Fab five off to row for glory

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Wakatipu High’s top rowing quad is hoping their recent national accolades will continue at the pinnacle event for secondary school rowing. 

The quad – made up of 16-year-old George Dennison, Latham Jones, Reid Long and Logan Boyd, all 17, and coxswain Henry Matthews, 14 – are among 24 Wakatipu High pupils competing in the prestigious Maadi Cup at Lake Karapiro, near Cambridge, this week. 

The boys are competing in both the novice and elite under-18 events and are expected to make the finals this weekend. The quad has already clocked impressive results, despite rowing together as a four for only a year. 

Novice status is given to rowers who’ve been com­p­­eting for a year or less. 

This season, they have won the under-18 novice boys’ races at the Canter­bury and Otago rowing club champs and the South Island Secondary School champs. 

They also won bronze at the South Island Secondary School champs’ under 18 elite event. 

At the New Zealand Club Championships last month, they took gold in the open novice four event, racing against university students and men. 

Henry also won coxswain of the regatta at the Otago club champs. 

Coach Andrew Jolly says the boys – like all local young rowers – train six times a week on Lake Hayes and he’s been impressed by their results. 

“They’ve already achieved an enormous amount in their opening season,” Jolly says. 

“If they do well this week it will be the icing on the cake.”