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The Oamaru Rowing Club’s latest crop of recruits have had their first taste of competition.

And it had only fuelled their ambition, Oamaru Rowing Club coach Owen Gould said.

The club took 37 members, including 21 graduates of the recent “give rowing a go” programme, to compete in the Aoraki Regatta on Lake Ruataniwha last weekend.

The annual event is designed to give new rowers a chance to compete alongside more experienced athletes.

Eleven clubs from around the South Island attended.

With the temperatures topping 30degC, conditions were challenging for rowers.

“It was a tough introduction, considering how cold it has been been for the last five or six weeks,” Gould said.

He was impressed with the standard of the novice rowers.

“There are not many that haven’t impressed me – I can’t confirm one that is not coming back at this stage.

“We would have been the top-performing club [at the regatta].”

The club’s New Zealand representatives, Mark Taylor and Logan Docherty, rowed alongside the novices in several events, which provided a boost, Gould said.

The next event for the Oamaru Rowing Club is the Otago Championship, held on December 14 and 15.