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Stepping up . . . The final crew (from left) Damien Goodsir, Win Stephens and Ivan Docherty, complete the last 1500m. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

It was an ergathon that exceeded expectations.

Last Saturday’s Oamaru Rowing Club fundraiser brought in $16,400, nearly double the $8500 target, for a new pair/double boat.

About 45 rowers, sharing nine rowing machines, rowed the 1152km distance from Oamaru to Lake Karapiro, in Waikato, in 11 1/2 hours.

Coach and club captain Ivan Docherty, assistant coach Damien Goodsir and 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Win Stephens, who has been helping out at the club since the death of head coach Owen Gould, rowed the final 1500m of the trip together.

Docherty said the group started off with a ‘‘hiss and a roar’’ and never slowed down, averaging about 100km an hour.

‘‘I suppose we were within the speed limit,’’ he joked.

‘‘[I’m] absolutely delighted in each and every one of them. They showed a lot of resolve and a lot of resilience just to put in the hard yards and get to the finish line to arrive at Karapiro just after 7 o’clock on Saturday night.’’

The club’s new boat was ordered on Monday and extra funds were being put towards another coach boat motor — both big assets for the club.

All rowers organised sponsorship from local businesses and Docherty said he was grateful to the community’s support.

‘‘I can’t thank them enough — that’s gold in our community. It’s great to have that support around us knowing we do it as individuals, we do it as a club, but we do it for our community.’’

The rowers all encouraged one another throughout the ergathon. Docherty said it boded well for the season ahead, especially next weekend’s Otago Championship Regatta.

‘‘There was plenty of encouragement to each person ensuring there was a good culture of ‘we’re here together, we’ve all got one goal in to get to Karapiro, let’s do this together and back each other’,’’ he said.

Oamaru is sending about 41 athletes to the Otago Championship, including novice eight girls and boys crews for the first time in many years.

That was encouraging for the future of the sport in Oamaru, Docherty said.

‘‘It’s going to be an exciting regatta. We’re expecting big performances with this group of athletes we’ve got there at the moment.’’