INAUGURAL CORPORATE ROWING REGATTA
HELD SATURDAY 1 APRIL 2023
ON LAKE PUPUKE, TAKAPUNA, AUCKLAND
3 crews comprising: –
- training from St George’s RC,
- training from North Shore RC and
- Women’s Novvies from North Shore RC
Racing comprised: –
A 2km erg relay race, where each crew member raced 200m each in relay format
2 approximately 500m races – where the first race all crews went off together and the second race was a handicapped start based on the first race results
There was blood sweat and competitive spirit. Who would have thought that 2 months ago, that we would have 3 groups of people racing off against one another in an erg race! There was a high level of interest from supporters – it was fantastic to see and the noise levels were high.
The results were:-
- First – Cognizant
- Second – Arvida
- Third – Women’s Novvies
On water races
True to form, Lake Pupuke started to blow up with a north easterly coming in over the top and across the planned race course from the Pumphouse to the Clubrooms.
Undeterred the amateur race officials consulted and decided after some intense discussions with our three experienced coxswains, and the “Weather Gods” that a diagonal course from the NIWA buoy to a finish line between the tree at the Clubhouse and chimney of the Pumphouse was around 500m. Boats were launched, with the North Shore 6’3” coxswains sitting proud and in one case crouching ready to for action. The 6hp safety boat powered down to the start line to marshal the boats into a free start lineup with a few unruly seagulls hanging about.
After a quick start the boats all powered away with Arvida making sure they had passed the finish line by taking an extra 3 strokes that got them pretty close to the edge of the lake.
The second race start was staggered, with the Novvies going off first, then 3 seconds later Cognizant and then another 3 seconds later Arvida. This meant for the first 200-250m the racing was very close and evenly matched, however Arvida powered through into the last 200m of the race, with Cognizant following not far behind. An ecstatic Callum was slapping the water and managed to thoroughly drench Justin sitting in stroke seat!
The on water race series winners here were:-
- First – Arvida
- Second – Cognizant
- Third – Womens Novvie
St George President, Mike Harrison told us about the background to the Thomson Memorial Trophy – first awarded in 1930s for a “Business Houses” regatta. During the Second World War years it became an inter-services trophy before being revived as a business regatta trophy in 1960s to 1980s when the event fell into abeyance.
The gold-plated trophy was donated by John Thomson’s widow – he was a very successful single sculler. Interestingly, in the club history book which Mike brought along was a 1965 newspaper clipping about the regatta which quoted Chris Blomfield – then rowing for Air New Zealand and now at North Shore.
All crews were presented with certificates by Annabel Grierson, President of North Shore Masters Rowing Club and Mike Harrison gave the winning Arvida crew the trophy and a bottle of bubbles.North Shore helpers and supporters were all thanked.