What an incredible five days of racing at the 2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Championships. There were 832 athletes from 47 clubs partaking in the event, which included both World Champion and Olympic Athletes. This is truly an event like no other, and we’re thrilled to be the principal partner.
A massive thank you to everyone who came and said hello or introduced themselves to the Rocket Foods team who attended. We are always made to feel very welcome by the Rowing community. The Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships is always a great opportunity to catch up with athletes, supporters, coaches, Rowing NZ staff and volunteers. Together, these people make this event such a fabulous one to be involved in.
We enjoyed watching Premier athletes complete alongside, Senior, Intermediate and Novice athletes. It’s great to see current and future rowing talent in such a wonderful setting. We’d like to congratulate everyone who took part and raced and extend our thanks to everyone who was involved.
Our team enjoyed presenting medal presentations for several races:
Women’s Premier Single - Final
It was reigning national champion Emma Twigg who took top honours in the women’s premier single in a time of 8:00.19. Hannah Osborne took the silver in a time of 8:03.99 ahead of Rocket Foods Ambassador Olivia Loe who crossed the finish line in 8:05.50.
Men’s Premier Single - Final
Robbie Manson took the win in the men’s premier single in a comfortable 7:16.97. Jordan Parry took silver in 7:21.53, with Mahe Drysdale taking bronze in 7:24.93.
Women’s Premier Double - Final
Rocket Foods Ambassador Brooke Donoghue and Olivia Loe lined up against each other in the women’s premier double. Brooke Donoghue teamed up with Emma Twigg while Olivia Loe joined Eve MacFarlane. Donoghue and Twigg won (7:35.81) with clear water over Loe and MacFarlane (7:40.65) who then had a battle on their hands against the formidable lightweight combination of Jackie Kiddle and Zoe McBride from Central RPC - who crossed the line only 0.16 seconds behind in third.
Men’s Premier Double – Final
The Men’s double saw Robbie Manson and Chris Harris taking the win in 6:47.54, with Jordan Parry and Matthew Dunham taking silver in 7:09.05 and brothers Sebastian and Rhys Krappe taking third in 7:24.29
At the conclusion of racing, we enjoyed watching the presentation of the Coach of the Year, Female Rowers of the year and Male Rower of the Year.
2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Coach of The Year
Rowing NZ Elite coach Gary Hay was awarded the 2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Coach of The Year. Gary Hay achieved remarkable success in the 2019 season with two of his crews (New Zealand women’s eight and women’s pair) both being crowned World Champions.
2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Female Rowers of The Year
Rocket Foods Ambassadors, Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler were awarded 2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Female Rowers of The Year.
Prendergast and Gowler were crowned double world champions at the 2019 World Rowing Championships after taking gold in the women’s pair and women’s eight event, and later won the FISA (World Rowing) Women’s Crew of the Year Award.
2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Male Rower of The Year
Caleb Shepherd was awarded the 2020 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Male Rower of The Year. Shepherd coxed Waikato Rowing Club’s gold medalling senior eight crew, as well as Waikato’s premier eight who took silver. In 2019 Shepherd was coxswain of the first ever New Zealand world champion women’s eight crew.
2020 also marks the first occasion the Male Rower of the Year award has been presented to a coxswain.
We look forward to following the results from 2020 World Rowing Cup II in Varese, Italy (1-3 May) and World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switererland (22 – 24 May) ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in July.
Photo credits: Rowing NZ.