New Zealand rowers have competed at the Summer Olympics since the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. Men have competed since the 1920 Antwerp Olympics and women have competed since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. 186 individuals have represented New Zealand in Olympic rowing (38 women and 148 men) and they have had 274 appearances (59 by women and 215 by men). Three athletes have won three medals (Simon Dickie, Mahé Drysdale, and Hamish Bond) and of those, Bond is the most successful with three gold medals.

With 29 Olympic medals including 14 gold medals, rowing is the country's most successful Olympic sport, followed by athletics with 26 medals including 10 gold medals.

Participation

Early years without participation

In the early years of the modern Olympic Games, people from New Zealand participated but not on behalf of New Zealand. The country's earliest participant, Victor Lindberg at the 1900 Summer Olympics, was only officially recognised as New Zealand's first competitor in 2014.[1][2] In 1908 and 1912, a total of six New Zealanders competed as part of a team from Australasia. But none of these early New Zealand competitors were rowers. After the 1916 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, were cancelled due to World War I, New Zealand sent its first rower to the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium.[3]

1920 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1920 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Darcy Hadfield in c. 1920; New Zealand's first Olympic rower and the country's first winner of an Olympic rowing medal
Darcy Hadfield in c. 1920; New Zealand's first Olympic rower and the country's first winner of an Olympic rowing medal

Darcy Hadfield was a dominant single scull rower of his time. He had won the 1919 Henley Peace Regatta "with ease", defeating the 1912 Olympic champion Wally Kinnear. Later in the same month, he won the single sculls at the Inter-Allied Games near Paris. The long journey from New Zealand by boat to Belgium saw him out of shape at the 1920 Summer Olympics, and he came third in the final race, winning bronze.[4][5] He was New Zealand's only rower at the 1920 Summer Olympics.[6] Hadfield was defeated in the semifinals of the single sculls by John B. Kelly Sr., the eventual gold medal winner, but took the bronze medal as the fastest losing semifinalist.[7]

Athlete Event Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Darcy Hadfield Single sculls 8:05.0 1 Q 7:49.2 2 Did not race 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)

1924 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1924 Summer Olympics

The New Zealand Olympic Council decided to send eight rowers to the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.[8] The biggest challenge at the time was a lack of funds and in the end, the New Zealand Olympic team was made up of only four athletes, none of them rowers.[9][10] Darcy Hadfield was a dominant single sculler at the time but he had become professional in 1922 and was thus no longer eligible to compete at the Olympics.[11][12]

1928 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1928 Summer Olympics

A New Zealand rowing eight was selected but was unable to travel to the games because of lack of funds.[13][14] The chosen team consisted of Hubert McLean (Wellington), Crosby Morris (Canterbury),[15] F. H. Brown (Canterbury), Clarrie Healey (Wanganui),[16] Mick Brough (Otago), Vic Olsson (Marlborough), L. Brooker (Auckland), Bob Stiles (Canterbury), G. St. Clair (Auckland), and G. Duggan (Canterbury). The reserves were Glen Stiles (Canterbury)[17] and N. Webber (Auckland).

1932 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1932 Summer Olympics § Rowing

1932 Summer Olympics New Zealand rowers
1932 Summer Olympics New Zealand rowers

In 1932, seven rowing competitions were held, and New Zealand entered three boats with a total of eleven rowers: a coxless pair, a coxed four, and a coxed eight.[18] Bob Stiles and Rangi Thompson won New Zealand's second rowing medal, a silver, in the coxless pair.[19]

Athlete Event Heats Repechage Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Bob Stiles
Rangi Thompson
Coxless pair 7:50.2 2 R 8:11.4 2 Q 8:02.4 2nd place, silver medalist(s)
Noel Pope
Somers Cox
Charles Saunders
John Solomon
Delmont Gullery (cox)
Coxed four 7:19.6 3 R 7:38.2 1 Q 7:32.4 4
George Cooke
Bert Sandos
Bob Stiles
Jack Macdonald
Lawrence Jackson
Rangi Thompson
Charles Saunders
John Solomon
Delmont Gullery (cox)
Eight 6:38.2 4 R 6:52.2 2 Did not advance

1936 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1936 Summer Olympics

In February 1936, the national rowing championships were held in Wellington.[20] Even before the national championships, it was clear that no coxed eight would be sent due to the cost involved and lack of previous international success.[21] Following the regatta, it was decided that no rowers were up to sufficient form, and none were nominated for the Summer Olympics in Berlin.[22]

Interlude

The 1940 and 1944 Summer Olympics were both cancelled due to World War II. While New Zealand sent a team of 17 athletes to the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, no rowers were included.[3]

1952 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1952 Summer Olympics § Rowing

