Mix of young, older rowers taking on Navy

Racing stripes . . . Pictured with the boat that will race the Navy is Scotts Own Sea Scouts Chairperson Elizabeth Isbister and Oamaru Rowing Club members Ken Langman, Lachlan Wright (15), Henry Robinson (16), Lochlan McLaren (15), Dagmar Rohrbach, Stuart Isbister (15) and Ivan Docherty.

The Oamaru Rowing Club will take on the Royal New Zealand Navy in a race for the Oamaru Challenge Cup tomorrow.

The race is a part of the Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations taking place throughout the week.

Previously, the club had raced its masters crew, but this year there will be a split crew of younger and older members rowing alongside each other.

Masters rowers Ken Laraman, Ivan Docherty and Dagmar Rohrbach will join forces with Lachlan Wright
(15), Lochlan McLaren (15), Stuart Isbister and cox Henry Robinson (16) for the race. The crews will be rowing in older boats, owned and used by Scotts Own Sea Scouts.

The boat was vastly different from what rowers were used to, Lachlan said.

‘‘In this [boat] you’ve got two people a side, the boat’s a lot thicker and shorter and you don’t have any slides, so it’s just all [upper] body pretty much.’’

It would be ‘‘a lot more challenging’’ than rowing a modern boat, he said.

‘‘It’ll be interesting.’’

Mr Laraman said the novel event was a lot of fun for everyone involved.

‘‘I’m very excited.

‘‘It’s a great day out and it’s good for the navy too, because they get a high profile in the local town as well.’’

The race had not been held since 2018, and was an event that the rowers had been looking forward to, Mrs Rohrbach said.

‘‘As a rowing club we are really happy to contribute to a wonderful community event and be part of that.’’

The two crews would arrange the rules for the race on the day, as it was done ‘‘in the olden days’’, she said.

Racing would begin at 2pm in Oamaru Harbour.