Southern RPC and Elite Development Squad member Jack Lopas impressed spectators and competitors alike with his 7:02.71 first place finish in the men’s premier single at the New Zealand Rowing Champs in Twizel. Lopas last represented New Zealand in the 2019 World Rowing U23 Championships and was selected into Rowing NZ’s Elite Development Squad upon his recent return from America. Southern RPC’s John Storey took silver and Chris Harris of Central RPC took bronze.
Ashburton Rowing Club’s Isabel Wall won the women’s PR 3 open para single, with Hawkes Bay Rowing Club’s Gavin Foulsham taking gold in the men’s PR2 open para single and Rotorua Rowing Club’s Anthony Spijkerman taking silver.
After winning both the men’s premier pair and double, Tom Mackintosh of Southern RPC was awarded 2021 Rocket Foods New Zealand Rowing Championships Male Rower of the Year.
Tom began rowing at Lindisfarne College and Hawke’s Bay Rowing Club in 2012 at the age of 15. Within two years he found himself selected in the 2014 junior men’s coxed four. The crew raced to a bronze medal at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Tom took time after the World Rowing Junior Championships to focus on his study at the University of Canterbury. During that time he stayed involved with the sport at Rowing Performance Centre level and was also in the New Zealand Universities trans-Tasman team in 2015. In 2016 he was selected in the New Zealand U21 team that competed in a two-regatta series against Australia. The following year Tom was selected in the U23 men’s eight that went on to place 7th at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
In 2018 he moved into the U23 coxless four and took home a bronze medal from the U23 worlds in Poznan, Poland. When the New Zealand selectors decided to take on this young crew to compete at the elite World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria for experience, the crew achieved a final ranking of 15th at the regatta. In 2019 Tom was reselected into the men’s U23 coxless four, and he and his crew managed to take home a silver medal. Following the World Rowing U23 Championships Tom successfully trialled for the men’s elite coxless four, which finished 14th at the World Rowing Championships.
Image credit – Rowing NZ.