"It was pretty emotional. The First XV and pipe band met us at the airport on Sunday to perform a haka and yesterday at Assembly the entire school did the haka. It's pretty special to win Maadi for the first time in our 100th year." Ben Taylor acclaims of St. Andrew's College’s (STAC) rowing success.
The likelihood of such a spectacular outcome appeared unlikely until only recently Taylor admits.
"Last year we made the final which was our goal, but the quality of the North Island boats was a big wake up call. We started this season a bit ropey, but winning the South Island champs and finishing second to Hawke's Bay at club Nationals was a huge step forward for us," he says.
A month before the regatta St. Andrew's was training 11 times a week. The morning sessions on the Avon River where all the leading Christchurch contenders, including defending champions Christ's College, assembled were particularly beneficial.
"We would start at 7:30am and miss the first two periods of school. Generally we would concentrate on our own things, but there was a bit of rivalry and we had a good relationship with the Christchurch Boys' crew." Taylor reveals.
Taylor is the stroke of the boat, determining the timing of the paddlers and communicating regularly with the coxswain. St. Andrew's plan was clear and well rehearsed before the race and the weather conditions proved favourable at Lake Karapiro.
"There was a little head wind which would favour the heavier crews of which we were one. Our strategy was to try and get a good start and win each 500 metres. We managed to win the first 500 which was the best possible start." Taylor explains.
Predictably Christ's rallied and St. Andrew's fell a canvas behind with 600-metres to go. With 300-metres left it was time to make a move. Taylor captures the climax.
"We had no choice but to up the stroke rating to full speed. It was a really close race. Only five seconds separated the first five boats. We edged Christ's College and Hamilton Boys' in third."
In addition to winning the Maadi Cup, Ben was stroke on the Under-18 coxless fours winning boat. For the first time in 34 years St. Andrew's won the prestigious Springbok Shield and Ben emulated his father Andrew Taylor in winning that prize.
"That was a real special win for us because we have been together our whole time at school. Dad is the reason I got into rowing so to do something he did is awesome." Taylor says.
In winter Taylor plays rugby and was a lock in the St. Andrew's First XV last year. His place in the 2017 team will be determined by his performance in the New Zealand Junior rowing trials. Rugby is another sport that has given Taylor a significant national trophy. He was involved in the St. Andrew's Development XV which won the Moascar Cup off Scots College by 20-10 in 2015.
"We found out about a month before the match we could be playing for the Moascar Cup. None of us really knew what it was until an Old Boy visited the school and explained its significance. We got pretty excited after that." Taylor recalls.
St. Andrew's managed to retain the Cup for two defences in 2016 before relinquishing it against Timaru Boys' High School in an ultimately disappointing season. Taylor is hopeful for brighter things.
"We've got all the forwards returning plus some good backs. Last year we lacked a bit of experience so I think we will be stronger." Taylor concludes.
A huge congratulations to the boys and girls selected to attend the junior trial. Has been a huge week at Maadi and this is a great step for so many young aspiring Olympic Rowers.