In 1952, seven rowing competitions were held, and New Zealand entered a single boat: a coxed four. The boat was eliminated in the repechage.[23]

Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semi-finals Semi-finals repechage Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Ted Johnson
John O'Brien
Kerry Ashby
Bill Tinnock
Colin Johnstone
Coxed four 7:25.2 4 R 7:07.3 2 Did not advance

1956 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1956 Summer Olympics § Rowing

In 1956, New Zealand entered boats in three of the seven events, manned by eight rowers.[24]

Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semi-finals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
James Hill Single sculls 7:30.1 3 R 8:29.9 1 SA/B 9:12.5 3 Did not advance
Reg Douglas
Bob Parker
Coxless pair 7:32.6 1 QS Bye 8:44.7 3 Did not advance
Peter Lucas
Ray Laurent
Donald Gemmell
Allan Tong
Colin Johnstone
Coxed four 7:16.2 3 R 7:16.6 1 QS 8:30.7 4 Did not advance

1960 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1960 Summer Olympics § Rowing

In 1960, seven rowing competitions were held, and New Zealand entered a single rower: James Hill competing in single sculls.[25]

Athlete Event Heats Repechage Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
James Hill Single sculls 7:19.64 1 FA Bye 7:23.98 4

1964 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1964 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Murray Watkinson in 1964

In 1964, New Zealand entered boats in three of the seven events:[26] men's single sculls,[27] men's coxed four,[28] and men's coxed eight.[29]

Athlete Event Heats Repechage Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Murray Watkinson Single sculls 7:49.01 2 R 7:45.28 1 FA 8:35.57 5
Darien Boswell
Alistair Dryden
Peter Masfen
Dudley Storey
Robert Page (cox)
Coxed four 6:50.81 3 R 7:09.26 2 FB 6:45.16 8
Mark Brownlee
Alexander Clark
Peter Delaney
John Gibbons
George Paterson
Tony Popplewell
Raymond Skinner
Alan Webster
Doug Pulman (cox)
Eight 6:20.63 4 R 6:14.83 3 FB 6:07.59 11

1968 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1968 Summer Olympics § Rowing

In 1968, New Zealand qualified an eight and had a pool of four rowers and a cox as a travelling reserve. Preparations were held in Christchurch at Kerr's Reach on the Avon River. The reserve rowers were unhappy with the "spare parts" tag and felt that they were good enough to perhaps win a medal if put forward as a coxed four. The trainer, Rusty Robertson, commented about them:[30]

the funniest looking crew you've ever seen

There were stern discussions with the New Zealand selectors. In a training run, the coxed four was leading the eight over the whole race. In the end, the reserve rowers got their way and New Zealand entered boats in two of the seven events:[30][31] men's coxed four[32] and men's coxed eight.[33] In the coxed four, the teams from East and West Germany were among the favourites; the United Team of Germany had won this event at the last Olympics, but that was the last appearance of the German United Team. The teams from the Soviet Union and Italy were also among the medal contenders. The East German team won their heat and semi-final in the fastest overall time, but the New Zealand team unexpectedly controlled the final and defeated the East Germans by over two seconds. This was New Zealand's third rowing medal, and its first gold medal in rowing.[32] The medals were presented by IOC vice-president Konstantin Adrianow.[34] The heat, semi-final and final were the only three races that the coxed four ever rowed.[30]

New Zealand's coxed eight was expected to win, and Wybo Veldman later recalled:[35]

We were hot favourites but the wheels fell off. We should have won it, finished fourth, got nothing, a terrible experience.

In 1968, New Zealand's first golden era in rowing began. Under trainer Robertson, the era would last until the 1976 Summer Olympics.[36] Both the 1968 coxed four and Robertson would later be inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.[37][38]

Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semi-finals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Warren Cole
Ross Collinge
Dick Joyce
Dudley Storey
Simon Dickie
(cox)
Coxed four 7:12.19 1 QS Bye 6:48.65 1 FA 6:45.62 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Alan Webster
Wybo Veldman
Alistair Dryden
John Hunter
Mark Brownlee
John Gibbons
Tom Just
Gil Cawood
Robert Page (cox)
Coxed eight 6:05.62 1 FA Bye N/A 6:10.43 4

1972 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1972 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Semi-final at the 1971 European Rowing Championships; New Zealand in the foreground raced in identical composition at the 1972 Olympics and won gold
Semi-final at the 1971 European Rowing Championships; New Zealand in the foreground raced in identical composition at the 1972 Olympics and won gold

