Nearly 2,200 high-school rowers will be competing at the 2017 Aon Maadi Cup at Lake Karapiro from tomorrow.
The six day event begins on Monday morning and runs through to Saturday.
The regatta serves as the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Championships and this year's event will be the biggest on record, with 2161 competitors entered plus 131 reserves. A total of 127 schools from around New Zealand will be represented.
The regatta caters for different age categories and boat classes with 52 events over six days, requiring over 600 races from heats through to finals.
All eyes will be on the premier events, the boys' and girls' under-18 coxed eight races, the Maadi Cup and the Levin Jubilee Cup.
Defending Maadi Cup champions Christ's College will be back in force with four boats entered in the boys' under-18 coxed eight, with Waikato locals Hamilton Boys' High School expected to be a formidable competitor as they chase their 11 th Maadi Cup victory. Westlake Boys' High are also a crew to watch after winning the event at the 2017 Aon North Island Secondary School Championships. The 2017 Meridian South Island Secondary School Champions St Andrews are also seeking their first win of the Maadi Cup.
Auckland Diocesan will be hoping to retain the Levin Jubilee Cup which they won for the first time last year at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel. Other notable entries include fifteen-time champions Rangi Ruru Girls' School and six-time winners St Margaret's College.
The Springbok Shield, awarded to the winner of the boys' under-18 coxed four, will provide spectators on the banks with exciting races as six schools battle for the win. Lining up are Sacred Heart College (Auckland), Shirley Boys' High School, St Andrews College, Wellington College and Westlake Boys' High School.
The Dawn Cup will be awarded to the winner of the girls' under-18 coxed four event. Rangi-Ruru Girls' School will be aiming for a 15 th victory, but they certainly won't have an easy run with 17 crews including multiple winners Westlake Girls' High School and St Margaret's College all also taking up the challenge.
Ashburton's Veronica Wall who shot to fame after becoming the first to claim the trifecta of under-16, under-17 and under-18 single scull gold medals at last year's event will be chasing more glory at Karapiro following her victory in the senior single sculls at the 2017 New Zealand Rowing Championships.
In the boys' under-18 pair event 2017 Aon North Island Secondary School champions James Hall and Daniel Williamson of Kings' College will line up against 2017 Meridian South Island Secondary School Champions Ben Taylor and Zackary Rumble of St Andrews College as well as 14 other crews from around New Zealand.
Athletes will take part in four age group categories; under-15, under-16, under-17 and under-18 and in a range of boat classes including singles, pairs, doubles, fours, quads, eights and octuples.
Racing begins at 8am on Monday with heats and progresses through repechages, quarter-finals and semi-finals during the week before finals on Friday and Saturday.
Live results will be available at maadi.co.nz, and a live webcast will screen Thursday, Friday and Saturday.