Springbok Shield won by Christ's College

Christ’s College claimed their first Springbok Shield success for 18 years with a gun to tape success in the boys flagship race of the first finals day at the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup at Lake Ruataniwha.

The triumphant crew of Cameron Smith, Oscar Acland, Rowan Taylor, Angus Gray and coxswain Paddy Hone repelled a powerful challenge from Hamilton Boys in the first three quarters of the race and a late charge from Marlborough Boys College to clinch the win in a time of 6:38.49.

It was a magnificent effort from Christ’s College, who secured their sixth ever success in the prestigious event which was first contested in 1965.

Marlborough Boys unleashed a stellar final 1000m, powering past the fading Hamilton Boys crew in the latter stages and to within half a length of Christ’s College but they had to settle for silver some 1.45 down on the champions.

Hamilton Boys, who were just a canvas down on Christ’s College at halfway, claimed bronze in 6:41.47.

For Christ’s College team captain Angus Gray it was a moment of jubilation, particularly as the crew had finished third behind St Andrews College and Marlborough at the South Island Championships.

“It was a really hotly-contested field but the race went perfectly to plan,” said Gray. “We went out front and held on all the way. We saw Hamilton and Marlborough come back at us at the end, but we held them off.”

The opening day of finals action had earlier suffered a four-hour delay to proceedings due to excessively windy conditions. However, running a compressed programme with A finals contested every ten minutes allowed the full schedule of 26 A Finals to be completed today.

In the day’s flagship final for girls, Diocesan Schools for Girls clinched an historic first ever Dawn Cup success with a dominant display in the under-18 coxed four event.

The triumphant crew of Ella Simanu, Kate Haines, Alice Grave, Georgia Gibson and cox Anna Burns held a length advantage from nearest pursuers St Margarets College at the 1000m mark and they further stamped their superiority on the field in the second half of the race to run out convincing winners in a time of 7:29.73.

The red-hot battle for silver was edged by Sacred Heart Girls (Hamilton), who advanced from fourth at halfway to second on the dais in a time of 7:33.29. St Margarets College, who had slipped at one stage to fourth, rallied in the latter stages to take bronze some 0.81 further back. Nelson College for Girls who looked set for silver at 1500m placed fourth in 7:34.61.

See below for a round-up of the other action on the first finals day at the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup.

Boys under-18

Christchurch Boys High School derailed Whakatane High School’s bid for a hat-trick of coxed quadruple sculls titles thanks to a well-judged and patient effort. The Whakatane crew - comprising the three Jenkins siblings – held a clear advantage at the 1000m mark but Christchurch nosed ahead with 700m and accelerated further ahead to clinch the title by a little over three seconds in 6:28.85. Today Whakatane had to be content with silver while Wellington College completed the medal dais taking bronze in 6:37.47.

Less than a second separated the top three crews in an absorbing pairs final with victory awarded to Marlborough Boys college duo Jordan Gasson and Cameron Donald. The duo executed an outstanding row covering the 2000m distance in a time of 7:15.68 to finish just 0.67 clear of St Andrews College with Auckland Grammar clinching bronze in 7:16.67.

In the lightweight coxed four final there was joy was Nelson College who proved too powerful for the rest to grab an eye-catching gold medal victory in 6:50.27. St Bedes College completed a South Island one-two almost three seconds further back with the 2015 champions Glendowie College (6:54.35) having to settle for bronze in the 2016 edition.

Sacred Heart College (Auckland) secured a commanding victory in the novice eight final by a length from Wanganui Collegiate. The champion-winning crew put in a powerful performance to stop the clock in a time of 6:22.25 to finish 3.04 clear of their nearest opposition. Shirley Boys High picked up bronze in a time of 6:26.35.

The St Pauls Collegiate duo of Tom Seuren and Max Dobbe – who had earlier today taken silver in the boys under-15 double sculls event - showed their exciting potential by taking out a comfortable victory in the novice double sculls race. Just over an hour after the duo landed silver they returned to action at Lake Ruataniwha to climb the top of the podium in 7:29.85 - more than four seconds clear of Shirley Boys High School, who edged a close battle for silver from St Peters School.

Girls under-18

The pair served up a genuine candidate for race of the day as Sacred Heart Girls College (Hamilton) edged a titanic tussle from St Margaret College by a little over a second. St Margaret’s put in a huge push for gold around the 1000m mark and opened up a one-length lead before the Sacred Heart duo of Finau Mosa’Ali and Claudia Mecchia timed their gold medal bid to perfection to move into gold inside the final 500m to stop the clock in 8:00.86. Craighead Diocesan banked bronze in 8:04.43.

A powerful second half of the race earned Hauraki Plains College a three-second victory from Nelson College in the double sculls final. Little separated the two top teams at midway, but the duo of Brylie Gordon and Panasse Van Laren’s showed superior strength in the latter half of the race to stop the clock in 7:53.71 to strike gold. Fraser High School finished strongly but had to settle for bronze in 7:57.27.

Rangi Ruru Girls School showed their class to take an emphatic victory in the novice eight final. The South Island school claimed victory by more than two-and-a-half lengths from Columba College in a time of 7:18.56. Diocesan School for Girls claimed the bronze in 7:26.86.

The Villa Maria College duo of Georgia Freeman and Molly Millar shaded an enthralling encounter in the final of the novice double sculls event from John Paul College (Anna Cairns and Hana Stubbing). John Paul put in a resolute performance, but ultimately the girls from Villa Maria were just too good, clinching victory by a winning margin of 0.86 in a time of 8:01.70.

