WYE rowers headed for sea and Severn for the last regattas of the summer season.

A Monmouth School for Boys crew joined a squad of town club masters rowers at the 60-boat Penarth Regatta on the Bristol Channel – the longest-running rowing event in Wales dating all the way back to 1888.

Racing was over a 600m course along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast shorefront to Penarth Yacht Club, with the 128-year-old pier just beyond.

The first hour of racing saw boats charging through a thick sea mist with the pier totally invisible from the finish.

But when it lifted it gave way to brilliant sunshine and flat clam conditions on one of the hottest days of the year.

And the school rowers proved too hot for their opponents, taking the men’s quadruple sculls with two blades apiece first, and then the sweep oar fours with one.

William Latheron, Patrick Stubbs, Tomos Williams, Harry Collet and cox Ben Jennery saw off Ross and Carmarthen/Swansea opposition in their quad heat before racing home over 2L clear of Llandaff opponents in the final.Then in the fours, they beat Penarth and Carmarthen to set up a final with Llandaff, and raced clear in the second half to take the pots by 1 1/2L.

Monmouth RC’s Nick Hartland and Mark Leeming fought hard against a much younger Carmarthen RC duo in the men’s doubles before going down by some 3L, with the West Walians going on to win the final.

The duo also then raced with Sue Smith, Louise Tanner and cox Maggie Hickland in the mixed open quads, where they finished clear of Carmarthen but had to give second best to Ross who also went on to win the final.

Teamed with new learn to row graduate Richard Dennant, Mike Smith and cox Maggie, the men’s duo were then out again in the masters coxed fours, where this time Llandaff took the victory with Monmouth nipping at the heels of Old Monmothian Andrew Williams’ City of Swansea crew in second.

Then it was the turn of the Monmouth masters women, who had to race in the open event but gave a great performance.

Fresh from rowing across the Pacific from California to Hawaii this summer, Elaine Theaker teamed up with Maggie, Sue and Louise, coxed by Mike, as the crew came from the back of the pack to haul their way past two Llandaff crews in the semi-final.

There was little rest as they were sent out almost immediately to race the final, going neck and neck with Carmarthen’s youngsters almost the way to the line until just losing out by under a length.

The following day, it was the turn of the club’s latest learn to row graduates at the Upton Beginner Regatta on the Severn, an event the club has attended several times in the past but never won.

Fliss Howes, Rachel Rand, Richard Dennant, Joanne Roberts and cox Louise Tanner launched out in their trainer-style boat having benefited from some input from former Olympian club coach Tim Male.

And racing in a six-heat round-robin format over 400m against two crews from Evesham, one apiece from Ross, Gloucester, Stratford, Upton and an Upton/Gloucester composite, they came through to win all six races and take the overall prize.

The hosts’ boat pushed them hardest, to a distance of some 2L, with Gloucester next closest about 3L down.

Meanwhile, Bonita Birkett headed for Worcester Autumn Regatta, where she raced in the lower-point women’s singles, beating her Burton Leander opponent by 1L before missing out to a good Somerset Community Club singler.

The events marked the end of the summer regatta season, with the first time-trial due to have been held tomorrow (Sunday, September 24) on Monmouth’s own water, but now cancelled owing to fast flowing water and forecasts of a strong upstream wind.

More than 160 boats had entered the Autumn Head, due to have been raced over a 2,150m course from Hadnock to the clubhouse.