Peter Jones

Peter Jones

There was plenty of success for this grouping at the Dewar Cup on Saturday. From left, William Robb, who won the intermediate stroke crown, James Robb, Jonty Philipson and JJ Love, who took out the Marlborough stroke title. Photo: Peter Jones.

Picton golf tournament still going strong

All four major prize winners had local connections when the Picton Golf Club staged the 81st Dewar Cup and Marlborough Stroke Championship at the club’s Koromiko base on Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8.

Taking advantage of favourable weather on both days, a full field of 64 golfers took part, some travelling from as far afield as Christchurch, Rangiora, Nelson, Kapiti and Waikanae.

Winner of the Dewar Cup, awarded for the best overall nett score in the field, was Jerome January, from the nearby Rarangi club.

The senior Marlborough stroke title was claimed by former Picton player JJ Love, now playing out of the Waikanae club. The intermediate Marlborough stroke crown went to William Robb, from the well-known Picton clan and now a member of the Templeton club, while Leigh Somerville-Smith, playing on his home course, won the junior Marlborough stroke title.

The Dewar Cup was first presented in 1935 and has been played for each year, apart from 1939-45, when it went on hold during the Second World War.

The famous Dewar Whiskey company from Scotland were the first sponsors and it is now sponsored by Dewar Whiskey in New Zealand.

A heat pump, donated by Fujitsu and Mint Air, was on offer for the first hole-in-one of the weekend, but this went unclaimed.

The gold medal-winning MGC under-17 pair of Meg Flanagan and Liv Theodore, with coach Sean O’Neill. Photo: Supplied.

Medals for college rowers

Rowers from Marlborough secondary schools warmed up for the forthcoming Maadi Cup with a string of promising performances at the South Island schools champs raced on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Eight medals were claimed by crews from Marlborough Boys’ and Girls’ College, plus Queen Charlotte College.

The MBC boys under-16 coxed quad took out their event, the crew comprising Sam Feltham, Ashley-James Fitzgerald, Rhys Salvador, Dylan Burton and coxswain Oliver Price. Also striking gold was the MGC under-17 pair of Meg Flanagan and Liv Theodore, plus their schoolmates, the under-18 novice coxed four of Daisy Vavasour, Lexi Timpson, Emma Flanagan, Molly Glover and cox Lara Bacchus.

The MBC under-15 coxed four of Shane Henry, Zac Jenkins, Hugh Straker, Lochlan Gilmour and cox Joe Judge took silver, as did the MGC under-16 coxed four of Georgia MacDonald, Holly Feltham, Maggie Lane, Paige Materoa and Bacchus. Also claiming a silver medal was the QCC under-17 girls pair of Charlotte Lightfoot and Jamie Cunningham.

William Dunkley from QCC bagged bronze in the under-16 single, while Feltham, Fitzgerald, Salvador, Burton and Price also placed third in the under-16 coxed four.

MGC rowers were also close to the podium on two more occasions, their under-17 coxed four and under-18 double finishing fourth in A finals, a feat shared by MBC sculler Fred Vavasour.

The winning President's Grade division one combination, from left, Warner Nicol, Eveline Apthorp, Lynn Murray and Hugh Robinson. Photo: Supplied.

President’s grade tennis titles decided

The 2020 WK+ Presidents Grade tennis competition wound up on Tuesday night with four closely-fought finals on the Forrest Marlborough Tennis Centre courts, the last matches being played under lights.

In division one a tight battle ensued between the Rapaura Masters team of Donna Clark, Pauline Fudge, Tony Fenemor and Hiro Kishida, against their clubmates Rapaura Wairau River, comprising Lynn Murray, Eveline Apthorp, Hugh Robinson and Warner Nicol.

The straight doubles were shared, Clark and Fudge prevailing 9-7 over Murray and Apthorp, then Robinson and Nicol beating Fenemor and Kishida 9-4. The mixed were also shared, but a 9-1 win to Robinson and Apthorp over Fenemor and Fudge gave Wairau Wines a decisive edge in games won. Although Clark and Kishida downed Nicol and Murray 9-6 the overall outcome was a 31-23 win to Wairau River on countback.

Division two was won in decisive fashion by Renwick Netsetters who beat MTC Roger Townley Construction 4-0. However, the overall score did not reflect the closeness of the games, which went Netsetters’ way 9-7, 9-8, 9-4 and 9-7. The winning team comprised Luan Muir, Caroline Cornelius, Adam Balasoglou and Anthony Bowron.

