More rowers, more parents and more decent rowing weather.
Oamaru Rowing Club coach Owen Gould has his Christmas wishlist sorted and it is only October.
The new rowing season starts with the R2K regatta and inter-provincial championships on Lake Ruataniwha this weekend, following the Oamaru squad’s annual spring camp.
Seventeen Oamaru rowers are in camp, and seven will compete in the R2K regatta, which is for single scullers only.
That is followed at the end of the month by the Aoraki 1000, jointly hosted by the Oamaru, Timaru and Ashburton clubs. The half-distance regatta is aimed at rowers who are not quite sure whether to commit to the sport.
“It’s mainly for novice rowers recruited this year who will decide whether they are in or out for the season,” Gould said.
“It’s about getting a taste of racing. A lot of events are 50% novice, so you put one novice and one experienced rower together in a double.”
The Oamaru club is down on numbers from last season.
About 24 rowers are on the water, but that tally includes the novices.
“We’re going to have another drive in the final school term,” Gould said.
“We’re targeting year 8s and year 9s. We haven’t been successful there, and it’s important to get more rowers in that age group because you get them for three or four years.”
The Oamaru club is also hoping to enlist the help of parents and caregivers of rowers.
“When you’re recruiting athletes, you’re recruiting their parents as well. They’re almost more important than the actual rowers. We can’t operate without their support.”
Gould is hoping for big things this season from under-17 single sculler Logan Docherty, who has been training hard in the gym and on rowing machines over winter, and Max Smith (under-18), who formed a handy double with Docherty last summer.
Of the girls, under-16 single sculler Hannah Cunningham showed promise.
“Technically, she’s very good, and she will get there with some hard work.”
Meanwhile, former Oamaru rower Jared Brenssell has been representing the University of Otago in China this week.
Brenssell was part of the eight that competed at the International Universities Regatta alongside crews from glamour programmes like Oxford and Princeton.
Brenssell is rushing back to Twizel to race in the inter-provincial regatta this weekend alongside James Scott and former Waitaki Boys’ High School star Mark Taylor.