1972 was the last year that only men competed at the Olympic rowing events.[39] New Zealand entered boats in four of the seven events at the Munich Games, and won medals in two of the competitions.[40] The members of the gold medal winning 1972 New Zealand eight came from nine different clubs, which said a lot about Robertson's ability as a coach to blend individuals into a strong sum.[41] The team would win Sportsman of the Year Awards in both 1971 and 1972. The crew of the coxed eight standing on the victory dais overcome with emotion and "bawling like babies" is one of New Zealand's most memorable sporting moments.[35][42] The coxed eights medal ceremony was also the first time "God Defend New Zealand" played as New Zealand's national anthem instead of "God Save the Queen".[35] Before and during the Olympic Games, the New Zealand rowing team stayed in the Bavarian village of Lenggries, where they were adopted by the locals as their own. When the 2007 World Rowing Championships were again held in Munich, Chris Nilsson—who was by then a rowing coach—arranged for the New Zealand team to stay at Lenggries once more, rekindling old friendships.[43]

Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Murray Watkinson Single sculls 7:51.29 2 R 8:11.51 3 SA/B 8:30.88 5 FB 8:05.42 10
Dick Tonks
Dudley Storey
Ross Collinge
Noel Mills
Coxless four 6:47.27 1 SA/B Bye 7:03.99 1 FA 6:25.64 2nd place, silver medalist(s)
Warren Cole
Chris Nilsson
John Clark
David Lindstrom
Peter Lindsay
Coxed four 6:51,76 3 SA/B Bye 7:21.94 3 FA 6:42.55 6
Tony Hurt
Wybo Veldman
Dick Joyce
John Hunter
Lindsay Wilson
Joe Earl
Trevor Coker
Gary Robertson
Simon Dickie
(cox)
Eight 6:06.19 1 R Bye 6:28.40 2 FA 6:08.94 1st place, gold medalist(s)

1976 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1976 Summer Olympics § Rowing

The coxless four at the 1977 World Rowing Championships, with Dave Rodger (having replaced Bob Murphy since the Olympics in the previous year), Des Lock, Ivan Sutherland, and David Lindstrom
The coxless four at the 1977 World Rowing Championships, with Dave Rodger (having replaced Bob Murphy since the Olympics in the previous year), Des Lock, Ivan Sutherland, and David Lindstrom

Women were invited for the first time to compete in Olympic rowing events at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and 16 nations sent female competitors, but New Zealand was not one of those nations.[44] New Zealand sent 18 men for three of the eight male rowing competitions.[45] When the coxed eight came "only" third, Robertson was dismissed as the national rowing coach; he went to Australia to continue his coaching career.[37]

Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Bob Murphy
Grant McAuley
Des Lock
David Lindstrom
Coxless four 6:06.40 3 SA/B Bye 6:00.82 3 FA 6:43.23 4
Viv Haar
Danny Keane
Tim Logan
Ian Boserio
David Simmons (cox)
Coxed four 6:06.40 3 SA/B Bye 6:00.82 3 FA 6:43.23 4
Ivan Sutherland
Trevor Coker
Peter Dignan
Lindsay Wilson
Joe Earl
Dave Rodger
Alec McLean
Tony Hurt
Simon Dickie
(cox)
Eight 5:40.00 2 R 5:37.08 1 FA N/A 6:03.51 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)

1980 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1980 Summer Olympics

1980 was the year of the Summer Olympics boycott led by the United States. The New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (NZOCGA) was initially determined to go ahead with New Zealand's participation and named an Olympic team of over 100 athletes, including a number of rowers, but individual athletes and the NZOCGA eventually yielded under the pressure exerted by the Third National Government of New Zealand under Robert Muldoon. Four New Zealand athletes went to Moscow as independents, but none of them were rowers.[46] Those rowers who had been nominated for Moscow included Tony Brook, Alan Cotter, Stephen Donaldson, Duncan Holland, Peter Jansen, Robert Robinson, Anthony Russell.[47]

1984 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1984 Summer Olympics § Rowing

In 1984, New Zealand's first female rower attended the Olympics: Stephanie Foster competed in the single sculls. There were again eight competitions for men, and New Zealand entered twenty-one rowers across five boats. The coxless four won a gold medal, while the coxed four won bronze.[48] Due to the Eastern Bloc boycott and the absence of East Germany and the Soviet Union, New Zealand was the strong favourite in the coxed eight event, but came a disappointing fourth.[49] New Zealand sent 18 men for three of the eight male rowing competitions.[50] At the time, Dudley Storey was the national coach.[41]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Gary Reid Single sculls 7:27.10 2 R 7:26.12 2 SA/B 7:34.15 5 FB 7:22.63 7
Geoff Horan
Allan Horan
Coxless pair 7:05.44 2 SA/B Bye 7:02.89 4 FB 7:04.00 9
Les O'Connell
Shane O'Brien
Conrad Robertson
Keith Trask
Coxless four 6:08.41 1 FA Bye N/A 6:03.48 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Kevin Lawton
Don Symon
Barrie Mabbott
Ross Tong
Brett Hollister
(cox)
Coxed four 6:27.18 3 SA/B ? 1 FA N/A 6:23.68 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
Nigel Atherfold
Dave Rodger
Roger White-Parsons
George Keys
Greg Johnston
Chris White
Andrew Stevenson
Mike Stanley
Andy Hay (cox)
Eight 5:48.19 1 FA Bye N/A 5:44.14 4
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semi-final Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Stephanie Foster Single sculls 3:51.86 2 R 3:51.19 2 SA/B 4:02.29 4 FB 3:52.20 7

