National champs switched to Twizel

Rowing New Zealand is set to bring its pinnacle senior event south.

The New Zealand rowing championships have been moved from Lake Karapiro and will now be held at Twizel’s Lake Ruataniwha.

The regatta will also begin a day earlier, now scheduled to run from February 14 to 18, due to the lake being lowered on the final night.

It had been determined the regatta could not be delivered under the restrictions of the Red Covid-19 protection setting.

The decision was made in consultation with both the Karapiro Rowing and South Island Rowing (SRI) operational committees.

Rowing New Zealand community and development general manager Mark Weatherall acknowledged the inconvenience of the change.

However, he said the priority was ensuring the regatta went ahead.

"Rowing New Zealand acknowledge that the decision to move the regatta at this late stage will create a lot of work for the North Island clubs, in particular, as they plan their trip south," he said in a statement.

"However, it was the desire of the RNZ board and management to do all we could to offer rowers a New Zealand championship this year.

"We are very mindful of the current Covid-19 situation, and SRI have a proven track record in the delivery of regattas that meet the Covid-19 protection framework.

“It should be noted that Rowing New Zealand and SRI will continue to monitor the spread of the Omicron variant and, should cases in the community impact our ability to deliver a safe and quality regatta, or the New Zealand Government change the current settings, cancellation of the regatta could still be a possibility."

The regatta will operate under 100-person zones, while all competitors will need to be fully vaccinated.

There will be no spectators.

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