At last weekend’s South Island Rowing Championships at lake Ruataniwha , Wanaka crews came away with a gold, 3 silver medals and a bronze despite the regatta being abandoned due to high winds and racing being completed over a shortened 1000m course. In total Wanaka crews made 8 A finals and 4 B finals. the masters men gaining a gold in the men’s quads coxed by Patrick Hartley and silver in the men’s doubles.
Racing at Ruataniwha has been abandoned at the last three regattas – At The Otago Champs during the first day of racing with most crews not getting a chance to get on the water and at the Canterbury Champs on the second day with no finals rowed out and no medals offered on times.
The under 16 squad coached by Rob Bruce have consistently reached the finals with some of the fastest times. Sam Pearce recorded the 2nd fastest time in the boys U16 single sculls at the previous Canterbury champs and reached the A final in the Under 19 single sculls. This weekend he recorded the fastest time over 2km in the Under 16 sculls but was pipped to silver in the shortened course against strong head winds. He qualified again for the B final in the U19 singles.
The girls Under 16 squad of Greer Porter, Peta McKay, Hannah Humphreys, Jordan Fox and Maggie Stiven have also had consistently good results making A and B finals in quads, doubles and singles.
In the A final Greer Porter won a silver medal in the Under 16 single , with Peta Mckay 3rd in the B final and Jordan Fox 7th . Peta led her heat from the start and was pipped to the finish line just missing out on the A final by seconds.
The girls then teamed up with Maggie Stiven in the Under 16 quad gaining a bronze medal. The double sculls were abandoned with Greer and Peta making the A final with the 4th fastest time overall and Jordan and Maggie making the B Final. Another prospective medal in sight.
Under 15 girls Emma Smith and Estelle Norman , part of the U16 squad – raced in their own age for the first time at this regatta coming 6th in the A final of the Under 15 double sculls. The girls also raced in the U16 single sculls and then teamed up with novice under 15 rowers Rata Horan and Sammy Harry for the under 15 quad reaching the A final which was abandoned.
The Novice squad – Sammy Harry, Rata Horan, Maddi Frazer, Bella Culshaw, Sophie Fenn, Owen Lea, Gary Poilvert , Quinn Curtis and cox Patrick Hartley only started rowing in mid September last year and have also been successfully reaching both A and B finals in the previous regattas, when conditions allowed. With Meg Weedon and Ethan Carleton unavailable to race this weekend, the crews stepped up to racing both in the Under 15 and 16 events.
Sammy Harry and Rata Horan had an exceptional row in the under 15 doubles and with 250m to go were easily in third place about to qualify for the B final. As with novice rowers things can go pear shaped and the two girls making a huge effort to push for the finish caught their blades, flipped the boat and went for a swim….we’ll be watching them in the future!
Maddi Frazer and Owen Lea racing in the boys under 15 doubles had a similar moment when they caught a massive crab. They managed to stay upright but the delay in sorting the oars saw them a way off the main field.
Bella Culshaw teamed up with Hannah Humpheys in the Under 16 double sculls, and had a very credible row, following her more experienced team mate, racing against 3rd year rowers.
Bella and Hannah then teamed up with Maddi Frazer and Sophie Fenn to race in the Under 16 quad sculls placing 5th in their heat.
Quinn Curtis and Gary Poilvert had a good race in the Under 15 double coming 6th in their heat. Slightly off the pace after a bad start in cross winds and with Quinn recovering from a broken collar bone.
Quinn, Gary, Sophie and Owen coxed by Patrick had a good row in the Under 15 quad but again were slightly off the pace.
And we can’t forget Patrick Hartley our champion cox who won his first gold medal coxing the Men’s masters Quad to victory!
A fabulous result from all crews, with potentially the best results for the club to follow to date. It’s now 6 weeks to the South Island Schools Regatta. The coaching team – Rob Bruce, David Ayres, AJ Humphreys, Shane Gibson and Amanda Inkster will be consolidating technique and praying for some consistent flat water for training and no wind!