Clora Quinlan-Thompson, Columba College
Gabrielle Hannen, Nelson College for Girls
Grace Watson, St Paul's Collegiate
Grace Wilson, Ashburton College/ Ashburton Rowing Club
Grace Holland, Tauranga Girls College
Grace Loveridge, Christchurch Girls' High School
Isla Blake, Hamilton Rowing Club/ Waikato RPC
Kate Haines, Diocesan School for Girls
Kate Littlejohn, St Pauls Collegiate
Laura Feinson, St Oran's Lower Hutt
Laura Pinnell, Christchurch Girls' High School
Madeline Parker, Huanui College
Mahalia Shand, Nelson College for Girls
Olivia Hughes, St Margarets College
Penny Young, Villa Maria College/ Ashburton Rowing Club
Rebeka Frood, Tauranga Girls College
Rosie Ireland, Diocesan School for Girls
Sophia Meldrum, Baradene College
Sydney Johnson, St Peter's School Cambridge
Veronica Wall, Ashburton College/ Ashburton Rowing Club
Ben Taylor, St Andrews College
Bradley Leydon, John McGlashan College
Cole Brann, Saint Kentigern College
Daniel Ward, Wellington Rowing Club/Central RPC
Daniel Williamson, Kings College
Elliott Jenkins, Whakatane High School
Ethan Blight, St Kentigern College
Fergus Ritchie, Lindisfarne College
Finn Jenkins,Whakatane High School
Gus Olifiers, Trident High School
Jacob Jones, Westlake Boys High School
James Hall, Kings College
Joshua Wade, Christs College
Liam Zinzley, Sacred Heart College Auckland
Luca Kirwan, Sacred Heart College Auckland
Luke Brady, Nelson College
Manawa Mclaughlin, New Plymouth Boys High School
Mark Taylor, Oamaru Rowing Club/Southern RPC
Matt MacDonald, Auckland Grammar Rowing Club/Auckland RPC
Mitchell White, St Andrews College
Regan Bernasconi, Pukekohe High School
Sam Monkley, Cambridge Rowing Club/Waikato RPC
Samuel Jones, Westlake Boys High School
Thomas Russel, St Andrews College
Thomas Woelders, Christchurch Boys High School
Zackary Rumble, St Andrews College
On a day when the sport paid tribute to former Olympic champion and large-than-life rowing personality Dudley Storey, the crews did not disappoint on a thrilling final day of action at the 2017 Aon Maadi Cup on Lake Karapiro.
St Andrews College made history in a rip-roaring battle for the 2017 Maadi Cup by clinching their maiden victory in the iconic race.
Yesterday their "awesome foursome" crushed the opposition to land the Springbok Shield and with all five triumphant crew members returning to bolster the eights the "Scotsmen of the South" delivered in the marquee event.
St Andrews held a third-of-a-length lead at 1000m but leading into the final quarter Christ’s College had inched ahead and the defending champions appeared poised for victory.
Yet somehow they responded to haul themselves past Christ's College to pulled off an historic 0.98 second victory from Christ's - the 11-time former champions - who on this occasion had to settle for silver.
Bronze went to Hamilton Boys High - the winners of the Star Trophy as most successful overall school in the regatta - in 6:04.41. Today, however, was all about St Andrews and their momentous success.
St Andrews coach Dale Maher was elated at their success and added of the winning crew: "We have a stern four (who won yesterday';s Springbok Shield) who are so strong and passionate and dare I say it, mongrels. Seven of them have been together since they were 15, they have a real bond and would do anything for each other. As a coach, all I need to do is gel them together.
"I started to falter a little bit at 1500m because with you can never underestimate a Christ's crew. This is huge (for the school). It is the first time we've had an extremely competitive eight and the first time we've won Maadi. I don't think the boys have quite realised yet what they have done."
Surprisingly St Andrews were only a "third priority boat" as recently as January behind the four and the pair but after the crew "pulled out a blinder" at the South Island Secondary Schools Championships this changed the school's thinking.
Diocesan School for Girls mounted a perfectly timed successful defence of the Levin Jubilee Cup with a performance forged in sheer class. The Auckland-based school trailed St Margarets by a canvas at the 1500m mark but a searing late push for the line delivered a momentous victory by a margin of exactly three seconds in a time of 6:55.09.
In a spellbinding final, early leaders St Paul's Collegiate - winners of yesterday's Dawn Cup - held on in lane eight by a brave bronze in 6.58.81. Yet today was once more all about Diocesan School for Girls who 12 months ago claimed their maiden Levin Jubilee Cup.
Triumphant Diocesan School for Girls head coach Rachel Williams was elated with the successful defence.
"I was excited for the girls because they just nailed that race. When we let them go in the boat park they were in the best head space I'd seen them all season and I knew they had it in the last 500m.
