14 May 2010

Wellington Rowing Club celebrates 125th anniversary

12:01 pm on 14 May 2010

Several hundred people - including a boatload of Olympic rowers and medal-winners - will be on hand this weekend to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Wellington Rowing Club.

About 200 people have officially registered for the anniversary dinner tomorrow night and hundreds more for the launch, on the same day, of a book celebrating the history of the club.

However a highlight for the public - weather permitting - will be Sunday when a flotilla of skiffs and crews from a number of local rowing clubs, accompanied by waka ama and craft from the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, will cross the inner harbour and be welcomed by a water cannon salute from the harbour's tugs.

Olympians expected to take part in the weekend's festivities include Dick Joyce (Gold '68 and '72), Ross Collinge (Gold '68, Silver '72), Peter Delaney (Tokyo '64), John Hunter (Gold '72), John Clark ('72), Alec McLean (Bronze '76) and hopefully Simon Dickie (Gold '68 and '72, bronze '76).

The Wellington Rowing Club is not the oldest in the region - its next-door neighbours and great rivals, the Star Boating Club, was established in 1866. The original WRC was established in 1871 as a professional club (members rowed for money), but was then re-established in 1885 as an amateur club.

The WRC was one of the 11 clubs which formed the New Zealand Amateur Rowing Association (now Rowing NZ) in 1887.