NZ Rowing Champs - Single to Manson & Twigg


It was an incredible day for Waikato Rowing Club who took a staggering 35 medals at the 2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships. With 17 silvers, 12 golds and 6 bronze, they received almost double the medals of the next closest club.

credit Vera Bucsu

Open Para Single and Double (Para 1x and 2x)

Three crews lined up for today’s first final - the open para single and double. Gavin Foulsham of Hawkes Bay Rowing Club took gold, with Isabel Wall (stroke) and Anthony Spijkerman of Ashburton Rowing Club taking silver. Waikato Rowing Club’s Ron Satherley took bronze.

In 2019 two-time Paralympian Gavin Foulsham represented New Zealand at the World Rowing Championships in Linz, Austria where he placed sixth in the A final of the PR2 Men's Single Sculls. While 2019 was Gavin’s first World Championship for rowing, Foulsham is no stranger to international competition having attended five World Championships between 1991 to 2006 as a wheelchair marathoner, as well as having competed in the 1992 to 2000 Paralympic Games in Barcelona and Sydney.

Women’s Premier Single (W Prem 1x) - Final

Amidst a shower of rain, it was the reigning national champion Emma Twigg from Waikato RPC who took top honours in the women’s premier single in a time of 8:00.19. Fellow Waikato RPC member Hannah Osborne took the silver in a time of 8:03.99 ahead of Southern RPC’s Olivia Loe who beat out her Elite teammate Brooke Donoghue to take bronze by 0.19 seconds.

Men’s Premier Single (M Prem 1x) - Final

Central RPC’s Robbie Manson took the win in the men’s premier single in a comfortable 7:16.97. Waikato RPC’s Jordan Parry took silver in 7:21.53, with Mahe Drysdale taking bronze in 7:24.93.

In a shift for Manson, earlier this year he indicated his intention to target the men’s double for the 2020 international season, and was recently selected into the boat alongside Chris Harris for the World Rowing Cup II and III. Parry is vying for selection into a men’s quad to contest the Final Olympic Qualification regatta, while Drysdale has been selected as the New Zealand men’s single for World Rowing Cup II and III.

Women’s Premier Double (W Prem 2x) - Final

Donoghue and Loe also lined up against each other in the women’s premier double. Donoghue teamed up with Emma Twigg forming Waikato RPC’s top combination while Loe and Eve MacFarlane were Southern RPC’s only entry in the event. Donoghue and Twigg won (7:35.81) with clear water over Loe and MacFarlane (7:40.65) who then had a battle on their hands against the formidable lightweight combination of Jackie Kiddle and Zoe McBride from Central RPC - who crossed the line only 0.16 seconds behind in third.

Men’s Premier Four (M Prem 4-) - Final

North Shore Rowing Club were looking to retain the coveted Boss Rooster trophy but it wasn’t to be with Waikato Rowing Club’s Flynn Watson (stroke), Shaun Kirkham, Anthony Allen and Charlie Rogerson crossing the line in first with clear water (6:31.54). North Shore had to settle for second in a time of 6:33.88 over Auckland Rowing Club placing third in 7:03.38.

The Boss Rooster remains one of the most prestigious prizes in New Zealand rowing. Traditionally the trophy, which was first contested in 1897, has been awarded to the men’s premier coxed four, however was swapped to the men’s premier coxless four in 2018. Tradition dictates that the winning team has to paint the Boss Rooster trophy in club colours within one hour of the finish, or forfeit a keg of beer to the losers. In a humorous turn of events, fourth place getters Mercer Rowing Club snuck up behind Waikato and stole the rooster and held it hostage until the time was up, meaning Mercer will be rewarded by Waikato.

Women’s Senior Double (W Sen 2x) - Final

Otago University Rowing Club’s Hannah Coulter (stroke) and Juliette Alm-Lequeux took gold in the women’s senior double with West End’s Holly Chaafe (stroke) and Amy Robson taking silver. Cambridge Rowing Club’s Karen Verwey (stroke) and Morgan Dunham took bronze.

Men’s Senior Quad (M Sen 4x) - Final

The final of the men’s senior quad was a dead heat between Waikato Rowing Club’s Karl Manson (stroke), Charlie Rogerson, Jack O'Leary and Josh Toa, and Wairau Rowing Club’s Jordon Gasson (stroke), Sebastian Krappe, Rhys Krappe and Harrison Somerville - each recording a time of 6:31.05. With both crews being awarded gold, Avon Rowing Club’s Jared Brenssell (stroke), Will Johnston, McGregor Best and Logan Anderson took bronze.

