L to r: W. Grant (str.), J. Molloy (bow), D. Croot (7), K. Ashby (6), D. Kronfeld (4), M. Antonievich (5), S. James (3), D. Walls (2), Norma Croot (cox).
With former University of Auckland rowers Mahe Drysdale and Michael Arms competing at the 2010 World Rowing Championships next week, it is worth reflecting on the institution’s long rowing history.
Rowing began at the University with the formation in December 1927 of the Auckland University College Rowing Club; it became a full regatta club in 1936.
The club’s first boatshed was built in the late 1930s in Mechanics Bay but was demolished in 1948 to make way for the Tasman Empire Airways’ sea-plane base. The club then moved to the Tamaki River where in the early 1950s they built a new clubhouse at Panmure. The current Auckland University Boat Club has around 50 keen members who still train on the Tamaki but from the Auckland Rowing Club, Mt Wellington.
The University’s rowers have had many successes over the years; the photo above, from a small photograph collection held in Special Collections, shows the 1948 winners of the Hebberly Shield. Awarded to the Champion Men’s Eight, the trophy is still fiercely contested at the New Zealand University Rowing Championships.
Thirty Auckland University Boat Club members competed at this year’s New Zealand University Rowing Championships at Lake Waihola, Dunedin, where the club placed third overall and the Women’s Intermediate Eight brought home gold.
Katherine Pawley, Special Collections
Auckland University Rowing Club. (1977). Auckland University Rowing Club golden jubilee: fifty years on the slide 1927 – 1977. Auckland: Auckland University Rowing Club
Auckland University Rowing Club. Photographs (1928-1975). MSS & Archives 2003/3 Outsize, Special Collections, University of Auckland Library.