Lindisfarne College's Henry Windhager and Jacob Lorkin set tongues wagging at the inaugural Hawke's Bay indoor rowing championships in Hastings on Saturday.

They row a pair together outdoors and their times were almost the same over the 500m and 1000m at the indoor championships hosted by the EIT Institute of Sport and Health at the Mitre 10 Park. Lorkin won the under-19 age group titles over both distances and took 3m10s to complete 1000m and 1m26s to complete 500m.

Windhager won the under-17 age group titles over both distances and took 3m08s to complete 1000m and the same time as Lorkin over 500m.

"That's a good sign for their pair," their Lindisfarne College eight crew co-coach Jock Mackintosh remarked afterwards.

"It was a case of similar circumstances for Connor and Kade who row a double together," Mackintosh said referring to Connor Rowland and Kade Barham.


Barham, a son of former Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby team midfield back Andy Barham, won the under-15 boys 1000m title with a time of 3m36s, Rowland was a second faster in winning the under-16 title over the same distance and he also won the 500m title in his age group with a time of 1m38s.

Emma Downey, who was a member of the Hawke's Bay Rowing Club's intermediate women's four which won silver at the March outdoor nationals in Twizel, was the outstanding female performer on Saturday. Competing in the under-17 age group she stopped the clock at 1m40s for 500m and 3m34s for 1000m.

Kate Stewart, a member of the Hawke's Bay Rowing Club's bronze medal-winning women's novice eight in Twizel, completed the under-19 girls double winning the 500m title in 1m51s and the 1000m title in 4m03s.

Arthur Donaldson completed the novice double winning the 500m title in 1m30s and 1000m title in 3m17s. Michael Polhenz won both masters titles stopping the clock at 1m44s over 500m and 3m50s over 1000m.

Alex Wilson was impressive in winning the open men's 500m title with a time of 1m25s. Wilson was a member of the Hawke's Bay Rowing Club's senior men's eight which won gold at the 2014 nationals.

Rowing great and double Olympic gold medallist Eric Murray attended the champs and passed on valuable tips to the competitors. He holds the second best indoor rowing time in New Zealand of 5m41s for 2000m.

"Eric was great and very engaging with the rowers. It made for a real buzz. In a first for Hawke's Bay Rowing, Eric and Concept 2 indoor rowing boss Gary Reid, brought a software package that simulated the racing by projecting 'boats' onto a screen. So although it was indoors, rowers could see exactly where they were placed during the race. Rowing commentator and coach David Mackintosh called the races adding extra spice to the event," Mackintosh said.

He pointed out there are plans to expand regional championships into a national competition with regional results being simultaneously fed into a national database. This will allow rowers to see how they have performed alongside their peers throughout the country.