Billy Webb Challenge
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Event Guide

Saturday Schedule

We have uploaded the Schedule for Saturday 10th Dec - Jury Cup Regatta please hit the read more button below to view

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Sunday Schedule

We have uploaded the Schedule for Sunday 11th Dec - Jury Cup Regatta please hit the read more button below to view

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Social Events

It was billed as an Olympic re-match between Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin, but two young guns stole the show at the Billy Webb Challenge on the Whanganui River on Sunday.

Read More

Saturday Schedule Back to Event Guide page.

Saturday 10th Dec - Jury Cup Regatta

7.30am

 Jury Cup Regatta

Crews from RPCs, North Island, South Island Clubs and Schools race over the 2000m Aramoho course. Hosted by the Wanganui Rowing Association

   

Sunday  11th Dec - Billy Webb Challenge

 

9:55am

10:15am

10:45am

11:00am

11:30am

Schedule TBC

Waka Welcome/Karakia

Air Chathams Sprint Challenge 

Display Associates Corporate 8s challenge

Billy Webb scullers launch

Billy Webb Challenge featuring Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin

Sunday Schedule Back to Event Guide page.

Saturday 10th Dec - Jury Cup Regatta

7.30am

 Jury Cup Regatta

Crews from RPCs, North Island, South Island Clubs and Schools race over the 2000m Aramoho course. Hosted by the Wanganui Rowing Association

   

Sunday  11th Dec - Billy Webb Challenge

 

9:55am

10:15am

10:45am

11:00am

11:30am

Schedule TBC

Waka Welcome/Karakia

Air Chathams Sprint Challenge 

Display Associates Corporate 8s challenge

Billy Webb scullers launch

Billy Webb Challenge featuring Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin

Social Events Back to Event Guide page.

It was billed as an Olympic re-match between Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin, but two young guns stole the show at the Billy Webb Challenge on the Whanganui River on Sunday.

World under 23 champion German Tim Ole Naske, edged out Kiwi Jordan Parry to claim the title in challenging conditions.

But bragging rights between Drysdale and Martin belong to the Croatian who was third and well ahead of Drysdale back in fifth.

A strong breeze meant choppy conditions and a fast current for the 35 rowers who left from the Union Boat Club, rowing 2.5km up-stream before turning around and returning to the boat club.

A couple of logs littered the course adding a further challenge to the rowers, who were competing across 10 divisions.

Naske won the race in 22 minutes 21 seconds, with Parry three seconds behind.

It was the first time the race has involved rowing up and down stream and the added difficulty was clear from the almost four minutes extra on the winning time from Drysdale's last effort.

But Drysdale, who is set for a year away from competitive rowing, made it clear early that he would not be challenging the front-runners.

By the quarter-mark of the race he had already slipped four boat-lengths back from the leading trio.

When the leaders lifted their stroke rate, Drysdale was comfortable maintaining his pace and finishing fifth out of seven elite men rowers.

Competitors

Elite Men

It was billed as an Olympic re-match between Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin, but two young guns stole the show at the Billy Webb Challenge on the Whanganui River on Sunday.

Read More
Elite Women

It was billed as an Olympic re-match between Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin, but two young guns stole the show at the Billy Webb Challenge on the Whanganui River on Sunday.

Read More
Corporate 8's

The Corporate 8s challenge complements the main event, encouraging participation from local businesses, with the aim of introducing new rowers to the sport, and as a fund-raiser for local clubs.

Read More

Elite Men Back to Competitors page.

It was billed as an Olympic re-match between Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin, but two young guns stole the show at the Billy Webb Challenge on the Whanganui River on Sunday.

World under 23 champion German Tim Ole Naske, edged out Kiwi Jordan Parry to claim the title in challenging conditions.

But bragging rights between Drysdale and Martin belong to the Croatian who was third and well ahead of Drysdale back in fifth.

A strong breeze meant choppy conditions and a fast current for the 35 rowers who left from the Union Boat Club, rowing 2.5km up-stream before turning around and returning to the boat club.

A couple of logs littered the course adding a further challenge to the rowers, who were competing across 10 divisions.

Naske won the race in 22 minutes 21 seconds, with Parry three seconds behind.

It was the first time the race has involved rowing up and down stream and the added difficulty was clear from the almost four minutes extra on the winning time from Drysdale's last effort.

But Drysdale, who is set for a year away from competitive rowing, made it clear early that he would not be challenging the front-runners.

By the quarter-mark of the race he had already slipped four boat-lengths back from the leading trio.

When the leaders lifted their stroke rate, Drysdale was comfortable maintaining his pace and finishing fifth out of seven elite men rowers.

Elite Women Back to Competitors page.

It was billed as an Olympic re-match between Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin, but two young guns stole the show at the Billy Webb Challenge on the Whanganui River on Sunday.

World under 23 champion German Tim Ole Naske, edged out Kiwi Jordan Parry to claim the title in challenging conditions.

