Rowers race across two regattas

Cambridge High School’s U18 boys eight races to the finish. Photo – Nikki Redman.

More than two thousand rowers raced through the waters of Lake Karapiro last weekend, with two regattas taking place simultaneously. It all started Friday with over 760 of the total 2272 competitors taking part in both the Cambridge Town Cup (CTC) and the North Island Club Championships (NICC).

Cambridge High School’s contingent of rowers competed in 17 A finals and five B finals. Across the board the U15 to U18 girls and boys achieved results in quads, fours, doubles and pairs. “These will be hot contenders for North Island Secondary School Champs in early March,” said Sandy Stuart, CHS head rowing coach.

Cambridge High School entered an U18 boys eight crew, believed to be the first in at least two decades, with Jacques Balsom, Seth Hope, Sam Hogan, Thomas Reed, Jack Monkley, Josh Hogan, Sean Hale and Thomas Fraser, coxed by Joel Bartrum. The boys won their heat on Saturday and placed amongst some of the most potential leading eights boats in the New Zealand secondary schools’ arena.

Cambridge High School U18 boys eight crew, with coach Sandy Stuart (far left).

Meanwhile Cambridge High School’s U15 boys coxed quad, with Cullen Aveyard, Sam Kavanagh, Jack Redman and Cody Levesque, coxed by Chloe Cumming, placed third in their A final rowing a blistering pace. The U18 girls coxed quad, with Abigail Webbon, Alecia Ireland, Caitlyn Hall and Grace Redman, coxed by Penny Wallis, took out fourth overall in the A final, claiming a new school record time in their heat.

St Peter’s rowers also competed in top form over the weekend with several finals placings. “The whole team competed very well, especially after being on camp earlier in the week and with the very hot racing conditions,” said the school’s head rowing coach, Janey Wackrow.

The St Peter’s novices saw outstanding results in the NICC competition, by placing in all five A finals, topped off with a gold medal performance in the novice 8 – thanks to Samara Mockford, Holly Williams, Aaliyah Brown, Fran Pollock, Caitlin Huxtable, Siobhan Coulson, Kari Loveridge, Madi Fuller and coxswain Ruby Butler.

St Peter’s rowers Harry Burns and Dan Bourke dig deep to make the finish line.

In the CTC, St Peter’s seniors (U18 and U17’s) led the way winning the boys’ U17 single, double and quad, and the girls winning the U18 pair and four, and U17 single and double. The U15 girls also won the U15 octuple, and placed second in the eight and third in the double.

“The coaching team were really happy with the performances and now look forward to building the team up towards North Island Secondary School Champs and then onto Maadi down south in Twizel,” said Wackrow.

In the elite realm of the NICC, single sculler Robbie Manson powered his way to a gold medal finish in just six minutes 39.58 seconds, defeating two-time Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale in fifth. In second by 2.61 seconds was Matthew Dunham followed by Chris Harris in third.

Cambridge High School’s new deputy head boy Sam Hogan gained 4th in his U18 single A final. Photo – Nikki Redman.

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