Golden glow: Wakatipu High's South Island-winning boys' U17 coxed quad, from left, Emily Howick (cox), Tiwai Saxton, Will Donovan, Marley King-Smith and Sam McAtamney


Wakatipu High School (WHS) rowers are shaping up well for this week’s national secondary schools Maadi Cup regatta after awesome results at the recent South Island
schools’ champs on Twizel’s Lake Ruataniwha.

With six golds, three silvers and two bronzes, WHS finished second on the points table out of 37 competing schools, beating many rowing-history-rich private schools that invest heavily in coaches and equipment.

They won gold in the boys’ under-17 single sculls (Marley King-Smith), U16 coxed quad
(Marley, Toby Rorrison, Ashton White, Logan Noton and cox Emily Howick), U17 double (Marley and Sam McAtamney), U17 coxed quad (Marley, Sam, Emily, Will Donovan and Tiwai Saxton), U16 single (Ashton) and U18 novice double (Xavier Small and Keegan Green).

At Maadi last year, Marley and Sam won gold in the U16 double sculls — WHS’s first Maadi golds for many years.

Marley’s dad, former Whakatipu Rowing Club committee member Bas Smith, attributes the rowers’ success this year to a good club culture, ‘‘great’’ coaching from Chris Brooks, Shane Muir, John Morrison and Lucy Travis, ‘‘and just a great, amazing support
crew of parents’’.

‘‘Families who have seen the club doing OK over the years have got in behind and supported it, and a bunch of good boys and girls have come through in the last couple of years and realised that they love it.’’

Smith says WHS’s appreciating how beneficial rowing is for young people — ‘‘it teaches them team work, commitment and organisation’’.

Maadi Cup started on Lake Rua taniwha on Saturday and runs for a week.