For Owen . . . Oamaru rowers dug deep at the Aoraki 1000m Regatta at the weekend, to make their late coach, Owen Gould (left), proud. PHOTOS: SALLY BROOKER/SUPPLIED

Oamaru rowers left everything on the water at the weekend to make Owen Gould proud.

The Oamaru Rowing Club was rocked by Gould’s death last week, but to honour the longserving head coach’s legacy, a crew of 50 young rowers produced some outstanding performances at the Aoraki 1000m Regatta.

Club captain and coach Ivan Docherty said he was in awe of the rowers’ performances after a ‘‘tough week’’, the young athletes winning 10 races and recording five seconds and three thirds at the event .

The rowers all wore black armbands and flew their flags at half mast to honour the ‘‘great man that Owen was and what he’s given to the sport of rowing in Oamaru’’.

‘‘Every one of those kids went out there and gave it their all, I couldn’t be any more proud of each and every one of them,’’ Docherty said.

‘‘Our motto going into this [was] Owen was alongside us . . . we went up there to make him proud and the kids did that on that water.’’

Mark Taylor, Jared Brenssell and Logan Docherty — three of Oamaru’s top rowers who had been coached by Gould — also attended the regatta and rowed alongside the team.

‘‘That just shows you the passion they have for the club and they just want to pay back to the club that gave them so much,’’ Ivan Docherty said.

After the regatta, club members past and present came together in Twizel to celebrate Gould’s life, and the presentation of his green coat for coaching Logan Docherty to a New Zealand premier title last season.

Gould is one of only two Oamaru rowing coaches to be awarded a green coat. The other was Rusty Robertson.

‘‘To be even in that same breath to say that there were two that had that, it meant so much for Owen and he deserved every bit of it,’’ Ivan Docherty said.

The green coat not only represented Gould’s success in coaching Logan Docherty to national honours, but also his success with other rowers such as Taylor and Jo Kearney, who previously won national red coats, Ivan Docherty said.

‘‘They wouldn’t have got those red coats if it hadn’t been for the coaching, guidance and mentoring that Owen had given them in their earlier years.

‘‘[Gould] was excited by it and he was absolutely honoured that he was going to receive this award [his green coat]. He deserved all the accolades that came his way — I can’t speak highly enough about Owen and he’s a great mate as well.’’

Gould joined the club as a novice in 1962 — the same year the Oamaru four won gold at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games — and spent more than 15 years as head coach.

Win Stephens, a member of the gold medal-winning Oamaru four, said he was a senior rower when Gould joined the club. Stephens was honoured to receive a call from Gould recently to inform him the club had decided to name a new Oamaru boat after him at last weekend’s regatta.

Gould’s 59 years of involvement with the club was an incredible achievement, Stephens said.

‘‘He was Oamaru rowing.’’

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher and councillor Bill Kingan paid tribute to Gould at a council meeting this week.

‘‘He’s certainly been one of the very committed, very dedicated, conscientious volunteers we have in our community,’’ Mr Kircher said.

‘‘He will be missed significantly. The number of young people who have been coached by Owen has been significant and the influence that he’s had on them and their lives.’’

Gould was farewelled on Wednesday. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, his funeral was by invitation only, but was livestreamed at the rowing club.

Past and present club members took part in a guard of honour along the Esplanade, as he was driven past the Oamaru Harbour on his final journey.