On a day in which the sport remembered Sir Don Rowlands, the finalists in the historic Maadi Cup served up a classic encounter of which the godfather of New Zealand rowing would have been proud as Hamilton Boys' High School edged Christ's College by half a canvas.
Played out in steadily falling rain, the final event provided the perfect finale to the six-day regatta.
The Christchurch crew opened up a clear advantage after 250m and by the 1000m mark led Hamilton by half a length. However, it was Hamilton who paced their race to perfection and by 1500m the two boats could not be separated.
Hamilton nudged ahead at 300m, opening out to a one-seat lead only for Christ's to respond. The finishing line arrived just in time for Hamilton who flashed past in 6:07.43 - 0.42 ahead of their rivals - to clinch a hat-trick of Maadi Cup titles and a 10th in their history.
Auckland Grammar claimed bronze from St Paul's Collegiate in fourth.
St Margaret's College triumphed in the day's other marquee event, the Christchurch school regaining the Levin Jubilee Cup to clinch their third victory in the past four years with a dominant display in the girls' Under-18 eight.
In the race for the minor medals, EGGS powered home to secure silver from Waikato Diocesan in bronze.
St Paul's Collegiate won the Under-18 four + and with it the coveted Springbok Shield, while also seeing some of its top rowers gain the interest of the NZ selectors, namely Henry Wills, Connor Gordon and Tom Hilsop.
Ben Watkinson enjoyed success in the boys' Under-18 single sculls final. The student from Dilworth, a school not noted for its rowing, put in a tenacious performance to secure the Charlie Stapp Cup.
Hamilton BHS 1 put on a masterclass to land gold in the boys' Under-17 coxed fours final by a length-and-a-half. The victorious crew - which included cox Matthew Deller up against his brother Finley who was racing the second string boat for Hamilton BHS - finished exactly four seconds clear of their nearest rivals. Westlake BHS finished strongly to take silver with Hamilton BHS No 2 boat winning bronze.
Waikato Diocesan crushed the opposition by more than five lengths to clinch a hat-trick of titles in the girls' Under-18 novice coxed fours event. St Peter's pulled off a minor shock to defeat Hamilton BHS by half a length in the final of the boys' Under-18 novice coxed four. Hamilton BHS claimed the boys' Under-16 coxed eight title by a length from St Kentigern with a dominant display.
King's - including the Gaze brothers, Hunter and Grayson - crushed their opposition to win the boys' Under-15 coxed quadruple sculls final by more than three lengths. Macleans secured second in 6:47.07, just 0.14 clear of St Peter's School in bronze.
Rangi Ruru Girls School delivered a commanding performance in the final of the girls' Under-18 coxed eight. Baradene took silver, with Westlake GHS third.
Hamilton BHS maintained their vice-like grip on the Eric Craies Trophy with a fourth successive victory in the boys' Under-15 coxed four event. Featuring five of the crew who struck gold in the boys' Under-15 eight on Friday, Hamilton held clear water on the opposition by the 1000m mark before powering away to claim victory by more than four lengths. Macleans - who were sixth at halfway - grabbed silver.
The Under-15 programme concluded with the finals of a new event, the coxed octuple sculls. The girls' race was won by St Peter's School, who eased to a one-and-a-half-length success ahead of St Kentigern, with St Peter's stroke Amy Butler collecting her third gold medal of the regatta.
In the boys' equivalent, King's eased to a one-and-a-half length victory from Hamilton BHS. Glendowie took bronze.
In the top six section, St Kentigern had a tight two-wicket win over Westlake BHS. Angus McKenzie top-scored for Westlake with 40 but they could post just 117, which St Kentigern ran down in the 46th over. Both schools lead with 14 points. The MAGS-Rosmini match was abandoned because of rain with Rosmini 60/8.
King's bowlers William MacCulloch (5-14) and William St John (4-22) ran through Rangitoto for 71, which King's knocked off for the loss of six wickets.
In the bottom six, Liston beat Macleans by 50 runs, while the Avondale-Takapuna Grammar was abandoned with the latter just 22 short of victory.