1988 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1988 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Eric Verdonk in 2009
Eric Verdonk in 2009

New Zealand entered five boats across the fourteen boat classes; four of those for men and a coxless pair for the women. There were 15 New Zealand rowers in total, and three bronze medals were won, including the first by female rowing medal.[51][52] Greg Johnston and Chris White were rowing in both the coxed pair and the coxed four, but once they qualified for the semi-finals, they decided to concentrate on the larger boat and did not race the coxed pair any longer.[53]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Eric Verdonk Single sculls 7:18.69 1 SA/B Bye 7:11.98 3 FA 6:58.66 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
Greg Johnston
Chris White
Andrew Bird (cox)
Coxed pair 7:22.32 3 SA/B DNS
Campbell Clayton-Greene
Geoff Cotter
Bill Coventry
Neil Gibson
Coxless four 6:06.75 2 SA/B Bye 6:06.60 4 FB 6:04.74 7
George Keys
Ian Wright
Greg Johnston
Chris White
Andrew Bird (cox)
Coxed four 6:03.35 3 SA/B Bye 6:10.41 3 FA 6:15.78 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Nikki Payne
Lynley Hannen
Coxless pair 8:02.39 2 R 7:59.93 1 FA 7:35.68 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)

1992 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1992 Summer Olympics § Rowing

New Zealand qualified four boats for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain: men's single sculls, men's coxless four, men's coxed four, and women's double sculls. Twelve rowers competed for New Zealand, but there were no medals won in rowing in Barcelona.[54]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Eric Verdonk Single sculls 6:58.35 2 R 7:02.40 1 SA/B 6:56.79 3 FA 6:57.45 4
Scott Brownlee
Chris White
Pat Peoples
Campbell Clayton-Greene
Coxless four 6:03.10 2 SA/B Bye 6:01.19 3 FA 6:02.13 6
Bill Coventry
Guy Melville
Toni Dunlop
Ian Wright
Carl Sheehan (cox)
Coxed four 6:32.61 5 R 6:25.32 4 FB N/A 6:15.66 11
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Philippa Baker
Brenda Lawson
Double sculls 7:20.49 2 SA/B Bye 7:01.07 2 FA 6:56.81 4

1996 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 1996 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Rob Hamill in 2008
Rob Hamill in 2008

New Zealand qualified five boats for the 1996 Summer Olympics: men's single sculls,[55] men's pair,[56] men's coxless four,[57] men's lightweight double sculls,[57] and women's double sculls.[58] Eleven rowers competed for New Zealand but like in 1992, there were no medals won in rowing.[59]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Rob Waddell Single sculls 7:48.69 4 R 7:42.87 1 SA/B 7:18.52 4 FB 6:49.55 7
Dave Schaper
Toni Dunlop
Coxless pair 6:42.15 3 R 7:04.40 3 SA/B 6:51.64 2 FA 6:29.24 5
Alastair Mackintosh
Ian Wright
Chris White
Scott Brownlee
Coxless four 6:30.03 4 R 6:35.58 4 Did not advance
Rob Hamill
Mike Rodger
Lightweight double sculls 7:09.61 4 R 6:34.78 4 Did not advance
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Philippa Baker
Brenda Lawson
Double sculls 7:26.83 2 SA/B Bye 7:15.57 2 FA 7:09.92 6

2000 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 2000 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Rob Waddell in February 2008
Rob Waddell in February 2008

New Zealand qualified three boats for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia: men's single sculls,[60] men's coxless four,[61] and women's single sculls.[62] Six rowers competed for New Zealand, and Rob Waddell—at his second appearance at Olympic Games—won a gold medal.[63]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Rob Waddell Single sculls 6:54.20 1 SA/B Bye 6:58.01 1 FA 6:48.90 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Scott Brownlee
Toni Dunlop
Rob Hellstrom
Dave Schaper
Four 6:13.60 2 SA/B Bye 6:05.33 3 FA 6:09.13 6
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Sonia Waddell Single sculls 7:40.18 1 SA/B Bye 7:35.24 3 FA 7:43.71 6

2004 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 2004 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Drysdale in 2010
Drysdale in 2010

