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Wonderful win for Waikato University on home water

  • 26 Apr 18

For the first time since it’s inception the University of Waikato has taken out the overall points trophy, known as the Ashes, at the 2018 Aon New Zealand University Rowing Championships, held today at Lake Karapiro. The trophy consists of actual ashes from a fire which devasted the Otago University Rowing Club shed in the year 2000. It is the first time any other university has won the Ashes.

Waikato started the regatta in spectacular fashion winning both the men’s and women’s eights which are run over the traditional 2 miles (3.2km). The Waikato men’s eight dominated the field three lengths ahead of Otago in second and Auckland rounding out third. Waikato also led over Otago in the women’s eight but it was the Otago’s second crew which took the bronze.

Massey University scored the trifecta in the women’s championship single with Amy Mills taking the top honours in a time of 8:47.88, over Georgia Allen in 8:49.64 and Hannah Bailey rounding out third in 8:55.23. Mills and Allen also teamed up and went on to win the women’s championship double. Massey continued its success in the single after also winning the men’s championship single with Harrison Somerville ahead of the two Waikato scullers Jordon Gasson and James Brott in second and third respectively.

Novice racing sees those that have just joined the sport at the beginning of the academic year battle it out, and it the novice racing today did not disappoint with some exciting duels. The women’s novice four was exceptionally tight, so much so that the gold went to two crews with identical times, Waikato and Otago. Following in third place just 3.48 seconds behind was a second Otago crew. A smaller field lined up in the men’s novice fours with Otago taking gold only 0.84 seconds ahead of Canterbury and 37 seconds back to Waikato in third.

Otago University went one, two in the women’s lightweight double sculls. Their number two ranked crew won the gold over their number one crew with the Auckland University of Technology taking away third over several other Otago crews in the race. The lightweight men raced in a pair rather than a double with Waikato’s Gasson and Brott teaming up to take the win over Lincoln University’s Tom Hastings and David Beukes.

Otago also had strong women’s tournament rowers who took away gold and silver in the fours and silver and bronze in the eights.

The University of Auckland ran away with the men’s varsity eight winning in a time of 6:40.73, over the University of Canterbury who had a battle to the line with Waikato who had to settle for third.

Victoria University were strong in the women’s big boats taking out a number of the minor medals across numerous grades. Their varsity single sculler Ally Bennett nabbed a silver after a tussle with Waikato’s Lily Butler who took gold, and Otago’s Grace Wilson the bronze. In the men’s varsity single Jared Brienssell from Otago headed off AUT’s Thomas Ferguson by 0.7 seconds and Nathan Oakley from Victoria was third.

The 2018 Aon New Zealand University Rowing Championships saw 395 athletes from eight universities compete across 4 grades and 32 events.

The overall points were as follows:

Waikato - 123

Otago - 116

Auckland - 22

Victoria - 21

Massey - 19

Canterbury - 19

AUT - 6

Lincoln - 3