Young rowers off to nationals

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High hopes are held for 21 Wakatipu High rowers competing in the huge New Zealand secondary school rowing champs. 

The week-long Maadi Cup is held at Lake Ruataniwha, near Twizel, starting Monday. 

The Wakatipu High squad nabbed three golds, three silvers and a bronze at the recent South Island schools’ regatta. 

The boys’ U15 squad – James Ramsay, Dylan O’Connor, Casey Strachan, Jacob Flanagan and cox Nick Foley – are “an energetic bunch”, Wakatipu Rowing Club co-coach Annabel Ritchie says. 

They won the U15 quad and picked up silver and bronze medals in the double sculls at the South Islands. 

Ritchie says the U16 boys’ squad – Alex Hall, Mike Foley, Matt Nicholson, Josh Speight and cox Nick Foley – “have had a few struggles with injuries and sickness but seem to be finding their form after winning the quadruple sculls at the South Islands and picking up a silver medal in the U16 double sculls”. 

These boys won bronze in the U15 quad and silver in the U15 double sculls at last year’s Maadi Cup. 

Also improving are the novice boys’ squad – George Bellamy, Willem van der Kaag, Dan Halligan, Flanagan and cox Nick Foley – and the new U16 girls’ squad of Georgia Bewley, Monique Lynes, Jordan Murphy, Millie Atkins and Bella Nicholson. Two other good combinations are the lightweight girls’ double, Kelby Buchanan and Alex Jamieson, and U17 boys’ double sculls, Cam Williams and Halligan. 

Ritchie says the club has again had tremendous support from the local community. 

Meanwhile, two locals are competing for Dunedin’s John McGlashan College – Clay Forward and Jordan Saville.