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Girls Novice Quad Remains Unbeaten this Season

21 Jan

Wanaka Rowing Club crews are tracking well for the forthcoming South Island Championships.

At this weekend’s Canterbury Rowing Championships at Ruataniwha the club took 22 juniors to the regatta which was eventually abandoned on the second day due to high winds.

With 1079 competitors from 36 clubs from all over the South Island , there was strong competition in the build up to the South Island Championships and Maadi Cup Regattas, in some extremely difficult and very variable conditions.

The Squad of Rowers all students at Mount Aspiring College – Sam Pearce, Maggie Stiven , Quin Curtis , Owen Lea, Rata Horan, Sophie Fenn, Sammy Harry, Emma Smith, Sophie Hodgkiss- Blyth, Hayley Ambrose, Emily Findlay, Ruby Boyd, Pipi Horan, Aneka Rossiter, Amber Hewitt, Lyla Chamberlain, Neve Faed, Lucia Brown, Olly Thomas, Timo Fitzgerald, Tao Hawkey-Hight and Coxen Patrick Hartley are coached by Matt Rickard, David Ayres, Rob Bruce, AJ Humphreys and Amanda Inkster.

The squad took part in 27 races, qualifying on the for 13 A Finals and 2 B Finals. With high entries, progression through to the finals was tough with a few crews just missing out on time.

Once again the key performances were from the Novice Girls , Hayley Ambrose, Emily Findlay, Ruby Boyd and Pipi Horan coxed by Patrick Hartley , who were the fastest qualifying Novice Quad in a time of 3.54 over a shortened 1000m course, with their nearest rivals some 8 seconds behind, and still unbeaten after four races this season. In the U15 Octuple, the girls were joined by Aneka Rossiter, Amber Hewitt, Lyla Chamberlain and Neve Faed where they qualified 3rd again on time.

In the Novice doubles Ruby Boyd and Aneka Rossiter were 1st in their heat and 2nd fastest overall, with Hayley and Emily unable to make the start line due to boat failure.
In the intermediate doubles Owen Lea and Olly Thomas had a stunning race winning their heat convincingly and placing 3rd overall on time and in the girls race Sophie Hodgkiss Blyth and Amber Hewitt, together for the first time, had a fabulous race qualifying for the A Final.

The senior squad had more success with both Quinn Curtis, Owen Lea and Rata Horan making the A Final of the U17 singles. In the boys race Quinn was 2nd and Owen 6th overall on time and Rata was 5th. The boys also raced in the U17 doubles coming 7th overall on Time.

In the club events Quinn teamed up with Sam Pearce in the men’s double and Rata teamed up with Maggie Stiven in the women’s double. Both crews placing 5th overall.
Maggie also stepped up a category racing in the Senior single where she was 7th.

It was a challenging weekend, with all of the crews working hard for selection to the forthcoming South Island Champs and Schools regattas. Full results are here:

Gold and Two Bronze Medals for Wanaka Novice Girls at Otago Rowing Championships

9 Dec

Gold and two bronze medals for the novice girls squad at the Otago Rowing Championships held at Lake Ruataniwha at the weekend. 1033 rowers attended the event from 35 clubs around the Otago area. Wanaka fielded a squad of 23 rowers. The crews raced in 26 events , placing in 10 A finals and 7 B finals.

The squad included the senior rowers – Sam Pearce, Owen Lea, Quinn Curtis, Maggie Stiven, Sammy Harry, Sophie Fenn, Emma Smith, Grace Shannon and Patrick Hartley and the novice rowers – Hayley Ambrose, Emily Findlay, Ruby Boyd, Samara Goodall, Pipi Horan, Aneka Rossiter, Amber Hewitt, Lyla Chamberlain, Lucia Brown, Bella Sarginson , Neve Faed, Timo Fitzpatrick, Tao Hawkey Hight and Olly Thomas.

The highlight of the weekend was the performance of the girls novice squad who came away with a gold in the girls novice quads, Bronze in the U15 octuple and bronze in the U15 double, continuing their success from previous regattas.

The quad of Hayley Ambrose, Emily Findlay, Ruby Boyd, Samara Goodall, coxed by Patrick Hartley in the heat and Pipi Horan in the final had a battle with Villa Maria but took the lead by 2 seconds, with the two lead crews finishing some 30 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

The other girls quad of Amber Hewitt, Aneka Rossiter, Lucia Brown and Neve Faed had a solid row in the B Final where they finished 4th.

In the U15 octuples final, the quad was joined by Aneka Rossiter, Amber Hewitt, Bella Sarginson and Lyla Chamberlain and took 3rd place just 10 seconds behind Villa Maria and Dunstan. A fabulous result given the girls were in a borrowed boat with no practice.

In the U15 doubles final , Hayley and Emily , both novices, were third again , narrowly missing 2nd place behind Villa and Dunstan, who are both experienced crews in their second year of racing. Ruby Boyd and Samara Goodall were pipped to 8th place.

In the senior squad, Quinn Curtis had a terrific row in the Boys U17 singles coming 1st in his heat and 5th in the final with a PB of 8.02. Owen Lea also raced in the U17 singles with another PB finishing 4th in the B Final.

Sam Pearce had his work cut out for him in the U18 and Club Singles placing 5th in both events and Maggie Stiven was 8th in Club single.

The Under 17 girls had some steady races but with new squad members joining the group in in the last couple of weeks, need a little more time to get fully up to speed. Both under 17 doubles made the B final with Sophie Fenn and Sammy Harry placing 2nd place and Grace Shannon and Emma Smith 5th.

The novice boys, were unable to field a novice quad due to injuries but Tao Hawkey Hight and Timo Fitzpatrick joined forces with the senior boys Sam Pearce and Owen Lea who took to the water for some racing experience in the Club quad. They knew they would be outclassed but it was a great training experience.

Overall, a very successful weekend boding well for the future season and much excitement in the camp from both rowers, parents and coaches.

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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