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July 2021 Newsletter


Wahoo! Our club members were at the OLYMPICS!

AWRCs Kerri Gowler together with Grace Prendergast combined wonderfully to seize the Olympic Gold Medal in the Womens Coxless Pair Event at Tokyo!

Our Club Lounge was packed with an enthralled crowd of supporters, including the Mayor, as we all saluted this outstanding achievement, which is the first time our Club has ever had an Olympic medal.

The following day, our lounge was again loudly animated as we witnessed Emma Twigg secure the Olympic Gold in the Womens Single Scull, followed by our NZ Womens Eight winning a Silver Medal, and our NZ Mens Eight winning the Gold Medal in what was a memorable 90 minutes of NZ Olympic Rowing history!

Kerri and Grace also achieved the never previously achieved NZ Rowing milestone of winning two medals at the same Olympic regatta being in the eight oared boat which was superbly stroked by Jackie Gowler, in a tense finish less than one second behind Canada, with China only 1.17 seconds behind for third place.

From the left Ella Greenslade (B), Emma Dyke (2), Lucy Spoors (3), Kelsey Bevan (4), Grace

Prendergast(5), Kerri Gowler (6), Beth Ross(7), Jackie Gowler (Stroke), Caleb Shepherd(Coxswain)

NZ Rowing performances overall were sensational. With Brooke Donohue and Hannah Osborne taking out the Gold Medal in the Women Double sculls, the overall medal tally of 3 Golds and two Silver Medals meant the Kiwis were the top performing rowing nation and well ahead of traditional rowing powerhouse nations such as Great Britain, Germany and USA.

A special mention also goes to our other Club members: Chris Harris, who was attending his 4th Olympic Games and secured 8th place overall in the Mens Double Sculls with Jack Lopas, and to Georgia Nugent-O’Leary who combined with Liv Loe, Eve MacFarlane and Ruby Tew in the Womens Quad Event to also finish in 8th place overall.


Whanganui river flooding

The recent storms which brought flooding to Westport and Marlborough also blessed us with a little more rain which resulted in the river breaching its banks for the first time in 3 years. A decision to not install the flood barriers was lamented as about half a metre of water entered the boatshed.

Thanks to the volunteers and the Whanganui Fire Brigade who cleaned up immediately following the intrusion of floodwaters. Their quick action enabled the premises to be cleaned speedily before the mud settled.

Uppy optimistically pushes the tide back with a water hose as President Bruce surveys the encroaching waters.

Under the tuition of a Firefighter, Georgina Ross masters the art of sluicing mud before it settles.


Pontoon update

Our winter active members are increasingly aware of the absence of the main pontoon which will hopefully be restored back to its rightful position very soon. A number of small holes were discovered in the pontoon when it was closely inspected which has caused delays with reinstatement.

The total cost of the repairs and replacement will be about $13,000. Consideration was given to applying for funding toward this cost however, as an estimate was not possible prior to the pontoon being removed from the water, it precluded the Club from applying. Any donations toward this project will be gratefully received!

The sterling work of Tom, Brocky Trev, Luffy and Des who undertook the replacement of a new rub board is much appreciated.


Recent grant success

Barb Hammond and Annie Pawson recently applied for funding support which has resulted in the Lion Foundation allocating $10,860 toward our annual insurance expenses, and NZ Community Foundation $8,000 toward the purchase of a new double sculling boat.

Well done Barb and Annie. The Club is also most thankful to these agencies!


Winter Series 7km race

Trevor Rush and Brocky combined with two other external rowers in a composite 4X- to win the July race against 19 other entrants.

Returning AWRC rower Zac Visser took 3rd place competing as a Mens Club 1X , with our Under 16 Girls Quad of Reeve Watson, Awen Emmett, Evie Roy, Eliza Maxey and cox Lillie Taylor securing 4th place.



Please diary now to attend the Clubs Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 25 August at 7:00pm in the Club Lounge. This is your opportunity to take part in the ongoing future of our Club.

All members are expected to attend. Please also consider who you wish to nominate as an office-bearer and for our incoming Committee.

Bruce Osborne has indicated his intention to stand down as President after holding this portfolio for the past 5 years – who do you wish to lead the Club forward for the next year and beyond?


Coming Up

Thursday 5 + 19 August - Thirsty Thursday

Sunday 8 August - Winter Series 8km race (after match at Union Boat Club)

Wednesday 25 August - AGM – Mark your calendars now!

Sunday 5 September - Whanganui Rowing Association AGM


Quote of the Month

“In order to win you have to do something that the boat next to you isn’t prepared to do.”


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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