Regatta Reports: NZ Masters Champs and Aoraki 1k

These two regattas were combined after Covid 19 forced the NZ Masters Championships to be postponed from September.  It was decided in consultation with New Zealand Rowing, South Island Rowing, and the Aoraki group of clubs that this date would work.  The two regattas are a good fit as they are both 1000 metres in length and the Aoraki already had a good number of Masters rowers attend it.

Friday was given over to racing five blocks of Masters rowing.  The day was overcast with rain showers periodically, in practise this also gave us flat water.  Racing was good all day and completed on time.

Saturday racing included three blocks of Masters and two blocks of the Aoraki.  The Aoraki regatta is specifically for novices, although a large number of races were 50% novice, 50% experienced rowers. This always makes for some valuable racing for novices. The weather had a small amount of wind start to bother us during the afternoon, and immediately after rowing had finished for the day blew hard enough to halt rowing if we had still been on the water. Originally it had been planned to hold Masters Interprovincial eights on Sunday morning, but with clubs being in zones these were not able to be raced.  Instead we offered a long distance race of 3km.  Two eights and three quads raced in blustery conditions.  The wind delayed the start of the Aoraki regatta and at 9am the start was shifted to the 500m mark.  These short sprints offered different racing to the athletes.  At 11am the start was moved back to the 1000m start and we were able to complete all of the regatta except the last 50 minutes due to wind.  All crews at the start were shepherded back to their zones by umpires and safety crews.

Regatta Report courtesy of Chief Umpire Christine Moffat.

A Lake Ruataniwha stunner (Photo: M Hawke)
NZ Masters Champ Overall Points winners Union RC (Photo: P Midgley)
Crews battle the chop during the long distance race (Photo: M Hawke)
Winners of the Group D 2x: Simon Smith (Dunstan) and Kelvin Maker (SIR Complex Custodian) (Photo: P Midgley)

The regatta was operated under level two conditions which meant that zones of not more than 100 had to be established and isolated. The discovery of a person in Christchurch on Wednesday with Covid caused the organisers some concern, and reinforced the need for social distancing and zones at the regatta. 

South Island Rowing and regatta officials are very appreciative of the many messages of thanks that have been received from Rowing NZ, Wellington, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Union and numerous other clubs and individuals. It is a significant undertaking to plan and run regattas under the Level 2 restrictions and the whole organisation team is very grateful for the understanding, support and compliance of those who attended. We look forward to rising to the challenge again and seeing even more of our rowing community at the Otago Champs in December.