New Zealand rowers qualified five boats with 11 rowers; two boats for men's and three for women's races.[64] Twin sisters Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell went into their double sculls as the favourites and did not disappoint; they beat the German team of Peggy Waleska and Britta Oppelt by 1 sec to win gold.[65]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
George Bridgewater
Nathan Twaddle
Pair 6:54.75 1 SA/B Bye 6:24.49 3 FA 6:34.24 4
Mahé Drysdale
Donald Leach
Carl Meyer
Eric Murray
Four 6:22.91 2 SA/B Bye 5:52.95 2 FA 6:15.47 4
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Sonia Waddell Single sculls 7:36.15 1 SA/B/C Bye 7:42.00 3 FA 7:31.66 6
Nicky Coles
Juliette Haigh
Pair 9:37.53 5 R 7:11.00 2 FA N/A 7:23.52 6
Caroline Evers-Swindell
Georgina Evers-Swindell
Double sculls 7:25.57 1 FA Bye N/A 7:01.79 1st place, gold medalist(s)

2008 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 2008 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Taylor (left) and Uru in 2010
Taylor (left) and Uru in 2010
Nathan Cohen in 2012
Nathan Cohen in 2012

New Zealand rowers qualified eight boats with 16 rowers; five boats for men's and three for women's races. Mahé Drysdale won his first Olympic medal (bronze) and the men's pair of George Bridgewater and Nathan Twaddle also won a bronze medal. But the lasting rowing memory from the Beijing Summer Games is the gold medal by the Evers-Swindell twins, who beat their German opponents by 0.01 sec.[66] The twins have twice won the Lonsdale Cup (in 2003 and 2008), awarded by the New Zealand Olympic Committee for the most outstanding contribution to an Olympic or Commonwealth sport during the previous year.[67] In 2016, the twins were awarded the Thomas Keller Medal, the highest honour available in world rowing.[68]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Mahé Drysdale Single sculls 7:28.80 1 QF N/A 6:50.18 1 SA/B 7:05.57 3 FA 7:01.56 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
George Bridgewater
Nathan Twaddle
Pair 6:41.65 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:36.05 2 FA 6:44.19 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
Nathan Cohen
Rob Waddell
Double sculls 6:24.32 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:24.16 3 FA 6:30.79 4
Peter Taylor
Storm Uru
Lightweight double sculls 6:16.78 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:30.53 4 FB 6:27.14 7
Hamish Bond
James Dallinger
Carl Meyer
Eric Murray
Four 6:00.73 2 SA/B Bye N/A 5:57.31 4 FB 6:06.30 7
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Emma Twigg Single sculls 7:45.12 1 QF N/A 7:34.24 3 SA/B 7:38.09 4 FB 7:51.63 9
Nicky Coles
Juliette Haigh
Pair 7:31.45 2 R 7:32.64 1 FA N/A 7:28.80 5
Caroline Evers-Swindell
Georgina Evers-Swindell
Double sculls 7:03.92 1 FA Bye N/A 7:07.32 1st place, gold medalist(s)

2012 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 2012 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Bond (rear) and Murray won Olympic gold in the coxless pair in both 2012 and 2016
Bond (rear) and Murray won Olympic gold in the coxless pair in both 2012 and 2016
Haigh and Scown in 2010
Haigh and Scown in 2010

New Zealand rowers had their most successful campaign to date at the 2012 Summer Olympics in Great Britain. Eleven boats with 26 rowers had qualified, and three gold and two bronze medals were won. The men won gold in the single sculls, double sculls, and pair, and bronze in the lightweight double sculls. The women won bronze in the pair.[69] Hamish Bond later wrote that he watched Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan in their final, and with 500 m to go, they were 3.5 sec down on the leaders and in fourth place; whilst they were the reigning world champions and had dominated the qualifying races, Bond was convinced that they had no chance of winning their final. But they had the most impressive sprint and won by half a length. It gave Bond confidence that he could win his race, too, and so he did (with Eric Murray) the following day.[70]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Mahé Drysdale Single sculls 6:49.69 1 QF Bye 6:54.86 1 SA/B 7:18.11 1 FA 6:57.82 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Hamish Bond
Eric Murray
Pair 6:08.50 WR 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:48.11 1 FA 6:16.65 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Nathan Cohen
Joseph Sullivan
Double sculls 6:11.30 OR 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:19.79 3 FA 6:31.67 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Peter Taylor
Storm Uru
Lightweight double sculls 6:37.02 2 SA/B Bye N/A 6:36.71 3 FA 6:40.86 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
Chris Harris
Sean O'Neill
Jade Uru
Tyson Williams
Four 5:51.84 4 R 6:03.66 2 SA/B N/A 6:06.36 4 FB 6:11.97 11
Michael Arms
Robbie Manson
John Storey
Matthew Trott
Quadruple sculls 5:41.62 4 R 5:43.82 1 SA/B N/A 6:10.95 4 FB 5:58.88 7
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Emma Twigg Single sculls 7:40.24 4 QF Bye 7:39.07 5 SA/B 7:46.71 3 FA 8:01.76 4
Juliette Haigh
Rebecca Scown
Pair 7:06.93 2 FA Bye N/A 7:30.19 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
Fiona Paterson
Anna Reymer
Double sculls 6:49.44 2 FA Bye N/A 7:09.82 5
Louise Ayling
Julia Edward
Lightweight double sculls 7:02.78 3 R 7:21.29 2 SA/B N/A 7:15.06 5 FB 7:22.78 9
Fiona Bourke
Sarah Gray
Eve MacFarlane
Louise Trappitt
Quadruple sculls 6:20.22 3 R 6:48.71 6 FB N/A 6:56.46 7