"Winning today was just as good (as last year). In 2016 we went the season undefeated, but this time we've only won three times - at North Islands, in the heats and today because all summer we've been struggling to find the right combination. I would say winning this year is equally as good it is just we have taken two different paths for the same result."
Stupendous sculler Veronica Wall completed the "awesome foursome" today with victory in the under-18 single sculls and quadruple sculls earning her a magnificent four gold medal haul.
The Ashburton College student who at the 2016 edition of the Maadi Cup also banked four gold medals once more served notice of a superstar potential. After yesterday claiming wins in the under-18 double sculls and under-17 single sculls. She opened her quest today with an utterly dominant display in the under-18 single sculls final as she stopped the clock in an impressive 7:50.28. In the race for the minor medals, Sydney Johnson of St Peters School claimed silver in 8:02.35 with Ruby Leverington third in 8:06.84.
Later Wall showed her versatility in the quad sculls final to stroke the crew, which also contained Olivia Gibson, Grace Wilson, Mollie Gibson and cox Emma Jansen, to the gold medal. Taking the initiative in the second quarter the race victory then became a mere formality as Ashburton College crossed the line first in 7:10.26. Behind, Tauranga Girls College (7;14.67) earned silver with Nelson College for Girls out in lane eight picking up bronze in 7:16.62.
An elated Wall said of her efforts this week: "It's awesome, there was definitely added pressure from last year. I’ve been around at Maadi for four years and it was definitely good to come here and finish it off. I've had some really good experiences at Maadi."
Kings College capped a medal-laden regatta with gold in the under-17 quad sculls - the day after the same crew triumphed in the under-18 equivalent.
In one of the most predictable results of the week the Kings quintet - complete with bucket hats - of James Hall, Daniel Williamson, Sam Cummins, Matt Caro and cox Alex Sutcliffe proved far too strong to claim a comfortable win in 6:43.44.
Behind, Shirley Boys High produced a highly creditable performance to claim silver in 6:46.92 while in a desperate scrap for bronze a late surge by Cambridge High School left Roncalli College a heartbroken fourth – the crews separated by just 0.15.
It was a particularly sweet regatta for Hall and Williamson, who also landed gold in the under-18 pairs and under-18 quads, to both secure triple gold plus a bronze in the coxed four.
The President's Scull, awarded to the top sculling school, went to St Peter’s School in Cambridge, while Hamilton Boys High took out both the Executive Cup for the top sweep oar school as well as the Star Trophy.
A full wrap of the final day's highlights is available at www.maadi.co.nz
Full results can be viewed at www.rowit.co.nz
There were plenty of fireworks on the first day of finals at the 2017 Aon Maadi Cup.
Perfect rowing conditions greeted athletes hoping to snare one of the prestigious medals up for grabs at New Zealand's largest rowing regatta.
The action-packed day of racing also saw two of the premier trophies awarded, the Dawn Cup and the Springbok Shield for the under-18 coxed quad.
St Paul's Collegiate struck a blow for the small schools to clinch their maiden Dawn Cup victory with a dazzling display to conclude a mouthwatering first finals day.
The Hamilton-based school, who only have approximately 150 female students to draw from, were rewarded for an aggressive and fully-committed display to cross the line first in the coxed four event in 7:15.52, defeating silver medallists Nelson School for Girls by an impressive 3.40 seconds.
Putting up a stout defence of their title Diocesan School for Girls wound up in bronze in 6:20.07 but today was all about the performance of stroke Grace Watson, Kate Littlejohn, Olivia Warlow, Jasmine Fountaine and cox Victoria Chanwai.
Watson, who is only a second season rower and a New Zealand Secondary Schools netball representative, said in the wake of winning: "It's unexplainable. It's amazing. We just wanted to do the best we could, we knew we had a chance if we pulled off the best performance of our life and I think it's safe to say we did."
