Porirua Rowing Club Prizegiving 2021/2022

Photos and Winner Below.


COVID devastated rowing regattas this season. While every season has weather-cancelled regattas, it was probably back in World War 2, 77 years ago, that we last saw a wholesale cancellation of regattas like we had this season.

Last year, there was no COVID effect on regattas. But as of August 2021, with the move to Alert levels, nearly all regattas in the North Island ended up being cancelled. This included our own Porirua Goodwill fundraiser. Only Twizel had the room to hold regattas, which meant most North Island crews turned up to their first races in February, to race at the National Rowing Champs.

This COVID season especially effected Novice rowers who were just starting, and went through multiple disappointments (regattas cancelled) before deciding to chalk the season to just training and fitness. And some novice rowers did this, all summer. But we lost a lot of novices for this reason and will not have any novice crews coming through and moving into the next category. This was repeated throughout the country so we can expect a bumper crop and large pool of novices next season – which will be a very competitive category. By the way – a big shout out to Max and Katie, rowers from the previous year, who were the Novice coaches.

The more experienced rowers had to find ways to train and pace each other, with no chance to learn how to race or how fast they were going before they took on the best in the country in their category at Nationals.

We are very proud of how all of our rowers showed resilience and while gutted at missing out on regattas, simply reset their goals and got back to work. The sport of rowing teaches mental disciplines that just can’t be taught, but must be learned.

With these challenges in mind, the Club Captain assembled the coaches including Matt, Steve, Jono and Albie to decide the following winners (except for the first 2 prizes).

A big thanks to Caleb Wilson who MC the night and set up a run-sheet and got different people up to present and talk about the awards.

The definitions and background to the awards can be found on this page. https://poriruarowing.co.nz/porirua-rowing-clubs-prizes/

  • Presidents’ Trophy

Winner – Jonathan Debbage and Albie Abiston

The Committee gave this award to the President to select the winner.

In every Club, about 2-5 people are key to making things grow and happen. Tony T said there were multiple reasons to give these two this acknowledgement. Any one of them are an asset to growing the club (as well as growing the crews they are coaching) and they both pump out a massive workload as Committee members – for the Club. One quick example – when the National Rowing Champs were moved from Karapiro to Twizel with 2 weeks’ notice (COVID), Jono and Albie single handily raised $6000 to help all the rowers get to the National Rowing Champs. This saved every rower (or parent) about $350 each in costs.


  • Spirit Blade – Presented by Jono and handed out by Joe Hughes(previous years winner). Voted for by peers.

Winner – Caleb Wilson 


  • Munroe Cup (best all-round college member) – Presented by Jono Debbage & handed out by Caleb Wilson

Winner – Liam Kirkland  

  • French Family Cup (best all round female college member) – Andy Albiston & handed out by Aimee Lovell(previous years winner).

Winner – Leila Mackay  

  • Alf Mexted Cup (most outstanding rowing performance) – Presented by Jono D & handed out by Tony D

Winner – Mens Club Pair – Josh Bear and Liam Kirkland  

  • Craig Trophy (Most outstanding sculling performance) – Andrew A & Tony T

Winner – Women’s intermediate coxed quad – Beth A, Bethany, Georgia, Casey & Caleb. 

Video of the Women’s Intermediate Coxed Quad 2022 National Championships.


It was a nice touch to have rowers thank coaches for their help over the season. Jono was even presented with some new Pit-Viper sun shades. A nod to the crews’ obsession with Vipers over the last 2 years.


  • Gardner Trophy (Clubs best novice) – Presented by Matt hall and Steve Crabb

Winner – Hamish Thomson  

  • Debbage Trophy (Clubs best female novice) – Deb Debbage & Jono D

Winner – Portia Walls 

  • R A Cookson Cup (Most versatile male member) – Presented by Jono D and handed out by Tony D

Winner – Joe Hughes 

  • S Rose Cup – (Most versatile female member) – presented by Andy Albiston and handed out by Tony D

Winner – Casey Shaw 

  • Sheppard Trophy ( Most successful college Oarsperson) – Presented by Richard Sheppard & handed out by Tony D

Winner – Liam Kirkland 

  • W J Brown Trophy (Most Successful oarsperson) – Presented by Tony Debbage and handed out by Caleb W

Winner – Aimee Lovell 


  • B Geraghty Cup (Most improved coxswain) – Presented by Andy Albiston and handed out by Caleb W

Winner – Jade Mackay 

  • Hutchings Trophy (Clubs most improved oarsman) – Presented by Matt Hall & handed out by Liam Kirkland(previous years winner)

Winner – William Hall  

  • S G Mitchell Trophy (Clubs most improved female oarsman) – Presented by Andy Albiston & handed out by Tony D

Winner – Casey Shaw 

  • Coaches Shield (Outstanding Contribution to coaching) – Presented by Tony T and Tony D

Winner – Andy Albiston 

  • Allen Jones Memorial Cup (Clubs best coxswain) – Presented by Jono D & handed out by Tommo Ralph

Winner – Caleb Wilson  

  • Porirua Rowing Club Cup (Clubs best oarsman) – Presented by Richard Shepperd and Tony D

Winner – Josh Bear

  • Richards Cup (best oarswoman) – Presented by Tony T and Tony D

Winner – Beth Albiston 


Thanks to Life Member and Club Captain Tony Debbage for helping with the evening. And for Life member Richard Sheppard also coming to the event.

Catering and Venue – lessons for next year

We had an awesome caterer deliver the meal to the Power Boat Club. At $30per head, and $200 delivery, everyone said they loved the food which included vegetarian and vegan options. The food turned up bang on at 5:45pm, with throwaway cutlery and trays – really easy. If you are looking for a caterer, support local and contact Baxter Catering from Elsdon. https://www.baxterscatering.co.nz/spit-roast-catering/

And the Power Boat Club did a deal for $200 for us, given we were in and out in just a few hours. Give them a call if you are looking for a great venue on Onepoto Road, right on the water. https://www.nzpba.com/links/wellington-power-boat-club-inc/

Total cost pp was $40 and BYO drinks. Next year – remember to tell people BYO means to bring non-alcoholic as well!

Paintball photos

13 Club members decided to go for a bit of paintball before prizegiving. A great bit of adrenalin and pain for some!