Maadi Cup now into triple figures
Steady growth in entries since 2000 has boosted the 2017 Aon Maadi Cup Regatta to full capacity.
‘‘We had 800 competitors in 2000 and this year we have 2200 plus reserves, so we’ve tripled our numbers in the last 17 years,’’ said Rowing New Zealand chief executive Simon Peterson.
‘‘We’ve got to the point where we can’t grow any more.’’ The event will be held at Lake Kara- piro from March 27 to April 1.
Peterson said including Australian schools had been discussed but a full race schedule would make it impractical.
‘‘Volunteers do a wonderful job running more than 500 races but there are only so many days in the calendar and hours in the day,’’ he said.
Peterson put the event’s success down to the groundwork of New Zealand Secondary Schools Association volunteers in creating a well-oiled, vibrant regatta.
‘‘Really it’s a festival of rowing, so the atmosphere is very attractive for young rowers, parents and coaches. Yes, there’s a serious competitive side, but they really enjoy the atmosphere and the team work that goes behind getting to such a significant event.’’
The Aon sponsorship had provided a strong professional identity for the event as well as allowing Rowing New Zealand to bring in Sky TV, a big screen, live streaming and ‘‘activation of other activities around the event’’.
‘‘And a lot of credit has to go to the schools for the rowing programmes they offer, and the coaches for their commitment.’’
Peterson said the regatta had a ‘‘vital’’ role to play in feeding athletes into Rowing New Zealand’s elite high performance programme.
INSIDE: 2017 Aon Maadi Cup Regatta special liftout.
PAGE 25: Cambridge results, secondary schools rowing champs.
Rowing New Zealand Executive, Simon Peterson.