top of page

March 2022 Newsletter


Whanganui Handicap Regatta 5 February

In the absence of formal regattas, our young rowers were able to take part in a hastily organised fixture on the river between AWRC, Whanganui Collegiate, Wellington Girls College and Wellington (Boys) College.

With all teams separated while entering and exiting the river, the contest was able to take place under the Covid limitations.

Life member Gus Scott managed to provide some excellent handicapping which provided some very close finishes from the 17 well-contested fields.

Thanks to our team of helpers who started and umpired over the course of the morning.


NZ Club Championships 2022

History will record that our National Championships were shifted at short notice from Karapiro to Ruataniwha. Unfortunately, our Club was unable to take part due to impractical logistics and costs. This is probably the first time in the past 100 years (apart from the World Wars when they weren’t conducted), that Aramoho Whanganui and its antecedent clubs have not taken part in this fixture.

Nonetheless, several North Island Clubs and most of the South Island were able to compete and we congratulate those Clubs which took out titles, particularly those who secured Championship victories.


Recap - Club Day

The Club arranged a Club Day on 26 February where our athletes, including our school Learn To Row Group, had the opportunity to enjoy a healthy smoothie breakfast before taking part in an address from Nicola Brown (Nutrition), Greg Fromont (Injury prevention) and Hera Monaghan (Yoga).

We are very grateful to the aforementioned for contributing their time to this event and thank our helpers, Tom, Lisa, Rebecca, Kiersten, Barb, Maddi and Rylee.


World Indoor Rowing Championships 2022

Nicola Goss from our Club recently contested this virtual event in the Womens 30-39 500 metres and 2000 metres category, where she finished 10th and 6th respectively.

It takes some tenacity to take part in this event between the hours of 1.00am and 4:00 am New Zealand time, and Nicola was obliged to qualify earlier in the week by completing a 4-minute time trial where she had the satisfaction of breaking her own NZ record.

Interestingly, Nicola went to Palmerston North Girls High School (a non-rowing school) and became interested in rowing by utilising the school’s rowing ergometers.

Our members all enjoy taking part on the ergometers at the Club, which are a great asset to our sport, especially when the external conditions are unrowable.

Well done Nicola!


RIP Jean Benge (nee Forlong)

It is with sadness we record the passing of Jean, who was the Club's number one coxswain in 1986 when the John Symes coached Aramoho Whanganui Rowing Club took out the Women's Premier Champion Coxed Four for the very first time.

In 1985 Jean coxed the NZ Junior Women in a series against Australia and the following year also coxed the NZ Under 23 Womens Four.

In recent years, Jean was the Manager of the Whanganui Youth Services Trust and had a long interest in horses, holding every administrative position in the local branch of the Manawatu Mounted Games Association.

The Club extends its condolences to husband Shane, daughters Kelli and Rebecca, as well as her wider family.

Pictured on the dias with Jean are Tracey Moorhouse, Fiona Symes (now O’Leary). Judith Fretter and Kirsty Bell (Black).

Jean had a distinguished school coxing career for Whanganui High School and coxed the bow four of the winning Maadi Cup Eight (who also raced as an Under 17 Four), to victory. The school also won the Under 19 Four in that season.

The next photo shows a happy group after winning the Auckland Championships:

Back row- Wendy Quirke (Wright), Caroline Kingdom (Te Maipi)(Cox), Fiona Symes (O’Leary), Kath Low, Jean Forlong (Benge) (Cox), Sheila Pearson.

Front row- Kirsty Bell (Back), Sharon Kaua, Andrea Young, Laurel Broadhead (Benn)

Thank you to Fiona O’Leary for the above information and photographs.

Foot Note: 1986 Womens Champion Four Stroke, Tracey Moorhouse, was involved in a serious motor cycle accident last month, sustaining serious head injuries. She is currently undergoing rehabilitation in Wellington and we all wish her a speedy recovery.


RIP Doug Foreman

We also acknowledge the recent passing of Doug Foreman. Doug was a member of the senior WHS Eight which contested the Maadi Cup Regattas in 1964 and 1965.

He also built the first rowing trailer for the former Wanganui Rowing Club.

In the past 3 years Doug was an enthusiastic member of the AWRC 100 Club.

Our sympathies are extended to Doug’s Family.


Quote of the month

“If it doesn’t challenge you It doesn’t change you” John Wooden, American Basketball Coach


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


bottom of page