But bragging rights between Drysdale and Martin belong to the Croatian who was third and well ahead of Drysdale back in fifth.

A strong breeze meant choppy conditions and a fast current for the 35 rowers who left from the Union Boat Club, rowing 2.5km up-stream before turning around and returning to the boat club.

A couple of logs littered the course adding a further challenge to the rowers, who were competing across 10 divisions.

Naske won the race in 22 minutes 21 seconds, with Parry three seconds behind.

It was the first time the race has involved rowing up and down stream and the added difficulty was clear from the almost four minutes extra on the winning time from Drysdale's last effort.

But Drysdale, who is set for a year away from competitive rowing, made it clear early that he would not be challenging the front-runners.

By the quarter-mark of the race he had already slipped four boat-lengths back from the leading trio.

When the leaders lifted their stroke rate, Drysdale was comfortable maintaining his pace and finishing fifth out of seven elite men rowers.

Corporate 8's Back to Competitors page.

The Corporate 8s challenge complements the main event, encouraging participation from local businesses, with the aim of introducing new rowers to the sport, and as a fund-raiser for local clubs.
Crews are made up of no more than 2 experienced rowers, a minimum of 2 women and 5 novice rowers. 
The race takes place prior to the Billy Webb Challenge Race. 

 

Contact Corporate8s Co-ordinator, Kate Austin for further information

 

Read about Maree Langford's experience here

 

Corporate8s Challenge Entry Form

 

2015 Corporate8+ Challenge Winner:
 Whanganui District Council

2014 Corporate 8+ Challenge Winner:
 Aon Risk Takers

2012 Corporate 8+ Challenge Winner:
 Aon Risk Takers

News

Tim Ole Naske Wins!

It was billed as an Olympic re-match between Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin, but two young guns stole the show at the Billy Webb Challenge on the Whanganui River on Sunday.

Read More
Mahe To Compete

Mahé Drysdale is the current NZME Billy Webb Challenge champion, having won on the Whanganui River in 2015 and is a previous 4 time winner of the Billy Webb Challenge Event. He is the current Olympic

Read More
Event Dates

The Billy Webb Challenge is going ahead this year on 2ndDecember 2017. Damir Martin has accepted Mahe Drysdale's challenge to re-race the closest race in Olympic history, here on the Whanganui River.

Read More

Tim Ole Naske Wins! Back to News page.

It was billed as an Olympic re-match between Mahe Drysdale and Damir Martin, but two young guns stole the show at the Billy Webb Challenge on the Whanganui River on Sunday.

World under 23 champion German Tim Ole Naske, edged out Kiwi Jordan Parry to claim the title in challenging conditions.

But bragging rights between Drysdale and Martin belong to the Croatian who was third and well ahead of Drysdale back in fifth.

A strong breeze meant choppy conditions and a fast current for the 35 rowers who left from the Union Boat Club, rowing 2.5km up-stream before turning around and returning to the boat club.

A couple of logs littered the course adding a further challenge to the rowers, who were competing across 10 divisions.

Naske won the race in 22 minutes 21 seconds, with Parry three seconds behind.

It was the first time the race has involved rowing up and down stream and the added difficulty was clear from the almost four minutes extra on the winning time from Drysdale's last effort.

But Drysdale, who is set for a year away from competitive rowing, made it clear early that he would not be challenging the front-runners.

By the quarter-mark of the race he had already slipped four boat-lengths back from the leading trio.

When the leaders lifted their stroke rate, Drysdale was comfortable maintaining his pace and finishing fifth out of seven elite men rowers.

Mahe To Compete Back to News page.

Mahé Drysdale is the current NZME Billy Webb Challenge champion, having won on the Whanganui River in 2015 and is a previous 4 time winner of the Billy Webb Challenge Event. He is the current Olympic Champion in the Mens Single Scull and a five times World Champion.

Mahé first started rowing as a novice when he attended the Uni Games with the University of Auckland in 1997. He began rowing seriously in 2000 after watching Rob Waddell win gold at the Sydney Olympic Games and thought 'if he can do it, why can't I?'. He gained an invitation to trial for the NZ team in 2001 after the selectors noted his erg score and size. He was selected into a development eight, his first NZ crew. Mahé was part of the Elite Coxless Four for the 2003 World Championships and the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. He won his first World Championship title in the Single Sculls in Gifu, Japan in 2005. Mahé is a five-time World Champion, having taken the title in an unprecedented three times in succession in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and then again in 2009 and 2011. Mahé also holds the World Best Time in the Men's Single Sculls - he gained the time of 6:33.35 at 2009 World Rowing Championships. Mahé was the flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and won the bronze medal that year in the Single Sculls. In 2012 he went on to win gold at the London Olympic Games. At Rio in 2016, he won Gold agina in the Single Sculls against Damir Martin in the "closest race in Olympic History". Mahé married Juliette Haigh (a former NZ rower and Olympic Bronze medallist), they have a daughter, Bronté.

