Maadi Cup now into triple fig­ures

Cambridge Edition - - FRONT PAGE - STEPH BELL-JENK­INS

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.

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