Tuesday 1 October 2019 9:50am
Check out the International Universities Rowing Regatta being held this week, from 2 to 5 October on Otago Harbour. Photo: Sharron Bennett.
University of Otago colours will be out on the water this week in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the University and the 90th anniversary of the Otago University Rowing Club.
The club is hosting an International Universities Rowing Regatta from 2-5 October, with crews coming from as far afield as Russia, China and Japan.
“It’s such a privilege to be able to host these fantastic teams which have looked after us in their own countries over the years,” says OURC Manager Glen Sinclair. “The regatta is all about bringing friends here to our home to join us in celebrating the 150th anniversary.”
The regatta has attracted men’s teams from St Petersburg State University, Russia; Shanghai Jiao Tong, China; Kyoto, Japan and women’s teams from Xi’an Jiao Tong, China and Keio, Japan.
"It’s such a privilege to be able to host these fantastic teams which have looked after us in their own countries over the years. The regatta is all about bringing friends here to our home to join us in celebrating the 150th anniversary."
Racing begins on Wednesday 2 October at 8am on Otago Harbour with the 5000m finishing at the OUSA Aquatic Centre in Magnet Street.
On Thursday racing moves to the International Rowing Course on Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel, at 11am, for the 2000m, and on Saturday it’s back to Otago Harbour at 8am for the 250m sprints.
OURC will also be celebrating its 90th anniversary with an alumni reunion for all past rowers, including fun alumni races on Saturday.
The regatta is hot on the heels of the OURC Men’s Eights success in Nanchang, China, where the team won gold in the 6km and silver in the 1000m races - beating crews from the Chinese National team, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, MIT and Tokyo.
OURC was formed in 1929 to provide students with the opportunity to compete against other universities in New Zealand. Today the club boasts a membership of around 230 and runs a high-performance rowing programme in conjunction with the University and Rowing New Zealand’s regional performance centres, which attracts both domestic and international students keen to develop their sport alongside their study.
The Club’s rowing teams compete nationally and internationally against the world’s top universities and Otago rowing alumni include New Zealand representatives, Olympic and world champion rowers, including Olympic gold medallists Hamish Bond and Nathan Cohen, and two-time Olympic medallist Rebecca Scown.
Purpose-built facilities at the OUSA Aquatic Centre on the Otago Harbour offer year-round indoor training for Otago and visiting international students, and local community groups.
As part of Otago’s 150th anniversary fundraising appeal, the University is seeking to raise an endowment fund of NZ$1 million so that interest generated from the endowment can support a full-time Club Manager and Club Coach.
Cancellation information: Listen to The Breeze 98.2 FM on Wednesday after 7am for cancellation information. If Wednesday’s races are cancelled, it is hoped they will be able to be held on Friday from 8am-9am. A call will also be made on Wednesday for the Saturday races, if these are cancelled it is hoped they will be held on Friday evening around 5pm.