Well Christmas and New Year have come and gone, with most clubs and rowers having a down time over this break to rest, recover and get enthused for a six week burst to the Rocket Foods NZ Rowing Champs in Twizel (February 19-23) and/or 11 week slog to Aon Maadi Cup (NZ Secondary Schools Champs) in Cambridge (March 25-30).

Some school rowers will head down to Twizel, although it is primarily an event for non-school rowers and our elite rowers, but with Maadi Cup in the North Island this year our schools will usually take a bigger contingent of rowers, most certainly A final contenders but with nearly 2500 rowers at Maadi, it is often considered that those who have trained consistently well should get to experience the buzz of this massive regatta; the biggest Secondary School event in the Southern Hemisphere.

However, since my last report prior to Christmas, Whanganui rowers have raced at the Karapiro Xmas Regatta (December 14-16) and Aramoho and Union sent good contingents to the Hawkes Bay Cup Regatta last weekend.

The Xmas regatta had 55 clubs and 2357 rowers so very competitive as are all major rowing regattas in NZ. Aramoho sent the largest group of 34 rowers/coxswains, making 21 A finals, 9 top 4 places and a win to Niamh Murphy and Mikayla Manville in the Girls Under 17 Double.

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Collegiate sent 18 rowers/coxswains, made 12 A finals, 8 top 4 placings and 2 wins, to Leo Hanna and Blake Hogan in Boys Under 17 Double and Hanna, Hogan, Tim Haldane, Sam Yorsten and young cox Bella Stevenson-Watt in the Boys Under 17 Coxed Quad.

Union send 12 rowers/coxswain and made 4 B Finals, with Neo Tichbon and Tomasi Conner winning the B Final of the Boys Under 17 Double.

It's impossible to do justice to other notable performances at this regatta but Aramoho had three nice 2nd places in the Mens Senior Pair (Hugh Pawson and Tom Monaghan), Girls Under 17 Coxed Quad (Zeah Brewer, Mikayla Manville, Niamh Murphy, Ella Dudley and Niamh Mullany) and again in the Girls Under 18 Quad, with Niamh Monk and Jaimee Bridger replacing Manville and Murphy.

Collegiate had two 2nd places with the Girls Under 17 Coxed Four (Charlotte McKinlay, Phoebe Collier, Alyana Du Fresne, Charlotte Robb and Hugo Dalgleish) and Boys Under 17 Coxed Four (Hanna, Hogan, Jack Norman Haldane and Dalgleish) loosing to Hamilton Boys High by a whisker.

Unfortunately Whanganui Senior National Sportsman of the Year, Luke Watts had to withdraw from his Premier B and C Final races due to spending a night in Waikato Hospital with Asthma. Aramoho had to re-arrange a few crews but unfortunately missed the start of the Mens Open Eight at the end of the regatta.

I will cover the Hawkes Bay Cup Regatta in my next column but Aramoho and Union are back training for the Cambridge Town Cup and North Island Club Champs regatta at Lake Karapiro (January 25-28) and Collegiate gets back on the water on January 17-24 as they hold a compulsory camp at school and will send their junior and senior squads to this regatta, with much interest on how the early season results of their Girls Under 15 squad pan out, in particular at Karapiro.