Although the Whanganui River has largely escaped the terrible floods that have hit the South Island over the last few days, the river did breech its banks and Aramoho Whanganui Rowing Club moved a few of its lowest sited boats upstairs and had to mop out the bottom of its club rooms again on Sunday.
Fortunately, this club is very well organised and well versed in the added responsibilities of being a member of a low lying river club. As far as I know other clubs, including kayak and waka ama may have just escaped this time.
I'm told this club recently held a special meeting to consider a couple of issues, including adding the "H" to its name. They ran a very open, transparent process and had a good turn-out of new and much older members, including members who started their rowing in the former Wanganui Rowing Club which was situated in the current Waimarie Riverboat Centre.
The club voted to add the "H" to their name, in line with the Government Decision in 2015. I understand the Wanganui Rowing Association will also vote on this issue at its AGM this year and confident it will head the same way, which seems very appropriate giving the river has always been spelt with an "H" and is now its own legal entity - Te Awa Tupua.
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The best of New Zealand's Under 23 rowers have just finished the World Under 23 Rowing championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, on what appears to be a very flat and fast man-made 2000 metre course.
While our elite rowers have been in blinding form in Europe recently, New Zealand has found it much tougher in Plovdiv, coming away with only one medal overall, although it was an impressive gold to the Men's Quadruple Scull.
The only other A Final crew was the Womens Double Scull, with Whanganui Rowing Association rower's Ella Toa of Clifton and Nicola Baker of Aramoho placing 6th in a hotly contested final.
Former Aramoho rower Martin O'Leary was a key member of the Men's 8, which drew a tough repercharge earlier in the week and failed to quality for the A final, however had a great B Final win for 7th overall, although did the 4th fastest time.
The domination small nations like New Zealand have had over the last 15 years should get more difficult if the top under 23 nations at the moment can continue to develop their athletes through to Olympic level, but other factors will undoubtably come into play.
Term 3 should see rowing programmes pick up a notch again in most of our schools as even though winter sports are still a priority, the prospect of summer rowing is only two to three months ahead, with a number of schools around the country already holding training camps in the July school holidays.
I expect that as long as the weather holds we should see a good turnout for the next 6km long distance race on Sunday, August 13 starting at 9am at by the National Library Building down by Moutua Gardens, turning opposite Caffray Avenue in Aramoho and finishing by the Railway Bridge.
It would be great to see a good turn out at Union Boat Club's August 19, 7.30pm "Perfect Strokes" bingo fundraiser, which is raising funds to fix its boat ramp that was broken in the 2015 floods and to raise funds for a new boat for its school rowers. It's only $10 per ticket for entry, one round of bingo and a complimentary drink. Ring Dianne Ph. 027 313 8507 or Carolyn Ph 021 145 3167 to get your tickets.