The Aon Maadi Cup is the final pinnacle of the rowing season for secondary school students from around New Zealand. Held annually, the event alternates between Lake Karapiro in Cambridge (odd years) and Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel (even years).
The Maadi Cup is actually the prize for the New Zealand Secondary School Boys’ Under 18 Rowing Eights. However the entire regatta, which is the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Regatta, is known as the Maadi Cup.
This year the Maadi Cup anticipates more than 2200 rowers representing 125 schools from around the country. The regatta is believed to be one of the largest school sports events in the Southern Hemisphere.
Numbers participating in the event have been trending upwards for a number of years. Ten years ago (2005) 1040 rowers and 104 schools were involved.
With 52 events run over six days, it is non-stop action from dawn to dusk. Volunteers make up a massive portion of the team required to run such an event. Lake Karapiro transforms into a miniature city of tents and marquees for the six day event.
Waikato schools are expected to make a strong showing (Hamilton Boys High School has won the Maadi Cup 10 times) and heads into this year’s event as defending champs. Waikato Diocesan Girls are defending the Levin 75th Jubilee Cup (G U18 8+). St Peter’s School defend the President’s Scull (overall points).
Aon Maadi cup
Where: Lake Karapiro
When: Monday 23–Saturday 28 March, 2015 (reserve day: Sunday 29 March until noon)
What: New Zealand’s largest and most colourful regatta; more than 2000 pupils from 125 schools entered in more than 1500 crews, requiring 600+ races across 52 events.