University of Otago crews triumph again

University of Otago duo Ben Mason and Kobe Miller (in blue and gold) fly out of the start on...
University of Otago duo Ben Mason and Kobe Miller (in blue and gold) fly out of the start on their way to winning the championship double sculls at the National Tertiary Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha on Saturday. PHOTO: SHARRON BENNETT
The University of Otago has retained its status as New Zealand’s top rowing university.

It claimed the National Tertiary Rowing Championship overall title in commanding fashion at Lake Ruataniwha over the weekend.

Otago accumulated 130 points, well ahead of the second-placed University of Canterbury on 54 points.

The title is one Otago has held all but one year since the inception of the Ashes trophy — the remains of the Otago’s old burnt-down clubhouse — in 1999.

It also claimed the UTSNZ trophy for most points, a separate award which took into account only some of the events.

Otago claimed 12 gold medals overall, having several crews finish in the top three in multiple events.

Kobe Miller was Otago’s standout rower, claiming three gold medals in the championships grade.

The second-year student, from Blenheim, claimed the single sculls title in 7min 44.53sec, edging clubmate Ben Mason.

Miller and Mason then put on a strong display to win the men’s double sculls in 7min 00.2sec.

Miller was also part of the crew that won the championship quadruple sculls, alongside Jack Chapman, Matthew Handford, Oliver Fahey and cox Harry Molloy.

Otago coach Glen Sinclair was thrilled and praised the students’ efforts and dedication.

He added the team’s novice crews had been highly influential in the result, having won 60 points.

Novice races are worth double points, a way of encouraging clubs to take on new rowers after they leave school.

That contingent was coached by Neil Carr, who Sinclair said had done a top job.

The university also had 10 rowers and three coxswains trial for the New Zealand Universities team after the regatta.

The rowers were Sally Wylaars, Helena Rikiti, Marion Hardwick, Jasmine Macintosh, Phoebe Trolove, Greta Hawke, James Glover, Jack Chapman, Oliver Fahey and Tom Fraser.

Julia Coppens, Harry Molloy and Phoebe Barratt were the coxswains.

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