Whanganui is playing host to several North Island and national sporting tournaments this weekend.

More than 400 athletes are expected to descend on the Whanganui River for the North Island club rowing championships today and tomorrow, while the velodrome will feature action-packed racing during the West Coast North Island Cycling Championships. The final two days of the New Zealand Under-15 Softball Championships also run at Wanganui Ballpark today and tomorrow.

Wanganui Rowing Association vice-president and regatta manager Bob Evans said 16 clubs from Auckland to Wellington will compete, with heats starting from 8am this morning continuing on until around 2.30pm, while the finals will be raced from 8am tomorrow finishing mid-afternoon.

"This will be the first time the regatta has been held outside Karapiro for a number of years. Rowers from the High Performance Centres were invited, but unfortunately decided not to come this year. There will, however, be some talented oarsmen competing."


Twelve teams will continue to vie for semi-final and finals berths at the ballpark this weekend. Play starts at 9am both days with the last games scheduled for 5pm today. The tournament winds up with the final at 1pm tomorrow.

Cycling starts at 10am this morning at the velodrome and continues through until around 4pm.