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April 2022 Newsletter


Kerri Gowler Marriage

Our much-respected Gold and Silver Medalling Olympian, Kerri Gowler, married

Tyna Williams at Poronui Lodge, Taupo on Saturday 5 February 2022. Kerri’s

Bridesmaids were her sisters Jackie and Jaimee.

Tyna, and his brother Tyson, were also both elite rowers for New Zealand.

Kerri and Jackie, along with Georgia Nugent-O’Leary, are currently training at

Karapiro in preparation for trials which have been delayed due to the pandemic, in

preparation for the 2022 World Championships which are scheduled to take place at

Racine, in the Czech Republic in September.


Recap: North Island Secondary Schools 2022

Due to Covid limitations this event was conducted as two separate regattas this year with our WHS Boys racing heats on Friday and Finals on Saturday.

Eli Keuhne was our best performer with a 5th placing in the Under 16 Single Scull. Bryn Morgan and William Herd achieved 8th placing overall in the Under 15 Doubles.

Our WHS and Rangitikei Girls endured a frustrating Sunday with wind causing considerable problems before racing was abandoned in the mid afternoon. Conditions settled somewhat on Monday with Heats being re-run and medals being awarded on times.

Our squad included Sam Rooke and Robyn van Dijk from Rangitikei College, who made history being the first ever entrants from this school to compete at a school event. They achieved 8th placing overall in the Under 15 2X.

Other Top Eight finishers were:

Georgina Ross, Reeve Watson, Messina Su’a, Charlotte Matthews with cox

Alex Key – 4th in Under 18 4X.

Messina and Georgina – 6th in Under 18 2X

Bea Douglas and Aria Rice-Edwards – 8th in Novice 2X.

Our two young Boys racing in the Under 15 Doubles.

Our WHS Girls couldn’t let the opportunity pass when Hamish Bond tried to quietly to pass by!

A group shot of our Team after boat loading. For many this was their final regatta of what has been an incredibly limited racing season.


Maadi Cup 1972 reunion

50 years have passed since Whanganui High School caused a major upset in winning the prestigious Maadi Cup on the Kerrs Reach Course in Christchurch. Richard Brock and Jason Reid organised a very successful evening to celebrate this achievement which culminated in a row at Aramoho on the following morning.

Pictured are the crew, 50 years after winning and not looking a day older!

Back Row: Graham “Hunter” Hill (4), Bill Osborne (3), Peter Scannell (2), Kerry Adams (Kitson) (B)

Front Row: Chris Murphy (S), Richard Brock (7), Roger “Po” Limpus (6), Jason Reid (5). Cox Doug Murphy was unable to travel from Australia for the event but was able to view/speak at the function via modern technology. Margaret Reid was given the honour of coxing on the day.

Speakers at the evening were:

Fraser Stewart – MC

Jason Reid – Welcome

Ewen Noble- A member of the first four WHS Maadi Crews, some outstanding historical facts

Chris Murphy – Memories of the trip and the race.

Leith Power – Deputy Head at WHS in 1972, and the prestige it gave to the school.

Roger Batley – A member Wanganui Collegiate Eight who were the Maadi Cup holders at the time. He drily commented, “it would have saved a lot of time and effort to have walked across the fields and passed the cup over to WHS to the expense and travelling!”


Learn to Row Programs

Our Adult Learn to Row Program, facilitated by Jacs Rush, has now concluded with a group of 10 “graduating”. A big welcome to Ally Greer, Jade George, Louise Nightingale, Richie Collins and Tara Butler who have decided to continue their rowing careers with AWRC!

Tom Monaghan, Adrian van Bussel and Lance O’Brien also have an enthusiastic group of WHS youngsters who are nearing the end of their LTR sessions. Hopefully, the core of this team will form the base of our school novice team for 2022.


Boat Christening

Our new double scull boat will be officially christened on Saturday 9 April at 9:30am.

This boat is being named after our long-term Life Member and Coach, Peter Smith, and it would be wonderful to see a big turnout to help us acknowledge this auspicious event.

Your Committee has decided to provide a flapjack (Pancake) breakfast at $10.00 per head, as part of this occasion.

To assist with preparations can you please RSVP to Grader at if you are planning to attend, on or before Thursday 7 April.


Near Tragedy

The Club recognises the bravery and quick thinking of Denise Tinsley who undertook a significant act of rescuing 3 (yes three!) youngsters from our river recently.

Denise and her husband Bruce are parents of Poppy, one of Whanganui High School Learn Rowers, and were waiting on the bank for her, when a teenage girl and four younger toddlers (not connected with WHS or AWRC) were on our main pontoon.

The older girl suddenly jumped into the water and immediately was seen to be in difficulties. Then a three-year-old girl also jumped into the water from the pontoon and was also swept away. A third teenage girl also ran down and jumped into the river but also couldn’t swim!

Denise used her life-saving skills and swam to the first girl and toddler who were about 20-30 feet out from the bank and some 30-50 feet downstream when she reached them and managed to swim back to the bank, near the end of our car park, by which time the second teenager was also clinging to her!

An ambulance had been called and happily, it can be reported that all three “non-swimmers” survived the ordeal.

It does highlight the dangers of our swiftly flowing river. Our community and particularly the rescued family are extremely fortunate not to be dealing with a major tragedy.

The courage of Denise Tinsley is acknowledged and the fact that she possesses Life Saving/Nursing skills cannot be understated!


Good luck at Maadi Cup

As this edition is about to be published our WHS Maadi Team have ventured to Twizel. We wish them well as they participate in this prestigious event and look forward to them gracing the podium!


Quote of the month

“The body achieves what the mind believes” – Napoleon Hill


Have a good photo we should share with others?

We are always on the hunt for photos. If you have one that you want to feature in an upcoming newsletter, send it to


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