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Bob Kells and Finn Howard aiming for Rowing Gold

Two North Shore Rowers, Bobby Kells and Finn Howard, have been selected to represent New Zealand in the mens U23 coxed four and U23 coxless four at the World Rowing Championships, to be held in Lithuania, in July this year.
“This is a huge honour to race with some of the best and represent New Zealand at the World Champs,” said Bobby Kells after securing placement at the end of the weeks National trials held at Karapiro.
Bobby is from Mairangi Bay and Finn Howard from Belmont. They both started rowing at Westlake Boys in the third form.
“We soon learnt that commitment and a hard work ethic were a prerequisite if we were to have success,” adds Finn Howard. “Daily 5am starts for on the water training before school, then again training combined with gym sessions after school became the norm.”
Over the years the boys have accumulated a handsome array of medals rowing for Westlake and their club, North Shore.
Finn represented New Zealand in the U19 squad at the Junior World Champs in the Czech Republic in 2010.
“This started a fire and made me want to be the best in the world. After that campaign I won three national titles with my North Shore crew and was then selected to row for the Auckland Regional Performance Crew in 2011. The regional teams are where the New Zealand teams are selected from.”
Bobby, while studying engineering fulltime at Auckland University, was approached to join Auckland Regional Performance Crew in 2010. A keen rugby player who had to pull out of Takapuna rugby for the commitment to rowing training up to three times a day for the year.
Bobby represented New Zealand Universities Rowing at a regatta held in Australia last year. At last years National’s he won silver and bronze medals in the U21 four and pair.
This year the U23 campaign is to Trakai, Lithuania in Europe. Travelling across the world to put it all on the line in an approximate six minute race.
Their role as athletes representing New Zealand started on the March 21st when they assembled as a squad at Rowing New Zealand’s Performance base at Lake Karapiro in the Waikato. They will be permanently based in Cambridge for four months training until the World Champs, training up to three times daily, six days a week, starting at 5am!
The U23 World Championships are held once every year and hosts rowers from 50 different countries, including the best rowing countries in the world.
The honour of competing for Bob Kells and Finn Howard unfortunately does not come without considerable expense for each of them. Rowing New Zealand’s budget only extends to fund the elite squads. The boys need to contribute $7500 each for travel expenses, and also have to pull out of University for this semester and move to Cambridge, paying for rent and living while there. Amounting to approx $10,000 in total each.
Needless to say, if there are any businesses or North Shore people that are interested in supporting their efforts they will only be too pleased to hear from them.

Bob Kells and Finn Howard, email: OR 

by Channel Editorial