Tue, Sep 26, 2023 5:15 PM

Masters master tough rowing conditions


Peter Jones

Rowers from the Blenheim and Picton clubs made the most of trying conditions to claim a swag of medals at the NZ Masters Rowing Championships on Lake Ruataniwha on September 16-17.

Around 300 competitors from all over the country, and a contingent from Australia, attended the event which was staged in challenging conditions, high winds and rough water making  rowing “sometimes a matter of survival rather than racing”, according to one club spokesperson.

Saturday’s programme was interrupted, then on Sunday, after a promising start, the weather deteriorated quickly and the regatta was abandoned at 11.35am. This was disappointing for both Picton and Blenheim contingents, with some of their targeted events not able to be completed.

With a small squad of just six rowers Picton punched above their weight, finishing seventh out of 35 clubs in attendance.

Former NZ lightweight Mark Patterson and former NZ University rower Dane Fuller capped off a remarkable weekend, winning four golds each, including a narrow win in the men’s coxless pair over club mates Ryan and Shae Gaudin who took home silver one second behind.

Kristian Fuller also had a top regatta, coming home with his first two gold medals in the hotly-contested Men’s A-C eight with his brother Dane, Ryan and Shae plus some members of the Dunstan Rowing Club. He was also in the mixed eight with Melissa Cragg joining the boys along with Nelson’s Yvannca Clarisse, Cambridge rower Belle Woods and Blenheim’s Marjolien van Velthuijsen.

Melissa came away with two golds and a silver, while Shae Gaudin joined the party with three golds, taking out the mixed double sculls with Woods.

Brian Hutchison, from the Blenheim club. Photo Picture Show Ltd.

Ten rowers from the Blenheim Rowing Club attended, often joining in composite crews with Picton members.

A highlight for the Blenheim club was the efforts of 91-year-old Brian Hutchison, the regatta’s oldest athlete. He rowed in the bow of the club’s G-M eight and G-M quad, picking up silver medals in both events.

Another highlight was provided by the women’s pair of Sarah Lissaman and Cynthia de Joux who continued their domination of their class by winning their E grade event.


Picton RC


Men’s single sculls (Mark Patterson). Men’s coxless pair (Mark Patterson, Dane Fuller). Men’s eight (D Fuller, Kristian Fuller, Ryan and Shae Gaudin). Men’s coxless quad – (M Patterson - Dunstan composite). Men’s double sculls (M Patterson and Simon Smith- Dunstan rowing). Mixed double sculls (Shae Gaudin, Belle Woods - Cambridge). Mixed 8 (D Fuller, K Fuller, R Gaudin, S Gaudin, Melissa Cragg and Nelson, Cambridge, Blenheim). Men’s D-F 8 (D Fuller and Dunstan composite). Women’s 8 (Melissa Cragg and Dunstan composite).


Men’s coxless pair (R and S Gaudin). Men’s single (R Gaudin). Men’s quad (K Fuller, D Fuller, R Gaudin, S Gaudin). Men’s double (R Gaudin, S Gaudin). Women’s quad (Melissa Cragg).


Men’s C single (D Fuller).

Blenheim RC


Women’s E pair (Sarah Lissaman, Cynthia de Joux)


Men’s G-M eight (Steve Mason, Barry Sayer, Shane Rohloff, Keith Nelson, Seb Bacchus, Allan Mills, Andrew Wild, Brian Hutchison, Kristy Udy cox)

Mixed four E (Sarah Lissaman, Barry Sayer, Shane Rohloff, Cynthia de Joux)

Men’s G-M quad (Steve Mason, Barry Sayer, Shane Rohloff, Brian Hutchison)

Women’s A-C quad (Marjolien van Velthuijsen, Cynthia de Joux, Sarah Lissaman, Melissa Cragg)


Mixed D-F eight (Marjolien van Velthuijsen, Cynthia de Joux, Sarah Lissaman, Melissa Cragg, Barry Sayer, Steve Mason, Seb Bacchus, Shane Rohloff, Kristy Udy cox) NOTE: the above crew was first in E grade, but no medals were awarded.

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