Our Head Coach - Eric Verdonk
We have an outstanding Coaching team at Takapuna Grammar School Rowing Club, and since the start of the 2017/18 Season it has been led by our very own Eric Verdonk.
In September 2017 Eric joined Takapuna Grammar School Rowing Club as our Head Coach. Under his direction we have had one of our most successful seasons since 2006, winning 22 bronze medals, 23 silver medals and 11 gold medals, including gold medals at both the North Island Secondary School Championships and the National Championships - the Maadi Cup.
Summary of Eric's Rowing Successes
Winner of the first Maadi Cup for Westlake Boys High School in 1976.
Representing New Zealand in the black singlet for 8 years
Winning an Olympic Bronze medal for Single Sculls in Seoul 1988, which was the first New Zealand Olympic medal in sculling since 1920
A very close fourth in the 1992 Olympic single sculls final.
A single sculls bronze medal at the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games, a race won by rowing legend Stephen Redgrave, (and a fourth placing in the double sculls).
He was sixth in the single sculls World Champs at Copenhagen in 1987 and over the next few years returned World Championship third and fifth placings at Lake Barrington, Australia in 1990, and Vienna, Austria in 1991.
He was also first and second at the famous Henley Diamond Sculls, making him the first New Zealander to ever win this.
Competing in more than 50 National Championships in New Zealand, Eric has won the New Zealand single sculls title every year from 1987-93, seven times in all.
He also won six national double sculls titles, in 1987-88, 1989-90, 1992 and 1994, with four different team-mates.
Eric also won a quadruple sculls title in 1991, and a coxless pairs title in 1986, resulting in Eric winning a total of 15 Redcoats.
Moving to Masters, Eric has competed in three World Masters Championships in sweep-oar events, winning a Silver in the Men's pair and a Bronze.
From a coaching perspective Eric was involved in running the original Coaching Association of NZ coaching courses.
He established the Hillary Commission Coaching courses in the Regional Sports Associations.
Eric has worked for what is now the Waitakere Sports Association as a Sports Coordinator, teaching coaches to coach, and has run a number of rowing camps in Australia for groups of Masters oars people.