The weather gods were smiling down on Lake Karāpiro for the first morning of the 2023 Aon Maadi Regatta with barely a breath of wind over the entire 2000 metre course, and with a packed opening day programme no one could have hoped for better. However, as the day wore on the heavens opened and a dreaded head wind picked up making for choppy waters and tricky conditions for the final few hours of racing.
Today’s racing schedule included 111 races from 8am through to 5.40pm. Karapiro Rowing Inc. (KRI) had over 75 volunteers assisting with the days racing across umpire and safety boats, start and finish towers and everything in between.
Although the day of racing was long, the quality was in no way diluted and crews from every area of the country showed they mean business. The first event on the programme was the boys u17 single with a cut throat progression of top 5 through to quarter finals with the rest eliminated. Te Aho O Te Kura Pounamu sculler, Finn Satler, found himself on the right side of the top five and progressed through to the quarter finals to be raced on Tuesday.
Iona College’s Megan Ritchie and Angalla Carney both battled it out in the heats of the girls u16 single, with Megan claiming top spot in heat four to progress directly through to the A final. Angalla managed second place in heat one which sees her go through to the repechage, however, with her posting the fourth fastest time overall it is likely we will see both scullers in the A final later this week.
Heat one of the girls u18 novice 8+ had supporters screaming on the banks over the last few hundred metres, with less than three seconds separating the top three crews. Rangi Ruru Girls’ School came out on top and progressed directly to the A final, leaving second place Waikato Diocesan and third place St Margaret's College to qualify for the final via the repechage. St Cuthberts College claimed top spot in heat two and have secured themselves a spot in the A final alongside Rangi Ruru.
The boys and girls u18 pair heats were dominated by Christchurch schools with St Bedes College and Rangi Ruru Girls’ School showing their dominance over the event. Both schools had their number 1 and 2 combinations progress directly through to the A final by claiming top spot in their heats, while Christs’ College and St Margaret’s College also won the remaining heats of the boys and girls u18 pair.
Always an impressive race, the girls under 15 octuples battled the wettest and roughest conditions of the day. Waikato Diocesan showed they will be hard to beat, making clean work of their race and coming away with the fastest time overall. They progressed directly to the A final along with Craighead Diocesan, Whanganui High School, Columba College, Hamilton Girls High School and St Kentigern College. The remaining crews will have to fight it out in the repechage for the last two spots available in the A final.
Cashmere High School and Craighead Diocesan put on a thrilling show in heat 4 of the girls u16 coxed quad. Just 0.01 of a second separated the two crews who battled it out for the one and only spot into the A final. Cashmere High School came away with the win in 8:09.01, with Craighead Diocesan just a fraction behind in 8:09.02. These two crews were an astonishing 10 seconds ahead of their closest rivals, St Pauls Collegiate, who were third fastest overall in 8:19.01. All going well for Craighead Diocesan, the u16 girls coxed quad final will be one to watch later in the week.
Make sure to follow along tomorrow for a mix of heats, repechages and quarter finals. For all information you can find the event programme online at the Aon Maadi Regatta website, as well as the livestream of racing each day thanks to Altitude HD Ltd.