Spectrum 400. Are you ready? Row!

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Tono kōrero mai

Spectrum was a weekly radio documentary series which ran on Radio New Zealand's National station from 1972 to 2016. Alwyn Owen and Jack Perkins produced the series for many years, creating a valuable library of New Zealand oral history.

This episode looks at competitive rowing, the oldest amateur sport in New Zealand. The West End [Rowing Club] intermediate eight practice on the placid Waikato River at Mercer. They travel down from Auckland to train on the river three times a week.

Coach Eddie Martin feels that rowing is a way of life. He explains how training sessions are run, with the duties of the various crew members. While on the water, the coxswain mirrors the coach’s motivational tips. The stroke sits just forward of the cox, and takes his cues from him. The big guys in the middle are seen as the engine.

A shell (hull) can cost around $7,000, and a blade (oar) can be $350. Fund raising is done all year. Bagging and selling coal has proved successful.

Martin calls out to the rowers with a loud hailer from the following motorboat.

Various unidentified members of the eight, who are all aged in their late teens, talk about what they like and find special about rowing. These include the teamwork, training, camps, regattas, and winning.

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Year 1982

Reference number 21516

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
Perkins, Jack (b.1940), Producer

Duration 00:22:13

Date 14 Apr 1982

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