Event Dates Back to News page.

The Billy Webb Challenge is going ahead this year on 2ndDecember 2017. Damir Martin has accepted Mahe Drysdale's challenge to re-race the closest race in Olympic history, here on the Whanganui River. 

The two top athletes will be joined by any rowers who wish to take the pair on over a 5km course. The race will start and finish by the Union Boat Club on Taupo Quay, opposite Motua Gardens.

A corporate challenge and sprint race will be held before the Billy Webb Challenge. 

About

Organisers

A big thanks to our organising committee. full staff list can be seen below, just hit the read more button

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History

He became the first New Zealander to win the world professional single sculls title when he beat Australian Charles Towns on the Parramatta River in Sydney by five lengths in 1907 covering the demandi

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2014 Event

This year, the fifth running of the event, organisers adopted a new format, accepting entries in Elite, Club, Under 20, Under 17, Master 40+ and Master 60

Read More

Organisers Back to About page.

ORGANISING COMMITTEE
Rosie Austin
Kirsty Back
Philippa Baker-Hogan
Bob Evans
Rachel O'Connor
David Penn
Jacs Rush
Stephanie Rush
Keith Smith
Fiona Symes

History Back to About page.

1886 - 1960
He became the first New Zealander to win the world professional single sculls title when he beat Australian Charles Towns on the Parramatta River in Sydney by five lengths in 1907 covering the demanding three mile course in 20min 45sec.

 

So delighted were the citizens of Wanganui there was even the suggestion that the city be renamed “Webbanui.”

Webb, who won 1000 pounds for his Sydney victory, defended the title by two and three quarter lengths on the Whanganui River in 1908 against twice Australian champion Richard Tressider before 25,000 spectators including premier Sir Joseph Ward.

Later that same year Richard Arnst (Akaroa) de-throned Webb by six lengths on the Whanganui River and in 1909 held off a Webb title challenge by three lengths on the same river.

Webb, who rowed for the Union Boat Club, won the NZ amateur singles in 1903 and 1906, the NZ amateur doubles in 1905 and 1906 and the NZ professional singles in 1915.

2014 Event Back to About page.

2014 Aon Billy Webb Challenge

2014 Aon Billy Webb Challenge Results

Aon Billy Webb Challenge

HAMISH BOND

Philippa Baker-Hogan Womens Trophy:

LUCY SPOOR

Corporate8s Challenge:

AON RISK TAKERS

 

Hamish Bond battled the horrendous Whanganui River conditions as much as his Rowing New Zealand team mate and three times winner Mahe Drysdale to claim his first win of the Aon Billy Webb Challenge Trophy.

This year, the fifth running of the event, organisers adopted a new format, accepting entries in Elite, Club, Under 20, Under 17, Master 40+ and Master 60+ for both men and women.

All 22 competitors participated in a mass start above the Aramoho 2000 metre course and then raced the five kilometres downstream to finish outside the Union Boat, former club of Billy Webb himself, and in a further nod to the historic race, Mahe and Hamish were wearing the same colours as Webb and Tressider wore back in 1908.

Conditions were testing with a strong wind creating considerable chop in different parts of the course.  Hamish Bond, despite starting on the less favoured side of the course went out very quickly, rating 41, Mahe Drysdale was at 33, and established a small margin over the defending champion.  Hamish held that margin to the 1500 Metre mark when Mahe had to check his boat to avoid striking a log in the river.  Hamish took advantage of Mahe’s misfortune and moved out to about a four length lead.  Three Kilometres into the course Mahe up his rate to around 40 and was closing on Hamish but never managed to regain parity.  Hamish crossed in a time of 19.24, with Mahe a mere seven seconds behind.  We have a new champion, Hamish Bond, but both put in a spectacular effort, and a very quick time in such conditions.

Lucy Spoors won the woman’s elite division in a time of 22.25 and is the new Phillipa Baker-Hogan Trophy holder. Lucy’s effort is even more noteworthy when you discover that she competed in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Race on Saturday 29 November 2014, finishing second in her division in the very creditable time of 4hours and 19 minutes.

Another notable result was put up by club sculler, Jamie Saunders, who finished third overall in a time of 20.54, ahead of the other elite mens entrants.

There were athletes on the water aged from 15 to 68.  There were 22 starters, 20 finishers including our youngest and oldest athletes.

Other than the wind, the conditions were very pleasant and a large crowd observed the events, informed by a live commentary, and entertained by some knowledgeable local radio personalities.

contact

Contact

Thank you for contacting Billy Webb Challenge. If you have any questions please feel free to call us or simply fill in the below online form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Contact: Kat Wade
Email: BillyWebbChallenge@gmail.com
Phone: 021 032 7070