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Rowers pull off historic heist at Maadi Cup

Rowers pull off historic heist at Maadi Cup

St Paul’s rowers surpassed all expectations at this year’s Maadi Cup regatta held at Karapiro, clinching three gold and four bronze medals. In overall points, this ranked St Paul’s eighth amongst 120 secondary schools that competed.

In what was considered the upset of the tournament, the girls’ under-18 coxed four secured the Dawn Cup in an historic win on Friday afternoon.

Kate Littlejohn (Year 13), Olivia Warlow (Year 13), Grace Watson (Year 12), Jasmine Fountaine (Year 11) and cox Victoria Chanwai (Year 12), were underdogs in the prestigious race against schools with national representatives in their boats.

However, the crew held a consistent lead throughout the race to finish in an impressive 7 minutes and 15 seconds, three seconds ahead of second place.

St Paul’s rowing coach, Reverend James Stephenson, believes the win to be “one of the biggest heists New Zealand junior rowing has ever seen.”

“This is an amazing feat for a school with less than 130 girls who only start rowing at Year 11.” Racing from fifth to first in a perfectly executed second half of the race; Sam Harcourt (Year 11) and Isaac West (Year 11) won gold in the boys’ under-15 double sculls.

Sam and Isaac were joined by Max McLean-Bluck (Year 11) and Seth Peake (Year 11) and coxed by Gus Hanham (Year 11), in the boys’ under-15 four, where they dominated Hamilton Boys’ High and St Andrew’s College (Christchurch) to win gold by a seven-second margin.

Bronze medals came from the under-18 girls' coxless pair, the under-18 boys' novice coxed four, and the under-15 boys' coxed eight.

Kate Littlejohn and Grace Watson have been named, among a small select group, to trial for the New Zealand Junior Rowing team. If they are successful in their trial, they will travel to the World Championships in Lithuania later this year.

“It has been an outstanding year for St Paul’s rowing and our Maadi success is the perfect way to wrap up the season.”

A-final results:

  • Gold – Isaac West and Sam Harcourt placed first in the boys’ under-15 double sculls
  • Gold – Kate Littlejohn, Olivia Warlow, Grace Watson, Jasmine Fountaine and cox Victoria Chanwai placed first in the girls’ under-18 coxed four
  • Gold – Isaac West, Sam Harcourt, Seth Peake, Max McLean-Bluck and cox Gus Hanham placed first in the boys’ under-15 coxed four
  • Bronze – Kate Littlejohn (Year 13) and Grace Watson (Year 12) placed third in the girls’ under-18 coxless pair oars
  • Bronze – Isaac West, Sam Harcourt, Seth Peake, Max McLean-Bluck, Edwin Wills (Year 11), Nico Mitchell, Jack Caldwell, Wes Hitchcock (Year 10) and cox Gus Hanham (Year 11) placed third in the boys’ under-15 coxed eight
  • Bronze – Taotahi te Ua (Year 12), Dallas Taikato (Year 12), Miah McDonald (Year 11), Ronan Fuller (Year 11) and cox Sarah Best (Year 13) placed third in the boys’ under-18 novice coxed four
  • Bronze – Kate Littlejohn (Year 13), Bo Jacobsen (Year 13), Olivia Warlow (Year 13), Grace Watson (Year 12), Alice Emeny (Year 12), Abby Bartels, Jasmine Fountaine, Madeleine Dickie (Year 11) and cox Victoria Chanwai (Year 12) placed third in the girls’ under-18 coxed eight
  • Miah McDonald, Taotahi te Ua, Dallas Taikato (Year 12), Ronan Fuller, Max Roach (Year 11), George Wilson (Year 11), Aidan Leuschke, Kent Davidson (Year 10) and cox Sarah Best (Year 13) placed fifth in the boys’ under-18 novice coxed eight
  • TJ Balme (Year 12), Alice Cao (Year 11), Madeleine DIckie (Year 11), Olivia Knowling (Year 11) and cox Blaire Fullerton Smith (Year 13) placed fifth in the girls' under-18 coxed four.

B-final results:

  • Bo Jacobsen (Year 13), Donna Smit (Year 13), Alice Emeny (Year 12), Abby Bartels (Year 11), and cox Molly Flavell (Year 11) placed sixth in the girls’ under-18 coxed four
  • Abby Bartels (Year 11) and Alice Cao (Year 11) placed seventh in the girls’ under-15 double sculls.