Starting Rowing in 2018

The competitive rowing season runs from October through to March with boys starting serious training in Term 3. SPC Rowing run a 6 week “Introduction to Rowing” course in Term 2 to give Year 9 and 10 boys a taste of rowing before they sign up for the full season. This course will introduce boys to the rowing stroke, the rowing machines, and let them get some time on the water. In addition, boys and their families can come and observe the Auckland Rowing Champs (Head of Harbour) Regatta at Lake Pupuke, Takapuna, at the beginning of February to see what a regatta looks like. We will also hold an information afternoon towards the end of Term 2 to provide the details that boys and their families need to consider before the 2018/19 season properly starts in Term 3.

If you’d like to register for the Introduction to Rowing program or if you have any questions about rowing please email:

Ms Stacey Lithgow, Director of Rowing, E: (please provide boy’s name and year in 2018).

You can read on below for further details of how rowing is run at St. Peter’s.


Rowing has become one of New Zealand’s iconic sports with great international success over recent Olympics including Rio where St. Peter’s Old Boy, Stephen Jones, was in the NZ Men’s 8. Rowing provides a unique environment for boys to develop physically and in their teamwork. They will be motivated to work hard over the season and to perform for the other members of their crew. Boys will train and travel with the whole squad of 30-35 boys from Year 9 to Year 13, and there is excellent camaraderie with older boys playing a strong mentoring and support role.

SPC Rowing has grown strongly over the last few years with the current 2017/8 season being the 3rd in succession with a squad size of over 30 boys. Notable achievements in the last couple of years have been:

  • 2014/15: North Is. and National Gold medals – Novice 4
  • 2014/15: North Is. and National Bronze medals – Novice 8
  • 2015/16: North Is Silver/Bronze medals – Novice 4 and Novice 8 respectively
  • 2015/16: National Bronze medal – Under 16 4.

This is a very exciting time to take up rowing at St Peter’s!

Latest Squad Updates
Season Structure

Competitive Regattas take place from late-October to end of March culminating in the National Secondary School’s Champs called the “Maadi Cup”. Training starts early in Term 3 but If boys are still involved with a winter sport then that takes priority until the winter season is finished. 

There is only a short two week break over Christmas/NY before training starts again in early January. Training time is lighter leading up to Christmas and then more intense from early January to end of March.

St Peter’s trains with a mix of morning and after school during term time, so it isn’t all early morning starts!

Ages Recruited

Term 3 of Years 9 and 10 are the main intakes. Years 11 & 12 are also encouraged and provide good strength in a Novice crew.

In our experience Year 7 & 8 boys are not mature enough or physically strong enough for the demands of a full rowing season.

Are there any special skills for rowing?

The most important thing for boys to have is commitment and dedication to work hard, this will allow them to have an enjoyable season. For rowing it is an advantage for boys to be above average height, reasonably lean, and be able to build muscle mass.

It is also very important that we recruit a number of new Coxswains each year and these boys would be smaller and lighter, under 50kgs.

“Give It A Go” Program

We run a very successful introductory program called “Give It A Go” for 6 weeks from Term 2. This will take place twice a week from 3.30pm-6.30pm and really allows  boys to understand what rowing will be like. For a cost of only $150 this is a great way to find out if rowing is the sport for you before committing to the time and cost of a full season. If you continue then the $150 will go towards the full season’s cost.

Towards the end of the 6 weeks we will run an Information Session for parents and boys to understand more about the season and ask any questions.

Training Locations
  • West End Rowing Club (WERC), Whau River, Avondale (Mahe Drysdale’s club!)
  • Camps – Mercer on the Waikato River (stay at Mercer Primary School)

7 – 8 regattas depending on qualifying performance* from late-October to end of March:

  • 3 regattas at Lake Pupuke, Takapuna, 900mtr course, 1 day long
  • 4 – 5 regattas at Lake Karapiro, Cambridge, 2,000mtr course, 2-3 days each

* Qualification Criteria will apply for Maadi Cup selection. Note that for the 2018/19 Season the Maadi Cup will be held at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel. It alternates each year with Lake Karapiro in Cambridge.

  • After School to WERC Avondale – school vans with parent drivers on a rostered basis, parent pick-up after training
  • Regattas – boys travel to regatta’s together in school vans, may go home with parents at end of regatta.
  • $150 for 6 week Give it a Go program, goes towards full season cost
  • $3,000 approximately for the season, divided into 8 monthly payments (this is one of the cheapest school programs and SPC contributes significantly to keep this cost down).
  • Cost includes: Club & Event fees, uniform, transport, food, accommodation and equipment. Payment is spread over the season and paid through the school portal to the school.
  • Refer Sports Uniform Requirements for rowsuit.
Parent Help
To help keep costs down all parents are rostered on to assist at one Regatta and a day or two at the Camps. Help is needed with crew management, transport, the regatta tent, cooking, cleaning etc.There is a Parents Committee that organises and co-ordinates the parent help, as well as fundraising and sponsorship, boat and trailer maintenance. Parents who have the time are encouraged to get involved on the committee.
2015/16 Season Notable Results

U16 Coxed 4

  • Gold Head of Harbour Auckland Championships
  • Bronze Maadi Cup NZ Secondary School’s Championships

U16 Coxed 8

  • Gold Head of Harbour Auckland Championships

Novice Coxed 4

  • Silver North Island Secondary School Championships
  • Silver Head of Harbour Auckland Championships

Novice Coxed 8

  • Bronze North Island Secondary School Championships
  • Silver Head of Harbour Auckland Championships

U17 Single Josh Shields

  • Silver Head of Harbour Auckland Championships

U18 Coxed 4

  • Bronze Head of Harbour Auckland Championships
Notable Alumni

Stephen Jones:

  •  Maadi Gold U17 Coxed Quad 2010
  •  Maadi Gold U17 Single Scull 2010
  •  Selected for the New Zealand Junior Team in 2011
  •  Selected for the New Zealand U21 Team in 2012
  •  Gold at U23 World Rowing Championships in 2013 and 2014. 2 x Gold U23 World Champions
  •  Member of New Zealand Summer Squad since 2013
  •  Stroke of New Zealand Elite Men’s Coxed 8 for 2015-2017. Competed at Rio 2016.

Lewis Hollows:

  •  Selected for the New Zealand Junior Team in 2011
  •  Selected for the New Zealand U21 Team in 2012 and 2013
  •  Selected for the New Zealand U23 Team in 2014 and 2015
  •  Silver at U23 World Championships 2015.
  • Representing NZ in Double Scull at World University Rowing Championships, 2nd – 4th Sept 2016, Poland
  • NZ mens 4x+ 2017
  • NZ summer squad 2017/8

Elliot Rhodes

  • Men’s Coxless Pair NZ U21 Rowing Team competing against Australia 30th June – 2nd July, 2016 Sydney

Jono Kumarich

  •  New Zealand Men’s 1x, 4x and 8+ U21 Rowing Team competing against Australia
  •  Auckland RPC 2016/2017, 2017/2018
  • Auckland RPC 2016/2017
  • Gold Mens 8+ World University Games- Otago University
Director of Rowing

Ms Stacey Lithgow, E: