Monday, January 5, 2009

Christchurch Past & Present #14 - The Canterbury Rowing Club, Kerrs Reach

Christchurch's first rowing club was established in 1861 at Kerrs Reach on the Avon River, becoming the Canterbury Rowing Club the following year. The first regatta was held on the Avon on Boxing Day (26 December) 1870.

These vintage postcards from the early twentieth century show the Canterbury Rowing Club's boatsheds & rooms at Kerrs Reach with rowing crews ready to race. A women's coxed rowing four appears in the second card.

Today the Avon Rowing Club sheds & rooms occupy the Canterbury Club's former site and further down the right bank are the boatsheds of the Christchurch Canoe Club.

The Kerrs Reach cutting - a straightening of a stretch of the river - was completed in 1950 that allows improved rowing training and racing on the Avon. An old bend in the river runs away to the right of the present day pictures, essentially encircling Porritt Park which hosts a field hockey stadium.

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