St Andrews College claimed their first Springbok Shield success for 34 years to provide a rousing finale to the boys' action on first finals day at the 2017 Aon Maadi Cup.
The Christchurch-based team of Ben Taylor, Zackary Rumble, Mitchell White, Thomas Russel and cox Tom Flavill lived up to their pre-race billing as overwhelming favourites to produce an imperious performance and maintain a stunning three-year unbeaten run as a crew in the coxed quad.
Bursting out to a full-length lead after just 250m it was then a demonstration as St Andrews produced one of the all-time great Springbok Shield performances to win by a huge margin of more than seven-and-a-half seconds in 6:33.82.
For stroke Ben Taylor it was an unforgettable moment after his father, Andrew, featured in the previous St Andrews Springbok Shield-winning crew in 1983.
"It was pretty big for me and definitely emotional," said Ben.
"We were pleased with the heats and we just wanted to back that up and put in a performance. We have been together for fourth seasons and we have worked hard for this."
In a tight scrap for silver, Westlake Boys (6:41.57) edged St Kentigern's College in the all Auckland battle by 0.93 to complete the podium positions.
With her outstanding haul of four gold medals at the 2016 Maadi Cup Veronica Wall was the star of the show 12 months ago and the Ashburton College once more excelled to claiming double gold on first finals day of the 2017 edition.
Wall, who made history last year by claiming an unprecedented under-16, under-17 and under-18 single sculls treble plus coxed four gold, started her day by winning the under-18 double sculls alongside Grace Wilson.
The gold medal-winning duo were prepared to play the waiting game before powering past St Peter's School with 300m remaining to clinch a comfortable win in 7:29.44. St Peter's had the consolation of silver in 7:33.67 with Tauranga Girls third (7:38.88).
Wall later completed her golden double by securing a routine victory in the under-17 single sculls by a monster margin of more than nine seconds. For the first half of the race Kathryn Glen of Villa Maria College bravely challenged, before Wall, powered by her long rhythmic stroke, eased clear to win 8:09:23.
Glen earned the consolation of silver with bronze bagged by Andrea Fick of Westlake Girls (8:23.62).
"It's been a really good day," said Wall at the halfway stage of her quest to win four medals. "It was definitely nerve-wracking today. My double partner, Grace, and I have been racing since we were novices and we really wanted to go out there and row well.
"There was some pressure because my name is out there, but I'm comfortable with who I am and what I do." Wall returns tomorrow to compete in the finals of the under-18 single and under-18 quad.
Gus Olifers took pride of place as the winner of the opening final - the boys under-17 single sculls - at the 2017 Aon Maadi Cup. The Trident High School student produced a dominate display as he grabbed control of the race from halfway to claim a race win for a victory margin of 1.76 in 7:48.06.
It was an impressive performance by the Matt Hill and Graham Watt coached athlete out of the powerful Whakatane stable of school rowing, who only took up the sport two years ago because "I was a bit unfit and needed to do a sport."
In a titanic tussle of silver Manawa McLaughlin of New Plymouth Boys High in 7:49.82 edged Fergus Ritchie (Lindisfarne College) by 0.34.
Saturday marks the final day of racing. The six-day regatta will conclude with the two premier events - the Maadi Cup and the Levin Jubilee Cup for the under-18 coxed eights.
Racing can be viewed live at maadi.co.nz, and results, schedule and start lists can be found at rowit.co.nz.
It was a make or break day of semi-final racing at the 2017 Aon Maadi Cup at Lake Karapiro today.
Following the last three days of heats, repechages and quarter-finals, 49 events were raced over the day consisting of C and D finals, and semi-finals to decide A and B final starters.
With such high stakes on the line it was a spectacular day of racing as crews needed a top four finish for their chance to race for a medal.
Early rain cleared and light winds made for ideal rowing conditions.
Elliot Jenkins of Whakatane High School looks poised to be a strong medal contender in the boys' under-18 single sculls, clocking the fastest semi-final time with 7:46.02, a boat length clear of his closest rival.
