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2021 Rowing NZ Under 21 Team Announcement

  • 12 Apr 21

On 7 December 2020 it was confirmed that due to COVID-19, Rowing NZ did not intend to send athletes to compete at international regattas throughout 2021, excluding the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta and the Tokyo Olympic Games. However, it is still the intention of Rowing NZ to select and support age group squads irrespective of international travel throughout 2021.

Following successful trials at Lake Karapiro from 8-10 April 2021, an U21 team has been selected. The team will train and race together throughout the winter, following one of the two scenarios as announced on 5 March 2021.

Rowing NZ encourages any athletes not selected to the U21 team to continue rowing throughout the winter. The new National Pathway aims to offer support to athletes in their home clubs, schools and universities and athletes are able to gain selection onto the pathway through the winter regional programmes. Further information and a link to sign up to receive further details can be found here.

Women's Sculling

Eva Hofmans, Dunstan Arm Rowing Club / Yale University

Alice Fahey, Star Boating Club / Southern Methodist University

Phoebe Collier, Whanganui Collegiate Rowing Club

Polly Wenlock, Porirua Rowing Club / University of California, Los Angeles

Women's Sweep

Shakira Mirfin, Invercargill Rowing Club / University of Waikato

Isobel Eliadis-Watson, Waikato Rowing Club / University of Waikato

Lucy Burrell, West End Rowing Club / Stanford University

Olivia Hay, North Shore Rowing Club / University of California, Los Angeles

Men's Sculling

Finn Hamill, Waikato Rowing Club

Kobe Miller, Wairau Rowing Club / University of Otago

Evan Williams, Waikato Rowing Club / University of Waikato

Logan Docherty, Wairau Rowing Club

Men's Sweep

Joshua Gordon, Waikato Rowing Club / Harvard University

Joshua Vodanovich, Waikato Rowing Club

Bowen de Gouw, North Shore Rowing Club / Boston University

Samuel Shotter, North Shore Rowing Club / Auckland University


Timothy Heritage, Avon Rowing Club

Harry Molloy, West End Rowing Club / University of Otago


Max Cossill, Waikato Rowing Club / University of Waikato


Hannah Starnes - Lead Coach - Women’s sweep coach

Fiona Bourke - Women’s sculling coach

Bryce Abernethy - Men’s sculling coach

Guy Williams - Men’s sweep coach

Coaching Team

Hannah Starnes

Hannah started coaching at Wellington College when she was working as a cardiac physiologist at Wellington Hospital. It was here she developed her passion for coaching. She became head coach of Nelson College for Girls in 2015 where she remained for 4 years. During this time Hannah helped with coaching the RPC alongside two coach development programs run by Sport NZ and HPSNZ. Hannah’s first coaching role with RNZ was the South Island U18 team, followed by trans-Tasman University team and U21s. In 2019 Hannah was selected to coach the Junior women’s quad which went on to win gold in Tokyo at the Junior World Championships. In September 2019 Hannah moved to Cambridge to develop and coach the junior program at Waikato Rowing Club, a job she has had for 2 seasons. Hannah was again selected to coach juniors in 2020 and this year will be lead U21 coach forming part of the coaching leadership team alongside Tom Stannard (U23s) and Nick Barton (U19s). Hannah is a passionate and driven person who enjoys being part of a team and empowering her rowers to get the most out of themselves on and off the water. Hannah has been involved in many development opportunities as well as identifying her own development needs and interests. For the past three years Hannah has been involved in RNZ coach programs, including the Prime Minister Scholarship coaching group and the RNZ Career Coach programme. Hannah was also recently selected onto the Te Hapaitanga programme which is a HPSNZ women’s coaching group for aspiring HP coaches across all sport codes. Hannah has a degree in physical education and a post grad dip in medical technology. Her other main passion alongside rowing is art and she is a self-employed artist specializing in private commissions and murals based around nature.

Fiona Bourke

Fiona grew up in the Central Hawkes Bay but didn’t start her rowing journey until joining the Otago University Rowing Club in 2007. Fiona first represented New Zealand in 2010 as a member of the U23 Women's Eight. She transitioned to the elite team after selection for the 2010 World Championships team to compete at Lake Karapiro and continued to be a part of the NZ elite team for 6 years. Alongside her multiple world cup and championship medals, she attended the London Olympics in the Women’s Quad and was a World Champion in the Women’s double in 2014. Following her retirement from professional rowing Fiona went to the USA to be waterfront co-director of a summer camp under the Camp America program. It was here she connected with Harvard University where she became the assistant coach for the Heavyweight Women’s crew. Part of this role included Coaching the crews in preparation for the Ivy League champs, recruitment, and logistical organisation. Since returning to NZ in 2019 Fiona has been assistant coaching at Auckland RPC and more recently Waikato RPC and was selected as U21 coach in 2020. Fiona is a qualified accountant, a degree she completed while she was part of the NZ rowing team and has since completed an Advanced Gelato course at Gelato University in Bologna, Italy. However, Fiona’s involvement over the years with young athletes pursuing their goals has left her passionate about working in the development space and contributing to the progression and support of these athletes.

Bryce Abernethy

Bryce’s first introduction to Rowing NZ was as a university athlete in 2012 where he was part of the trans-Tasman team in the men’s lightweight four. Between 2013-2016 Bryce went on to represent NZ in the U21 team, World University team and U23s for two years. During this time, Bryce was able to complete his Bachelor of Physical Education at Otago University. After calling time on his rowing career due to injury, he went to do a Postgrad diploma in Physical Education and Master’s of Applied Science where he specialised in strength and conditioning. Bryce has experience coaching both rugby and rowing with his first rowing head coach role at John McGlashan College in Dunedin in 2017 – 2019. During this time Bryce assisted with Southern RPC and the Otago Interprovincial team over the winter. Alongside coaching Bryce has been involved in delivering strength and conditioning to a number of teams including the Taieri Rugby Football Club, John McGlashan College and the Canterbury Rowing Association. In 2019 Bryce became the Assistant coach at Auckland RPC, with his selection this year to coach the U21 team being his first NZ team coaching role.

Guy Williams

Guy has recently returned to full time rowing coaching taking on the Director of Rowing role at St Andrews College in Christchurch at the start of the 2019/2020 season. Guy has an extensive history of coaching which he began doing when he was 17 years old. After leaving school Guy coached in the UK and Australia. In 2013 after returning from Kinross Wolaroi in Australia he coached the Southern RPC. That same year he also coached South Island U18 men’s sweep and U21 women’s sweep crews for RNZ. Guy stepped away from coaching for a while in 2014 where he spent time completing his building qualification and assisting other rowing programmes including Southport School in Gold Coast, Auckland Diocesan and St Kentigern’s College. From taking some time out he found his passion for rowing is working with young adults, teaching them the skills required to continue in the rowing journey beyond school.