The Marlborough colleges rowing contingent came home with four medals from the 2019 Maadi Cup regatta which concluded at Lake Karapiro on Saturday.
Both the Marlborough Boys’ College and Marlborough Girls’ College squads picked up two medals, underlining their potential while up against the cream of the country’s secondary school rowing talent.
While slightly disappointed that a couple of his crews narrowly missed adding to the precious metal collection on the final day, Marlborough Boys’ College head coach John Robinson considered it a successful regatta.
“Overall we made seven A finals and we got two medals so, compared to last year, it was a lot better showing.
“Some of the boys are disappointed as they thought they could do much better … because we didn’t get slower and our opponents didn’t get quicker, we just didn’t produce on the final day what we had previously produced.
“There was quite a side chop and tricky water and we failed to handle the conditions … in the novice four we were challenging for second with about 100m to go and we caught a massive crab which stopped everything, and the novice quad didn’t quite fire.”
He described the MBC programme as a “work in progress”.
Robinson made special mention of the silver medal-winning under-18 novice double combination of Fred Vavasour and Nikolai Maltesen, who he described as the “find of the year”.
“Nik was struggling to learn how to move a boat early in the year so we put him in with Fred, who was last year’s coxswain, and they seemed to click … winning at the South Islands and getting a second up here in tough conditions. They were our standouts.”
“Fred, especially, is falling into a leadership role. He’s really developing.”
The MGC contingent left it late to grab some podium time, bagging two bronze medals on the final day, their crews competing in three A finals, finishing fourth in the novice eight.
Coach Mike McManaway said he was thrilled by the squad’s performance.
“Those novice girls performed outstandingly well in tough conditions. They were thrilled to pick up two medals. They are all first year rowers and so young … they have years ahead of them, plus lots of grit and determination. They are all coming home with big smiles on their faces.”
Two standouts were Meg Flanagan and Maggie Lane, members of both medal-winning crews, while McManaway also had praise for 13-year-old Holly Feltham. “It’s very rare for a 13-year-old to win a medal at Maadi … she’s got a really bright future.”
MGC principal Mary-Jeanne Lynch was on hand to see the MGC crews medal on the final day, which McManaway noted was “pretty special”.
Six Queen Charlotte College rowers took part over the week and made their presence felt, the girls’ under-15 coxed quad finishing second in the B final, while single sculler William Dunkley came home third in the under-16 C final.
ROLL OF HONOUR
SILVER: Boys under-18 novice double (Fred Vavasour, Nikolai Maltesen)
BRONZE: Boys under-15 octuple sculls (Hugh Straker, Rhys Salvador, Leon Poswillo, Ashley-James Fitzgerald, Dylan Burton, Sam Feltham, Mason Henderson, Levi McCauley-Bown, Oliver Price cox)
Girls novice under-18 quad (Maggie Lane, Meg Flanagan, Liv Theodore, Grace Waring-Jones, Lara Bacchus cox)
Girls novice under-18 four (Paige Materoa, Maggie Lane, Meg Flanagan, Holly Feltham, Lara Bacchus cox)