Jenkins has also teamed up with brother Finn for the boys' under-18 double sculls. The family duo also set the fastest semi-final time, winning in convincing fashion.
Clare Milne and Rebecca Leigh of St Peter's School dominated their under-16 double sculls semi-final in a time of 8:07.91, with over nine seconds to spare before Imogen Stythe and Jessica McIntosh of Glendowie College crossed the line. Dunstan High School's Erin Calder and Shayla Alexander narrowly outsprinted Alison Mills and Shauna Glassie-Ryan of Hamilton Girls' High School with both crews also securing their chance for a medal.
Harry Newbury-Lee and Heath Shepherd of Macleans College were locked in a tussle with Wellington College's Ricky Kiddle and Adam Smith in the semi-final of the boys' under-17 double sculls. The two boats were well ahead of the pack with Macleans College finishing just over 0.5 second ahead of their Wellington College counterparts. Roncalli College and St John's College also made the cut for the A final, some six and 10 seconds behind Macleans respectively.
St Paul's Collegiate made an impressive move in the girls' under-18 novice coxed four. The Hamiltonians powered away from the pack with less than 500 metres to go and held off a chase from Diocesan School for Girls and Christchurch Girls' High School with the top three finishing within 0.3 seconds of each other. Craighead Diocesan School followed for fourth to snatch an A final berth. They will be joined by Rangi-Ruru girls' school, Waikato Diocesan School, St Peter's School and Marian College who secured their places in the second semi-final.
Just over one second separated first to third in the second semi-final of the boys' under-18 double sculls, indicating Saturday's race for medals will be one to watch.
Cambridge High School timed a perfect move in the semi-final of the boys' under-17 coxed quad sculls, rowing through a tightly packed field to snag victory by a bowball ahead of Glendowie College, Macleans College and St Kentigern College who all crossed the line within a second of each other.
For other rowers today was the end of their Aon Maadi Cup regatta as they contested C or D finals.
Tomorrow marks the start of finals racing, with medals up for grabs across 26 events including the boys' and girls' under-18 coxed four - the Springbok Shield and Dawn Cup, two of the most coveted and hotly contested prizes in secondary school rowing.
Racing can be viewed live at www.maadi.co.nz and live results, schedule and entries can be found at www.rowit.co.nz.
The final line ups for the Maadi Cup and Levin Jubilee Cup were decided today at the 2017 Aon Maadi Cup.
After revelling in yesterday's sunshine Lake Karapiro was drenched in heavy rain throughout the day, but with mercifully light winds allowing for racing to go ahead as planned.
The day included the repechages to finalise the last two berths in both the boys' and girls' under-18 coxed eight, the Maadi Cup and the Levin Jubilee Cup. There were also 36 other events featuring repechages, quarter-finals and E and F finals.
With the last chance to snare a berth in the A final on the line there was some frantic racing in the girls' under-18 coxed eight repechages.
Wanganui Collegiate School put in an outstanding performance, leading for the first 1500 metres before Rangi Ruru School for Girls' number one crew, the South Island Secondary Schools Champions, made their move. The South Islanders rowed through Wanganui Collegiate School with 100 metres to go, crossing the line less than a boat length ahead of the North Islanders.
St Paul's Collegiate made easy work of the second repechage to earn their place in the A final which will be raced on Saturday afternoon.
In the boys' under-18 coxed eight the winners of the two repechages would book the final two places up for grabs in the race for the Maadi Cup.
Sacred Heart College's number one crew, who narrowly missed out on a straight progression from the heats channelled their frustration into their repechage, powering across the line four boat lengths ahead of Wanganui Collegiate in second place.
Auckland Grammar also moved through to the final, fighting off a strong challenge from Shirley Boys' High School and narrowly taking the win.
