Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Maadi Cup History

The Maadi Cup is the prize for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Boys' Under 18 Rowing Eights. More colloquially, it is the name given to the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Regatta, at which the Maadi Cup is raced. The regatta is the largest school sports event in the Southern Hemisphere and is held alternatively at Lake Karapiro in the Waikato region, and Lake Ruataniwha, near Twizel.
The top prizes at the regatta are the Maadi Cup, Springbok Shield, Levin Jubilee Cup, Dawn Cup and Star Trophy.
During World War II, members of the 2nd NZEF based at Maadi Camp in Egypt competed in regattas on the Nile against local Egyptian rowing clubs. At a regatta held on 20 November 1943 the Maadi Camp Rowing Club "Kiwi" oarsmen beat the Cairo River Club by 11 points to six to win the Freyberg Cup, which they then gifted to the competitors. In return, as a token of friendship, Youssef Baghat presented the Kiwis with a cup. Youssef Baghat's cup was offered to the NZARA (now NZRA) as a trophy for an annual boys' eight-oared race between secondary schools and was brought to New Zealand at the end of the war.
Only 14 schools have ever won the cup, with Wanganui Collegiate School the most successful, having won it 17 times.