​Tight Racing as Crews Nab last final spots

Today was the shortest day on the 2023 Aon Maadi Regatta programme, but stakes were as high as ever with crews getting a second chance of booking a place in the A finals and semis to be raced later in the week.

For the last two days crews have been battling a head wind out on Lake Karāpiro, but conditions changed on day 3 with a lovely tail wind assisting crews down the course and making for some fast times.

One race that benefited from today's conditions was the coxswain's race. 35 crews made up of coxswains rowing and a rower coxing headed up the lake to race 250m and be crowned the 2023 champions. The event was run over two chaotic races with Christchurch Girls High School making easy work of race 1, and Wentworth College taking out race 2. Well done to all coxswains and rowers who participated in the event.

In the girls under 16 single Iona College’s Angalla Carney and Mount Albert Grammar’s Olivia Tattersfield took top honours in repechage one and two, securing themselves a spot in the A final. Carney joins schoolmate Megan Ritchie who qualified directly from the heat. Ritchie and Carney have combined forces in the under 16 double and will be a crew to watch.

Glendowie College and Ashburton High school put on a dominant show in repechage one of the boys under 18 novice double to comfortably progress into the A final. Repechage two proved to be a much tighter race with three crews finishing within one second of each other for the two A final spots available. Waitaki Boys High school crossed the line first in 7:34.49, followed by Wakatipu High school in 7:35.14, and Macleans College narrowly missing out on the A final coming home in 7:35.30.

Repechage one of the boys under 18 quad put on a show for the spectators with Wellington College and Christchurch Boys High School battling it out for line honours. The top four progressed through to the semi-final, but that didn't stop the two crews wanting bragging rights. Wellington College came out on top in 6:46.28 and Christchurch Boys High School close on their heels crossing the line in 6:46.79.

The boys under 17 double is an incredibly tight field in 2023 with less than 20 seconds separating the top 14 crews across both repechages. The top 3 crews from each repechage progressed to the semi-finals, with Otago Boys High School, Whanganui High School and Wellington College qualifying in repechage one, and St Kevins College, St Paul's Collegiate and Takapuna Grammar qualifying from repechage two.

Westlake Girls High School, Sacred Heart Girls College, Marlborough Girls College and Ashburton High School booked the last four spots in the A final of the girls under 18 novice coxed four. They join Marlborough Girls College 2, Christchurch Girls High School, Rangi Ruru Girls School and Nelson Girls College who qualified directly from the heats.

Murdoch Smith from Nelson Boys College was a standout in repechage one of the boys under 16 single. He booked himself a spot in the semi-final and was 10 seconds faster than his closest rival. Quinn O’Sullivan (8:06.34), Angus Hanning (8:06.60) and Nathan Strachan (8:06.72) were caught in a battle for the remaining two spots in the semi-final and crossed the line with only 0.38 seconds separating the three rowers.

Race of the day came from Westlake Girls High School’s girls under 18 coxed eight who had a fantastic race and qualified for the A final. Westlake Girls were an unexpected threat after finishing 6th in their heat but thrived under pressure and stole line honours off Whanganui Collegiate School. St Margaret’s College 2 took the final spot in the A final after winning repechage 2.

In the boys under 18 coxed 8 Sacred Heart Auckland and St Peters Auckland pushed past Auckland Grammar and St Andrews College respectively to book their place in the A final. They join St Bede’s College, Westlake Boys High School, Hamilton Boys High School, Christchurch Boys High School, Kings College and Christs College for the big dance on Saturday afternoon.

Tomorrow moves into the business end of the regatta with a range of quarter and semi-finals, along with C and D 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.