2016 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 2016 Summer Olympics § Rowing

Twigg in 2010
Twigg in 2010
Edward in 2013
Edward in 2013

The 2016 Olympic campaign in Rio de Janeiro at the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon was another success for the New Zealand rowing team. The country's largest team ever, with 36 rowers, competed with 11 boats. Mahé Drysdale in the single sculls, and Hamish Bond and Eric Murray in the pair repeated their gold medal performances from four years earlier. The women's pair also repeated the success from London and gained bronze once again.[71]

New Zealand initially qualified ten out of a possible fourteen boats for each of the rowing classes listed below. The majority of the rowing crews confirmed Olympic places for their boats at the 2015 FISA World Championships in Lac d'Aiguebelette, France, while a women's single sculls rower had added one more boat to the New Zealand roster as a result of a top three finish at the 2016 European & Final Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland. Thee teams had to have also competed at the New Zealand Rowing Championships, held in Lake Karapiro, to assure their selection to the Olympic team for the Games.[72]

The rowing team was named on 4 March 2016.[73] On 1 July 2016, the Russian men's quadruple sculls boat was disqualified due to a doping violation, resulting in New Zealand gaining the men's quadruple sculls slot as the next-best non-qualifier.[74] For the first time in Olympic history, New Zealand rowers participated in the men's lightweight four and the women's eight.[75]

The 2013–16 Olympic cycle was the first full cycle under the auspicious of High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ). Rowing was the largest benefactor of HPSNZ's investment, receiving $32.1 million of the $162.2 million spent on Olympic sports during the four-year cycle.[76]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Mahé Drysdale Single sculls 7:04.45 1 QF Bye 6:46.51 1 SA/B 7:03.70 2 FA 6:41.34 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Hamish Bond
Eric Murray
Pair 6:41.75 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:23.36 1 FA 6:59.71 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Chris Harris
Robbie Manson
Double sculls 6:40.35 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:17.01 4 FB 7:06.80 11
Alistair Bond
James Hunter
James Lassche
Peter Taylor
Lightweight four 6:03.34 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:08.96 3 FA 6:28.14 5
George Bridgewater
Nathan Flannery
John Storey
Jade Uru
Quadruple sculls 5:59.13 4 R 5:58.92 6 FB N/A 6:18.92 10
Michael Brake
Isaac Grainger
Stephen Jones
Alex Kennedy
Shaun Kirkham
Tom Murray
Brook Robertson
Joe Wright
Caleb Shepherd (cox)
Eight 5:36:28 3 R 5:56.94 3 FA N/A 5:36.64 6
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Emma Twigg Single sculls 8:17.02 1 QF Bye 7:31.79 1 SA/B 7:48.20 2 FA 7:24.48 4
Genevieve Behrent
Rebecca Scown
Pair 7:09.23 1 SA/B Bye N/A 7:29.67 2 FA 7:19.53 2nd place, silver medalist(s)
Eve MacFarlane
Zoe Stevenson
Double sculls 7:14.31 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:52.97 4 FB 7:50.74 12
Julia Edward
Sophie MacKenzie
Lightweight double sculls 7:02.01 2 SA/B Bye N/A 7:19.27 2 FA 7:10.61 4
Genevieve Behrent
Kelsey Bevan
Emma Dyke
Kerri Gowler
Kayla Pratt
Grace Prendergast
Rebecca Scown
Ruby Tew
Francie Turner (cox)
Eight 6:12.05 2 R 6:34.90 3 FA N/A 6:05.48 4

2020 Summer Olympics

Main article: New Zealand at the 2020 Summer Olympics § Rowing

New Zealand's team for the Tokyo Olympics is made up by 32 rowers and coxswains, plus Charlotte Spence, Davina Waddy, and Ollie Maclean as reserve rowers.[77] The main qualification event were the 2019 World Rowing Championships, where nine boat classes were qualified: M1x, M2x, M2−, W1x, W2x, LW2x, W4x, W2−, W8+.[78]