There was also a close tussle in division three where Rapaura Matadors took on MTC Tennis the Menace. Matador came out 3-1 victors after winning both the straight doubles and sharing the mixed. The winning team comprised Karen Nicol, Jenny Stark, Mark Wheeler and Peter Jones.

Division four was taken out by the Renwick Serve us a Double! combination who downed clubmates Rapaura Shiraz 4-0. The winning team was Bronwyn Keown, Anna Simpson, Malcolm Walshe and Jason Anderson.

GP hydroplane Gulf Oil Gambler turns on the power at Lake Rotoiti. Photo: Supplied.

Powerboats roar across Rotoiti

The shores of Lake Rotoiti were packed with spectators last weekend, enjoying the sight of high-octane powerboats duelling in the national park.

The weather gods smiled on the ENZED Rotoiti Powerboat Club regatta, providing extremely-favourable conditions for the competitors and the thousands of spectators from the Tasman region and beyond who flocked to Rotoiti for what organisers described as “a stunning weekend of racing”.

Club spokesman Joe Blakiston said the nine GP hydroplanes racing in the Hydro Thunder series were the stars of the show, although exciting racing was the order of the day across all classes.

Event organisers had a few surprises for the huge crowd with an aerial display at lunchtimes as well as a potentially record-setting Mexican Wave across the foreshore on Sunday, “surely a world first for a national park”, according to Blakiston.

Ken Lupton in the Lucas Oils 577 hydroplane continued his dominant season, edging brother Jack Lupton out in an exciting Arthur McCaa Memorial Trophy race which saw five GP hydroplanes racing towards the first turn buoy close to shore. Ken Lupton, from Waverly in the North Island, has been unbeaten in his last 10 starts, a remarkable achievement for a high-performance race boat.

Nelson  drivers Lee Merrion in his Formula 3 tunnel boat and Julian Stilwell in the Formula 1 class both took away silverware in the Railway Cup and Pelorus Jack Trophy .

Rotoiti club president Chris Dufeu thanked DOC and all volunteers for their efforts in staging such a well-supported event.

“It’s absolutely massive for Tasman and to see such a huge crowd was very satisfying,” he added.

Tom Sutherland was the best of the Marlborough batsmen at Saxton Oval on Sunday. Photo: Shuttersport.

Nelson retain cricket trophy

The Newman Shield, symbol of one-day cricket superiority in the top of the south, will remain in Nelson hands over the winter after the holders comprehensively outplayed Marlborough at Saxton Oval on Sunday.

Nelson took out the 50-over fixture by 76 runs, scoring 220 from 48 overs batting first them running through the Marlborough batting, dismissing the challengers for a disappointing 144.

Marlborough began well with the ball, getting rid of the two Raxworthy brothers with just 38 runs on the board. However, a 94-run partnership between opener Chris Dittmer (52) and Patrick Howes (50), who was dropped before he had scored, set the platform for a decent total.

After they and Brendan Hodgson were dismissed, James Graham (31) and BJ Barnett (44 from 34) combined in a decisive 70-run partnership, pushing Nelson’s score past 200, which would prove well out of reach for Marlborough.

Rep newcomer Cameron Collins stood out with the ball for the visitors, claiming 4-32 from eight overs of medium pace, while the ever-reliable Nick Weaver bagged 3-55 from nine. Matt McCormick, recalled to the rep team after 18 months abroad, chipped in with 2-25 from nine.

In reply, Marlborough lost wickets regularly, including key batsmen Prabodha Arthavidu and Matthew Stretch for low scores. Opener Tom Sutherland showed grit to hold the top end of the innings together, amassing 53 from 98 balls but, apart from Akhil Pant with 27 from 37, none of his team mates were able to hang around.

All six Nelson bowlers picked up wickets, Barnett with 3-24 from seven reaping the best reward. Josh Newport, 2-18 from seven, was both effective and miserly, as was Howes with 1-20 from seven.

Jess Prosser.

Tactix shooter excited to be back in Blenheim

One face will be particularly familiar to Marlborough netball fans when the Good Oil Tactix take on Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse at Stadium 2000 on Sunday.

Jess Prosser, who will suit up for the Tactix in her ANZ Premiership debut season, spent two years in Marlborough and knows the region and the match venue well.

In 2016, the 1.83m goal shoot or goal attack burst onto the Marlborough scene after previously being a standout at St Margaret’s College in Christchurch.

Playing for Harlequins, she was an integral feature of their premier title-winning combination. The following year she moved to the Tokomaru club and was again part of a title-winning team. In 2017 she was named the province’s Netballer of the Year.

