As reported in the Whanganui Chronicle recently, June 9's second race of the Blinkhorne & Carroll Winter Series, over 6km, was won again by the Whanganui Outrigger Canoe 6-man crew of Hyland, Hammond, Kofoed, Taputoro, Lee and Butters, with a 89 per cent prognostic (33m 8s).

They were 10 per cent ahead of Horowhenua legends Kevin Horan and Bruce Tate.
Sponsor, Pat Carroll from Union BC was a close fourth and an Aramoho/Union E-Grade Quad of M Bridger, Kilmister, Wright and Stewart rounded out the top 5, with 77 per cent Prognostic.

Fastest crew home was the Whanganui Collegiate crew of Haldane, B Hogan, Hanna and Yorsten in 23m 14s, but generally school and age group club crews struggle to beat hardened Masters rowers at this time in the season.

Race 3, over 7km, has been bought forward a week to this July 7, to enable racing for the selected Under 18 and some Central Regional Performance Centre (RPC) squad triallists, who are attending a camp here this weekend.

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This is prior to many of them heading back to Wellington or across the strait to Marlborough.

It is likely the race may be a bit down on numbers from AWRC, with their Whanganui High School senior rowers unlikely to enter after their big Year 13 Ball, but the other RPC rowers should make up for it.

Sean O'Neill is the head coach at this camp, which will be based out of Union BC, with Union and Collegiate boats being used.

The weather and water has been so settled lately, so lets hope it can hold out a few days more, to show off our Awa and associated facilities.

As I wrote this, the Henley Royal Regatta was getting underway in England, with local interest focused on the AWRC Coxless Four of Luke Watts, Tom Monaghan, Hamish Maxwell and Hugh Pawson in the Wyfold Challenge Cup.

This crew raced a very strong London Rowing Club in Round 1 of their two boat 2112m race, early this morning (NZ Time).

They gave it absolutely everything, had a cracker of a race and only lost by about the same length as Mahe Drysdale won his 2016 Rio Olympics gold - less then a bow ball!

They will be bitterly disappointed, but should be proud of a gutsy effort and could now enjoy 'strawberries and pima', in true Henley fashion.

Other local interest will be in the NZ Defence Force crew, which often trialled and rowed out of Whanganui in their build-up to race in the Kings Cup – a race commemorating the centenary of the 1919 Royal Henley Peace Regatta.

There will be crews from the original six nations, as well as Germany and Netherlands racing in knock out format this week.

NZ Rowers, Kerri and Jackie Gowler and Chris Harris will be racing with their respective rowing partners in the Hambleton Pairs Challenge Cup (Kerri), Remenham Challenge Cup (Jackie for eights) and Double Sculls Challenge Cup (Chris).

Interestingly, the remarkable Mahe Drysdale is racing two events - Grand Challenge Cup (his new men's eight) and Diamond Challenge Sculls (single), where he is going for a record seventh Diamond win.

So tune into YouTube if you're really keen and don't need much sleep!

Talking about lack of sleep, I enjoyed watching our amazing NZ Women rowers win four World Cup Gold medals in World Cup 2, Poland last weekend and many of us will be in for another sleepless night watching World Cup 3 from the Netherlands, July 12-14, to see more girl power and hopefully some improved results from the rest of the squad.

Mahe Drysdale with the 2019 NZ Mens Eight. Photo by Steve McArthur.
Mahe Drysdale with the 2019 NZ Mens Eight. Photo by Steve McArthur.