The 2019 Aon Maadi Cup was competed for on Lake Karapiro near Cambridge last week with 2152 rowers and coxswains from 129 schools across New Zealand competing for 50 NZ Championship titles, including the famous Maadi Cup for the Boys Under 18 Eight.
Fittingly, and showing much courage and respect after the recent Christchurch tragedy, Christchurch Schools were dominant in both boys and girls Under 18 Eight events, with St Margaret's College winning the Levin Jubilee Cup in a nailbiting finish from Waikato Diocesan for Girls in second and St Peters, Cambridge third.
The Boys Eight was dominated by a huge tussle between 2018 winner, Christs College and Christchurch Boys High School.
Christchurch Boys had a tremendous regatta winning 7 golds and 2 bronze medals prior to the Maadi Cup, with Under 17 rower, Scott Shackleton the standout.
Christchurch Boys High got across the line first in 5.54.3, grabbing the Maadi Cup off Christs College, with Auckland Grammar 9 seconds back in third place. Shackleton made this his 4th title after previously winning the Boys under 17 Single, Double and Eight to win four titles and stroke Christchurch Boys High to its first ever Maadi Cup win.
Whanganui Collegiate still retain the most wins with 17 Maadi Cup wins, still seven clear of any other school.
Talking about Whanganui Collegiate, they were the standout Whanganui School, as expected, after coming off a successful North Island Champs.
Collegiate took away 28 rowers/coxswains, entered 21 events, made 10 A Finals and 3 B Finals, with every one of their rowers making at least one A or B final. All their under 18's achieved the Rowing NZ Top 10 Pin.
Their Boys Under 17 and 18 Coxed Quadruple Scull of Tim Haldane, Blake Hogan, Leo Hanna and Samuel Yorsten, with cox Hugo Dalgleish won a very close silver medal in the under 17 event and a close bronze in the Under 18 event, beating North Island Under 18 winners, St Peter's School, with dominant Maadi Under 18 Single Champion, Jason Nel in the crew.
The Girls under 17 Coxed Quad crew of Charlotte McKinlay, Phoebe Collier, Charlotte Robb, Ruby Hawley-Wedd and cox Bella Stevenson-Watt were devastated to miss a medal by .06 second in a great race.
The Girls under 17 coxed four with Alyana de Fresne in and Hawley-Wedd out and Dalgleish coxing had a disappointing race by their standards to finish 6th but Lydia MacLean, Collier, Catherine Pearce, Chloe Lennox and Dalgleish had a commendable race for 5th in the Girls under 18 Coxed Quad, with Whanganui High School's only A Final crew of Zeah Brewer, Niamh Monk, Jaimee Bridger, Ella Dudley and cox Campbell Monk a disappointing 8th place for them but still a commendable Top 10 Pin and letter from Rowing NZ.
I was very impressed with the fight from the Collegiate Girls Under 18 Eight of MacLean, Lennox, McKinlay, Pearce, Collier, Du Fresne, Robb, Madison Gundry and Dalgleish who placed 5th and battled for third and fourth place for much of the race.
The young under 15 Girls squad proved their selection for the NZ Champs by placing 5th in the Octaple and 8th in the Eight, with a crew of Emma Pearce, Tessa Norman, Emily McKinlay, Greta Murphy, Hanna Kilmister, Annabel Symes, Samatha Hayes, Bridget Jones and cox Lucy Monckton, with Marty Hazelhurst replacing Kilmister in the Eight.
Collegiate will be delighted to have six rowers; McKinlay, Collier, Du Fresne, Hogan, Hanna and Yorsten named as North Island Under 18 trialists from April 14-16, which is the step towards NZ Juniors and higher representation. Young head coach, Tyler Scott has been named to coach the North Girls team, which will be a great experience and a real credit to him.
I imagine Whanganui High School, Cullinane and Whanganui Girls College will be generally disappointed with their results. High School sent 21 rowers, in 16 events, made only the Under 18 Girls Quad A final as noted, but seven B Finals and one C Final.
The Under 17 Quad with Mikayla Manville and Niamh Murphy in and Monk and Bridger out was 10th overall, as well as their Under 18 Novice Quad of Georgina Ross, Messina Su'A, Perris Adam, Danja Grunwald and cox Jemma Tan. Niamh Monk ended up 12th overall in the Girls Under 18 Single, Manville and Murphy a credible 13th in Under 17 Double and Jordan Manville 18th out of 60 in the Boys under 16 Single.
Leigha Stormont of Girls College ended up 18th out of 64 in the Girls Under 17 Single and gave Novice rower, Aaliyah Grant great experience in racing the under 17 Double.
Cullinane College had 11 rowers entered in 10 Events and made one B final and two C Finals. The Boys Under 17 Double was 6th in the Semi Final, and I understand Tomasi Connor had to pull out of the B Final due to a family bereavement, leaving Tama Casserley to gain 16th place with Neo Tichbon.
Connor won the C final of the Boys under 17 Single, finishing 17th out of 69, the largest event. Jayde Hawkes, Cameron Daignault and the Boys Under 17 Quad struggled with the high standard but surely gained from the experience.
Full results can be found at http://rowit.nz/mads2019/results and Sky Sport has a highlights show from April 3, with the first highlights on Sky Sport 4 Wednesday, April 3.