After an incredible week of on-water racing conditions, 24 crews were crowned secondary school champions on the final day of the 2021 Aon Maadi Cup.
Races for A, B and C finals across 24 events were contested between 7.57am and 4.35pm today, with the infamous Levin Jubilee Cup and Maadi Cup being the last two races of the day.
Run by the NZSSRA and Rowing NZ, the Aon Maadi Cup is the national championships for school rowing. Being New Zealand's largest rowing regatta, it's the most prestigious event on the school rowing calendar with six days of racing. The 2021 regatta was hosted by Karapiro Rowing at Lake Karapiro, Cambridge from 22-27 March.
Girls’ U18 Eight
South Island crews dominated the girls’ U18 eight A Final with all medalling crews hailing from Canterbury. Rangi Ruru’s crew of Georgie Bethell, Nicole Vance, Alice Wallis, Phoebe Wallis, Tessa Reid, Holly Lill, Caitlin Muir, Abigail Reid and Annabel Wynn-Williams (cox) won gold in 6:54.35. Canterbury Girls’ High School won silver in 6:55.80 with crew Emily Bowden, Katie Gardener, Piper Spencer, Orla Fitzgerald, Anna Clinch, Millie White, Sophie Chapman, Nina Jarman and Skye Duncan. St Margaret's College Georgia Dawson, Olivia Studholme, Isabelle Scrymgeour, Felicity Pye, Jemma Burrowes, Annie Airey, Milly Farrell, Isla Fulton and Millie Dobson (cox) won bronze. The Levin Jubilee Cup is historically dominated by schools from the Canterbury region despite its North Island origins. In 1981 when Levin hosted the Maadi regatta on Lake Horowhenua, Levin’s then Mayor Jack Bolderson contributed an award to celebrate the Levin Borough Council’s 75th Jubilee. First won by Whanganui Girls’ College, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School have since won it 16 times.
Boys’ U18 Eight
After Christchurch Boys’ High School won the boys’ U18 eight in 2019, 2018 champions Christs College reclaimed the Under 18 eight title once again with their crew Archie Batchelor, Gus Orr, Liam Alexander, Louie Bethell, Johnny Lee, Angus Wynn-Williams, George Trolove, Thomas McEwan and Hamish McCulloch (cox). The Christs’ College crew took an easy win, over six seconds ahead of Auckland Grammar School’s crew Ben Shortt, Oliver Welch, Cody Johnson, Amiel John, Dougal Rutherford-Levien, Finbar O'Carroll, Sebastian Bull, Jamie Woods and George Higgins (cox) who finished in 6:12.88. Sam Long, Fergus Rutledge, Caleb Brown, James McLaren, Angus Hill, Dylan Smith, Henry Farrell, Lachlan Muir and Alex Carrodus (cox) of St Andrew’s College won bronze in 6:13.32. The Maadi Cup hails from WWII, where two NZEF members based at Maadi Camp in Egypt raced in regattas on the Nile against the Egyptians. The Kiwi Oarsmen beat the Cairo River Club in 1943 to win the Freyburg Cup, which was then gifted back to Cairo River Club. In return, Youssef Baghat also presented the Kiwi crew with a cup. At the end of that year the cup was offered to the New Zealand Rowing Association as a trophy for an annual boy’s eight-oared race between secondary schools, and it was then that it was renamed the Maadi Cup.
Girls’ U18 Single
After clear wins in both the heats and semi-finals, Sophie Smith of Dunstan High School won the girls’ U18 single event in a time of 8:06.19. Smith also won gold in the girls' U18 coxed quad event. Napier Girls' High School’s Madeleine Parker won silver in 8:07.98 and Sophia Rutherford of St Andrew’’s College won bronze (8:09.51).
Boys’ U18 Single
The boys’ U18 single event has been highly competitive across the week with impressive showings of skill and talent. Winning both his Heat and Semi-Final, Gisborne Boys’ High School’s Oscar Ruston continued his dominant form, eclipsing the field and finishing 4 seconds clear of nearest rival, Dominiko Arnerich of St Peter’s College (Auckland). Ben Olifiers of Trident High School had a strong finish to fend off Sacha Dewancker and secured bronze.
Girls’ U16 Double
Takapuna Grammar School’s Annabelle Knowles and Skye Lang won gold in the girls’ U16 double over three seconds ahead of Wellington East Girls’ College, Ava Johnston and Kate Barham, who took silver. Wakatipu High School won bronze with crew Neve Bates and Olivia Key. Knowles and Lang of Takapuna Grammar also won gold in the girls’ U16 coxed quad event.
Boys’ U18 Quad
The boys’ U18 quad saw one of the tightest races of the week with the top three crews separated by just 0.4 of a second. Christchurch Boys High School were dominant for the majority of the race, but fast finishes over the last 500m saw Otago Boys’ High School, St Peters Auckland and Christchurch Boys’ finish with one buzzer. Otago Boys’ claimed the gold by a bow ball, followed by St Peters Auckland in the silver medal position and Christchurch Boys’ High in bronze.
The Simon Briggs Cup, awarded to the coxswain leading the most crews into A Finals, was won by Charlotte Muir of Wakatipu High School.
The Presidents Scull, awarded to the overall sculling champions, was won by Dunstan High School.
The Executive Trophy, awarded to the overall sweep oar champions, was won by Rangi Ruru Girls’ School.
Rangi Ruru Girls’ School were awarded the Star Trophy for the overall champion school.
The Bill Eaddy Cup, awarded to the coach of the best coach of junior crews, was won by Simon Smith of Dunstan High School.
How to catch up or re-watch all the action
- Full results are available on rowit.nz
- An event programme is available online at rowingnz.kiwi. The event programme contains competing club codes and colours, full 2021 entries, and details of all trophies and all historic results.
- A live stream of racing from Friday 26 and Saturday 27 March is available at maadi.co.nz
- Photos are available on the Aon Maadi Cup's Instagram and Facebook platforms
- SKY Sports will screen a highlights package on the 2021 Aon Maadi Cup from 1 April
Fostering secondary school rowing is incredibly important – it generates talent for future New Zealand representatives, but more importantly it helps grow New Zealand’s youth into great people. Aon New Zealand has a strong record of supporting young New Zealanders, assisting them to achieve their potential in the sports of their choosing.
In recent years their support has stretched to working with secondary schools directly and providing much needed equipment. The Aon Maadi Cup remains one of the biggest secondary school sporting events in New Zealand and we’re proud to work alongside Aon to bring it to life each year.