Rowers victorious at biggest ever Christmas regatta

Cambridge High School’s under 15 and under 16 girls doubles rowers, pictured having a rest during Friday afternoon’s storm break. From left, Brylee Deacon, Hannah Rickit, Brea McDonald and Ashley Bennett.

St Peter’s School dominated six divisions in what was the biggest ever Karapiro Christmas Regatta.

Running December 13 – 16, the event saw 2390 rowers take part, 140 up from last year’s numbers, and the third consecutive year the event has surpassed itself in competitor numbers.

St Peter’s rowing coach Janey Wackrow was rapt with the school’s results, making 17 A finals and winning six. She described the under 18 boys eight making their final as a “huge achievement”, being one of four New Zealand schools to make the final alongside four Australian schools.

Nine Australian crews competed in the event. Brighton Grammar from Melbourne managed to take out the men’s U18 pair final, “which will have given our New Zealand crews another reason to train harder leading into Maadi,” said Claudia Hyde, operations manager for Karapiro Rowing Inc.

St Peter’s School’s under 18 men’s four heading out onto the water. From left, Rokko Lassey, Harrison Lynch, Ollie Shergold and Alister Jenkins.

Not to be outdone, the St Peter’s men’s U18 quad of Patrick Griffin, Jacques Balsom, Jason Nel, Harry Lynch and coxswain Brooke Houston secured a first-place finish in their A final, and the women’s under 16 equivalent crew of Maddie Brown, Holly Williams, Atlanta Bruce, Caitlin Huxtable and coxswain Teagan Carvell finished first in their final.

Jason Nel and Beckie Leigh dominated their men’s and women’s under 18 single scull finals to victory, and Beckie also joined Amelia Barrell to win the women’s under 18 double scull.

And, if that wasn’t enough winning for one regatta, the school’s under 16 eight crew of Maddie Brown, Fran Pollock, Atlanta Bruce, Holly Williams, Emma Butcher, Caitlin Huxtable, Millie Baker, Natasha Dickie and coxswain Teagan Carvell finished first in their A final.

Cambridge High School made a showing at the regatta too, their crews making 12 A finals. Most notable were Cullen Aveyard and TJ Udy who finished third and fourth respectively in the under 16 boys single A final.

A crew from Westlake Girls High School races to the finish in the girls under 16 quad heats.

Whilst spectacular weather prevailed through most of the event, a loud crack of thunder caused officials to call off rowing for the afternoon on Friday, delaying the day’s finish to 7.30pm.

“Overall, it was a great regatta to finish the year on,” said Hyde.

The Karapiro Christmas Regatta was the first of the New Zealand summer regatta series. Up next is the Cambridge Town Cup, doubling as the North Island Club Championships regatta over January 24 – 28, the Mercury Junior Regatta February 23 and 24, the North Island Secondary School Rowing Championship regatta March 8 – 10, and the big Aon Maadi Cup March 25 – 30.

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