What a regatta! What a journey! The Aon Maadi Cup Regatta week was an experience that not only the rowers, their whānau and the school will never forget but each corner of our town seemed to embrace Maadi Cup fever.

It all started with the Sunday parade, during which the TAS rowers and Kapa Haka group proudly led the 104 schools onto our field to welcome the 2112 rowers to our spectacular home town.

TAS entered 14 events. We had some real highs and lows during the week, which I'm not going to go into too much detail about, but I will say that all our students represented our school beautifully and handled the pressure and challenges of racing with great dignity and maturity.

After a disrupted season of windy regattas, we were blessed with a full week of calm, and the whole regatta ran to a perfect schedule. Everyone in our squad experienced two or more races, but by the end of the week, four crews had progressed to the A Finals and two through to the B Finals. Outstanding!

Friday's Final day saw our Girls Under 17 crew (Kiara,Sadie,Hazel,Hazel and cox Jazmine) row a magnificent race. They won a bronze medal in an extremely close race (0.4 of a sec to be exact) and it was an anxious wait to hear the commentator announce the photo finish result. For our small school to medal in this tough event is truly impressive.

Hazel Mason didn't have much time to recover before she was joined by her crewmate Taylah Marsh to race the Girls Under 18 Novice Double. I don't think I've ever seen a crew come home so fast in the last 100 metres like these two girls did. That determination and 'never say die' attitude earned them another bronze medal. These two have had a remarkable season, medalling bronze five times over the course of the season in South Islands, SISS and Nationals.

Saturday was the last finals day, and we had three crews racing.

The day started off with a bang!

Hazel Mason (who is now racing her third A final) and Lucia Yates, an experienced second year rower, absolutely smoked the field in their Under 15 Doubles event. Sticking to the race plan these two got out to a great start and continued to push hard with every stroke to simply dominate the competition by a clear three boat lengths winning gold. How fantastic it was to see the girls in the middle of the podium holding the cup up with such pride.

Sadie and Kiara had a definite point to prove, and they certainly managed that by blitzing the B final event with a time that would have seen them third in the  A final. Their performance at this regatta was not unmissed, and both girls were selected to trial for the Under 18 South Island team, who will be competing against the North Island in the not too distant future. Watch this space!

Luka had a long wait to race his Under 16 singles event, which was the second last race of the day. This kid really knows how to push himself to the limit, which is exactly what he did. Knowing that you have given it 100% is all that a coach can ask for, and Luka crossed the line with nothing more to give. He is now the fourth fastest Under 16 sculler in the country. An absolute epic result Luka!

The season was long and hard, but the challenges we faced were completely worth it as we discovered what each and every one of us is capable of achieving. Whether it was overcoming disappointments or winning National titles, I hope that you will all look back with a sense of pride for yourself, your school, and your community.

Kelvin and I are certainly proud of you all.

Coach Sarah