The Auckland schools finals were held last Saturday, although the Senior A1 boys only completed the round-robin and the semifinals and final will be in September, at the end of term three. A weary Westlake GHS had to fight off a spirited challenge from St Kentigern. With the tie poised at 4-4, Paige Alter won the No 6 singles to give Westlake an exciting 5-4 win. The Westlake Junior A1 won their final 7-2 and St Cuthbert's won the Intermediate A1 final 6-3. In the boys, Auckland Grammar beat St Kentigern 6-3 to win the Junior A1 with the intermediate final between Grammar and St Kentigern postponed because of rain.
In the final round-robin tie in the Senior A1 boys, league leaders St Kentigern recorded a 9-0 win over Sacred Heart. Grammar defeated MAGS 8-1 while King's narrowly overcame Rosmini 5-4. The semis will be: St Kentigern v Sacred Heart and Westlake BHS v Auckland Grammar.
In last week's nationals in Wellington, Rosie Cheng again led the way for Westlake GHS, which beat St Peter's School of Cambridge on a countback, while Scots College of Wellington defeated St Kentigern 4-1 in the boys.
Sacred Heart are still in line for a repeat of last year's "three-peat" after clinching the boys' North Island title last weekend in Auckland with a 9-7 win against rivals Auckland Grammar. Tournament MVP Ryan Pike scored a penalty and a buzzer beater within the final 20 seconds to win it. Now they have a chance at next week's schools nationals in Wellington to emulate the class of 2014.
Defending Auckland, North Island and national girls' champions Westlake GHS beat Mt Maunganui 6-1 in their final.
Rangitoto won bronze in both the boys and girls, 8-7 over St Pat's (Silverstream) and 7-5 over Baradene, respectively.
The Throw for Gold athletes were in the thick of medals and records at last weekend's North Island SS championships at Mt Smart Stadium.
There were no less than 10 gold medals: Junior girls' shot: Rebecca Toatasi (Otahuhu) 11.75; Junior girls' javelin: Tayna Murray (Santa Maria) 30.95; Intermediate girls' shot: Maddison Wesche (Lynfield) 15.35; Senior girls' discus: Ofa Hakeai (AGGS) 41.57; Junior boys' shot: Andrew Viane (De La Salle) 14.66; Junior boy's discus: Issaac Viane-Mulitalo (Dilworth) 39.80; Intermediate boys' discus: Tua Herman (Auckland Grammar) 51.77; Senior para shot: Harry Crawford (King's) 11.98; Senior para discus: Harry Crawford (King's) 32.72; Senior para javelin: Harry Crawford (King's) 25.55.
The star turn was Wesche, who broke Val Adams' longstanding intermediate shot put record by 15cm. Adams texted: "Records are made to be broken and it could not have been done by a more deserving athlete." Wesche will compete at the U18 world champs in Colombia in July.
Para athlete Harry Crawford of King's won three golds, and broke a record in the senior shot put. Throw for Gold athletes also picked up 22 medals at the Greater Auckland Champs.
MAGS athlete Niven Longopoa did the double, winning the senior boys' 110m hurdles in a record time of 14.52s along with the long jump with a leap of 6.78m.
Sacred Heart's James Uhlenberg is stamping his mark on middle distance running. After winning the 1500m and 3000m at the Greater Auckland schools event, he took gold at the North Islands in the 300m and silver in the 1500m. His schoolmate Jabez Veamatuhau won gold in the junior boys' 200m in 23.83s.
Massey is toasting the success of its First XI boys' side which recently won the Geyser tournament in Rotorua.
Playing seven games in three days, Massey won six and dropped one, 4-0 to St John's, Hamilton. But they turned the tables on them in the final, winning 1-0 at the International Stadium.
Trident HS of Whakatane beat Hamilton's Hillcrest 1-0 in the girl's final.
Epsom Girls' Grammar School has extended its winning streak to 15 years in a row at the girls' Auckland regional secondary school championships.
EGGS took home first place at the recent competition at Lake Pupuke, maintaining an unbeaten run that began in 2001.
St Paul's Collegiate student Taylor Cockerton has wrapped up the 2014/15 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship title with a dominant performance at the final round at Hampton Downs, North Waikato.
The 17-year-old took maximum points from the sixth round, qualifying fastest and winning all three races.