Down the drain at Karāpiro

Cambridge High School eight winning gold.

Liz Stolwyk puts it down to 17 years hard work – and making sure the drains are not blocked.

More than 2000 rowers, thousands of cars and a village of tents filled the Karāpiro Domain for three days over one of the wettest weekends the country can recall – and it all went off, pardon the pun, swimmingly.

Liz Stolwyk

Stolwyk, the site manager of the Waipā District Council owned Mighty River Domain – and also Waipā’s deputy mayor – spent much of the weekend of the North Island Rowing championships in wet weather gear as one of the workers keeping the three day event on the 18ha site running smoothly.

She was mindful that the weather had claimed other events – aside from raining on Elton John’s parade in Auckland, it also put paid to the Festival One event at nearby Whitehall Road,

Concert organisers raised the white flag on the Christian music event at 8.30am on Saturday, with half the ticket holders on site. The ninth version of the event was scheduled at a new venue in Whitehall Rd – a couple of kilometres from the Karāpiro domain as the crow flies. Friday’s rain left the site in such a bad condition it was decided not to go ahead.

Stolwyk said the years of drainage work at Karāpiro had paid off – but doing the simple things, such as checking the drains, was also important.

The Mighty River Domain’s grounds were cut up heavily in places under the weight of a constant flow of cars, but as an example, on Sunday just two needed assistance.

Stolwyk said the spell of dry weather leading up to the storm was also a blessing. Visitors to the pre-Christmas regatta there noted the parking area appeared wetter on that occasion.

This time, the speed at which the grounds could absorb and drain water was the key.

See: On bus conductor duty – Colin Birch.

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