Posted by Les Divers on Feb 26, 2018

Tucked away on the stroke side of Panama Road heading towards the Tamaki Estuary is the superb facility that is the home of the Auckland Rowing Club, now in its 149th year.  Pakuranga members and their spouses had the opportunity on Monday night of viewing the resources and learning of the Club’s history from Club Captain Michael Smyth and other officers.  The Club’s colours (and blazers) of red and black stripes were adopted from the colours of the Auckland Regiment (some members of which later settled in Canterbury and allowed the use their colours by assorted sports teams).

The current building allows the storage of huge numbers of boats, as well as 30 coaching boats. The site is also shared by Nga Hau Maiangi where member clubs house their Waka and equipment and have a communal space for meetings.  An all tide pontoon provides access for up to four 8’s to be launched at the same time.  The estuary adjacent to the Club site has been cleared to provide a dedicated straight 2,000m rowing track for training purposes.

Sacred Heart, Epsom Girl’s Grammar and Howick College all row out of the Club in addition to Diocesan School for Girls and Kings College.  At least a dozen indoor rowing machines are available for warming up or cooling down and each of the Club boats is named after a life member of the Club.

The evening served to illuminate well the proud history of the Club, the wide range of young sportspeople who benefit from it, the capital-intensive nature of the sport (where a new basic 8 costs $30-$40,000) and the enthusiasm of those involved in it.  Pulling together to ensure its success were the Vocational Committee and Roger Milne.  We were joined by Roger’s wife Lesley, who completed in the Worlds in the 1970’s and was the first woman President of Rowing New Zealand a decade ago.