Older rowers pull their weight at Lake Rotoroa regatta
AFTER all the excitement of the Maadi Cup regatta, the New Zealand junior trials and the interisland under-18 contest, it was the turn of the older generation to take centre stage this week.
Rowers from 22 clubs gathered at Lake Rotoroa in Hamilton to take part in the Banklink Legion Masters Regatta.
Aramoho Wanganui and Union Boat Clubs sent crews and they returned home with numerous gold medals, which eluded our younger rowers a few weeks back.
Aramoho Wanganui had crews racing in 20 events and brought home 10 gold medals.
Their most successful rower had to be Trevor Rush who raced six times and snagged six golds. Crews race in age group events and Trevor is an F-grade rower.
He won three of his medals in F-grade events: the single, the double with Garth Hammond and the quadruple scull with Hammond, Tony Upchurch and Murray Carey.
He also won another gold in the E-grade eight, which means there were a few younger men in the crew.
Finally, with the help of his daughters Stephanie and Jacs, he was successful in the mixed doubles and quadruple sculls with some help from John Verstappen.
Other multiple medal winners include Garth Hammond, who picked up four golds and also found time to go over to Karapiro to catch up with the progress of the training of the NZ men’s eight stroked by his son, Ben.
Unfortunately training has been hampered by injuries and the eight is called upon to fill gaps in the smaller boats when this occurs.
Back at Hamilton and the Masters regatta, the Union Boat Club picked up their share of the medals with three crews bringing home gold.
Don Gordon and John Palmer relived their glory days from the Champion Union eights in the early 1960s with a win in the H-grade double sculls.
They then teamed up with John Glenn and Ken Howie to win the G-grade quadruple sculls.
A younger combination of Des Healey, Frank Rawlinson, Brett Watson and Pat Carroll won the D-grade quadruple scull.
I got some reflected glory with my son, Sam, who stroked a winning Collegiate School Maadi Cup crew at Twizel back in 1985.
He got back in a boat this year after some years of running and cycling and came away with three gold medals, including a win in the open eights in a pretty useful Auckland Rowing Club combination led by former international Murdoch Dryden.
Dryden rowed in the coxed four at the World Championships in 1994 and 1995, where he won a silver medal.
His father, Alastair, rowed in the eight at the Tokyo and Mexico Olympics back in the 1960s.
The local winter long distance series of races begins this coming Sunday.
The crews will be racing over a 5km course starting at 9am from the Aramoho 2000m finish line, racing upstream to turn off Stewart Street and then back to the finish off the National Library Centre.
No doubt there will be a good entry from the old brigade but it is to be hoped that our younger rowers will be out in force with an aim to put together a worthwhile winter programme in preparation for an assault next March at the Maadi Cup Regatta down south at Twizel.
OARSOME DUO: Dad Trevor Rush and daughter Stephanie row to yet more honours.