Rowing: Novices will face stern test today

New Zealand rowers won five medals at the London Olympics - three gold and two bronze - and the sport is reaping the benefits this season.

New school rowers have come into the sport around the country and North End has had older novices joining the club.

The newcomers will be tested at the annual North End Regatta at Lake Waihola today and the Otago Regatta Club event tomorrow.

One of the largest fields today is in the schoolgirls double sculls that has a field of 15 boats.

Four city clubs and four schools will be competing at Lake Waihola today and North End is expected to win the regatta. It will be challenged by the elite rowers from the Otago and Otago University clubs.

Port-United should dominate the masters events.

The Otago club combination of Zoe McBride and Hannah Duggan will be hard to beat in the women's double sculls.

McBride won three gold medals at the New Zealand championships at Lake Karapiro last year and Duggan joined her in the two double sculls events.

It will be the start of a busy summer regatta programme for Otago rowers that culminates in the New Zealand championships at Lake Ruataniwha in February and the Maadi Cup for school rowers at Lake Karapiro in March.

It is a busy pre-Christmas period with the Clyde Regatta being held on December 1 and 2 at Lake Dunstan and the Otago championships at Lake Ruataniwha on December 15 and 16.

February will be the busiest time of the year at Lake Ruataniwha, with the South Island championships early in the month and the New Zealand championships from February 19 to 24.

The Maadi Cup secondary schools regatta will be held at Lake Karapiro from March 18 to 24.

The season ends with the Lake Hayes Regatta on April 13.

If the weather is unsuitable, today's regatta will be shifted to the Taieri River at Henley.


Otago rowing season

November 10: North End Regatta, Lake Waihola.
November 11: Dunedin Regatta Club, Lake Waihola.
December 1 and 2: Clyde Regatta, Lake Dunstan.
December 15-16: Otago championships, Lake Ruataniwha.
January 19-20: Canterbury championships, Lake Ruataniwha.
February 2-3: South Island championships, Lake Ruataniwha.
February 9: Otago Schools regatta, Otago Harbour.
February 19-24: NZ championships, Lake Ruataniwha.
March 2-3: South Island secondary schools championships, Lake Ruataniwha.
March 9: Otago Schools Head of Harbour Regatta, Otago Harbour.
March 18-24: NZ secondary schools championships, Lake Karapiro.
April 13: Lake Hayes Regatta, Lake Hayes.

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