver medal.
Under-17 Singles Sculls: Mark Taylor, Waitaki Boys' High School
Under-15 Double Sculls: John McGlashan High School
Under-18 Coxless Pairs Oars: Marlborough Boys' College
Under-16 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Roncalli College
Under-18 Novice Double Sculls: Nelson College
Under-17 Coxed Eight: St. Andrew's College
Under-18 Lightweight Coxed Four: Nelson College
Under-18 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Christchurch Boys' High School
Under-16 Coxed Four: Christchurch Boys' High School
Under-18 Novice Coxed Eight: Shirley Boys' High School
Under-17 Double Sculls: Nelson College
Under-15 Coxed Eight: St. Andrew's College
Under-18 Coxed Four: Marlborough Boys' College
Under-16 Double Sculls: Roncalli College
Under-18 Singles Sculls: Jack Lopas, Christchurch Boys' High School
Under-15 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Marlborough Boys' College
Under-17 Coxed Four: St. Andrew's College
Under-18 Lightweight Double Sculls: Nelson College
Under-16 Coxed Eight: Christchurch Boys' High School
Under-18 Double Sculls: Christchurch Boys' High School
Under-15 Coxed Four: St. Andrew's College
Under-17 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Nelson College
Under-18 Novice Coxed Four: Shirley Boys' High School
Under-16 Single Sculls: Harrison Davies, Ashburton College
Under-16 Coxed Octuple Sculls: Christ's College
Under-18 Coxed Eight: Christ's College
Under-17 Cocked Four: Rangi Ruru High School
Under-15 Quadruple Sculls: St Hildas Collegiate
Under-18 Double Sculls: Nelson College For Girls
Under-16 Singles Sculls: Veronica Wall, Ashburton College
Under-18 Novice Coxed Eight: Rangi Ruru High School
Under-17 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Nelson College For Girls
Under-15 Coxed Four: St. Margaret's, College
Under-18 Coxless Pair Oars: Craighead Diocsean School
Under-16 Coxed Eight: Rangi Ruru High School
Under-18 Lightweight Coxed Four: Columba College
Under-17 Singles Sculls: Veronica Wall, Ashburton College
Under-18 Novice Double Sculls: Villa Maria College
Under-18 Coxed Four: Nelson College For Girls
Under-16 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Villa Maria College
Under-18 Singles Sculls: Veronica Wall, Ashburton College
Under-15 Double Sculls: Wakatipu High School
Under-17 Coxed Eight: St. Margret's College
Under-18 Lightweight Double Sculls: Dunstan High School
Under-16 Coxed Four: Rangi Ruru High School
Under-16 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Ashburton College
Under-18 Coxed Eight: St. Margret's College
Under-17 Double Sculls: Craighead Diocesan School
Under-18 Novice Coxed Four: St. Andrew's College
Under-15 Coxed Octuple Sculls: Dunstan High School
Under-16 Double Sculls: St. Andrew's College
Under-18 Coxed Eight: St. Margret's College
The secondary school rowing season is in full swing. This weekend the best crews in the South Island descend on Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel for the South Island Secondary School Championships, while the corresponding North Island Championships are at Lake Karapiro.
Then all schools and crews converge on Lake Ruataniwha from 4-10 April for the annual Maadi Cup National Championships – one of the biggest secondary school events on the sporting calendar with 2100 rowers in 1600 crews from 120 schools taking part.
Ashburton College’s Veronica Wall is one rower hoping to do well in both regattas in Twizel.
The Maadi Cup alternates each year from Karapiro and Ruataniwha. At last year’s regatta, held in the North Island, then Year 11 student Veronica won gold in the U16 single sculls, beating Georgia Keech from Sacred Heart Girls’ College, new Plymouth, and Claudia Waite from Rangitoto College into second and third. Veronica’s win was Ashburton College’s first ever gold at the Maadi Cup. She also won silver in the U16 quad with school mate Grace Wilson and an Ashburton College girls’ crew finished fifth in the U16 quad.
This year at Maadi Cup she will also race in several events. “I’ll be doing all three singles – U16, U17 and U18 – and I’m not sure what other boat, either a double or a quad.
“This weekend I think I’ll be doing the U16 single, U17 single, U18 single and the U18 quad. Hopefully, if I get through to the finals for all of them, that’ll be eight races over two days, so also good preparation for the Maadi Cup.”
Recently, Veronica competed in the Canterbury Secondary School Championships held nearby on Lake Hood, which also doubles as Ashburton College’s training base. In a successful weekend she won gold in the U16, U17 and U18 single sculls.
Prior to that, she won the Women’s club single sculls at the South Island Championships at the end of January and then won the same event at the Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Champions on Karapiro in mid-February.
Veronica’s father Justin is the coach of the Ashburton College and Ashburton Rowing Club squads and with both of her parents having a strong background in the sport, Veronica took to the water from an early age. “My family have rowed forever, my dad is the official starter down at the Twizel regattas and my mum rowed for Canterbury so I have been around it since I was young.”
With the New Zealand rowers continuing to set the pace on the elite world stage, Veronica has no shortage of role models, including 2014 single sculls champion Emma Twigg. “I’ve seen her around; she was at the recent club nationals a couple of weeks ago. I’ve never raced against her though as she would smash me!”
Veronica also has a background in netball and, more recently, athletics where she did well at the Ashburton College Athletics Day, but rowing is a fulltime sport on its own. “My focus is on rowing, it continues on through the winter with training and trials to get into teams. I want to try and get into the New Zealand Junior team this year.”
The New Zealand Junior team heads to the World Junior Rowing Championships in Amsterdam in late August.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand