YOUNG Forest and Wye rowers left their rivals ‘oar-struck’ at the British Junior Rowing Championships with two golds, a silver and two bronzes.
Monmouth Comprehensive School’s U16 boys’ quadruple scull stormed to the title in their six-boat final at Nottingham’s National Water Sports Centre, while Gloucester Hartpury’s Henley Royal Regatta champions added the girls’ U18 quadruple sculls crown to their trophy cabinet.
The college’s boys also took a brilliant bonze in the U18 eights, while Ross Rowing Club’s Heidi Brodholt and Ben Clatworthy took second and third respectively in the girls’ and boys’ U14 sculls omnium, a mixture of racing and boat skills.
Monmouth Comprehensive pupils Tom Smith, Rowan Kohler-Hoon, Tom Heath and Rob Williams finished second to Walton RC in the opening time-trial to make the six-boat final.
And they burst out of the blocks in the 2km medal race-off to grab a length’s lead from the Thames outfit at 500m, who pushed back at the half-way mark.
The Wye lads kept their cool though and pushed hard to break Walton’s challenge, rowing through the three-quarter way mark with a clear water lead.
Londoners Tideway Scullers passed Walton in the run in, but couldn’t close down the Monmouth quartet who came home 1 1/4L clear in six minutes 50.83secs, with Walton third followed by Warrington, Star Club Bedford and Yarm School.
The school is one of only a handful of state schools that row, and it is the second time they have taken a British title, following Emily Richards’ U16 girls’ singles title in 2013. Delighted rowing master Dan Cowton said: “The boys have shown excellent organisational skills to train alongside their exams and ensure their academic attainment.
The race was a wonderful dominant performance by highly motivated athletes who have developed great confidence in their ability since starting rowing at Monmouth Comprehensive School.”
Hettie Bawden joined Hartpury’s Henley champions Georgia Martin, Holly Huggins and Hannah Cooper to take the British girls’ U18 quads title, romping into a 10-second lead by half way and finishing a full 25 seconds clear of nearest rivals Henley.
Hartpury’s junior boys also raced to bronze in the U18 8s, storming through Olympic superstar Steve Redgrave’s old school, Great Marlow, to take third 2L behind winners Hampton School.
Ross starlet Heidi Brodholt scored 973 points to take silver behind a Reading RC sculler, as an 83-strong U14 girls’ omnium sculling field did skill tests like hands off, standing up and 360 degree spins, plus a 500m race and a slalom. And clubmate Ben Clatworthy scored 961 points in the 77-strong boys’ event to take boys’ bronze seven points off silver.
Monmouth Comprehensive’s Tom Brice and David Newman took fifth in the U18 pairs in a 13-strong field to earn selection for the Wales junior team.
Arwen Van der Horst, Harriet Kearsey, Josie Harrison and Charlotte Heath and cox Daisy Hale also placed fifth out of 29 in U15 girls’ quads, while Katie Kearsey raced home third in her U16 singles B final for ninth out of 23, and Ollie Chilcott and David Johnston held off Tyne United and Gloucester to take fourth in the B final of the U15 doubles, for 10th overall out of 23.