South Island Secondary School Rowing Regatta

Mar 15, 2023

Over 1000 young rowers converged on Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel last weekend for a big few days of competitive racing at the South Island Secondary Schools Championships RegattaThe following regatta report was prepared by student rowers Lola Ritchie and Chloe Murray

Last weekend, twenty-three Mt Aspiring College rowers competed on Lake Ruataniwha at the South Island Secondary Schools (SISS) Championships Regatta. Over a thousand competitors participated at this event, representing a total of forty-four schools from all over the South Island. The SISS is the final full team regatta for the season, after which a smaller team travel to the Maadi Cup in two weeks time.

It was quite a windy weekend, with the wind getting so bad on Saturday afternoon that racing had to be postponed (and our tent blew away at the boat park)... our rowers handled the tough conditions well making it into six A finals and six B finals. A great showing for our small club.

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There were a number of highlights over the weekend:

The heats of the boys under 18 single sculls saw Jem Curtis placing first and Anton Jones placing second in the same heat, sending them both straight through to the A finals. Jem Curtis then joined Philip Massey in a double where they placed first in their heat and went on to place fifth in their A final. These results were cause for celebration as it qualified all of the boys for Maadi Cup (the New Zealand Secondary Schools Champs) which is taking place on Lake Karapiro at the end of this month.

Annie Wells and Abbey Pedersen both had strong outings in their single sculls, with Annie placing an impressive third in her B final and Abbey sixth in her heat. Shot girls, great results for your first ever single races!

Both of the U17 girls quad sculls crews should be happy with their races. Lola Ritchie, Annie Wells, Annika Massey, Kate Ritchie, and cox Caroline Smith placed a very commendable fourth in the A final and quad two of Chloe Murray, Abbey Pedersen, Pieta Craig, and Jess Gould, coxed by Holly Brooks, came seventh in their heat.

The U16 quad of Chloe Murray, Pieta Craig, Sophie Tuck, and Jess Gould, also coxed by Holly Brooks, gained a fifth place in their heat - just missing a chance for the B final.

The U15 coxed quad scull of Lucy Radford, Hana Jones, Nova Whiston, and Sienna Marsden, with cox Holly Brooks, placed a comfortable seventh in their B final, with the second Quad of Fenella Millen, Lauren Bensemann, Neve Twiname, Catie Pascoe, and Caroline Smith placing 7th in their heat.

Annie Wells and Annika Massey placed first in their U17 doubles heat in a commanding performance and fought hard for a fifth in their close A final. An exciting race.

Girls Under 16 double sculls Jess Gould and Sophie Tuck placed seventh in their doubles heat and Chloe Murray and Pieta Craig recovered from a blade which lodged itself under the double in the first 500m to place eighth in theirs.

Our novice rowers had an impressive outing in their Octuple Scull, placing second in their heat which gave them a full ride to the A final. The niggly conditions thwarted their chance for a placing but they will still be satisfied with sixth.

  • Does your club have news you'd like us to share? Email it through to [email protected]

This was a great end to the season and we are extremely proud of all the efforts from our Wanaka Rowing Club/Mount Aspiring College rowers. We left knowing that we had tried our best and represented our school and club with enthusiasm and respect. A big thank you to all the coaches, managers, trailer towers and parent helpers - we wouldn't have been able to do this without your endless support and encouragement - and to the home chefs, because feeding 23 + hungry rowers is not to be taken lightly!

Huge appreciation to the Alpine Group and team “Dinky’ whose vans we have used all season - incredibly generous.
And a final thank you to all of our supporters too, the cheers from the team during the finishing stages of a 2000m race can make all the difference. Wishing good luck to all our rowers heading to Maadi.

Main image (Supplied): Jem Curtis and Phillip Massey in the boys Under 18 Double Sculls


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