Robbie leaves rowing rivals oar-struck

Saturday 25th June 2022 11:00 am
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Robbie Prosser-Wrench, left, storms to victory with John Davies on the London Olympic lake

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TWO top Wye rowers warmed up for Henley Royal next week with great performances on the London 2012 Olympic lake.

GB U23 squad member Robbie Prosser-Wrench took victory in the Championship pairs and Academic fours at London’s prestigious Metropolitan Regatta, before adding the elite pairs at the same venue in last Saturday’s Marlow Regatta.

And Louis Paterson in his Oxford Brookes alumni boat Taurus beat half the 2022 winning Oxford Boat Race crew qualifying for the elite coxless four final where they finished a fighting third.

Old Monmothian Prosser-Wrench followed up his hat-trick of British Universities titles last month by winning the opening 2km time-trial at the Met to make the eight-boat final.

And then he and fellow Welsh rower John Davies produced a grandstand finish in the multi-lane final to overhaul the Thames RC front-runners in the last few strokes to win by 1/4L in 6.49.90.

The day previously their Bristol boat had won the Academic class category finishing second overall in men’s coxed fours, 1L behind Championship winners Durham.

Twenty four hours later, the four again took Academic glory, pushing Durham into third by clear water as they finished second 1L back on Championship victors Thames RC.

At Marlow Regatta last weekend, the Bristol four won the separate Academic fours 12-boat opening time-trial from London University, and then held them off to win by just over a length in the six-boat final in six minutes 29.4 secs, followed by Surrey, York and Edinburgh. Two hours later they were out again for the 31-boat Championship fours time-trial, where they placed sixth to make the six-boat final.

By now feeling the extent of their efforts, they still hit half-way in third overlapping the Thames RC leaders, but as all the positions changed in the run-in, with Oxford Brookes storming through from the back of the field to win, Bristol had to settle for fourth just 2L back in 6.25.4.

Meanwhile, Monmouth Comprehensive product Paterson, who helped Monmouth RC land the British quadruple sculls title in 2010, raced home third in the 38-boat men’s coxless fours time-trial in 5.59.6 to make the seven-boat final.

Half of the winning Oxford Boat Race crew were casualties of the race against the clock, only finishing ninth and relegated to the B final.

Paterson’s Taurus crew then hit half-way in fourth in the medal race-off, before squeezing past Thames RC in the run in to take third in 6.14.0, finishing 3L back on the Thames/Leander winners and 2.5L behind Oxford Brookes.

Meanwhile on the Thames, Monmouth School for Boys’ 8 produced an impressive win at Reading Amateur Regatta in a new-look crew of Alex Warner, Ben Robinson, Zeb Bell, Ryan Cheng, George Whitall-Williams, Ben Holley, Philip Lawler, Jacob Hartley and cox Ben Jennery.

Racing in the Open Band C class over 1500m, they beat London club Vesta to make the final before seeing off Oxford University Lightweights by around 3/4L.

It wasn’t the only win that day on the river, with the younger rowers heading for the nearby Marlow Town Regatta, raced over 900m.

Sam Carver and Ollie Smith raced to the U14 double sculls Band 2 title, winning by 3L from RGS High Wycombe boat with a Marlow RC boat in third.

The U14 quad finished 1.5L behind Bryanston in their heat, 3L ahead of Oratory School, while two school scullers raced to the final of the U15 singles, finishing second and third behind an Oratory racer.

All eyes now turn to Henley Royal next week, with Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth School for Girls both hoping to qualify their 8s in this Friday’s time-trial races before the first ever six-day regatta starts on Tuesday.

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