Women’s Intermediate Eight (W Int 8+) - Final

Wellington Rowing Club’s Clare Weterings (stroke), Ange Rogers, Niamh Carey, Barbara McCallum, Shana Hall, Amy McMullan, Bridgette Abernethy, Alison Faulls and Angela Holgate (coxswain) took gold in the women’s intermediate eight - an exhibition event. Porirua Rowing Club took silver and Petone Rowing Club took bronze.

Men’s U22 Single (M U22 1x) - Final

It was a strong day for Waikato RPC’s Will Thompson who took gold in the men’s U22 single and four. Thompson crossed the line in the men’s U22 single in 7:50.29, just ahead of Waikato RPC teammate Jonte Wright at 7:50.58. Auckland RPC’s Murphy Waters took bronze in 7:52.17.

2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Coach of The Year

At the conclusion of today’s racing, Rowing NZ Elite coach Gary Hay was awarded the 2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Coach of The Year. Gary Hay achieved remarkable success in the 2019 season with two of his crews both being crowned World Champions, and he was later announced as recipient of the 2019 FISA (World Rowing) Coach of the Year Award.

Hay was coach of the New Zealand women’s eight crew who won gold at the 2019 World Rowing Championships - a win which marked the first occasion that New Zealand has won the women’s eight event at a World Rowing Championships. Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler (coached by Hay) were also crowned world champions in the women’s pair. Hay’s women’s eight crew won gold at World Rowing Cup III, and the Remenham Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, while the women’s pair took gold and silver at World Rowing Cup II and III respectively, and won the Hambleden Pairs Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.

2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Female Rowers of The Year

Grace Prendergast (Southern RPC) and Kerri Gowler (Central RPC) were awarded 2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Female Rowers of The Year. This week Prendergast won gold in the women’s premier pair alongside Emma Dyke, and silver in the women’s premier four. Fittingly, Gowler took silver behind Prendergast in the women’s premier pair event with crewmate Beth Ross, and was part of the gold medalling crew in the premier four event.

Prendergast and Gowler were crowned double world champions at the 2019 World Rowing Championships after taking gold in the women’s pair and women’s eight event, and later won the FISA (World Rowing) Women’s Crew of the Year Award. Prendergast and Gowler are also World Rowing’s number one and two ranked female rowers in 2019, a list of which New Zealand currently holds seven of the top ten female positions. Prendergast and Gowler are also current world best time holders in the women’s pair event, a record set in 2017.

2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Male Rower of The Year

Caleb Shepherd of Waikato RPC was awarded the 2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Male Rower of The Year. Shepherd coxed Waikato Rowing Club’s gold medalling senior eight crew, as well as Waikato’s premier eight who took silver. In 2019 Shepherd was coxswain of the first ever New Zealand world champion women’s eight crew. In 2014 Shepherd coxed Hamish Bond and Eric Murray in the men’s coxed pair that won gold at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, setting a new world-best time in the process. In addition to Shepherd’s recent successes both internationally and domestically, he is also coaching at Hamilton Boys’ High School across U16, 17 and 18 events, where his crews, jointly coached alongside Bruce Holden, have won 4 golds, 2 silvers and 1 bronze medal this week.

2020 also marks the first occasion the Male Rower of the Year award has been presented to a coxswain.

Rowing NZ Junior, U23 and Elite Teams

At the conclusion of Elite Trial 1, Rowing NZ announced selected crews to contest World Rowing Cup II and III. All crews announced on 5 February will remain at Lake Karapiro to train before departing overseas to contest the 2020 World Rowing Cup II in Varese, Italy (1-3 May) and World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland (22-24 May).

Rowing NZ’s Summer Squad will enter Elite Trial 2 29 February - 6 March, the results of which will determine the women’s quad crew to contest World Rowing Cup II (1 - 3 May) and III (22 - 24 May). Subject to performance, a men’s quad and men’s eight crew may also be announced to contest World Rowing Cup II and the Final Olympic Qualification regatta (17 - 19 May).

The New Zealand Olympic team will be announced on 10 June.

Due to the 2020 Olympic Games, the only 2020 World Rowing Championship regatta will combine Junior, U23 and non-Olympic Elite competition. Rowing NZ will select an U23 team in March and a Junior team in May to attend this regatta in Bled, Slovenia, 16 - 23 August.