New Zealand’s largest rowing regatta, the Aon Maadi Cup, got underway at Lake Karapiro today.
A full schedule due to record numbers at this year’s regatta saw 137 races covering a range of age and boat classes completed on day one. Over 2000 high school aged rowers are lining up over six days of racing, requiring over 600 races.
Despite predictions of a rainy day with possible thunderstorms heavy rain made an appearance at either end of the day but conditions were otherwise calm with flat water and little to no wind.
St Andrew’s College staked their claim to the Springbok Shield, winning the heat of the boys’ under-18 coxed four in convincing style with a 12 second lead over Saint Kentigern College’s number one crew and Westlake Boys’ High School. With only eight crews in contention for the shield all will progress from the heat to the final.
Meanwhile 21 crews are challenging for the Dawn Cup, the prize awarded to the winner of the girls’ under-18 coxed four event. Columba College, Wanganui Collegiate School, St Paul’s Collegiate School, Christchurch Girls’ High School, Diocesan School for Girls and Nelson School for Girls all progressed through to the A final by claiming a top-two placing in their heat. The remaining crews will face a repechage to decide who will make up the rest of the A final.
Up-and-coming single sculler Veronica Wall from Ashburton College looks a comfortable favourite after the girls’ under-17 single scull heats, where she clocked the fastest time overall by over 13 seconds, and crossed the line 37 seconds clear of her closest competitor in her heat. Victory is not guaranteed however, with quarter and semi-finals yet to be contested.
Wall also booked a berth in the semi-final of the under-18 double sculls with crewmate Grace Wilson.
There was also some first-class racing in the younger age categories including St Paul’s Collegiate, St Thomas of Canterbury, Southland Boys’ High School, John McGlashan College and Hamilton Boys’ High School all winning their under-15 double sculls heats at least a boat length in front of their competitors.
Racing continues tomorrow with further heats and repechages. Races yet to be contested include the largest event of the regatta, the boys’ under-16 single sculls and the premier events, the boys’ and girls’ under-18 coxed eights.
Live results, schedule and start lists can be found on www.rowit.co.nz