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WRC NEWS

quiz night

SCHICK CIVIL WAIKATO ROWING CLUB QUIZ NIGHT
@THE COOK, WEDNESDAY 31ST JANUARY, 6PM 

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Round up your friends and family for a night of quiz action at the Cook Social Bar! The annual quiz night is back for another year with an aim to raise funds for a new club eight. Gather a group of 4-6 people for an evening of fun. No need to sign up, teams will be entered on arrival with a $10 entry per person with cash or eftpos available. Food and drinks are available to purchase at the bar with some great spot prizes up for grabs. See you all at The Cook on Wednesday 31st January at 6pm

The boys in the boat

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT CINEMA SCREENING
BLUBLOKES CHARITY FUNDRAISER

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Thu, 18 Jan 2024 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Tivoli Cinema, Lake Street, Leamington, Cambridge

Tickets online at Eventbrite link http://bit.ly/48jsifn    

A Blublokes Charity event organised by Waikato Rowing Club Blublokes masters rowing. Get ready for a ripper of an evening with the The Boys in the Boat - along with special University of Washington guest speakers. Join us for an exciting event at Tivoli Cinema Lake Street, Leamington, Cambridge, New Zealand. The Boys in the Boat event is all about raising funds for Blublokes, a fantastic charity to raise prostate cancer awareness. Ticket includes an exclusive Blublokes supported screening of the new release movie, The Boys in the Boat directed by George Clooney. Special guests Ella Cossill and Logan Ullrich, Rowing NZ Summer Squad members and recent members of University of Washington Rowing will be with us to set the scene with some brief backgound on the significance of this true story. UW crews became the champions in the USA, winning the gold medal in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin as described in the New York Times bestseller The Boys in the Boat. We have kindly been donated four W sweatshirts by the legendary head coach of the Washington men's rowing team, Michael Callahan, to support Blublokes. Hear how you can be in to win one of these special items. Mark your calendars and gather your friends for a memorable event at Tivoli Cinema. See you there! With prostate cancer now the 3rd most prevalent cancer (following lung and bowel cancers) responsible for cancer death in NZ, the urgency in creating awareness amongst the population on the importance of early detection is critical. Prostate cancer is insidious, often not presenting symptoms until well advanced resulting in 700 men in NZ dying from this disease each year. Grandfathers, fathers, sons, brothers, uncles and mates. Blublokes purpose is: To advance the health and wellbeing of men in NZ by promoting the importance of early detection and prevention of prostate cancer. Funds raised are reinvested into building scale through seed funding initiatives which in turn builds more awareness and more awareness will save more lives! A legacy for Blublokes is generating enough awareness that perhaps prostate cancer research will eventually receive the same level of support from philanthropy and government as the likes of breast cancer, when it comes to support for screening and supporting advances in treatment options. Registered Charity No.: CC55809 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfEA-udzjjQ&t=5s

caniwi capital

CANIWI CAPITAL PROGRAM

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The Junior Caniwi Capital Program athletes were privilaged to have Ella Cossill (NZ sweep athlete) and Lillian Morton (Nutritionist) talk about the importance of a well balanced diet and key nutrition tips and tricks for training and leading up to race day. In addition to this Aleisha Haworth (Hand Therapist) took the opportunity to highlight pre warning niggles for forearm injuries when rowing and blister management for those well worn and weathered hands out there. The Caniwi Captial Progam is a development platform for school leaver athletes embarking on their club rowing career in having key support people to guide their transition to the wider world of the WRC family. This program is in its third year running and has proven to be a success to date. We are so grateful to have the likes of Caniwi Capital see the vision the club has for junior athletes and provide opportunity for development of young people through the sport of rowing.

BEACH SRINTS

WRC TAKES ON BEACH SPRINTS

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Waikat Summer Performance Hub

What a way to send into the summer racing series! 50 WRC athletes took to Kohimarama Beach in Auckland on the 25th of November for a fast paced 500m return beach sprint series. After a little fundraising at the Legends Dinner the athletes made their way up to the big smoke in the bus for a good old bonding road trip. The lack of ocean rowing experience was made up with 2km endurance skills overall having a very successful day where WRC were dominant in our performance winning many of the races entered. As well as success on the water we also had male and female tug of war teams going unbeaten during the lunch break. Lessons were learnt with time penalties and coxwain steering abilities however smiles all round show what a hit this first beach sprint regatta was for the team. A huge thank you to Swift Racing NZ for lending boats for the event - we will be back! Thank you @photography_meg for the snaps!

