As I indicated in a previous issue, the New Zealand Elite Rowing Team that recently left for
Europe to contest two World Cup regattas and the Royal Henley on Thames regatta in England have shown a clean pair of heels to the rest of the World with some stunning performances at the first world cup regatta in Poland.
Our three superstars, Kerri Gowler, Chris Harris and Rebecca Scown all came away with gold medals, with Gowler and her partner Grace Pendergast winning the Womens Pair in a stunning world best time of 6.49.08.
In my mind they could well be the new Bond and Murray, at least for this current Olympic cycle and quite frankly I'd be surprised to see them beaten all the way through to the next Olympics.
The other standout performance came from Central rower Robbie Manson, who has been leading the prognostics in NZ. Manson won the Men's single in a phenomenal 6.30.74, over 8 seconds ahead of many notable scullers in the minor medals and 3 seconds faster then our great double Olympic champion, Mahe Drysdale's previous world best.
The kiwi rowers are currently racing at Henley, the world's oldest and most famous regatta, prior to racing on the Rotsee course in Lucerne Switzerland in early July and then heading back to NZ for a final trial, some more cold winter training and a very late World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida in late September.
My only concern is it is very early for our kiwi rowers to be racing so fast and looking so lean with three months to the Worlds and so early in a new Olympic cycle, but they are a very talented, focused and committed group of athletes.
A favourite part of any sports cycle is the end of season prizegiving and Aramoho Wanganui and
Union Rowing Clubs have recently held these important occasions to recognise outstanding achievement and acknowledge precious volunteers.
While I can't feature all prizes, some notable awards from Aramoho's include Dave and Colleen Dudley winning the Amalgamation Trophy for most outstanding club contribution, Jamie Bridger winning the Wright Family Cup for most outstanding oarswomen, Luke Watts winning the Jones Family Cup for most outstanding sculler, Bruce Osborne winning the Mallasch Trophy for significant Masters contribution, Niamh Mullany winning the Spriggens Cup for most outstanding coxswain and Hugh Pawson winning the Butzbach Men's Cup for most outstanding lightweight rower.
Cameron Lawrence won the Brock Memorial Cup for most outstanding Secondary School rower and the talented Niamh Monk, the Whanganui High School Supporters Cup, as well as top female regatta points. Trevor and Jacs Rush kept it in the family with top masters male and female regatta points.
Over at Union's prizegiving Ally Keenan won the Ron Crombie Cup for most improved sculler, Maggie O'Connor the Bell Brougham Cup for most improved female rower, Donny Thompson won the C W Paynter Cup for most improved male rower, with Ben Young winning the Parents Committee Trophy for best school novice and Siena McLean winning the S Hogan Cup for best overall novice.
The Tonks legacy continues with the Alan Tonks Memorial Trophy for most promising rower going to Kurt Browning who also won the Fergusson Cup for best crew with Xavier Mohr.
The famous C A Healey Cup for best coxswain went to Bella Duncan and Xavier Mohr won the Students Cup for best overall student, while World Masters Gold medallist's Martin
Bridger won the Smithies Cup for most points by a male club member and Pat Carroll the
President's Cup for most improved master's male.
Wanganui Collegiate School has its rowing prizegiving this week after it got postponed prior to the end of term one due to near flooding in Whanganui.
The next 6km winter series race is in the school holidays on Sunday, July 9, so may loose a few people away on holiday, like my family, that should be compensated for with more kayakers hopefully available and possibly some more visiting rowing clubs getting in some winter training miles on the Whanganui River and perhaps breaking that magic 90% prognostic time.