Jess moved back to Christchurch for the 2018 season and was named in the Mainland team which competed in the second-tier Beko League.

After impressing in that competition through 2018-19 she was selected in the Tactix squad for the forthcoming season, a season which opens with Sunday’s first competition game, beginning at 4.10pm.

The 23-year-old is relishing being part of the Tactix environment and excited to have a chance to show her skills in familiar surroundings on Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to it … Blenheim is something of a second home after I spent a couple of years there.

“The team are also excited because it has been a while since the team played in Blenheim … plus it‘s our first game up, and against the Pulse who we just played in a pre-season tournament at Otaki. We lost by one so that has given us confidence leading into the first week that [a win] is doable.

“[The Pulse] are very physical but we have been training to combat that. We have a lot of versatility in the team, a lot of people can play in several positions so [selection] can depend on who are playing.”

Jess says training and competing at a higher level has seen her undergo some physical changes since her time in the top of the south.

“My base fitness and strength has definitely changed … from having those two years in the Beko League and then making kind of a seamless transition into the Tactix … people say they can see a difference.”

She feels her time in Marlborough played a big part in shaping her career so far.

“Everyone’s journey is different and it hasn’t come easy, I have had to work for it. Probably the best thing [I did] was coming to Blenheim and having a couple of years kind of like finding myself … then coming home and putting in the hard work … mentally and physically.”

While Jess will be desperate to get some game time on Sunday she has some formidable rivals for the shooting bibs in the shape of Silver Fern Te Paea Selby-Rickit and the towering Ellie Bird.

“I expect to be on the bench, with a Silver Fern in front of me, but it is awesome to train alongside those top players and I am learning so much.”

The Tactix will again be led by Silver Ferns defender Jane Watson with support from vice-captain and midcourter Erikana Pedersen, who makes her return after injuring her ACL in the opening game of 2019. Head coach is Marianne Delaney-Hoshek.

Reigning champions The Pulse will bring an experienced, polished squad to Blenheim.

Consistency of selection was a key feature of their 2020 side, following the re-signing of accomplished shooting trio Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Tiana Metuarau and Aliyah Dunn.

The versatile and potent shooting mix will reunite for a third successive campaign having set an impressive foundation for the defending champions.

There will also be familiarity at the other end of the court, with Pulse stalwart Katrina Rore confirming her return for an 11th successive campaign with the Wellington-based franchise.

Pulse squad: Karin Burger, Aliyah Dunn, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Maddy Gordon, Kelly Jury, Claire Kersten, Tiana Metuarau, Katrina Rore, Renee Savai’inaea, Elle Temu.

Tactix squad: Ellie Bird, Charlotte Elley, Temalisi Fakahokotau, Sophia Fenwick, Samon Nathan, Erikana Pedersen, Kimiora Poi, Jess Prosser, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Jane Watson.

Under-16 champion Mya Wiapo shows her prowess at the long jump. Photo: Supplied.

Records set at MGC athletics sports

Three new records were set at the Marlborough Girls’ College athletics championships, staged at Athletic Park last week.

In the under-16 high jump Paige Arbuckle cleared 1.55m, beating the previous record of 1.50.5 set by M Clayton in 1991. Lucy Harman created a new mark in the under-19 800m, her time of 2 minutes 21.86 seconds well inside the old record of 2.27.1 set by K Warmouth in 1979. The final record also fell to Harman, whose time of 5.02.80 in the under-19 1500m easily eclipsed the previous best effort of K Parsons (5.17.6) set in 2005.

Four age group champions were also decided. In the under-14 bracket the title was shared by Shani Tilbury (Wairau) and Sophie Bryant (Wairau), Jorja Bacchus (Awatere) won the under-15 title, Mya Wiapo (Wairau) took out the under-16 crown and Eleri James-Sitters (Kaituna) was crowned under-19 champ.



Event winners

Under 14

Shani Tilbury (Wairau) 400m, Long Jump; Sophie Bryant (Wairau) 200m; Bella Tupoutoa (Awatere) Shot Put; Jelaina Roubos (Awatere) 100m; Ella Barnes (Wairau) Discus; Ella Sowman (Kaituna) 1500m; Grace Straker (Awatere) Javelin; Lexi-lou Crighton (Awatere) High Jump; May Smith (Wairau) 800m.

Under 15

Jorja Bacchus (Awatere) 200m, 400m, Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put; Lexi Timpson (Ōpaoa) 800m, 1500m; Amelia Jones (Wairau) 100m; Taylor Wareham (Ōpaoa) Javelin; Miela Paul (Wairau) Discus.

