The London Olympics last year has propelled the profile of our sport in this country. Our two Olympians, Matthew Trott and Eve MacFarlane, both finished 7th in their respective quads events - achievements to be very proud of at the highest level. In the U23s, Lucy Spoors won a Bronze medal in the U23 quad last year and will this year try to gain selection in an elite crew with Eve as the next Olympic cycle begins.
Closer to home we've got used to the less than ideal situation of having the boats
outside on the Porritt Park hockey turfs but the new boat shed at Kerrs Reach is a
welcome sight for us all. It will provide us with security and a home much closer to
the water than the last 2 seasons. The building itself is now 99% finished and
racks will be installed before we kick off next season.
This year has again been a challenging one on Kerrs Reach. Not only have we
spent almost the whole 2nd season without a shed, the water available for training
has been limited with the closure last September of the Avondale Road Bridge.
These disruptions will continue as the north side of that bridge and the others
further downstream are repaired in the next year or two.
This season has however been very positive for the club with a sharp rise in
membership. This was sparked with an increased interest in the sport following
the London Olympics, we then ran a small but successful learn to row program.
d open day to get our season started. We have during the course of the season
started rowing at 2 'new' High Schools, Papanui and Cashmere which will be a
boost for the club in the future.
We took a small but enthusiastic team to the Nationals in March. The Novice men
learned a lot and were unlucky not to make an A final. Our Novice women also
rowed well at the regatta and Kate McKenzie and Jo Foster claimed the first
medal for the club, a bronze in the novice double. Later that day Logan Keys
rowed a fantastic race to win the Club single by 2 lengths. That performance
earned him a national trial and subsequently a place in the NZ U23 coxed four
that will race at the U23 World Champs in Austria in July. Rangi Ruru was our
only school to send rowers to the regatta and contested the Novice eight where
they finished second to some particularly stiff competition.
This year has seen us host Lincoln University for their short Uni games campaign.
This is a relationship we hope will grow for the future and hopefully grow into a
source of club rowers for us.
Our schools have also had a good season generally although medals at the
Maadi Cup regatta proved hard to come by. The biggest improvers have been
Rangi Ruru who despite not winning a title at Maadi have been developing a large
squad, made 15 A finals and won medals in 3 of them this year to be our top
performing school. CBHS and CGHS also brought medals home from a number
of A finals reached.
Following Maadi, Fran Hlavac (CGHS), Tom Clyma and Liam Smith (CBHS) and
Kate McDonald (RRGS) where invited to trial for the S.I. U18 team. Fran, Tom
and Kate were selected to the team and contributed to the Southerners claiming a
fourth win in a row over the North Islanders. Lucy Hutchinson (RRGS) was invited
to trial for the NZ Junior team. Lucy was unsuccessful on this occasion but with
another 2 years to go in this age group we wish her all the best for selection in the
Following the London Olympics one of the CRC's stalwarts, Matthew Trott
announced his retirement from Rowing. Trotty (as he's well known by his friends)
started rowing while at Christ's College in the mid 90's and joined the club with a
large group of CC old boys in the summer of 98-99 which contributed to the
growing success for CRC at the time when we won our Centennial Oar twice in 3
years. Since winning his first Premier title in the Quad in 2004 he has amassed at
total of 18 Redcoats and represented NZ from 2007 to 2012. He is now putting his
Degree to good use working in the rural banking sector in the Waikato.
So, all of this progress has been refreshing and very positive, we just have to
make sure it continues!