WAIKATO SUMMER PERFORMANCE HUB

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Samantha Voss

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Evan Williams

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Katie Lush

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Oscar Ruston

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Campbell Crouch

Josh Vodanovich

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Ben Olifiers

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Ged Wall

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Charlotte Spence

At the end of last season, it was identified that the gap between club rowing and elite level rowing had widened in the aftermath of the winding up of RPC’s. In response, Rowing NZ put out a request to the domestic rowing community for clubs to come forward with proposals to host a Summer Performance Hub as a pilot project for the coming season.   Summer Performance Hub Objectives  • To develop elite and U23 athletes over the summer (Oct – Feb). These athletes have been identified as RNZ 2028 cohort for the LA Olympics and beyond.  • Need to provide the appropriate Daily Training Environment that will support the athletes towards gaining Elite/U23 trials in Feb/March as well as the long-term goal of the 2028 Olympics.  • Individual development of each athlete both physically and mentally, to prepare them for campaigns within RNZ (Elites and U23’s).  • Uncompromising culture of rowing excellence provided by the Hub and lived by the athletes within it.  • To provide a clear high-performance pathway for aspiring rowers and coaches.  The Schick Civil Waikato Rowing Club committee discussed the pros and cons of being involved at length back in April/May. It was decided that as a club synonymous with performances not only domestically but also on the world stage, we should put forward a proposal and start the conversation. After multiple discussions about how it would operate, we were one of two clubs in the country awarded a top tier Performance Hub for this summer. For the agreement to work, we were adamant that the selected athlete group remain very small to not detract from the club.. As such, we have a squad of 9 athletes confirmed for the summer. Rowing NZ will pay a coach independently of the club and will provide funding to the club to cover administration costs as well as athlete subs. All athletes currently selected into our hub were already Waikato club members. Photos by Conrad Blind, Rowing Picture Show.

NZ Masters Championships

NEW ZEALAND MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS

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The Waikato RC Masters Blublokes squad recently competed at the 2023 NZ Masters Champs in Twizel – it was another great Masters event with 300 competitors and 41 clubs present. ​There were ten of the squad present which meant that we were able to race a number of boats over the two days of the regatta. Conditions were pretty hairy with intermittent high winds and rain – one crew even had a small water spout making it’s way down the course. While we were entered in 12 events, only 8 were raced as the regatta was cancelled early on the second day. Despite the challenges the Blublokes squad had a respectable performance with 1 x gold, 3 x silver and 1 x bronze - including retaining the eights title for the men’s D-F coxed eight.  ​A big shout out to Craig Gibbons for organising food, accommodation and general logistics – as well as some award winning coxing. Thanks also to Carrigan Trower for organising the crews and entry, Phil Handford for getting the boats to Twizel and Coach Karl for producing a medal winning team (I’m pretty sure that it was pride, and not relief, that made him tear up at the end of the regatta!)

SUMMER SQUAD

ROWING NEW ZEALAND SUMMER SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT

After an exciting 2023 World Championships just completed which saw our team achieve 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals, 5 A Finals, and 8 Qualification places for Paris, this summer sees a focus on the Paris Olympics while keeping an eye towards the next Olympic cycle. Congratulations to the following WRC athletes who have been names in the squad for the 2023/2024 season.​ Photo by Rowing New Zealand.

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  • Alana Sherman

  • Brooke Francis

  • Isla Blake

  • Kate Haines

  • Rachael Kennedy

  • Finn Hamill

  • Jonte Wright

  • Logan Ullrich

  • Robbie Manson

Interprovs

MAINLAND INTER-PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

​The Waikato Rowing Association representation at the Inter-provincial championships saw 25 entries with 14 podium placings. Twizel put on a treat for the team with a substantial dumping of snow as seen in the picture above taken by Sharron Bennett Photography of the men's quad "warming up" for their race. The picturesque backdrop however didn't fool the team with the typical Twizel wind blowing up later in the day.