Rowing New Zealand announced in 2019 that its medal target for Tokyo was five.[78] In early 2020, rowing commentator Ian Anderson listed the women's pair, the women's double scull, and the women's lightweight double scull as favourites in their boat classes, adding that the women's eight and the women's single scull were also "major contenders for gold".[79] New Zealand had started in all 14 Olympic boat classes at the event but the LM2x, M4x, M4−, W4− and M8+ did not qualify.[80]

The men's lightweight double scull (LM2x) had a further chance to qualify at the May 2021 Asian & Oceania Qualification Regatta but New Zealand did not start there.[81] The other four boat classes had a further chance to qualify at the May 2021 World Rowing Final Olympic Qualification Regatta at the Rotsee in Switzerland. Only the men's eight was at the start and the team qualified through coming first.[82]

Meanwhile, reigning world champion Zoe McBride (LW2−) had unexpectedly announced her retirement from rowing in March 2021 over health concerns.[83][84] Rowing New Zealand tried to team up various lightweight rowers with Jackie Kiddle, including Lucy Strack who had retired from rowing in 2014, to fill the seat but no combinations resulted in performances that would have had a medal chance. A month after McBride's retirement, Rowing New Zealand withdrew the lightweight women's pair boat class from the Olympics, with Kiddle as a reigning world champion not travelling to Tokyo.[85]

Men
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Jordan Parry Single sculls 7:04.45 2 QF Bye 7:18.48 4 SC/D 6:57.70 1 FC 6:55.55 13
Stephen Jones
Brook Robertson
Pair 6:56.53 3 SA/B Bye N/A 6:41.46 6 FB 6:38.30 12
Chris Harris
Jack Lopas
Double sculls 6:12.05 3 SA/B Bye N/A 6:26.08 4 FB 6:15.51 8
Tom Mackintosh
Hamish Bond
Tom Murray
Michael Brake
Dan Williamson
Phillip Wilson
Shaun Kirkham
Matt Macdonald
Sam Bosworth
(cox)
Eight 5:32.11 2 R 5:22.04 1 FA N/A 5:24.64 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Women
Athlete Event Heats Repechage Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Emma Twigg Single sculls 7:35.22 1 QF Bye 7:54.96 1 SA/B 7:20.70 1 FA 7:13.97 OB 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Kerri Gowler
Grace Prendergast
Pair 7:19.08 1 SA/B Bye N/A 6:47.41 WB 1 FA 6:50.19 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Brooke Donoghue
Hannah Osborne
Double sculls 6:53.62 1 SA/B Bye N/A 7:09.05 2 FA 6:44.82 2nd place, silver medalist(s)
Olivia Loe
Eve MacFarlane
Georgia Nugent-O'Leary
Ruby Tew
Quadruple sculls 6:25.23 5 R 6:39.91 3 FB N/A 6:29.00 8
Ella Greenslade
Emma Dyke
Lucy Spoors
Kelsey Bevan
Grace Prendergast
Kerri Gowler
Beth Ross
Jackie Gowler
Caleb Shepherd
(cox)
Eight 6:07.65 1 FA Bye N/A 6:00.04 2nd place, silver medalist(s)

The make up of the eight had initially not been determined, with ten rowers—including two pairs of sisters—who were to travel to the Olympics: Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast (who will also compete in the pair), Jackie Gowler, Beth Ross, Phoebe Spoors, Kirstyn Goodger, Kelsey Bevan, Lucy Spoors, Emma Dyke, and Ella Greenslade.[86][87] The entries were confirmed on 9 July 2021, with the coxless pair team of Kerri Gowler and Prendergast not being given double-duty.[88] In the end, this changed again, K. Gowler and Prendergast did double-duty, with Goodger and P. Spoors remaining as reserves.

