The Oamaru Rowing Club’s annual Open Day proved successful in fine weather at Friendly Bay yesterday with a large number of first time rowers taking to the water.
The newbie rowers were also joined by club legend Bill Smedley, who won gold for New Zealand in the Perth British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1962.
Club captain Peter Scott said the turnout was pleasing with a strong representative from the local high schools.
“The turn our has been fantastic, there’s been good numbers of novice rowers from all schools,” he said.
“There’s probably been about another half a dozen from each of the schools and we already have 30 here helping out so there’s probably about 40 or 50 people here at the moment.”
“We’ve had good interest from youth rowers from the ages of after leaving school to about 27, they’ve been coming over the last few weeks, but today has mainly been about novice school rowers.”
Scott said the numbers have increased from last year and hopes more will participate in the coming weeks.
“It’s much better than last season for some reason, I’m not sure why. Last season, we were fighting with the Americas Cup, I remember now and it was almost the final race,” he said.
“But if they don’t come today they’ll next week, it’s not a biggie, it’s just a nice club day to have everyone down here.”
Scott said the majority of novices sign up after the experience of the open day and was pleased with the interest of high school students.
“It’s very rare that they don’t, once they row it very rare that they don’t sign on for the season,” he said.
“I’m thrilled with the interest shown in rowing, it just seems to build year on year and I’m very pleased that all the schools have got good participation including now a new level of youth rowing and masters rowing.”
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Ellie Monk and Tayla Evans on the water at Friendly Bay yesterday.