HENLEY

WAIKATO TAKES ON HENLEY

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U23's

Henley racing is famous for its one on one / knockout style. On the Sunday before racing starts a draw is made and you are drawn against one crew, if you win you will race the winner of another race in your category. Your draw can be brutal and you can be racing against the toughest opposition on the first day – but that is the beauty of Henley. The draw proved in the four’s favour, with their first race against Thames Rowing Club, which ironically had a crew member – Kristie, who had spent a couple years rowing out of Waikato RPC before moving to the UK. This four was comprised of women who won the Women’s Club Eight last year, the Wargrave Challenge Cup. We were able to get out early and dominate the race, the crew were ecstatic about being able to progress through to the next round. Sam in the single, was drawn against Virginia and despite a slow start fought her way back through the race, if only we could tell her how close she was- as its very difficult to look around in a single, only losing the race by ½ a boat length! The four’s next race was against a Stanford University rowing crew, the newly crowned American Collegiate champions and most of them holding current age group international titles. The Stanford girls were too strong for us, however, we relished being able to race against amazing opposition. What is so amazing about racing at Henley is the crowd and support you get the whole way down the course. Being the only New Zealand club racing, it bought all the kiwis out of the wood work, so while we were deep in the racing pain you could be constantly fired up by people shouting 10m away from you, “GO THE KIWIS”, or “GO WAIKATO”. Notably during the four’s race, the commentators mentioned how exciting the possibility of the club being able to bring out 8’s to Henley to race in the years to come would be. This is something our group would love to work on alongside the club in the future. The opportunity to race at Henley provides up and coming rowers with unique racing experience they can bring back into the New Zealand racing season. It also provides rowers with the ability to make international connections, aiding in their careers outside of the boat, aligning with the club’s vision, “…Growing great people”, and lastly the Henley experience can put our club on the international map. Many people talk about wanting to have a New Zealand experience, so by being a crew that is constantly present at Henley, it will make it attractive to get internationals to come to our boathouse over the New Zealand summer, thus building a stronger team for us and giving ALL of our club international connections for their future experiences. With the help of Steve Wills our group has been able to able to form a great connection with the Marlow Rowing Club. If the club is interested in continuing this connection, they have expressed interest in helping fundraise and help future Waikato campaigns come across to race at Henley. Many thanks to our generous sponsors who helped make the trip happen – Schick Civil, APL, Caniwi Capital, Waitomo, GJ Gardeners and Musketeer Labour. With a special thanks to Ian Paterson for helping connect us with various sponsors. Signing out, Steve Wills (coach), Ben Tyson (coach), Sam Voss, Isobel Watson, Holly Mills, Sophie Egnot-Johnson and Justine Hobbs.

U23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Joshua Vodonovich

Men's pair: 4th place

Finn Hamill

Men's lightweight single: 2nd place

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Ben Olifiers, Edward Lopas & Evan Williams

Men's quad: 13th place 

2023 World Rowing Cup

On the final day of the 2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, New Zealand had one crew left to take the water. Finn Hamill was up against some great competition in the men’s lightweight single scull. In a final that played out very similar to the A/B semifinal, Finn hit his stride through the middle of the race taking second place off the Danish sculler. A fast Italian sprint saw Giovanni Borgonovo move from fourth to first, crossing the finish line just 0.72 seconds ahead of the Kiwi who claimed the silver medal, with Rasmus Lind from Denmark taking the bronze. Six crews represented New Zealand over the course of the week, and all can be incredibly proud of their racing efforts. Athletes representing WRC listed below. Men’s coxed four: 5th place Matthew Waddell (Waikato Rowing Club / UC Berkely), Benjamin Short (West End Rowing Club / University of Washington), Sean McHugh (West End Rowing Club / Syracuse University), Harry Fitzpatrick (West End Rowing Club / University of Washington), Harry Malloy (North Shore Rowing Club) Men’s pair: 4th place Joshua Vodanovich (Waikato Rowing Club), Oliver Welch (Avon Rowing Club) Men’s quad: 13th place Ben Olifiers (Waikato Rowing Club), Edward Lopas (Waikato Rowing Club), Kobe Miller (Wairau Rowing Club), Evan Williams (Waikato Rowing Club) Men’s lightweight single scull: 2nd place Finn Hamill (Waikato Rowing Club) Photos by Art of Rowing.

