Otago club celebrating its sesquicentennial

The Otago Rowing Club will celebrate its past, present and future this weekend.

The distinguished club’s rich history will be at the fore as past and present members gather to celebrate its 150th.

About 80 people got together at the clubhouse in Kitchener St last night, but the real festivities get under way today.

The club will host a regatta on the Otago Harbour as part of the celebrations, but it could be moved to the Andersons Bay inlet or become an indoor event at the club if the weather turns bad. It will be followed by a dinner tonight and a small gathering tomorrow.

There is also an exhibition of the club, including caps, blazers, trophies and club memorabilia, at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, marking "150 glorious years" of the club.

The club, which also held functions for their 100th in 1973 and 125th in 1998, has about 40 members at present and has strong ties to Dunedin schools Bayfield High School, Taieri College, John McGlashan College and Trinity Catholic College.

It is through those connections that the club has been a helping hand in some of New Zealand’s top rowers getting their start in the sport.

Those rowers include former Bayfield pupil Eva Hofmans, who won a junior world title in the national quadruple sculls, was a member of the New Zealand under-21 team and is studying at Yale, and former Trinity pupil Zoe McBride, a former women’s lightweight double world champion before retiring in 2021.

Andrew "Herb" Stevenson and Tony Brook started their careers at the club and went on to be part of the New Zealand world champion eight in 1982.