24 SBHS rowers competed in the recent New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Championships (commonly known as Maadi) held in Twizel.
With 2200 rowers from 120 schools, Maadi represents an
opportunity to race against crews from around New Zealand. After a very successful South Island
Secondary Schools regatta, SBHS picked up seven medals. The squad was eager to
test itself against the best in the country.
Racing took place over six days, involving heats, repecharges, quarter and semi-finals. All schools aimed to qualify for the final days, Friday and Saturday. The ultimate goal was to win a National title for their school.
SBHS rowers preformed with distinction both on and off the water.
All placings are national rankings;
· 2nd – Under 18 Novice Double Sculls
· 3rd – Under 18 Novice Eight
· 5th – Under 18 Novice Four #2
· 6th – Under 18 Novice Four #1
· 7th - Under 15 Double Sculls
· 7th – Under 16 Quadruple Sculls
· 8th – Under 16 Eight
· 10th – Under 18 Lightweight Sculls
While very proud with the final results, the squad was disappointed not to claim the school’s first rowing National title in decades. With the Under-18 Novice Eight, undefeated through the entire season, claiming Canterbury and South Island Schools titles by large margins, the belief was that they could win gold. However they faced strong challenges from North Island Schools. In a great race, the SBHS Eight pulled away from the pack in a head-to-head battle with the North Island Champions, Sacred Heart (Auckland). Fighting for every metre rowing for the win, the SBHS Eight was unable to pull past Sacred Heart who claimed the title. A fast-finishing Wanganui Collegiate rowed through SBHS in the final 20 metres to claim silver.
Although disappointed with the final result of this race, their fight epitomised the attitude of all SBHS row crews through the season. Regardless of age, size or experience of the opposition – they went for the win in every race, often pushing themselves to breaking point in the progress.
With the rowing programme still only three years old, and using borrowed and ageing boats, the results for SBHS crews are outstanding. Commentators and competing schools recognised that SBHS is now an emerging force in rowing.
The coaching group of James Lilley, Tim Osmers and Dale Mahar must take a huge amount of the credit for the continued success of the Rowing Programme. They have worked tirelessly for eight months preparing SBHS crews for regattas. The boys are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated coaches.
Rowing is an expensive sport. Without the support of several local businesses throughout the season, the boys would not have been able to compete at the level they did. This support is very much appreciated and vital to the ongoing development of the sport in the school.
Parents are the backbone of the Rowing Programme. Whether it be preparing food for 30 rowers, transporting boys to and from regattas, hauling boat trailers to Twizel, organising fundraising opportunities or providing huge vocal support for all crews – they have done so with a smile on their faces.