2023 WORLD ROWING CLUB III

Kate Haines and Laura Glen contested the C final of the women’s double scull. After a blistering start from their field, Glen and Haines used their composure to have a strong second half of the race. The kiwis found a massive wind to finish in 5th place, just 0.34 seconds behind Norway. ​The men’s lightweight single scull is always a rapid event, and Finn Hamill lay down a great performance in his C final. Locked in a battle with the Belgian sculler the entire 2000m, Hamill showed experience beyond his years to keep his cool and come out on the right side of sprint finish. Hamill took 1st place, with the Belgian 0.29 seconds behind. ​Rachael Kennedy raced the B final of lightweight women’s single sculls. After a strong start Rachael crossed the line in 6th place, just 0.1seconds behind Finland who produced a great sprint finish. ​The women’s coxless pair of Kirstyn Goodger and Alana Sherman were the first kiwi crew to hit the water. The duo had a strong start with a gutsy race, crossing the line in 6th place. ​The women’s double scull of Lucy Spoors and Brooke Francis dominated the middle 1000m of their B final. The new mums put up an extraordinary fight over the last 500m to cross the line in 3rd place. ​Matt Macdonald, Ollie Maclean, Logan Ulrich and Tom Murray produced an impressive second 1000m to secure NZs first medal of the regatta. The crew pushed through the Netherlands in the 3rd 500m and never looked back, holding their position and taking the bronze medal behind Great Britain and Australia. ​The women’s four of Phoebe Spoors, Jackie Gowler, Ella Cossill and Davina Waddy held their own in an incredibly tight field. At the halfway mark less than two seconds separated Romania, Australia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. A fast finishing field meant the kiwis finished in 5th place after an epic tussle. ​New Zealand's final race of the day was the men’s double scull of Ben Mason and Robbie Manson. Up against some extremely experienced double combinations, Mason and Manson had a blinder and were well in the mix coming through the 1000m. Ben and Robbie ended up crossed the finish line in 6th place. ​The New Zealand Rowing team now make their way to Italy for a training block before the 2023 World Rowing Championships in September. 

Nick on tour

NICK BARTON INTERNATIONAL TOURS

U19's

After a number of years working in the NZ U19 Rowing Team, it was a huge honor to get the nod to be working with the U23 team this year. As it happened, 2023 was to be the first year Rowing New Zealand was to select and train crews exclusively based in the USA on scholarships at various Universities. My role was to work with a group of 6 rowers and 1 coxswain of which a coxed four would be selected. However, just days before the trial, one of our trialists withdrew and we were left to select a four from five guys – not easy. Working alongside Fi Bourke, Janey Charlton and having John Storey join us for the trial, a men’s four and women’s four and single were selected.  ​For the next 3 weeks, we trained out of the Cal Berkeley boathouse where two of our Waikato Alumni were also based (Campbell Crouch and Matt Waddell). Living conditions initially reminded me of my days flatting at Otago University but after a significant spring clean, things were looking up. Our Waikato man, Matt Waddell was selected in the four, along with Aucklanders, Ben Shortt, Harry Fitzpatrick, Sean McHugh and coxed by Harry Malloy. They were a talented group of guys but because of covid lockdowns they hadn’t been exposed to a world regatta of any kind so the journey of discovery was going to be a big one. ​In Berkeley, we trained on an estuary so it was challenging to understand our speed as we were always either with or against the tide. Using the women’s four in pacing and race pieces, we could see how we were going compared to them prognostically, but neither had any idea as to whether they were fast or slow! We kept plugging away and started to develop a rhythm knowing that when we got to Bulgaria, there would still be plenty of time to make technical gains. ​Bulgaria was hot. When we arrived, Europe was experiencing another one of its heat waves so we were forced to do our training in the mornings and hide out in the hotel in the afternoons. Getting out of a Pockock boat and into a brand new Filippi was a nice change, and the crew made some quick progress with regard to their consistency and rhythm. Although fragile, when they got onto it, they could go fast which was a relief. Although, at this level, no matter how fast you go, it’s never fast enough as we were to find out. ​Onto the final. In preparation we planned to do the same start but knew we had to land on a more efficient rhythm in order to stay in the race in the second 1000m. As things transpired, we were first to the 750m, 3rd through the 1000m and ended up 5th getting rowed through by USA and Aussie at around 1400m. A classic case of fly and die. As we feared, our rhythm was just too fragile and under the pressure of A final racing and a huge first 750m. We couldn’t find it and got burned up before the line. While it was disappointing not to come away with anything shiny, the performance was decent and many good lessons were learned.Over the regatta it was awesome to see our very own Finn Hamill pick up a silver medal in the lightweight single clocking a rapid 6:48 in the final. Equally impressive was our captain Josh Vodanovich rolling through the A final of the pair in 4th place. Ben Olifers stroked the Men’s quad along with Ed Lopas and Evan Williams to a win in the C-Final in a time of 5:53. Oscar Ruston did an amazing job as team reserve and picked up 3rd in the spares race. We hope to see all of these men back in the team for 2024. It’s also worth mentioning that the Schock Civil Waikato Rowing Club had the highest number of athletes represented in the U23 team this year. Bring on the summer. Photo by Art of Rowing.

