Whanganui had two early rowing clubs, the Union Club and the Wanganui Club. Both were founding members of the New Zealand Amateur Rowing Association. Two years after the founding of the association in 1887, the Wanganui Club held this regatta under its rules. The newspapers record that prizes ranged from £2 for second place in the junior fours to £20 for first place in the senior fours. Although the rules of amateur rowing stated, 'An amateur is one who (a) has never competed with or against a professional; (b) has never competed for a stake or money prize; (c) has never derived any pecuniary profit, directly or indirectly, from rowing or sculling', they added that 'no person competing for money for the sole benefit of his club shall thereby lose his amateur status.' The prize money offered for this regatta went to the clubs, not the rowers themselves.
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