First win of the season for girls novice quad

29 Oct

Wow, what a weekend for Wanaka Rowing Club!


The first regatta of the season took place at Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend. This is a 1k regatta to start the season as an introduction for new rowers and parents, and allows the senior rowers to row in 50% novice crews to help the new novices learn the ropes.

The Rowing club took its biggest squad yet, with 22 junior rowers, 2 masters, 4 coaches and a team of parent help and supporters. The event was attended by 10 other local clubs with 258 athletes.

Blessed with the fabulous weather, a tailwind and sunshine all weekend and no delays, the regatta ran the full programme with racing on both days.

Wanaka took a squad of 24 rowers, who raced in 32 races reaching 19 A finals and 11 B finals. An extraordinary result given that 15 of the squad were novices and of those, 7 were from the new “Learn to Row” group who have only been rowing for 4-8 weeks.

The stand out performances of the day were from the girls novice squad – Hayley Ambrose, Emily Findlay, Sophia Perkins and Samara Goodall (all 14), Ruby Boyd, Aneka Rossiter, Pipi Horan and Amber Hewitt (all 13)

It was the first time the club has ever fielded an octuple. The crew of novices with Kaia Cassaidy (a learn to row novice in the bow), with no practice jumped into a boat borrowed from Wakatipu Rowing Club on the day, and had a stunning race placing them in 2nd place on time.

The crew of Hayley, Emily, Ruby and Samara coxed by Patrick won the Novice coxed quads by a length, with the second crew Amber, Aneka, Sophia and Lucia (a learn to row novice in the bow) in 7th place. They also raced in the U15 doubles placing 4th, 6th and 8th in the final, racing against some seasoned U15 crews.

The under 17 / 18 squad of Maggie Stiven (17), Rata Horan, Owen Lea, Quinn Curtis, Sophie Fenn, Sammy Harry, Sophie Hodgkiss–Blyth (all 16) and Coxen Patrick Hartley (15) continue to perform well and had some great results in singles and doubles.

Rata Horan was 3rd in the A Final of the U17 single and Sammy Harry and Sophie Fenn, with little practice in a single, had credible rows placing 3rd and 6th in the B Final.

Rata and Maggie Stiven placed 4th in the open double, in a very close race with 2, 3 and 4th in a row over the line. Maggie Stiven then raced the open single, rowing beautifully to 4th Place.

In the U17 doubles, Rata and Sammy were 5th in the A Final, with Sophie Fenn and Sophie Hodgkiss Blyth 4th in the B Final.

The U17 boys, Owen and Quinn had another tight race in the U17 doubles placing 4th, and jumped into the U17 singles with Quinn placing 7th in the A Final and Owen being pipped to 3rd place on the line in the B final.

In the Novice 50% races the learn to row squad, (Olly Thomas (16), Timo Fitzpatrick (15), Tao Hawkey-Hight (14), Lucia Brown (15), Lyla Chamberlain, Ella Salmen-Parker and Kaia Cassaidy (all 14)), teamed up with the seniors with some more great results.

In the girls doubles Sophia Perkins and Rata Horan were 4th in the A Final, with Maggie Stiven and Lucia Brown 1st in the B final, just pipping Samara Goodall and Ruby Boyd to second place on the line in a photo finish. The girls quads were 8th in the A Final and 5th in the B Final.

In the boys races, the quads had solid rows and were 5th and 6th in their A finals. In the doubles Owen Lea and Olly Thomas were 6th in the A final, with the other two crews 3rd and 4th in the B finals.

Finally the masters men – Shane Gibson and Jaime Hutter won the masters double and Shane was 3rd in the single.

A great start to the season for the novices and an absolutely, brilliant effort from the learn to row squad, who should be very pleased with their performances given almost no time in the boats training.

The Wanaka coaches are very excited with the results and are looking forward to a competitive fun season ahead.

Thank you to all the rowers, parents, coaches, sponsors and supporters for making this such a fun and worthwhile event.

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