Anna DeLong's experience coaching the New Zealand U19 Reserve Squad

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​I'm thrilled to share my coaching journey with the New Zealand U19 Reserve Squad at the 2023 U19 World Rowing Regatta in Paris. In this piece, I'll dive into the world of reserve crews and celebrate the journey of one of our own, Logan Spencer. The road to Paris was a blend of planning, resilience, and teamwork. While the main crews usually take the limelight, the U19 reserve squad played a crucial role in the team's successes. Their contributions and steadfast support, often unnoticed, formed the foundation of the collective U19 performance. One challenge stood out early on – deciding where the reserve crews would race before setting foot in Paris. Through winter series races, we aimed to determine their involvement in the main event or the spares race. With early campaign illnesses affecting the squad, the reserves stepped into various selected crews. This left little room for them to train or race in their intended reserve combinations. We adapted to these shifts, highlighting adaptability and unity within the team. The reserves were continuously engaged throughout the campaign to ensure the selected crews could keep training. Just a day before entries closed, we received confirmation that their crews could race the actual events. Logan Spencer, a member of the Waikato Rowing Club, was also a part of the U19 reserve squad. Logan's dedication didn't go unnoticed. Balancing roles as a reserve for the U19 men's quad and eight, he also embraced the challenge of racing in the U19 pair, fluidly transitioning between stroke and bow positions. Logan, along with his pair partner Charlie Poulter, demonstrated determination and resilience, enabling last-minute changes in race combinations on the final day, underlining a commitment to continuous improvement. Another determined squad member was the reserve single sculler, Milly Farrell. Despite lacking prior single sculling experience (and sculling experience in general, as she was a sweep reserve), she concluded the campaign in 21st place. Her progress showcased steady growth, marked by consistent improvements and quicker race times with each round. As I reflect on my time with the U19 team, a clear truth emerges – success results from collaborative teamwork, each rower contributing a unique element. Regardless of their seat, every rower adds value to the crew. The dedication of the U19 reserve squad underscores this collective spirit. Their actions remind us that every rower, no matter their position, propels us closer to victory. Looking ahead, I'm eager to integrate the valuable insights gained from coaching the reserves into leading the women's squad at Waikato Rowing Club in the upcoming season. My goal is to cultivate an environment that fosters growth and learning. So, here's to a season where everyone strives for excellence, regardless of the crew they belong to. Hoping for calm waters and uncharted horizons. Photos by Conrad Blind, Rowing Picture Show.

U21's

U21 TRANS-TASMAN PACIFIC REGATTA

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Congratulations to the WRC reps who wore the silver fern proud at the U21 Pacific Regatta held at Lake Karapiro in August. We are extremely proud of you all! Emma Avril, Emily Gordan, Oli Duncan, Oscar Ruston and Erin Tickelpenny. Photo by Conrad Blind, Rowing Picture Show.

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