Kiwi rows Ivy League boat

17:00, Jul 17 2014
Max Lowndes
TEAM WORK: Max Lowndes, second rower from front, in action with his team-mates from Brown University.

Juggling an engineering degree and high performance rowing at an Ivy League University is no mean feat.

For Max Lowndes of St Heliers it is everyday life.

The 20-year-old has just completed his first year at New England's Brown University after graduating from Saint Kentigern College in 2012.

Max Lowndes
MEDAL WINNER: Max Lowndes with some of his silverware from the rowing season at Brown University in the United States.

"It's very different to being in New Zealand," Lowndes says.

"Everyone at Brown is extremely smart, so you're trying to keep up with a lot of the smartest kids in the United States."

"It's a huge amount of work to stay on top of everything."


Despite the pressure Lowndes has had huge success at Brown, particularly with the rowing team.

Rowing in the eights, the Brown crew won the Ivy League Champs beating Harvard by half a second in the sprints.

The win meant Brown sent their squad to the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in England where the crew took second place, losing only to Oxford Brookes University.

According to Lowndes, the Brown rowing team trains more than any other team at the university and it's the results that keep him going.

"It's the kind of sport where the amount of effort you put in is directly proportional to your results.

"Every day you're pushing yourself and finding a new limit, it's always a big challenge and you learn a lot about yourself doing it."

At the end of his last season of rowing at Saint Kentigern he approached various rowing coaches in the US and got interest from Princeton, Harvard and Brown.

After flying out to the States to visit the school, Lowndes decided Brown was the one for him.

"There is a lot less of a high brow attitude at Brown, it's a lot more relaxed, down to earth and a little more chilled out."

"In terms of rowing it has a really cool team culture, based around racing and hard work."

Lowndes stays in the school dorms which removes him from the hustle and bustle of the city.

He hopes to pursue a career in biomedical engineering but also wants to continue his rowing.

"I want to do as well as I can at Brown and win a lot more races there, then hopefully come back here and race for New Zealand," he says.

East And Bays Courier