The lightweight coxed four final was secured by Columba College, who rowed the 2000m course in a time of 7:52.36 to finish more than three seconds clear of St Kentigerns College. Wanganui Collegiate completed the podium order in time of 7:59.30.

Boys under-17

Mark Taylor produced a measured and dominant performance to take victory in the boys under-17 single sculls – in the day’s first A final. The Waitaki Boys High School student bided his time before overhauling Sam Monkley (Cambridge High School) at the 1250m mark to run out an eye-catching gold medallist in 7:48.69. Monkley held on for second in 7:52.93 with Bradley Leydon (John McGlashan College) taking third.

Spectators were served up a real treat in the final of the eight as St Kentigern’s edged Christ’s College by a canvas in a heavyweight clash to savour. The Auckland-based crew just proved the stronger in a compelling clash to record a time of 6:11.92 – just 0.65 clear of their Christchurch-based rivals. Westlake Boys High School snared the bronze medal in 6:14.24.

Huanui College was denied gold thanks to a late surge from St Patricks College in a thrilling final of the double sculls. The Hunani College duo of Ben Monaghan and Eddie Brownie put a courageous bid for gold over the first 1500m but could not hold on to their significant advantage as the St Patricks duo of Daniel Ward and Joshua Ngaia prevailed by 1.43 in a time of 7:03.43. John McGlashan College clinched bronze in 7:08.20.

Girls under-17

Having earlier triumphed in the under-16 single sculls event Veronica Wall added her second single sculls title of the day with yet another comprehensive victory. The Ashburton College phenomenon, who will be seeking to snag a third single sculls crown tomorrow in the under-18 event, gave clear demonstration of her stellar ability by crushed the opposition to stop the clock in 8:18.04 – almost 16 seconds clear of Marlborough College Girls’ Stella Blake, who finished strongly in the latter half of the race to take silver. Georgia Keech of Sacred Heart Girls (New Plymouth) earned the consolation of bronze.

A compelling all Cantabrian battle saw Christchurch Girls High School hold off a late charge from Rangi Ruru Girls School in a gripping final of the women’s under-17 coxed four event. Christchurch Girls held on by half a canvas to edge an absorbing race in 7:48.53. In close pursuit Sacred Heart Girls College (Hamilton) grabbed bronze.

Nelson College for Girls successfully retained the coxed quad sculls title with yet another dominant display. They were challenged strongly by St Peters School (Cambridge) in the first half of the race before the Nelson quartet slowly cranked up the pressure in the final 1000m to run out winners in 7:26.84 - a little over two seconds from St Peters School. Tauranga Girls College (7:29.95) secured bronze.

Boys under-16

Kings College revealed their formidable strength in depth in the coxed quad sculls division as their number one and two boats banked gold and silver medals. The number one boat stopped the clock in an impressive 6:53.88 with the number two boat more five-and-a-half seconds further back. Roncalli College grabbed the minor medal in a time of 7:00.99.

Christchurch Boys prevailed in a competitive coxed four encounter from Hamilton Boys High School. The champion crew unleashed a measured display to clinch victory from their nearest rivals by a little under a second-and-a-half in a winning time of 6:56.51. St Peters College (Auckland) earned bronze in 6:59.41.

Girls under-16

Rangi Ruru Girls School snatched a dramatic victory from St Peters School courtesy of a powerful push in the dying embers of a compelling final of the eight. Little separated the duo for the second half of the race but the South Island school forged ahead when it counted to edge the tussle by 0.82, recording a time of 7:07.80. Wanganui Collegiate took bronze in 7:16.13.

Veronica Wall (Ashburton College) proved far too strong for the rest to successfully defend the single sculls title covering the distance in 8:33.35 to finish more than 14 seconds clear of Stella Clayton-Greene (Hauraki Plains), who took silver. Rangitoto College’s Claudia Waite (8:51.33) rounded out the top three.

Boys under-15

Hamilton Boys High School enjoyed a memorable day by securing gold in both the men’s eight and double sculls events. In the flagship boys’ eight event the Hamilton crew - containing both stroke William Thompson and Luke Taylor - maintained their streak of success in the event by cruising to victory in 6:25.53 more than five-and-a-half seconds clear of Christ’s College with St Andrews College banking bronze in 6:32.76.

Earlier Thompson and Taylor edged a tight battle from cross city rival school St Pauls Collegiate (Max Dobbe and Tom Seuren) in a thrilling battle in the double sculls event. In an absorbing final, Hamilton Boys crossed the line in 7:29.09 to win by a little under one-and-a-half seconds. Kings College filled the final place on the podium in 7:41.27.

Girls under-15

St Peters School have long been a formidable sculling force and that was once against demonstrated in the quadruple sculls final as they claimed back-to-back titles in a time of 7:51.94 – more than eight seconds clear of Glendowie College. Ashburton College snatched a place on the bottom rung on the podium.

In the coxed four final, Waikato Diocesan responded to a powerful challenge from Rangi Ruru College to clinch the race win by a little over two seconds in 7:35.48. The two crews were dominant from the outset but Waikato’s pace judgement proved superior as they edged Rangi Ruru, the defending champions. The St Margarets College number one crew finished one place in front of their number two boat to take the minor medal.

For full results from the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup: http://www.rowit.co.nz/mads2016/results

The event will be webcast LIVE again on Saturday

Saturday direct link: https://livestream.com/i-filmsport/AonMaadiCup2016Saturday