Racing was tight in the quarter-final of the boys' under-16 single scull with and less than 0.2 seconds between winner Luke Shannon of King';s College and Luke Clinton of Bethlehem College in the first quarter-final and just 0.16 seconds separating Cambridge High School's Seth Hope and Jack McLaughlan from John McGlashan College who took first and second respectively in quarter-final two. The first four from each of the four quarter finals will contest the semi-finals, while the others will contest C or D finals.
St Peter's School and Dunstan High School went head to head in the quarter-final of the girl's under-15 coxed quad with a photo finish required to separate the two. The official times showed St Peter's taking the win in 7:45.42, and Dunstan High School second in 7:45.52. They will move through to the semi-final along with Westlake Girls' High School one and two, Baradene College, Villa Maria College, Dunstan High School two and Craighead Diocesan School.
Tomorrow's racing will see semi-finals start as well as some C and D finals. Racing can be viewed live via the webcast at www.maadi.co.nz
Full results, start lists and schedule available at rowit.co.nz.
Day two of the 2017 Aon Maadi Cup at Lake Karapiro saw all remaining heats concluded and the line ups for quarter, semi and some A finals determined.
Despite a full day of racing yesterday the regatta's size of over 2100 athletes and 52 events meant there were a number of heats left to race this morning before the repechages could get underway.
Athletes and spectators were treated to hot and sunny conditions, a welcome change after yesterday's changeable weather and torrential downpours. Racing was again completed without interruption.
The challenge was laid down early in the girls' under-18 coxed eight heats with 2016 winners Diocesan School for Girls asserting their dominance yet again with a win ahead of Wakatipu High School. They will be joined in the A final by St Peter's School, St Margaret's College, Christchurch Girls' High School and Columba College, with the final two places yet to be decided. 11 crews will face the repechage including fifteen-time winners Rangi Ruru Girls' School along with previous winners Westlake Girls' High School and Wanganui Collegiate School.
The battle for the Maadi Cup also got underway in spectacular fashion with some thrilling racing in the heats for the boys' under-18 coxed eight. The pressure was on with crews needing a top-two finish to progress straight to the A final.
After a blistering row down the course Hamilton Boys' High, Saint Kentigern College and Sacred Heart College (Auckland) were all locked bowball to bowball in the final 250 metres of the first heat. A powerful finishing charge from Hamilton Boys' High School proved too strong for their competitors with Saint Kentigern College close behind in second place forcing Sacred Heart College and the remaining crews into a repechage.
Christ's College's number two crew and Westlake Boys' High School also secured their place in the A final by going one-two in the second heat and will be joined by Saint Andrew's College and Christchurch Boys' High School from heat number three. The last two A final berths will be decided by repechage tomorrow.
The final line up for the Dawn Cup, the girls' under-18 coxed four, was also confirmed.
Rangi Ruru Girls' School will join the mix for the A final after comfortably winning their repechage as well as with Waikato Diocesan School who loped to victory with almost ten seconds to spare on closest rival St Margaret's College.
The field for the largest event of the regatta, the boys' under-16 single sculls, was narrowed down over the course of eight heats. The top three from each heat move through to the A final, while the last place getter in each heat is eliminated and the rest must now face a repechage to decide their fate.
The regatta caters for various age groups and boat classes, as well as both senior rowers and novices who have been rowing for less than one season.
The Rangi Ruru Girls' School crew of Francesca Gallaway, Alice Graham, Lauren Stapylton-Smith, Hannah MacFarlane and Sophie Nelson (cox) clocked the fastest time in the girls' under 18 novice coxed four heats by eight seconds, and were over 20 seconds clear of their closest rival in their heat. The crew will progress straight to the semi-final along with Craighead Diocesan School and Christchurch Girls' High School. The remaining crews will contest a repechage.
Other racing during the day included repechages for races held yesterday.The regatta continues tomorrow with repechages, quarter and semi-finals.
Full results, schedule of racing and entries can be found at www.rowit.co.nz.
