The Westlake Boys Rowing Squad travelled to Lake Karapiro over the weekend of 10-12 March 2017 for the North Island Secondary Schools Rowing Championships. This flagship regatta is the last stepping stone on the road to National Championships (Maadi Cup).
The persistent wind on Friday made for some challenging conditions for the heats but our boys raced admirably and lined up some semi-finals and finals. Saturday saw the wind replaced with rain, but the boys responded well to the flattened water and, by the end of the day, we had 14 of our crews qualify for A-finals, as well as five for B-finals and one for a C-final.
Sunday’s finals day weather was the best of the regatta, the wonderful flat water making up for the occasional showers. The boys performed superbly in their finals, stepping up their intensity alongside the rest of a very competitive field. The senior squad in particular had an incredibly successful day, winning silver and bronze in the under-18 pair early in the day. They followed this with an exciting gold medal finish in the under-18 four at midday, a trophy not won by Westlake Boys since 2010. This squad also picked up a bronze medal in the under-17 four.
The final race of the day was the under-18 eight, the pinnacle event of any secondary schools regatta. Our Senior Eight went into this race as favourites, having won the event at the previous regatta and having easily won their heat on Saturday. Conditions for the race were perfect, allowing all crews to get off to powerful starts. Hamilton Boys High School laid down an early challenge, forcing the other crews to respond and, with 500 metres to go, Westlake found themselves in an uncomfortable 4th position. The final quarter of the race was exciting and intense for the spectators, as four bow balls flew towards the line and the gaps began to close. St Kentigern dropped away, leaving Westlake, Hamilton Boys and Sacred Heart battling it out for the win. In the end, Westlake pulled off an amazing finish to claim first place, less than half a second ahead of Hamilton Boys. This is the first time Westlake Boys has won ‘the double’ – under-18 four and eight – since 2010.
The coaching team is immensely proud of the progress the squad has been making as a whole. The number of finals achieved across all age levels is a great confidence boost for the boys going into the final and most important regatta, Maadi Cup, which takes place on 27 March-1 April at Lake Karapiro.
Summary of A-final results
U17 single: 6th (Aaron Cordes)
U18 pair: SILVER (Baxter Holgate-Simpson, Ben Jury) and BRONZE (Jake Jones, Sam Jones)
U16 quad: 6th (Oscar Andrew, Jayden Tabani-Ivi, Callum Jarvis, Kiardyn Hatch, Dylan Maynard)
U16 four: 6th (Brahm Erdmann, Sam Shotter, Jayden Tabani-Ivi, Oscar Andrew, Gene Offwood)
U17 double: 6th (Aaron Cordes, Hunter Pethers-Boak)
U18 four: GOLD (Jake Jones, Sam Jones, Baxter Holgate-Simpson, Ben Jury, Dylan Maynard)
U17 four: BRONZE (Max Brown, Blake Bradshaw, Angus Shotter, Hunter Pethers-Boak, Dylan Maynard)
U16 eight: 5th (Brahm Erdmann, Sam Shotter, Jayden Tabani-Ivi, Oscar Andrew, Kiardyn Hatch, Sam Le Cocq, Mitch Hohaia, Oscar Dorbeck, Gene Offwood) and 8th (Ben Fullam, Zachary Knight, Ian Qiu, Felix-Foxx Burnell, Nelson Pinder, Reece Walthew, Lucas Rawlings, Callum Booth, Scott Cosslett)
U15 four: 6th (Bowen de Gouw, Nicholas Garner, Aubrey Sima, Matthias Wong, Sam Rickard)
U15 octuple: 7th (Bowen de Gouw, Nicholas Garner, Aubrey Sima, Harrison Goodall, Matthias Wong, Oscar Dorbeck, Jared Barry, Blake McGlashan, Raith Fullam)
U18 eight: GOLD (Max Brown, Ben Jury, Baxter Holgate-Simpson, Sam Jones, Angus Shotter, Blake Bradshaw, Jake Jones, Hunter Pethers-Boak, Gene Offwood)