A Queenstowner named in New Zealand’s under-21 rowing team learnt to row on Lake Hayes with the Whakatipu Rowing Club.
Jack Pearson, 18, was named in the team following week-long trials on Waikato’s Lake Karapiro and following outstanding results at the NZ champs on Twizel’s Lake Ruataniwha last month.
His NZ team will compete with Australia and Canada at an international U21 regatta on Lake Karapiro in July.
Last month, representing Clyde’s Dunstan Arm Rowing Club, he won the senior men’s double sculls with another former student of Dunedin’s John McGlashan College, Angus Kenny, and also won silver in the men’s senior quad.
Jack attended Queenstown’s Remarkables Primary, then Wakatipu High, before going to John McGlashan for his final three years at school.
Currently, he’s a second-year law student at Otago Uni on a sports high performance scholarship.
Jack says he started rowing with the Whakatipu Rowing Club towards the end of his first high school year.
‘‘In my first year I didn’t do very well, but the season after it really took off.’’
He credits then-club coach Matt Allen with helping him get some good early results.
‘‘He’s been quite helpful over the years, just giving me advice and the odd training programme, even long after I left Whakatipu [Rowing Club].’’
Nowadays, he enjoys rowing for Dunstan Arm, enjoying the family atmosphere and support from head coach/club captain Simon Smith.
Jack, who still calls Queenstown ‘home’, says there’s no secret to his success — ‘‘probably just time, dedication and consistency, that’s all there really is to it’’.
While representing NZ at home is ‘‘a little bit bitter-sweet’’, it means rowers’ families will be able to attend more easily, ‘‘which is probably a pretty big silver lining’’.