Sensational first day of 2017 Aon University Championships
New Zealand’s rowing talent was on display on the first full day of the 2017 Aon New zealand University Rowing Championships on Lake Hood in Ashburton today.
Despite the threat of ex-cyclone Cook looming Canterbury greeted athletes with near-perfect rowing conditions.
Racing officially commenced yesterday with some great river racing in the championship eight event.
The championship eights race on the Waimakariri River over the traditional two mile or 3.2km course.
Six male crews from four universities raced for the Hebberley Shield and five female crews from four universities competed for the Tamaki Cup.
Otago University’s number one crew clinched a resounding victory in the women’s championship eight event, ensuring the Tamaki Cup stays in the University’s trophy cabinet for the 11 th year running. Otago University’s number two crew secured second and Lincoln University claimed the bronze medal.
Otago University also successfully defended the men’s championship eight title and replicated the one-two seen in the earlier women’s event. Their number one crew, coxed by Kate Bolland, snatched gold, while their number two crew took silver and Canterbury University powered to bronze.
The rest of the racing takes place on Lake Hood over a standard two kilometre course.
The men’s and women’s intermediate eights race is shaping up to be a sensational final, with some very close racing in the heats. Otago secured the number one spot in both events, but will face a tough challenge from other crews come finals racing.
Lincoln University’s Alice Grave put four seconds on Otago University’s Grace Shaw in the women’s championship single sculls heat, while AUT University’s Georgia Keech cruised to victory in the intermediate single sculls heat with a ten second lead over Massey University’s Anna Delong. Keech also secured a convincing victory in the women’s intermediate double sculls heat with crewmate Zoe Winks, ahead of their cross town neighbours from the University of Auckland.
Victoria University’s strong looking women’s intermediate quadruple sculls will be hoping to continue their domination into the finals after a confident win in the heats.
Tournament grade also featured some fantastic racing, with the University of Auckland men’s tournament four putting 11 seconds on the chasing Otago crew in their heat.
With only six weeks of training under their belt the novice grade at the Aon University Championships always provides some remarkable racing.
Otago University’s novice men’s four showed a fine display of rowing and won their heat in jubilant fashion.
Waikato University’s two novice women’s four crews will be hunting down the Otago crews with only five seconds separating them in the heats.
The 2017 Aon New Zealand University Championships is considered the most fiercely contested regatta in the university rowing calendar with 312 athletes from around New Zealand competing.
Results, schedules and entries can be viewed online www.rowit.co.nz