Club and elite rowers line up at Lake Ruataniwha for the 2015 NZ Rowing Champs

16/02/2015 by Steve Knowles

The 2015 Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships start at Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel tomorrow (17 February) with New Zealand’s club and elite rowers lining up to race for national titles.

This year's Championships will have 691 rowers representing 35 rowing clubs and four Regional Performance Centre’s in 72 boat classes. Heats and repechages occupy the first three days of the Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships, and finals are split over Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Racing begins bright and early tomorrow with the men's novice coxed quadruple scull heats which have a 7:30am start time. The last race of the day is set for 6:00pm in the last of six heats for the women's club single scull. The first day of competition includes heats for the men’s and women’s premier single sculls.

There will be a host of New Zealand’s top athletes including elite and under-23 world champions which will highlight the New Zealand Rowing Championships regatta. New Zealand’s top level rowers will compete in the Premier, U22 and U20 grades representing their Regional Performance Centres (RPCs), those include Auckland, Waikato, Central and Southern RPCs.

Rowing New Zealand selectors are expecting some world class performances at this regatta across all the boat classes. The Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships provide selectors the opportunity to identify future talent in New Zealand rowing. At the conclusion of the 2015 Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships selectors will name rowers who are invited to trial for the elite and under-23 team.

"2015 is an exciting year for New Zealand rowing. We are planning on sending a large team to the elite world rowing championships this year, and the focus will be on Olympic events and Olympic qualification. This regatta provides selectors with a final opportunity to spot talented rowers for the elite and under-23 trials." says Alan Cotter, Rowing New Zealand High Performance Manger.

Rowing New Zealand plans to take competitive squads to the upcoming 2015 World Cup events in Varese, Italy and Lucerne, Switzerland and the World Championships in Aiguebelette, France. The World Championship regatta doubles as the first Olympic qualifier. Elite and Under-23 trialists will be named on Sunday 22 February, with trials occurring at Lake Karapiro from 2-5 March, and crews will be named on Thursday 5 March.

The 2015 Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships regatta is hosted at Lake Ruataniwha by Ruataniwha Rowing.