We have a long and proud history spanning 80 years, during which time MAGS achieved the distinction of being New Zealand’s top rowing school from the 1940s to 1970s and won the Maadi Cup eight times.

Unfortunately momentum was lost and the school went without a rowing team for 22 years from 1986.  Even so, Mt Albert Grammar still remains New Zealand’s third most successful school at winning the Cup.

Although rowing had vanished from MAGS, it was not forgotten and in 2008 a group of old boys decided to revive the school’s rowing tradition and aim for MAGS to once again be New Zealand’s most successful rowing school.

It’s a challenging goal but – thanks to the dedication of our rowers, coaches, parents, steering committee and supporters – the squad has gone from strength to strength and is already making excellent progress.

The Maadi Cup

After World War II the Maadi Cup became this country’s premier school rowing trophy.  The cup, which is awarded to the winning Boys Under-18 Eight, became the adopted name of New Zealand’s national school rowing championships. MAGS won the first contest for the Maadi Cup in 1947 and went on to win it another seven times.

The event is the largest high school sporting competition in the Southern Hemisphere, which in 2013 attracted more than 2000 athletes representing 120 schools from throughout the country.  This represented a marked increase from previous years, thanks to rowing’s increased popularity following New Zealand’s Olympic rowing successes.

Click here for more information about the Maadi Cup.

Did you know? The Maadi Cup’s native timber pyramid shaped base was made in 1951 by Mt Albert Grammar’s woodwork master and first rowing coach, Jack Jenkin.


March 2019 - The MAGSROW team had great success at the Maadi regatta this year, continuing the trend of improving every year, with two medals won this year. Held this year at Lake Karapiro in March, MAGSROW crews were in seven A finals and won two silver medals. Holly Chaafe won silver in the U17 girls single sculls and the boys U15 coxed four of Cam MacGillivray, Nick Bryant, Dylan Cottingham and Xavier Scarlett with Ben Campbell as coxswain also picking up a silver medal. Another highlight of the regatta was the boys U18 8+ making the A-final for the first time in nearly 30 years (and placing 7th).

March/April 2018 - It was medal time again this year for MAGSROW at Maadi, with Holly Chaafe winning a silver medal in the girls U17 single sculls. MAGSROW continued to build on previous success, with six MAGSROW crews making A finals this year, and the boys U18 8+ placing first in the B final of this event.

March 2017 - MAGSROW crews were in three A finals at the Maadi regatta at Lake Karapiro this year.

March/April 2016 - MAGSROW continued its development for the modern era, boating both girls and boys U15 crews at the Maadi regatta at Lake Ruataniwha in April.  The boys U15 coxed four did well making the A-final, as did the boys U18 pair crew of Tom Butler and Cole Brann.  Both of these crews had medal success at the North Island Secondary School Championships in March at Lake Karapiro, with a silver medal in the Boys' Under 15 Coxed Four, and a bronze medal in the Boys Under 18 Pair.

March 2015 - MAGSROW modern era history was made again at Maadi Cup 2015, with Fergus McSwiney and Jonathan Winter winning our first boys medal in nearly 30 years – silver in the Boys Under 18 Pair. Fergus and Jonno went on to be selected for the New Zealand Junior Under 19 team, which competed at the World Rowing Junior Championships held in Rio De Janiero in August 2015. Their Mens Under 19 Coxed Four did well, making in into the A-final, where they came 6th.

March 2014 - MAGS won its first Maadi Cup medal in nearly 30 years – and first ever girls medal – when Kate Wislang and Maria Markovich  won bronze in the Girls’ Under 16 Double. To make their win even more historic, Kate’s great grandfather was in the army corp that brought the Maadi Cup home to New Zealand from Egypt after World War II. It became the trophy awarded to the winning Under 18 Boys’ Eight, and the adopted name of the national championships. 

It was also the first time in MAGSROW’s modern era that a Boys Under 18 Eight raced in the Maadi Cup event.  The crew won their B final in convincing style to earn an elite Under 18 Top 10 Badge.

October 2013 - History was made when we boated our first-ever Novice Girls’ Eight, in the Under 15 Eights event at the Waitemata-TGS Regatta on Lake Pupuke. Another milestone was achieved at the same regatta, with our first Senior (Boys) Eight being boated since 1986. It was a hard-fought race, with the team coming a close second in the event.

March 2013 - For the first time in 30 years, Mt Albert Grammar School had podium finishes at the North Island Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro, with Under-18 Boys Single sculler Grayson Dauphin and the Boys Under-16 Eight both winning silver medals.

February 2013 - The Boys Under 16 Eight achieved our first Auckland rowing title in more than 30 years, at the Auckland Championships (Head of the Harbour) at Lake Pupuke.

March 2012 - The squad had grown to more than 40 boys and girls. We boated our first VIII (U15 Boys) at Maadi Cup for more than 30 years. Lauren Blanchard became the first ever girl to represent Mt Albert Grammar at the Maadi Cup when she coxed the BU17 4+ and the BU16 4+ A crews.

February 2011 - Our first-ever girls’ rowing squad was formed. MAGSROW’s constitution was ratified at the club’s first AGM, in February 2011.

2009/2010 - Everyone works hard to create a strong foundation on which MAGSROW can grow and flourish. The first MAGSROW Management Committee (parents) meeting was held in September 2010.

2008 - MAGSROW was revived by a group of old boys, encouraged by their former coach, Kerry Ashby. Seven rowers join the foundation squad.

1986 - 2008 - Little or no rowing focus at Mt Albert Grammar.

1986 - The last time MAGS boated a Senior VIII at the Maadi Cup.

1947 - 1961 - MAGS wins the Maadi Cup eight times, in 1947, 1951, 1954-58 and 1961. To this day MAGS remains one of New Zealand’s top Maadi Cup winners with only two other schools having won it more times.

1947 - Mt Albert Grammar won the inaugural Maadi Cup competition.

1930s - MAGS was instrumental in introducing rowing as a secondary school sport in New Zealand.