Christ’s College is seeking a successful defence of the AON Maadi Cup for the first time since 1999, when the regatta gets underway at Lake Karapiro near Hamilton next week.
Monty Batchelor is captain of the coxed eight crew. He is convinced Christ’s second place finish at the recent South Island Championships doesn’t represent a dip in form.
“It was a bit disappointing because South Islands are a big deal, but we treat a lot of the pre-regattas like training runs. We weren’t in the boat we will use at Maadi and have made some adjustments to our crew since.” Batchelor insists.
St Andrew’s College won the South Island Championships coxed eight gold to second placed Christ’s by over six seconds, with Christchurch Boy’s High School in third.
Christ’s only have two returning members, but an even split among Year 13s and younger members.
“It’s coming together really well. The younger boys are learning quickly. We go up to Maadi on Friday and will have a few training sessions before settling into our work.” Batchelor enthuses.
Rowing runs deep for Batchelor. His father and grandfather rowed at Christ’s while Monty was involved in last year’s Maadi triumph. What’s the difference between a Maadi race and a normal race?
“I try and treat Maadi like a normal race, but you do get nervous because of the crowd and the hype. I was lucky to have a few experienced boys around me last year who helped ease my anxiety. This year one of my jobs will be to make it easier for the younger boys.”
A change of water will be a challenge as well. The regatta returns to Lake Karapiro after being staged at lake Ruataniwha in Twizel.
“I have rowed at Karapiro before and the big difference is the temperature is warmer and there is a bigger current which makes the course slightly slower, aside from that there isn’t really a lot of difference,” Batchelor explains.
Batchelor will be in a different position this year, driving the boat from the middle crew in the sixth seat. He expects the race will be wide open.
“St. Andrew’s will fancy themselves after South Islands. Westlake won in the North Island and Hamilton Boys’ and St. Kent’s are looking strong.” Batchelor concludes.
Christ’s also won silver in the U18 coxed quad and bronze in the U16 coxed four and U16 coxed eight races at the recent South Island regatta.
In total, over 2,161 rowers plus 131 reserves from 127 schools will be competing on Lake Karapiro from Monday 27 March to Saturday 2 April.
They’ll be coming from far and wide this weekend to Lake Karapiro to prepare for the start of the 2017 AON Maadi Cup, one of the most popular and prestigious secondary schools events in the calendar.
It’s just a 10 minute drive from classroom to water’s edge for St Peter’s School rowers, who have high hopes of doing well in their own backyard.
St Peter’s will be sending a 57-strong team. They are coming off a strong performance at the recent North Island Secondary Schools regatta, also on Lake Karapiro, where they were tied with Hamilton Boys’ High School for the overall champion school. Both schools finished on 63 points, with St Peter’s winning eight gold, six silver and five bronze medals.
Year 11 single sculler Jason Nel was one of St Peter’s gold medallists at the North Islands, surprising himself and winning the U16 Single Sculls.
“I just wanted to prove to myself that I could compete with my other St Peter’s teammates, but I ended up going hard and winning,” he told College Sport Media.
The conditions were also extremely difficult at the North Islands, with strong winds and choppy water making for tough going and they were grateful to just get on the water and race.
Jason’s expectations have been raised for the Maadi Cup. “My goal is to take out Maadi single, which will be hard as there’s a big South Island guy coming up – Jack McLaughlan from John McGlashan College, he won the single at the South Island Championships by quite a margin.”
Plus rowers from closer to home to try and beat again. “Seth Hope from Cambridge High School came second at North Islands and also a duo from Kings College who finished third and fourth were strong.”
“I can feel the pressure, but that wants me to train harder for it.”
All going to plan, Jason will be racing in a heat, a quarter-final, semi-final and final in each of the single and quad boat races he’s entered in next week.
The St Peter’s boys’ crews will all be staying together throughout the regatta. “We are staying with one of the day students at St Peter’s who is hosting the entire boys’ squad so we can be together for the week.”
