Thu, May 9, 2024 10:25 AM

Picton’s rowers strike rich vein of form


Peter Jones

The Picton Rowing Club produced a Central Otago gold rush at the recent South Island Masters Rowing Championships on Lake Wanaka.

A squad of 25 Picton masters rowers across all age groups made the trip south for the regatta which attracted 248 rowers from 25 clubs.

In what was described as “a huge success for the Picton club” the squad came away with 22 gold medals (11 in composite crews), 10 silvers (three in composite crews) and three bronze.

The Picton four give it their all.

Every member of the squad won at least one gold medal, showing the growing strength of the club, which has expanded over the last three years from a handful of competitive rowers to over 40.

The E-H squad were Ryan Lock, Ian Hosie, Rob Roy, Dave Withell, Jo Brady, Annie McNicholl, Amanda Inkster, Maia Bahlsen, Jill Evans, Bronny Lane, Anna Polson, Sally Kent, Pippa Babb, Karen Diefenbach, Bev Doole and cox Emma Jay Diefenbach, plus Taupo rowers Melissa Cameron and Denise Duffy.

With the majority of the club's new rowers aged 55 plus, they were combined with the more experienced older rowers, who have also been coaching, giving everyone a greater opportunity to do well.  A very productive and rewarding approach, with all but six of the E-F crews making the podium.

The club won the Mercer Trophy for the most overall points and collected the following trophies: Smash and Grab - fastest long distance eight (cox Melissa Cragg, Keiran, Shae, Ryan and Hayden Gaudin, Dane Fuller, Mark Patterson, William Karena (Blenheim) and Dan Karena (Wairau); the Mock Rooster - men's fastest coxless four (composite crew); the Don Gardiner Trophy - men's fastest double scull (composite crew); the Jack Cocker Upside Down Rooster – men’s fastest single scull (Mark Patterson); the Te Anau Trophy - ladies novice quad (cox Emma Jay Diefenbach, Karen Diefenbach, Sally Kent, Pippa Babb and Bev Doole). The novice ladies have only been rowing for seven months, making their achievement even more meritorious.

The men's eight on Lake Wanaka.

Leading the way in Wanaka were the club’s “youngsters”.

Melissa Cragg had another very successful weekend claiming six golds from six races. She won the mixed eight, the mixed four, mixed quad, mixed double, women’s eight and picked up the trophy for fastest women’s four with crewmates from the Dunstan club in Alexandra.

Dane Fuller, who flew down from Waiheke Island, claimed four golds from four races, while Mark Patterson might need a new medal room after winning seven golds, including the men’s single, the men’s double and men’s four, along with four victories in the eight races.

The Gaudin brothers combined to win a total of 14 golds, including four eights races, the men’s quad, men’s coxless pair and numerous mixed events. Ryan and Keiran claiming the pair title over younger brothers Shae and Hayden, with the roles reversed in the men’s double.

The ladies octi in action.

Also in attendance were Picton old boys and brothers Daniel and William Karena who were rowing for Blenheim and Wairau.

Daniel came home with two golds in both the eights and, although it was William’s first regatta since 2006, he did not disappoint. He claimed golds in the men’s eight, men’s A single and mixed A double but, most importantly, bragging rights over older brother Daniel who he beat in the single.

The younger A-D squad comprised Keiran, Ryan, Shae and Hayden Gaudin, Mark Patterson, Dane Fuller, Melissa Cameron rowing with Dunstan Ladies, plus Pete Benny from Otago RC, William Karena from Blenheim RC and Dan Karena from Wairau Rowing Club.

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