​Big Boats Show Their Speed on Day 2 of Aon Maadi Regatta

It was another big day of racing at the 2023 Aon Maadi Regatta with 94 races being contested across almost 10 hours of racing. Day 2 of the Aon Maadi Regatta saw a mix of 77 heats, 13 repechages, and one quarter final raced on a breezy Lake Karāpiro.

In the girl’s U18 eight, 18 crews lined up over three heats to compete for a spot in the events final which will be raced on Saturday. Rangi Ruru Girls’ School continued their dominant run in the under 18 events and took out wins in both heat one and two, with Christchurch Girls High School managing top spot in heat three. Saturday’s A final will determine the winner of the famous Levin Jubilee Cup, 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 17 times. In 2022, Rangi Ruru Girls School took first place, with St Margaret’s College taking silver, and Rangi Ruru Girls’ School 2 taking bronze.

In the boy’s U18 eight, Hamilton Boys’ High School won gold in 2022 and look to be strong contenders for a podium finish in 2023 after taking first place in their heat today. However, it is the crew from St Bede’s College that has been turning heads, winning their heat and claiming the fastest time overall - five seconds faster than their closest rivals. It has been 32 years since the one and only time St Bedes College raised the Maadi Cup overhead and the crew will be doing all in their power to ensure the trophy returns to Christchurch with them. Kings College took first place in heat three and also move forward to the A final. 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.

In the girls under 16 double, 40 crews over five heats lined up for progression through to the semi-finals, with crews outside of the top 2 moving to repechages or elimination. Cashmere High Schools Poppy Wyndham and Abbie Higgins took out top spot in heat two and claimed fastest time overall with 8:21.75, however Iona College’s Angalla Carney and Libby Windhager are hot on their tails taking out heat one in 8:21.96.

A strong group of rowers have made the trip from Twizel Area School and have made an impact in both the girls and boys novice sculling events. Despite only have 12 athletes attending the regatta they have secured wins in the heats of the girls and boys under 18 novice double, girls and boys under 18 novice quad, and boys under 15 double.

The boys under 17 quad had 29 crews take the water in order to take top spot and progress straight to the A final. Heat one provided a thrilling finish with Whanganui High School finishing just 0.12 seconds ahead of Wakatipu High School. These two crews posted the two fastest times overall so it is likely we will see a rematch of this race in the A final scheduled for Saturday. St Kentigern College, Whanganui Collegiate School and St Peters Cambridge also won their heats and join Whanganui High School in the final.

Sponsor support

Aon has been a major partner to Rowing NZ for over 18 years, and the Aon Maadi Regatta continues to be a proudly sponsored by Aon.

Aon is the leading provider of insurance broking, risk management and associated services both in New Zealand and globally. They pride themselves on protecting all different kinds of Kiwis, from young families through to businesses and farms of all types and sizes. With over 950 staff located in offices spanning from Kerikeri to Invercargill, Kiwis will be sure to find a local Aon broker no matter where they live.

The Aon Maadi Regatta remains the biggest secondary schools sporting event in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere and Rowing NZ are proud to work alongside Aon to bring it to life each year.

Tomorrow's schedule includes the remaining repechages and quarter finals. The event programme can be found online at the Aon Maadi Regatta website, as well as the livestream of racing each day thanks to Altitude HD Ltd.