BOAT-RACE winning Wye Valley cox Jack Tottem steered his Leander eight to victory in record-style in the world's oldest rowing time-trial - The Head of the River Race in London.

And world junior silver medal Monmouth rower Violet Holbrow-Brooksbank was also on fire on the Thames and the 2012 Olympic lake in March’s championship series, adding two more national titles to her trophy cabinet in two days.

Violet Holbrow-Brooksbank at 3 (second from right) won two national titles in two days in her Wycliffe crew
Violet Holbrow-Brooksbank at 3 (second from right) won two national titles in two days in her Wycliffe crew (British Rowing)

Old Monmothian Jack from Devauden, who steered Oxford to victory over Cambridge in 2022, had his hands on the tiller as the Pink Palace looked to wrest the HoRR men’s 8s title from the grip of Oxford Brookes for the first time since 2015.

With GB's Paris-bound rowers not involved, Leander still boasted plenty of international experience, several having raced World Cup regattas for GB, and seven winning the prestigious Netz Cup in Germany last October.

Starting the 4.25-mile Mortlake-to-Putney Tideway course in second, Leander set off hard on Brookes' heels in pole position on a fast flowing stream.

Leander coxed by Jack Tottem won the Head of the River Race
Leander coxed by Jack Tottem won the Head of the River Race. Photo - Ben Rodford (Photo: Ben Rodford Photography)

And they slowly cut the starting margin to finish 5.1 seconds up in 16mins 26.7secs to reclaim the Fairbairn Trophy, shaving 1.4secs off Brookes' 2023 record.

Brookes B were third in the 298-boat race in 16.45.2, just 2.7secs ahead of Thames RC.

Meanwhile, Monmouth Comprehensive School alumni Violet helped her Wycliffe quad to the National Schools' Head championship girls' title on the same Thames stretch in London, before proving just as dominant 48 hours later on the London Olympic lake in the Junior Sculling Head.

GB and Wales star Violet raced to coxless four world U19 silver on the Paris Olympic course last year, while her 2023 Henley Women's Regatta-winning Wycliffe boat were also named British Rowing Junior Crew of the Year.

And the Monmouth teenager looks well on course for another great regatta season after signing off on the winter head season in style.

Racing over four-miles on a fast-flowing Thames in the Schools' Head, Wycliffe stormed home 34 seconds clear of their nearest Marlow rivals in the 29-strong class, crossing in 18.15 to take a giant 62 seconds off the course record.

Among the girls' boats in the 400-strong field, only the two fastest championship girls' 8s went quicker, Headington and Shiplake, by just six and five seconds respectively.

Monmouth School's 1st 8 came 14th out of 21 in Championship boys' 8s just one place behind King's Chester and three ahead of Shrewsbury, crossing in 17.24, with class winners St Paul's London setting a new fastest event time of 16.24.

The Wye crew's time would have seen them come third in 1st 8s, while their U16 crew came 17th in their championship class in 19.07.

Monmouth Rowing Club alumni George Coates helped his Hartpury crew finish 11th out of 29 in Championship boys' quads in 18.06, while Monmouth School for Girls' 1st 8 placed ninth out of 17 in girls' 1st 8s in 20.04.

Two days later in the 500-boat Junior Sculling Head at Dorney Lake over two lengths of the 2km course, Violet’s Wycliffe boat proved unstoppable again, racing home 29 seconds clear of second-placed Shiplake in 12.35 to take the Junior Girls’ title.

Monmouth Comprehensive’s boat were 19th out of 41 in the same class in 14.18, while their U15 boys’ boat placed 36th out of 51 in their category in 14.49, their U15 girls’ quad 37th out of 57 in 16.11, and their U14 girls’ octuple 19th out of 32 in 16.32.

Monmouth School’s U14 boys’ octuple were also 12th out of 30 in 15.29.