Coaches Owen Gould and Mike Lawrence are confident Oamaru rowers can rock the boat at the Maadi Cup.
Months of hard work, determination and preparation had been leading up to next week’s premier secondary schools event on Lake Ruataniwha, Lawrence said.
The majority of this year’s squad is from St Kevin’s College.
Eli Winders, Hamish McAtamney, Logan Docherty, Caitlin McCoy, Hannah Cunningham, Froukje Edzes, Connie Metcalfe, Gemma Dowling, Georgia Oakes, Laura Preston, Rylee Bell, Sophie Brien, Isabella Hanning, Grace Guyton, Chanel Williams, River Cunningham, Yneke Edzes and Sophie Linares will all represent the school.
Denzil Edwards and Alejo Linares-Fontona are the lone rowers from Waitaki Boys’ High School.
Although the overall Oamaru squad was relatively small compared to other teams, Lawrence did not think it would affect the results.
“I’ve always believed when it comes to rowing, it’s quality over quantity,” Lawrence said.
The Oamaru rowers will be heading to Twizel nice and early for the regatta, which starts on Monday and runs all next week.
Although he did not want to jinx anything, Lawrence believed the rowers had the skills and training behind them to produce some good results.
“I’m hoping everything sticks itself together when it comes to Maadi,” he said.
Lawrence, a former international rower who came to North Otago from England to play rugby, said his favourite part of the season was watching rowers develop.
“Working with them as a whole and watching them progress has been the most important thing for me,” Lawrence said.
Gould, meanwhile, was equally optimistic about the Oamaru rowers’ performances at the event.
“We’ll make several A finals – I’m very confident on that,” Gould said.
Gould believed the rowers’ high levels of fitness and intense training would give them an upper hand in the competition.
“They’re certainly fit – extremely fit. We’ve covered hundreds of kilometres throughout the season,” he said.
Next year’s plan was to attract more people into rowing, Lawrence said.
“We want to try and make it accessible for all three schools.”
The Maadi Cup is believed to be the biggest secondary schools event in New Zealand. It involves about 2000 rowers from 120 schools.