Aoraki 1000 a great intro to the season for families new to rowing

Words by Christine Moffat (Timaru RC)

Rowers from Canterbury and Otago have just completed the Aoraki 1K regatta in blustery conditions.  This is the first regatta for many novice rowers, and the programme is based around a number of events that are known as 50% Novice events (a combination of experienced and novice rowers).  This enables rowers that may have only been rowing a few weeks to learn to race with their more experienced club members.  Open events and a few age group events, along with a good amount of Masters events round out the programme.

Comments from the boat park included “I never thought that it was going to be this much fun”, “I want to race singles at every regatta now”, and “I want to beat that crew from Dunstan next time”.  It was noticeable the support that senior rowers were giving to the junior members of their squad.  New coxswains were introduced to the race procedures and new parent helpers found out just what was involved.

Some interesting combinations included Masters/novices, brother/sister, parent/child, NZ Juniors (sometimes this has been Olympians)/novices and a family combination.  Everyone involved this regatta agrees that it is important in their club schedule and makes novices much more prepared for the major regattas.

From bow to stroke: Isabel, Charlotte, Jed and Veronica Wall prepare to compete for Ashburton Rowing Club in the Open Quad (photo courtesy of C Moffatt)