2016 Aon Maadi Cup kicks off

Lake Ruataniwha turned on bright blue skies and calm conditions for the opening day of the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup (New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Championships) regatta which commenced in Twizel today with a full race schedule of 135 heats in 32 event classes.

This week’s New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Championships promises to be a hotly fought contest across the board with 2253 athletes representing 120 schools across 52 different events over the six day regatta.

A number of crews today progressed directly to A finals including the

girls under-18 novice eight, boys under-17 eight, boys under-18 lightweight four, boys under-18 coxed quad, girls under-18 pair, girls under-16 eight, boys under-18 novice eight, boys under-15 eight, boys under-18 coxed four and girls under-18 coxed four.

In the boys under-18 novice eight Sacred Heart College (Auckland) and Shirley Boys High School were the two crews to progress directly through to the A-final after winning their respective heats. In the girls under-18 novice eight, St Margaret’s College and Diocesan School for Girls (Auckland) finished first and second respectively in the first heat while Rangi Ruru Girls School and Columba College claimed the two top spots in the second heat – these four crews will progress to the final.

St Andrews College were the clear winners of heat one of the boys under-17 eight securing their place in the A final with a time of 6:13.65 while St Kentigern College won heat two in 6:09.84 and claim their spot in the final along with the fastest qualifying time.

St Bede’s College and Sacred Heart College (Auckland) both claimed the top spots in the heats of the boys under-18 lightweight coxed four, qualifying for the A final on Friday while all other crews head to repechages.

The heats of the boys under-18 quad saw six crews progress directly from three heats, they included Christchurch Boys High School, Wellington College, Whakatane High School, Kings College, Hamilton Boys High School and Otumoetai College. Christchurch Boys High School had the fastest heat time finishing in 6:29.87.

First and second place in all three heats of the girls under-18 pair progressed straight to the final with crews attacking from the outset. St Margaret’s College and Hillcrest High School claimed the top two spots in the first heat while Craighead Diocesan School and Christchurch Girls High School also qualified in the second heat. In the third heat Glendowie College finished nearly 10 seconds clear of second place St Margaret’s College 3.

The girls under-16 eights heats were led out by Rangi Ruru Girls School, Epsom Girls Grammar and St Peters School who all won their particular heats. The remaining finals positions we booked by Wanganui Collegiate, Dunstan High School and Baradene College. Rangi Ruru Girls School set a cracking heat time of 7:02.29 so will be the favoured crew heading into the medal finals on Friday.

Hamilton Boys High School won their heat of the boys under-15 eight in 6:29.60, while Westlake Boys High School finished in second and also claiming a start in the final. In the second heat St Andrew’s College won in 6:34.28, but were pushed to the line by Christs College who finished in a time of 6:35.63, both crews earning their spot in the final.

Six crews from three heats earned spots in the final of the girls under-18 coxed four. Heat one was won by Nelson College for Girls with Columba finishing second while in heat two St Margarets College and Epsom Girls Grammar earned their spots in the final of the Dawn Cup. In the third heat Diocesan School for Girls (Auckalnd ) won ahead of Sacred Heart School for Girls (Hamilton). With the winning times from all three heats within a second of each other, the final promises to be a thrilling race. The remaining crews will qualify through the repechage.

Marlborough Boys College and Hamilton Boys High School are the first crews to book their spot in the final of the boys under-18 coxed four (the Springbok Shield) while the remaining crews will head to repechage.

Veronica Wall of Ashburton College impressed on day one of the regatta winning her heat in the girls under-16 single, under-17 single and under-18 single and will race the heat of the girls under-18 quad on day two of the regatta

Tomorrow’s racing will see the rest of the heats completed and repechages begin, while quarter-finals will be raced on Wednesday, semi-finals on Thursday, with finals split over Friday and Saturday. The regatta runs for six days, with the event concluding on Saturday 9 April.

To see the day sheet for Tuesday 5 April (Day 2) of the 2016 Aon Maadi Cup: http://www.rowit.co.nz/mads2016/daysheet?ds=2

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