Maadi Finals Tomorrow. WOW! What a week for Wanaka

23 Mar

Mount Aspiring College students racing this week have had what can only be called a phenomenal week. Sadly I have only been watching from afar , with my head buried in the online results, awaiting texts or any snippets from the parents, rowers and coaches up there.

I keep saying this… It’s got to be one of the best overall results we have had. Well it has!

2 E Finals : GU162x – Sammy & Sophie, BU162x -Quinn & Owen.

4 C Finals : BU161x – Quinn, G U171x – Maggie, BU181x – Sam, GU172x – Peta & Maggie.

3 B Finals: GU17 1x – Peta, BU17 1x- Sam, BU17 2x – Sam & Quinn

2 A Finals: GU161x – Rata, GU174x – Rata, Maggie, Peta, Greer coxed by Patrick

The Under 17 girls Peta McKay, Greer Porter, Maggie Stiven,  Rata Horan (15) and cox Patrick Hartley have the best results so far with Rata Horan probably the stand out performance of the week in the U16 single scull. Rata was a novice last year, set her mind on a hard winters training with Rob in the single which has paid dividends to her fitness and technical ability. Tomorrow she is in the A Final at 9.20 and then will jump straight into the stroke seat of the Under 17 quad for their A final at 10.00am.

The most surprising result for me was Quinn Curtis in the Under 16 single. All the extra rowing with Sam in the Under 17 double has improved his technique and fitness no end. I remember overhearing at one regatta someone wondering how he would go in his first race with Sam and whether it would “kill him”. The response from Sam was – ” well we’ll just see how long he hangs on”. They had a pleasing row. It wasn’t their best but they have got quicker and quicker. Quinn was 5th in the semis of the U16 1x just missing out on the B final and finished 6th in the C Final. Great work in his first year in the single and of course Sam will be pushing him hard again tomorrow in the B final of the Under 17 double.

Sam had a really consistent week, with a couple of incredibly tight races in the worst of the conditions in the Under 17 and 18 singles. In one of the last races of the evening on Wednesaday he just missed out on going through to the semifinals by getting 5th, in the  U 18 race and rowed the C Final today coming 2nd . In the U 17 single I don’t think he was on his best form but had some spirited races taking him theough to the B Final tomorrow.

The under 17 girls have been working hard with cooch rob Bruce for the last three years and have consistently been in the top three in most of their events. This year has seen them maintain their strength in the quad but with a few crew changes and inconsistent sessions they have been slightly off the pace in the doubles and singles. The general consensus being that they are not quite as prepared as they were last year in the small boats. Needless to say , they have still achieved some terrific results. Maggie was 5th in the quarter final just missing out on the semis and was 3rd in The C Final today. Peta was 7th in the semi and will be racing in the B Final of the U17 single tomorrow. I know she’ll be gutted about not making the A final but whever she finishes , she is still going to be one of the top 16 in the country! Go girl….

That leaves us with the Under 16 crews. The girls have had a bit of an unsettled season with lots of crew changes and losing one of their crew just after the South Island Schools. However they have come back fully armed and ready to fight and brought with them novice rower Sophie Hodgkiss – Blyth who only started rowing in November. The quad were off the pace due to lack of time together but had a great row  with a PB in the heats and in the double Sammy and Sophie worked their way through to the E Final where they were 3rd. They had the toughest progression with only the 1st place crew in the rep going through and the rest to the E Final. I think their best row was probably the rep. They have just improved each time with time on the water and some more consistent racing.

There were five boys at the beginning of the season but due to injury and lack of training we were down to two and they have embraced the singles and the double. Owen and Quinn also had a tough progression in the Under 16 double with only the first two crews going through in the rep. They were really unlucky coming third by a bow ball and found themsleves in the E Final where again they were third. I am sure they were really pleased with their racing as they beat their previous PB by some 20 seconds.

In the singles we have already heard about Quinn but Owen had a terrific row in his heat of the single in the worst conditions this week. He was 7th in the fastest heat and just missed qualifying for the next round. It’s his first year in the single and I’m sure he’ll be back again next year.

Macy Toovey joined the school late in February coming down from Wellington and as the only under 18 rower has had to take to sculling. In her words I think she is more of a rower! So it’s been a hard road for her but she had some pleasing rows in the heats and the rep in the single. She teamed up with Greer Porter in the Under 18 double where they were just a bit off the pace – probably due to lack of time in the boat together and a slightly different techniques to gel together.

Good luck to all of you. We are all incredibly proud of your achievements and pleased to have been part of your journey. I am sure your coaches Rob and Matt and all your parents will be on the edge of their seats willing those of you still racing into medal positions tomorrow.

I for one will be up at the crack of sparrow to drive to Twizel and offer as much support, cheering and rallying around as I can. I hope to return home with no voice at all, hoarse from the shouting, carrying a huge smile across my face because you have all done so well.

Go Mount Aspiring. Row hard, row safe and above all have fun.




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