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Feb/March 2023 Newsletter

It's been a hot minute! Check out what's been happening over the last few months.

Kerri and Jackie Gowler Visit AWRC

Our Club was honoured to host two of our Tokyo Olympians, Kerri and Jackie at a Club Breakfast on Sunday 22 January, where they were able to answer some fascinating questions from our young aspiring international aspirants, before sharing their Gold and Silver Medals for the crowd to view and touch. A lot of the questions were asking if McDonald's could be a staple in their diet as a rower - but we won't go there!

The sisters, accompanied by one of our other Olympians, Georgia Nugent- O’Leary, were later able to be available to present the prizes to the successful Billy Webb Race competitors.

They were also acknowledged by the large crowd for their own Olympic endeavours, receiving a beautiful locally handmade glass trophy from Whanganui Mayor, Andrew Tripe.


Billy Webb Results 2023

AWRC’s 18 entries dominated this years event, comprising 50% of the overall entries which included last years winner from Wellington Rowing Club, Oliver Fahey in his single, who achieved the fastest time of 23:53.77.

Second fastest was AWRC entry Dan Dutson-Smith, who is from Hereford Rowing Club and along with three others from that Club, joined AWRC for the last 6 weeks of the NZ domestic season.

However, based on overall prognostics, the title this year went to Messina Su’a, from Aramoho Whanganui Rowing Club, who secured $500.00 prize money for her efforts!


North Island Club Championships 27-29 January at Lake Karapiro

Our Club enjoyed its most successful North Island Club Championships since 2018 and despite challenging weather and water conditions our club secured 17 A Finals, 8 B Finals from 29 entries – an outstanding performance!

Gold Medalists were:

Womens (Composite) Club Coxless Quad

Reeve Watson, Messina Su’a, Sabine Lapointe (Gisborne) and Robyn Van Dijk (Absent) pictured with Dave Dudley.

Mens Senior Coxless Quad

Gabe Reynolds, Axel Dickinson, Tom Monaghan, and Luke Shannon.

Mens Club Coxless Four which featured our four “visitors” from Hereford Rowing Club (UK) Dan Dutson-Smith, Ethan Chick, Henry Fraser and Alfie Wynter.

Silver Medals went to:

  • Mens Senior Coxless Pair of Axel Dickinson and Gabe Reynolds

  • Womens Novice Octuple comprising Lauren Davies. Te Potaka-Osborne-Milner-Skudder, Mae Emmett, Ruby Armishaw, Addison Jenkins, Ava McDonough, Lacy Gilmore, Jessica Head coxed by Megan Wood.

  • Womens Intermediate Octuple comprising Robyn van Dijk, Bea Douglas, Hazel Engert-Rogers, Keira Barnett, Charlotte Matthews, Sam Rooke, Lily-Rose Flack, Stella Perry coxed by Megan Wood.

  • Womens Novice Coxed Quad of Te Potaka-Osborne-Milner-Skudder, Mae Emmett, Addison Jenkins, Lauren Davies coxed by Rylee Dudley.

  • Mens (Composite) Intermediate Coxed Quad of Clayton Potts (Clifton), Jake Newton, William Herd, Nicky Maxim coxed by Patrick Hearn-Powers (Clifton).

  • Womens Intermediate Coxed Quad comprising Robyn van Dijk, Bea Douglas, Mae Emmett, Charlotte Matthews coxed by Rylee Dudley.

In the very competitive A Finals the Club secured 3 Bronze medals, including Jackie Gowler in the Womens Premier 1X (an interesting venture into single sculling for her).

More great photos from the event


NZ Club Championships 2023

Last season the Club was unable to attend the NZ Champs (moved to Ruataniwha at short notice due to covid) however Aramoho Whanganui Rowing Club strongly featured this year with 23 of our club athletes competing and achieving an impressive 17 A Finals and 3 B Finals.

Three Gold Medals were secured:

Mens (Composite) Intermediate Coxed Quad of Jake Newton, Clayton Potts (Clifton), William Herd, and Nicky Maxim

Womens Premier Coxless Pair which saw Jackie Gowler combining with Catherine Layburn from the North Shore Rowing Club, to win another “Red Coat” for our Club.

Nicky Maxim and Jake Newton took out the Mens Novice 2X in imperious fashion securing them a second Gold Medal at the NZ Championships!

A Silver Medal was won by an impressive (composite) Womens Club Quad of

Robyn van Dijk, Sabine Lapointe (Gisborne), Messina Su’a and Reeve Watson.

Messina Su’a – Under 21 NZ Triallist

Congratulations to Messina in being chosen to trial for the NZ Under 21 Rowing Team. Messina has been a dedicated athlete since starting as a Novice in 2018 and is now moving to Otago University to pursue her academic aspirations – we wish her well!

