MONMOUTH School rowers made a splash on foreign waters recently with five oarsmen winning international vest.
As well as last year’s Head Boy, Will, stroking the Great Britain junior eight to fourth place at the World Junior Championships in Hamburg last month, four schoolmates raced with distinction for England and Wales at the Home Countries Regatta in Cork, Ireland.
There was cross-border rivalry as 1st eight cox Gabriel steered his English crews to two close victories over his Monmouth crew mates wearing Wales colours.
Alex and Morgan pushed Gabriel’s England junior 8 to the line ahead of Scotland and Ireland, while the Wales duo’s coxed four with Rory also on board, were just pipped by their school steersman’s crew in a blanket finish.
The Welsh pair’s eight, coached by the school’s Robin Fletcher in his role as Wales junior men’s chief, included three Royal Shrewsbury rowers and a King’s Chester oarsman from the Welsh winning junior coxless four, who had earlier beaten half of Eton College’s Henley Royal Regatta-winning eight in England colours by three lengths.
And in a cracking race, the Welsh eight led off the blocks right through to the closing stages, where Gabriel called his crew back on terms.
In the thrilling race for the line, England just got their bows in front with only strokes to go, winning by six feet as both crews dipped under the impressive six-minute mark for the 2,000m distance, with Ireland third a full 3L back.
In the junior men’s fours, Gabriel again steered his England boat into pole position as just 2L covered the whole field, with the Welsh crew, also containing a Cheltenham rower and a Shrewsbury cox, pipped for third by Scotland.