A 70km row from Awaroa to Nelson

A 70km row from Awaroa to Nelson celebrated two of the Nelson rowing community’s ‘remarkable men’ over the weekend. 

The Golden Edge Nelson Rowing Club hosted the first Myles Sellers Memorial Row on Saturday in honour of Nelson man Myles Sellers, who died last year. 

Myles’ wife Margarette says the day was emotional, but she and her two daughters are so thankful for the support of the community. She says Myles had a long involvement in the club as a rower going back to his school days and had represented the club at a national level. In more recent times he had reconnected with past rowing friends and had been coaching at the club. “For Myles, it was a way of encouraging people to do a sport that they perhaps thought that they couldn’t do, and giving back to the rowing community.” 

Nelson Rowing Club president Grant Wilson says Myles was an outstanding member of the Nelson Rowing Club.

“Rowing was in Myles’ blood. His great uncle was Darcy Hadfield, the first ever NZ Olympic medallist.”

Darcy won the bronze medal in the single scull in 1920 and subsequently went on to hold the Professional World Sculling Championship title.

“When Darcy was a schoolboy growing up at Awaroa, he would often row a 14ft clinker dinghy across 35 miles (56km) of Tasman Bay for a day out in Nelson, sparking the inspiration for Saturday’s event,” Grant says. “The rowing club saw this as a very fitting way to remember Myles by following in Darcy’s footsteps and starting the event from Darcy’s home in Awaroa.” 

The memorial row followed the coastline from Abel Tasman’s Awaroa Lodge with accessible crew changeovers at Kaiteriteri, Ruby Bay, Rabbit Island and then back to the Nelson Rowing Club. Two five-crew coastal rowing boats completed the journey with safety support boats. Margarette rowed two of the legs including heading back into Nelson from Rabbit Island. 

Grant says coastal rowing is a new part of the sport and the Coastal Rowing Revolution opens up new rowing experiences in the Te Tau Ihu region. The boats are wider and more stable than flat-water rowing boats which make it easier to learn how to row. It is also attracting past members back into the sport. 

“The club is thankful for the support of Myles’ family, members, past members and the team at Wilson’s Abel Tasman that enabled this event to happen,” Grant says. 

The rowing club is holding more events in the region and welcomes new members to experience the sport.

coastal rowing NZ, Nelson Rowing Club

Wildlife alongside the rowers

coastal rowing NZ, Nelson Rowing Club

Coastal views

rowing coastal, nelson rowing club

Moving away from the beach

coastal rowing nz, Nelson Rowing Club

Getting boated

coastal rowing new zealand, Nelson Rowing Club

The squad launch in the dawn light. 

Coastal rowing NZ, Nelson Rowing Club,

Last one in’s a sissy!

Whanganui 25km Coastal Row

COASTAL ROWING – WHANGANUI by Judy Shadbolt, St Georges Rowing Club

On Sunday 27 February, a 25km event was held in coastal boats commencing from the Union Rowing Club, Whanganui. The course was to follow the shoreline along the coast, however,
due to a strong south easterly wind it was decided to row a 12.5km course twice on the river instead.

Four coastal quads were filled with eager participants from various rowing clubs around the country – Whanganui, Nelson, Auckland and Taupo, all ready to rumble by 7am Sunday.
Sunrise was spectacular with a cool breeze already evident as quads were slipped into the water. We were also joined by 3 waka ama crews from down river, a welcome addition to the
fleet.

The course took us under one bridge down river towards to the river mouth where the winds were fairly strong with a reasonable swell, and around a safety boat before heading back up
river with the return leg being against the tide and wind making for a challenging journey. By the time we reached the homeward stretch on the second round the wind had increased quite
dramatically, making the last leg fairly challenging. The water at the final turn towards the river mouth provided sea swells giving us a taste of west coast surf boating – on a smaller scale of
course, nevertheless a sense of what they would experience.

For some members, it was their first outing in a coastal boat and by all accounts, one they would repeat. Coastal rowing allows crews to row in more challenging conditions as the boats
are built to handle bigger seas and the experience is one not forgotten in a hurry.

On behalf of the clubs who were represented, we wish to thank Union RC for their organisation and we look forward to further similar events.

Coastal rowing,  Crew boating

Coastal Crew boating

Coastal rowing sunrise

Coastal rowing sunrise on Whanganui River

Coastal Rowing sunrise

Coastal Rowing crew getting boated

coastal rowing crew see the sights

Coastal rowing crew see the sights of Whanganui