Medal table

Medal Name Year Event Date
 Gold Warren Cole
Ross Collinge
Dick Joyce
Dudley Storey
Simon Dickie (cox)
1968 Men's coxed four 19 October 1968
 Gold Tony Hurt
Wybo Veldman
Dick Joyce
John Hunter
Lindsay Wilson
Joe Earl
Trevor Coker
Gary Robertson
Simon Dickie (cox)
1972 Men's eight 2 September 1972
 Gold Shane O'Brien
Les O'Connell
Conrad Robertson
Keith Trask
1984 Men's coxless four 5 August 1984
 Gold Rob Waddell 2000 Men's single sculls 23 September 2000
 Gold Caroline Evers-Swindell
Georgina Evers-Swindell
2004 Women's double sculls 21 August 2004
 Gold Georgina Evers-Swindell
Caroline Evers-Swindell
2008 Women's double sculls 16 August 2008
 Gold Nathan Cohen
Joseph Sullivan
2012 Men's double sculls 2 August 2012
 Gold Hamish Bond
Eric Murray
2012 Men's pair 3 August 2012
 Gold Mahé Drysdale 2012 Men's single sculls 3 August 2012
 Gold Hamish Bond
Eric Murray
2016 Men's coxless pair 11 August 2016
 Gold Mahé Drysdale 2016 Men's single sculls 13 August 2016
 Gold Kerri Gowler
Grace Prendergast
2020 Women's coxless pair 29 July 2021
 Gold Emma Twigg 2020 Women's single sculls 30 July 2021
 Gold Tom Mackintosh
Hamish Bond
Tom Murray
Michael Brake
Dan Williamson
Phillip Wilson
Shaun Kirkham
Matt Macdonald
Sam Bosworth (cox)
2020 Men's eight 30 July 2021
 Silver Bob Stiles
Rangi Thompson
1932 Men's coxless pair 13 August 1932
 Silver Dick Tonks
Dudley Storey
Ross Collinge
Noel Mills
1972 Men's coxless four 2 September 1968
 Silver Genevieve Behrent
Rebecca Scown
2016 Women's coxless pair 12 August 2016
 Silver Brooke Donoghue
Hannah Osborne
2020 Women's double sculls 28 July 2021
 Silver Ella Greenslade
Emma Dyke
Lucy Spoors
Kelsey Bevan
Grace Prendergast
Kerri Gowler
Beth Ross
Jackie Gowler
Caleb Shepherd (cox)
2020 Women's eight 30 July 2021
 Bronze Darcy Hadfield 1920 Men's single sculls 28 August 1920
 Bronze Ivan Sutherland
Trevor Coker
Peter Dignan
Lindsay Wilson
Joe Earl
Dave Rodger
Alec McLean
Tony Hurt
Simon Dickie (cox)
1976 Men's eight 25 July 1972
 Bronze Kevin Lawton
Barrie Mabbott
Don Symon
Ross Tong
Brett Hollister (cox)
1984 Men's coxed four 5 August 1984
 Bronze Eric Verdonk 1988 Men's single sculls 24 September 1988
 Bronze George Keys
Ian Wright
Greg Johnston
Chris White
Andrew Bird (cox)
1988 Men's coxed four 24 September 1988
 Bronze Lynley Hannen
Nikki Payne
1988 Women's coxless pair 24 September 1988
 Bronze Mahé Drysdale 2008 Men's single sculls 16 August 2008
 Bronze Nathan Twaddle
George Bridgewater
2008 Men's coxless pair 16 August 2008
 Bronze Juliette Haigh
Rebecca Scown
2012 Women's pair 1 August 2012
 Bronze Peter Taylor
Storm Uru
2012 Men's lightweight double sculls 4 August 2012

New Zealand rowers

There have been 274 Olympic rowing appearances from New Zealand thus far. New Zealand men have been competing since the 1920 Summer Olympics,[6] and make up 215 of those appearances. New Zealand women have been competing since the 1984 Summer Olympics,[48] and have accumulated 59 appearances.

Competitors 96 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 16 20 Years
Men 1 11 5 8 1 15 14 19 18 21 10 10 9 5 6 11 15 22 14 19
Women 1 2 2 2 1 5 5 11 14 16 10
NZ rowers 1 11 5 8 1 15 14 19 18 22 12 12 11 6 11 16 26 36 30 274
All nation rowers 108 44 81 186 136 182 245 153 313 310 404 242 410 330 353 440 593 470 447 592 627 608 547 557 555 550 547 ? 10,030

The following table shows the individual rowers and coxswains that make up the 274 appearances, with many athletes having attended several Summer Olympics. In total, 186 individuals have represented the country at the Olympics, with 148 men and 38 women. These individuals have won 43 gold, 19 silver, and 30 bronze medals, i.e. a total of 92 medals. So far, five individuals have attended four Summer Olympics: Chris White (1984 to 1996),[89] Mahé Drysdale (2004–2016),[90] Eric Murray (2004–2016),[91] and Hamish Bond and Emma Twigg have attended all Games since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.[92][93]

Three athletes have won three Olympic medals: Simon Dickie (1968, 1972, and 1976), Mahé Drysdale (2008, 2012, and 2016), and Hamish Bond.[90][94][92] Of those, Bond is the most successful with three gold medals.[92] Six rowers or coxswains have won two gold medals: Simon Dickie,[94] Dick Joyce,[95] Mahé Drysdale,[90] Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell,[96][97] and Eric Murray.[91]

Notes

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References