The ‘Billy Webb’ is proud to be the only public event held in the Whanganui region that hosts Olympic and World Champions.
Supported every year by crowd favourite – double Olympic Gold Medalist, Bronze Medalist and five-time World Champion Mahé Drysdale. Mahé is an avid supporter of the ‘Billy Webb’ in 2018 he secured his 6th win at the Henley Royal Regatta, and proved at the 2018 Billy Webb Challenge that he is in excellent form on his campaign towards Tokyo 2020.
Joined by members of the 2018 Rowing NZ Elite Summer Squad – the event brings buzz and excitement to the banks of the Whanganui river only seen in this annual race. The ‘Billy Webb’ was introduced in 2008 to commemorate NZ’s first professional single sculling world champion – William ‘Billy’ Webb’s defence of his World Title on the Whanganui River in 1908 before 25,000 spectators. The 5km feature race is endorsed by Rowing NZ as an awesome opportunity for NZ elite athletes to support rowing in provincial areas – where many of our World and Olympic Champs have begun their journey to the world stage.
Racing on our countries longest navigable river – Te awa o Whanganui – is a must do experience for all water sport lovers. The ‘Billy Webb’ is open to rowers of any age or experience to have the opportunity to race against World and Olympic Champions! It is a truly unique experience for competitors and spectators alike. There are cash prizes for age group winners, ‘Greg Hall’ waka glass trophies for the Elite Men’s and ‘Katie Brown’ glass whisps for the Elite Women’s winners.
The weekend of racing kicks off with the annual Jury Cup Regatta, Jury Cup was first presented in 1929 – donated by Bill Jury, then publican of the Aramoho Hotel held on Saturday 1st December, with over 600 secondary school students from across the Central and Lower North Island thrashing out the 2km Aramoho course.
The Whanganui Rowing Association is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to facilitate the development and sustainability of rowing in the Whanganui region. To achieve these goals the organisation relies on grant and corporate funding support. We are extremely pleased to once again have the support of key partners Whanganui District Council, Rowing NZ, NZCT and Lion Foundation.