This season has again built on the previous year and it is very encouraging to see the club continuing to progress each season. The season kicked off with the biggest corporate rowing regatta we have had so far. We had eight crews train over 4 weeks then race in a 500m sprint regatta in mid-October. In a close final Cosgroves beat Tonkin & Taylor by a quarter length to be the first winners of the new Barrie Jones Shield.
We had a good size squad of both return rowers and new members in our club this season but again the womens squad was much larger than the mens. Our first big outing was to the Marlborough champs up in Blenheim, which was the first time we had been to this regatta in a number of years. The regatta was a great success and we achieved some good results. After seeing what the Wairau River had to offer we made another change in moving our club camp from the usual Lake Dunstan, to the Wairau Rowing Club in Blenheim. The change also allowed a few of our rowers to have some time out to tend to their social lives during the week. Training on the Wairau River was fantastic and we managed to get 10 out of our 11 sessions on the water.
The South Island Club Champs was our first medal regatta of the season at the end of January. The club squad put on a very good performance with some excellent results showing the hard work the squad had been putting in was paying off. We came away from the regatta with 8 medals including 3 golds, including the womens club quad, and mens club double and single.
The club squad was joined by a large contingent from our member schools for the New Zealand Club Champs in Twizel. All up we had about 70 people rowing in CRC colours at the regatta between the club, our schools, and our RPC rowers. It was great to see the club being represented across so many levels and even better to see the number of medals being won! CRC ended up a very respectable 4th in the Centennial Oar with 9 medals being won in total. My personal favourites were the gold for the womens club quad, silver for Angus in the mens club single, gold and silver for Christchurch Girls High School in the u19 four, and a silver medal for Christchurch Boys High School in the mens senior 8.
This has been my third season as club captain and it will also be my final one as I will be moving overseas before the start of next season. It has been a huge learning experience for me over the last three years and I hope I have positively added to the legacy of the oldest rowing club in New Zealand. While moving on from the club is tough I have full confidence on the group of people coming through and the club could not be in better hands going forward. I has been a pleasure being involved with CRC these past few years and I am excited to see what the club is capable of going forwards.