Under 16

Mya Wiapo (Wairau) 100m, 200m, Long Jump, Shot Put, Discus; Kaitlin Taylor (Wairau) 400m, 800; Maani Gasson (Opaoa) 1500m; Paige Arbuckle (Kaituna) High Jump (RECORD); Jenny Tobwara (Wairau) Javelin.

Under 19

Eleri James-Sitters (Kaituna) 100m, 200, 400m, Long Jump, Shot Put, Javelin; Lucy Harman (Awatere) 800m RECORD, 1500m RECORD; Holly Blake (Kaituna) Open 3000m; Sophia Wills (Opaoa) Discus; Meg Flanagan (Awatere) High Jump.

House relays/events

Flying Squadron relay:  Kaituna; 3 legged race: Awatere; tyre roll relay: Ōpaoa; 4x100m relay: Kaituna; ball throw – U14 Awatere, U15 Kaituna, U16 Wairau, U19 Ōpaoa; tug of war – U14 Opaoa, U15 Wairau, U16 Wairau, U19 Awatere.

House Points

1 Wairau 1281 pts; 2 Kaituna 1266; 3 Awatere 1217; 4 Ōpaoa 914.

MBC batsman Joel Lavender on his way to a superb unbeaten 98 on Tuesday. Photo: Peter Jones.

Cricket spoils shared

The Marlborough Boys’ College and Nelson College First XI cricket teams shared the spoils during a double-header played at Horton Park on Monday and Tuesday last week.

On Monday, Nelson College won a 50-over clash by 97 runs then, the next day, Marlborough Boys’ College took the honours by 33 runs in a 40-over encounter.

Nelson batted first in the first match, racking up a formidable target of 224 before being dismissed in the 48th over. Leading the way was Finn Raxworthy with 81, supported by 33 from Ronan Restieuax and a hard-hit 32 from Patrick Wilson. For MBC, Joel Pannell, Ben Holdaway and Kohri Brown each claimed a brace of wickets.

The home side’s reply was poor, being dismissed for 127 in the 33rd over. Opener Cooper Roberts with 42 from 61 balls was the mainstay of their batting, along with 31 from No 7 Tom Leonard.

Pace bowler Restieuax claimed 5-21 to be the pick of a steady, demanding Nelson attack, while spinner Salon Niraula picked up 3-18.

A determined MBC side returned a day later and turned the tables.

This time they batted first and put together a demanding total, based around a superb unbeaten 98 to Joel Lavender. Tim Petrie chipped in with 24 and Ben Ivory-McCullum with 27 but Lavender was in a dominating mood and unfortunate to miss out on what would have been a notable century.

The visitors were unable to match his heroics, stuttering their way to 140 before being dismissed in the 37th over. Spinner Dodson claimed 3-22, Petrie 2-21 and Pannell 2-13 to do most of the damage with the ball. Flynn Day and Wilson equal top-scored for Nelson with 25.

Max Sowman plays on the backhand. Photo: Supplied.

Junior residential tennis crowns decided

With Marlborough residential titles at stake, 42 junior players gathered at the Forrest Estate Marlborough Tennis Centre on February 29 and March 1.

They battled through 80 matches across both days to find winners of Pita Pit residential crowns and produced some excellent tennis.

Ella Sowman and Rosie Bowers were the winners of the 14 girls’ doubles and also played each other in a tight singles final with Ella prevailing 10-6 in the super tie third set. William Poff took out the boys 14 singles title, but unfortunately no 14 boys’ doubles were played.

The 12 year old age group was again one of the largest. This year Lilly Walkenhorst had a tough battle in the girls singles before getting the better of Jemimah O’Donnell, then Lilly and Jemimah teamed up to take out the doubles over Poppy Parkinson and Ana Eradus.

Throughout this division there were a number of close games and some great results for individual players. On the boys side, after a tough first set top seed Sid Yank eventually defeated Dan Clarke in the singles and then they also formed a strong partnership to claim the doubles trophy with a win over Mason Herd and Elijah O’Donnell.

In the 10 year grade top seeds Josh Harris and Isobel O’Brien justified their seedings to take out the singles titles the winners. After claiming the doubles title in 2019 Harris and Alex Herd teamed up again to clinch the 2020 title.

Sisters Harriet & Maisie Cornelius were the girls doubles champions with a close game and another third set super win defeating Sadie Eradus and Mia Harris.

