The 2019-20 rowing season has had some highs and some absolute lows.
From the wonderful finals and medals, to the cancellation of the Maadi Cup for the first time since World War II and the cancellation of trials for North versus South Island under-18 teams, New Zealand junior teams, the 2020 world senior, under-23 and junior world championships, masters regattas and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Before we say farewell to the 2019-20 season, here's a brief recap of the top-end results of the Whanganui Rowing Association.
The 2020 Rocket Foods NZ Rowing Championships in February at Lake Karapiro, with 46 clubs and 825 rowers competing, resulted in a gold medal for Union Boat Club's Alistair Bond and Justin Evans in the men's premier lightweight double, four silver medals to Clifton (New Plymouth clubs) in the women's novice double and quad, women's under-19 double and women's senior quad (composite with Cambridge), and a bronze medal each to Aramoho Whanganui Rowing Club in the men's premier quad and Whanganui Collegiate School in the men's under-19 double sculls.
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The 2020 Aon North Island Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro, with nearly 1900 competitors from 99 schools, resulted in a gold medal to Whanganui Collegiate in the boys under-18 double sculls for Leo Hanna and Blake Hogan, as well as four silver medals in the girls under-15 quad, girls under-16 and 17 four and girls under-18 novice double, and three bronzes to the girls under-18 novice quad, girls under-18 quad and girls under-17 pair. d three Bronzes to the Girls Under 18 Novice Quad, Girls Under 18 Quad and Girls Under 17 Pair. Cullinane College won a bronze medal in the boys under-18 novice quad. Sacred Heart Girls College (NP) also won a bronze in the girls under-18 novice double and New Plymouth Girls High School won a silver medal in the girls under-18 single scull.
The Whanganui Rowing Association had to postpone the start of the 2020 Blinkhorne and Carroll Winter Series but has now rescheduled. Aimed at getting young and old - rowers, kayakers and waka ama competitions - eventually back on our awa (river) to keep the competitive juices alive and build strength endurance over the winter months. Pat Carroll, the principal of Blinkhorne and Carroll, is again generously supporting this series, with over $1000 in cash prizes from first to fifth place, as well as a monthly spot prize, which goes from $50 to $150 for 40 or more entries.
The first race this weekend is a 5km Concept 2 ergometer (no sliders) for any New Zealander, rower or not. Details available on www.rowit.nz but you need to complete the 5km (set start distance at 5000m) between Saturday and Sunday at 10.30am, then send your result to email@example.com with your name, gender, date of birth, weight in kg (if you want to enter lightweight), photo of the Concept 2 monitor (showing your result) and you will receive the results by email and a request for your account if you win money. Let's see if non-rowers can beat our rowers.
Further Winter Series races are planned as we progress to Covid-19 alert levels 2 and 1, where restrictions will ease and we are hopeful of some racing on the river. We'll be lifting the distance 1km each month on Sundays June 14, July 12, August 9 and September 13, and culminating in the Tonks 6km Trophy Race on October 11.
Whanganui Rowing Association is supporting the recommendations of Rowing NZ and at alert level 3 only single scullers who have their own boats, outside of clubs, are able to consider getting on the water but should follow all NZ Water Safety Code measures.