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1970 Westlake Boys' High School Senior Rowing EightThe Westlake Boys’ High School Rowing Society was first established in 1970 when a dedicated group of parents decided to assist a number of students who were keen to get involved in rowing. The Society was incorporated in 1991. From a small beginning of 8 rowers, the Westlake Boys’ Rowing Society has now grown to a typical size of 50-60 rowers per year – one of the largest and best known school squads in the country.

Our Learn to Row course runs from Term 1 through to Term 3 and training is held at school in the purpose built rowing gym and at Lake Pupuke after school from Monday-Thursday. After the boys have mastered the basics and are proficient at rowing, the boys progress to become a member of the U15 squad and begin their racing career in Term 4. Boys in the U15-U18 crews will train most days, before and after school and over the weekend. Training for these boys takes place both at school and out of the newly developed Hobsonville Wharf facility. All boys will be racing throughout Terms 1 and 4, mainly at Lake Karapiro.

2013 Westlake Boys' High School Rowing U18 EightWestlake Boys’ Rowing has received many awards at the many regattas held throughout the rowing season, including the Maadi Cup Regatta, the annual national school championships held alternately at Lake Karapiro and Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel. Our first Maadi Cup win was in 1976 and then again in 1983 and 1984. In addition the school has won many medals in the different championship titles, including the Lightweight U18 4+, who are 2013 Auckland, North Island and National NZ champions. We have also  been on the medal podium at Maadi cup for 5 years in a row, something no other school has managed. A list of events can be found at

Athletes who started their rowing careers at Westlake and who progressed to represent New Zealand in successful crews include:

  • Finn Howard – 2013 U23 World Rowing Championships – Gold in the Eight and 2010  Junior World Championships
  • Marty Davenport – 2013 Junior World Championships -Silver medal in the coxed quad
  • Cameron Webster and Michael Brake – Gold Medallists at 2012 Junior World Championships
  • Mike Stanley – Gold Medallist at 1982, 1983 World Championships
  • Barrie Mabbot – Gold Medallist at 1983 World Championships
  • Andrew Hay – Coxswain of the 1982, 1983 Gold Medal-winning Eights at the World Championships
  • Eric Verdonk – Medallist at 1988 Olympics

Learn To Row Program

Westlake Boys High School has a strong and popular learn to row program (LTR), based at the North Shore Rowing Club on Lake Pupuke. It is divided into 3 phases;

  1. LTR taster sessions x 8
  2. LTR program at Lake Pupuke
  3. Selection into Novice Development Squad

LTR starts in Term 1 and runs through into Term 3.  These LTR sessions will take place at Lake Pupuke directly after school 2-3 times a week. During term 3, there will be a selection process to invite boys to become part of the Novice Development Squad, to train with the rest of the WBHS rowing squad, over at Hobsonville at our main training centre.  In order to proceed to this level, boys will need to have reached the required skill level and have shown commitment and potential in rowing, during the LTR program.

During these sessions you will:

  • Learn the names and functions of the various boat parts and oars.
  • Learn how to safely conduct yourself in the boat house and training area.
  • Master the basic rowing stroke firstly on the rowing machine (erg) and in the training barge/ rowing boats
  • Learn how to correctly handle the training barge and rowing boats into and out of the water.
  • Learn how to row in crews in competitive boats
  • Learn what is physically required to become a competitive and successful rower.

What do I need to bring/wear?

  • Close fitting and warm exercise clothing (ideally thermals/lycra/skins) which won’t restrict movement.
  • Hat and Sunscreen.
  • Running shoes and socks.
  • Water bottle and any snacks.

What’s next after Learn To Row?

On completion of the LTR program, there will be a selection process, where boys will be invited to join the full WBHS rowing program at Hobsonville, where they will train and race in the U15 squad

WBHS Junior regatta

Each year we hold our very own Junior regatta the day before Head of Harbour regatta. This is a great warm up for Head of harbour and gives the more junior and inexperienced crews a great opportunity to race over a 1000m course. A very talented WBHS U17 rower Joe Canham,  made the following video clip of our crews at the Junior Regatta and the HOH regatta the following day.

Westlake Boys’ High School puts much emphasis on its success in rowing. Positions in the squad are keenly sought after and the enthusiasm and dedication of the rowers and coaches are immense. Leading up to the North Island Champs and the Nationals, weekly training session times can add up to over 20 hours. The boys will attend the Spring training camp in October and the Summer training camp in January at Epworth, in order to prepare them for the racing season ahead. Here the boys will cement their technique, friendship and team spirit and learn what it really takes to adhere to disciplined hard work . Boys who row together at Westlake form life-long friendships.

Maadi Video

Teacher in Charge: Miss N Marriott, Mr J Stanley
Head Coach Mr Mike Stanley
School coaches Mr P Rea

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