Three members of the original Allan Scott Family Wines Marlborough Golf tournament organising committee, from left, Jo Grigg, Ann Rutledge and Mary-Ann Jacobson, relax on a swing seat, donated to the club by a former member, the late Shirley Startup, who won it by scoring a hole-in-one during the tournament.  Photo: Peter Jones.

Popular golf tournament ready to celebrate 21st

In 1999 a group of Marlborough Golf Club members had an idea. A year later that idea became a reality and now, 21 years later, the product of their innovative thinking and drive is about to celebrate a notable milestone.

The Allan Scott Family Wines Women’s Golf Tournament, which has been staged at the Fairhall-based club since 2000, will this year cater for over 200 female golfers from throughout the country from March 16-18.

The idea of running a women’s tournament in Marlborough was sparked by a visit to Wanaka by members of the original organising committee. The Central Otago club were hosting a women-only event and the Marlborough women liked what they saw, quickly realising the potential for something similar in the top of the south.

The inaugural committee, which comprised Ann Rutledge, Wendy Batchelor, Jo Grigg, Mary-Ann Jacobson and Anne Preston, did some networking, booked a date then went looking for a sponsor. Fortunately, they attracted the interest of Marlborough wine pioneer Allan Scott and his family who pledged their support and have remained the event’s main sponsor ever since.

From small beginnings the event quickly grew, word spreading throughout the country, and abroad, of a Marlborough tournament offering top prizes and three days of fun in the sun.

Two hundred and six golfers, “from Kerikeri to Wanaka” have signed up for the 21st edition, with a waiting list in place, making it “probably one of the largest ladies-only tournaments in the country” according to Rutledge, a former tournament winner.

“People seem to love the overall feel of the tournament, which is very friendly,” suggested Grigg.

“There is a country atmosphere, but the hospitality and the fact the tournament is so well run means people have just kept coming. Some have been to every one of the tournaments and have made great friends here over the years,” added Rutledge.

The original organisers also feel the event has had a major spin-off effect on the local retail community, bringing much-needed business to town for three days, or more.

Rutledge was quick to stress the “great relationship” the event has with Allan Scott Wines. “We have worked really well as a team … it’s quite unique for a sponsor to be involved at that level for so long.”

While aspects of the event have changed dramatically over the years, including the scoring which is now fully-computerised after previously being collated in a tent in front of the clubhouse, the original advocates feel the current format is sound and the event has a “very bright future”.

“The current committee are not complacent. They realise they have to keep working to keep the [event’s] name out there … they are always looking at ways to improve the experience,” said Rutledge.

A feature of the format that has made it so attractive to visiting players over the past two decades is the fact it offers three different competitions (a stableford on the first day, a four-ball-best-ball on day two and a gross nett competition on the final day) and caters for golfers of widely contrasting abilities.

Several holes-in-one have been recorded at the various tournaments, including one to Marlborough member Diana Pye in the inaugural event. She aced the par three fifth hole but, unfortunately for her, the car which local company Blenheim Toyota had staked for those registering a hole-in-one was positioned on the 16th hole.

Rarangi player and long-time rep selector Margaret Tapp was the inaugural winner, claiming the gross on the final day in 2000, while the most recent victor was Chris Brodie from Charteris Bay who picked up her third title in 2019. Russley’s Jeanette Ross, with four, has won the most titles.

Winners of the gross trophy at the Allan Scott Marlborough Golf Tournament: 2000 Margaret Tapp (Rarangi); 2001 Ann Rutledge (Marlborough); 2002 Chris Brodie (Charteris Bay); 2003 Jeanette Ross (Russley); 2004 Jeanette Ross (Russley); 2005 Mary Hoare (North Otago);  2006 Mary Hoare (North Otago); 2007 Chris Brodie (Charteris Bay); 2008 Serena Brailsford (Marlborough); 2009 Helen Hames (Waimate); 2010 Suzanne Ewing (Wanaka); 2011 Jeanette Ross (Russley); 2012 Jeanette Ross (Russley); 2013 Andrea Thomas (Auckland); 2014 Sue Murray (Awatere); 2015 Julie Nicole (Marlborough); 2016 Chrissie Mackie (Kaikoura); 2017 Emily Stenhouse (Marlborough); 2018 Suzette Eastwood (Omaha Beach); 2019 Chris Brodie (Charteris Bay).

The current committee members are Pru Jensen, Marion Tripe, Tessa Sutherland, Jane Anderson-Bay, Gloria Rogers, Leslie Corbett and Helen Lissaman.