Waikato double at rowing champs
Waikato schools scored a spectacular double triumph at the national secondary schools rowing champs this afternoon.
Hamilton Boys' High School defended their Maadi Cup title by winning the boys' under-18 eights final at Lake Ruataniwha while Waikato Diocesan School for Girls made it a memorable final day by taking out the girls' u-18 eights crown minutes earlier.
Both crews began their respective finals as underdogs after their top fours crews were kept out of the gold medal spots the previous day.
But both boats timed their efforts to perfection to score dominant victories over high-class fields.
The Waikato Dio crew of Anahera Nin (stroke), Georgia Barker, Annaliese O'Leary, Anna Porritt, Madison Dunn, Kate Martin, Laura Kelly, Angela Clarke and coxswain Victoria Wilson recorded a time of six minutes 51.43 seconds to head home Westlake GHS by almost nine seconds and gain back the Levin Jubilee Trophy.
The Hamilton BHS crew of Theo Krielen (stroke), Caleb Loomans, Drikus Conradie, Matt Munro, Sam Macky, James Parton, Tom Bell, Finn Maunsell and cox Hayden Shaw saw off challenges from St Bede's College and Napier BHS.
It was an emotional victory for the HBHS boat, with the rowers wearing black armbands as a tribute to former HBHS rower Andrew Healey - a Maadi Cup winner in 2008 - who died following a car accident on Monday.
The school took out the Star Trophy as the most successful school overall at the six-day regatta, ahead of St Peter's School, who won the President's Trophy as the leading sculling school.
HBHS also won the Executive Trophy as the outstanding sweep oar school, with Waikato Dio third.
Over the two days of finals, HBHS also collected gold in the u-18 novice double sculls, exhibition u-18 novice eight, u-15 eight, u-15 coxed quad, u-15 coxed four and u-18 novice coxed four.
St Peter's won gold in the girls u-18 exhibition novice eight, the girls u-18 novice double sculls and girls u-18 coxed quad.
Waikato Dio added gold in the u-17 eight and u-18 novice coxed four, while Hamilton GHS's Georgia Allen triumphed in the u-18 single scull final as part of a Waikato trifecta.
St Paul's Collegiate took out the boys u-17 coxed four crown while Hillcrest HS won gold in the girls u-16 coxed four.