This will be Jason’s third Maadi Cup. In the first in 2015 he was U14 competing in the U15 age-group and the second last year saw him win the B Final of the U15 Double and U15 Quad, competing for his former school, John Paul College in Rotorua, after winning silver in the Double and bronze in the Quad at North Islands.
Jason also said another St Peter’s crew to look out for is the U16 girls Double, Becky Leigh and Clare Milne, who are expected to go well.
Of note, last year Jason also broke the 5000m world record on the rowing machine for his age group. “I set that in October but I have lost that now, but I had it for a few months! It was broken about three weeks ago by an American guy, but it was still cool to hold it for a bit.”
Jason has moved to St Peter’s this year from John Paul College, to row, play football and for academic opportunities. He has been playing football since he was four and has been rowing since year 8.
“For me it’s football during the winter and rowing during the summer.”
St Peter’s College’s goal is to be among the top three teams overall, after winning the Star Trophy in 2016 as the overall champion school. They’re hoping to hang on to the Presidents Scull for the top sculling school but that will be a tight battle with Ashburton College and Kings College.
The 2017 Maadi Cup starts on Lake Karapiro next Monday.
There were several strong performances in girls boats at Lake Ruataniwha last weekend at the SISS rowing championships, which suggests many will feature at the AON Maadi Cup in in the North Island at the end of this month.
Christchurch’s Rangi Ruru Girls’ School had a particularly pleasing regatta, winning eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals, and was the top girls’ school in Twizel.
In cool conditions, the U18 girls coxed eight event was particularly exciting, with Just over a second all that separated gold from bronze. Rangi Ruru Girls’ School won with a time of 6:51.08, with Christchurch Girls’ High School just a bowball behind in 6:51.52, and St Margaret’s College taking bronze with 7:00.93.
Rangi Ruru’s Director of Rowing, Mark Cotham said was enthused in the build up to Maadi but said there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge and the girls will continue training hard over the next couple of weeks.
“This is a helpful check-up for us all as we look ahead to Maadi but it is business as usual until then,” said Cotham.
Rangi Ruru Girls’ School was the second placed school overall in the SISS championships, with St Andrew’s College placing first – but being co-ed, STAC entered both girl’s and boy’s races.
For more results visit: www.rowit.co.nz
Rangi Ruru Girls’ School Results:
Girls U18 coxed eight
A Sproat, I Evans, M Knight, I Carter, S McCartin, J Bell, A Summerfield, J Barclay + A Williams
A Final: placed 1st (6:51.08)
Girls U17 coxed four
I Evans, S McCartin, I Carter, A Sproat + A Williams
A Final: placed 1st (7:35.78)
Girls U16 coxed eight
A Sproat, A Calder, M Knight, C Reid, I Bell, E Stephens, A Deans, S Summerfield + H Royds
A Final: placed 1st (7:13.62)
Girls U17 coxed eight
A Sproat, I Evans, M Knight, I Carter, S McCartin, J Bell, K Boyd, A McCulloch + A Williams
A Final: placed 1st (7:06.08)
Girls U16 coxed four
M Knight, E Stephens, I Bell, A Calder + H Royds
A Final: placed 1st (7:39.64)
Girls U15 coxed eight
F Gallaway, S Vance, L Stapylton-Smith, A Calder, C Gray, S Summerfield, M Hayman, L King + S Nelson
A Final: placed 1st (7:05.25)
Girls U15 coxed four
F Gallaway, S Vance, M Hayman, L King + S Pye
A Final: placed 2nd (8:03.15)
Girls U18 novice coxed eight
M West, H Manning, R Jones, L Howden, C Taylor, A Rae, N Kilpatrick, O Noonan + D Rutter
A Final: placed 3rd (7:26.10)
Girls U16 coxed quad sculls
A Deans, C Reid, E Stephens, I Bell + H Royds
A Final: placed 3rd (7:55.59)
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