We also secured a Bronze Medal with our very young crew of Te Atakura Potaka Osborne Milner Skudder, Mae Emmett, Addison Jenkins and Lauren Davies coxed very ably by Rylee Dudley.

A massive thanks goes to coaches Dave, Axel, plus Luffy and Lance (who were unable to attend), along with Camp Mother Colleen Dudley and parents Haley, Cinderella, and Jeremy.

A special “Thank You” also goes to Lisa Murphy for her time and dedication planning the logistics.

The NZ Champs mission was a significant financial undertaking, with a budgeted cost of almost $38,000.00. The Club is extremely appreciative to the Trident Trust and the other funders who were able to ease some of the financial burden placed on the athletes.

We also acknowledge Whanganui Toyota for the generous loan of the towing vehicle for almost 2 weeks. PLEASE SUPPORT THEIR GENEROSITY WHEN CONSIDERING YOUR VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS!


Cyclone Gabrielle

Our little corner of the North Island escaped the ravages of the cyclone, however, the Gisborne Rowing Club lost virtually all their plant and coach boats. AWRC has made an offer to assist in any way possible with gear to enable Gisborne to participate in the forthcoming North Island Schools and Maadi Cup Regattas.

The Hawkes Bay Rowing Club was relatively unscathed however many of its members have suffered damage to properties and livelihoods. Included in the latter group is long-serving coach Don “Doc” McDonald and his wife who totally lost their home and contents. Doc will be remembered as a Whanganui identity who was a very successful coach with both Union and Aramoho Whanganui before moving to Hawkes Bay. A “Give a Little Page” has been

established for them.


Student Achievements

Our last Newsletter omitted to mention the success of our Whanganui Girls College student-athletes in 2022. These included:

  • Hazel Engert-Rogers: Senior Swimming Competition Cup; Distinction for Life Saving and Outstanding Contribution to Life Saving in 2022. Hazel has been appointed Head of Sport for 2023.

  • Lacy Gilmore: Year 9 Academic Excellence (Hard Materials); Academic Diligence in Health and Physical Education; Y9 ASTRA BUYS – 2nd highest points in 2022.

  • Elise McDouall: Winner Speech Award; Academic Distinction Award

Well done to these young ladies!


Fund Raising

Our hay stacking efforts have been rewarded with an income $4350.00 and the stocktaking efforts at Rebel Sports & Briscoes has yielded $1033.00 to date with more to come from the efforts at The Warehouse. The latter venture was a long night for our team who did not finish until after midnight! Your mahi is greatly appreciated!

The ever-energetic Becky Ivory has offered to lead a Quiz Nite Fundraiser at a date to be arranged. We are now seeking suitable prizes for this evening so.....



Brought to you by your monthly GIF....

Get in contact with Becs if you have any leads please!


Lincoln University Billets

This is one of the important annual fund-raising activities for our Whanganui High School Rowing and with 60 students visiting this year we are seeking homes for them to be billeted in for the nights of Monday 3 and Wednesday 5 April. Lisa Murphy 027 666 9884, would love to hear from you if you are able to help.


Keen to help coach?

We are always seeking coaches!!! They are critical to meet our safety obligations. Unless we have sufficient numbers, some athletes will run the risk of not being able to continue rowing as our current volunteer coaches have time constraints. If you would be available to assist, please contact Axel Dickinson. Don’t be constrained by a lack of experience – all coaches started at some point!


Nga Tawa School Plant

With Nga Tawa School sadly opting to discontinue with rowing, the AWRC has negotiated a reasonable price to acquire a single, double, quad and eight/octy Wintec boats that were under the ownership of the school but housed at our Club. This will enable our club to utilise these boats without the concern they were owned/insured by a third party.



This is a reminder that there have been a number of instances recently where doors and windows, including Gym Boy and Girls Changing Rooms, have not been secured by the last person departing.

It also needs to be noted that the upstairs doors to the stairwell MUST NOT be blocked open by weights. THEY ARE SMOKE DOORS AND MUST REMAIN CLOSED AFTER BEING ACCESSED!

Our insurance will be compromised if we fail to adhere to the above…..


RIP Noel Kirk

Former Wanganui Rowing Club members will be saddened to hear of the passing of Noel who was a lightweight rower at WRC in the late 1950’s.


Coming Up

Mini School Regatta Vs Collegiate - 4 March 2023 8:00am Whanganui

North Island Secondary Schools Regatta - 10-12 March 2023, Lake Karapiro .

NZ Secondary Schools (Maadi Cup) - 27 March -1 April 2023, Lake Karapiro

Lincoln Billets - 3-5 April 2023



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