The Hawke's Bay Rowing Club is revelling in the successes of some of the younger members in its big turnout for the national championships last week on premier South Island course Lake Ruataniwha.
The club won two novice titles – with the successful women's novice coxed four crew of Lauren Downing, Amelia Taylor, Martine Sandberg, Alice Young and coxswain Georgia Tizard being joined by clubmates Katya Drinnan, Hannah Ritchie, Aimee Argent and Molly Lawson to claim the eights as well.
The young eight are coached by Simon Lack, Hamish Lack and Kelsey Stubbs, who are among about 11 coaches currently involved in the club, all now helping prepare crews for upcoming schools' championships.
At the other end of the scale, Gavin Foulsham, who has since turned 50, put himself in line for world championships selection by winning his category of the para single sculls.
The club also had several other top-three placings, including 2014 world women's single sculls champion Emma Twigg being beaten by the narrowest of margins in her defence of the event's premier women's title, won by rival Brooke Donoghue.
Other second placings for the Hawke's Bay club included a rare double to Levi Robinson, Ethan Byloo, Calvin O'Rourke, Harry Young and coxswain Oscar Ellis, who were runners-up in the men's novice coxed four and quadruple sculls events.
The Clive-based club headed south with possibly its biggest-ever national championships squad with 67, on a venture estimated to have cost well over $100,000 in sponsored and personal contributions.
Senior coach Ross Webb said that with younger members having trained much of the 2019-2020 summer only to miss out on their goal of the Maadi Cup schools championships - cancelled amid the Covid-10 lockdown last March - it was decided to take all rowers, scullers and coxswains who wanted to make the trip.
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As it was, after settling into rented-house accommodation, they were among the hundred having to sit-out the cancelled first two days wondering whether they would get the chance to compete.
Webb said the club members had just arrived when they learned of the Covid-19 level 2 alert that brought the closure of the course for the opening Tuesday and Wednesday of the championships.
Meanwhile, former club member Tom Mackintosh, competing for Christchurch club Southern, was named the national male rower, which he celebrated with a notable premier men's rowing and sculling double.
The Lindisfarne College old boy, who was with the Hawke's Bay club for the first three years of his career, teamed with legendary oarsman Hamish Bond to win the men's pair title and soon afterwards Mackintosh also won the double sculls.