Whanganui rowers nudged their way into 12 finals and six semi-finals after day one of the Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro on Tuesday.

The regatta is where senior athletes represent their clubs with pride but this year it also has brand new novice rowers competing on the same course as the elite rowers who have represented our country on the world stage.

Rowers from the Aramoho Whanganui Rowing Club (AWRC) and Union Boat Club are represented, including those in the New Zealand elite squads attached to the high performance programmes.

The AWRC Gowler sisters Kerri and Jackie can rest up until Friday after easily making their respective A finals.


Jackie Gowler is in the women's premier coxless four final, the coxless pairs and the eight, while Kerri is in the premier coxless pairs (oars) and alongside her sister in the eight.

Fellow AWRC rower Chris Harris and former Collegiate lad Martyn O'Leary, both now attached to elite squads but still racing in their club colours, have made it to final events.
Harris teamed with his old mate Robbie Manson to burst into the men's premier double sculls, premier men's eight and the premier men's coxless four finals.

O'Leary made it to the premier men's coxless pairs final with Patrick McInnes and is in the premier men's coxed eight finals crew.

Closer to home, fellow AWRC rowers Luke Watts, Levi Carroll, Nathan Luff and Guy Thomson are into the men's senior coxless four final, while Thomson, James Sandston, Cameron Lawrence and Jonty Thomson have pushed their way into the men's coxless four final.

AWRC's Georgia Nugent-O'Leary, who is also training at higher levels, won a spot in the women's U22 single sculls final finishing fifth fastest in the heats. She also made it into the senior women's single scull semi-final.

Watts and Luff are both in the senior men's double sculls semi final after winning their heat by eight seconds, while Watts is also a semi-finalist in the senior men's single sculls. Luff is in the semi-final of the U20 mens single.

Jonty Thomson and Levi Carroll teamed to make the semi-final of the men's double sculls, while Union rowers Donnie Thompson and Kurt Browning also made the same semi.

Browning and Thompson teamed with Carroll and Jonty Thomson to form a composite AWRC/Union crew to make the men's coxless four semi-final.

AWRC's Ally Bennett is into the women's club single sculls semi-final after finishing fourth in her heat, while also made the women's club double sculls semi alongside Niamh Monk.

Racing continues through until Sunday with semi-finals beginning on Thursday and finals on Friday.