ROWERS made festive waves despite damp and chilly conditions on the Wye on Sunday, as nearly 90 8s, fours and quad sculls launched out in the Monmouth Winter Head time-trial.

Several boats donned Santa hats for the 1.5-mile race against the clock from Hadnock to the boathouse.

Northwich visitors Grange School – the alumni club of Tokyo Olympian brother and sister rowers Tom and Emily Ford – set the benchmark, covering the course in six mins 23 secs in their U18 boys’ quadruple scull in the first division, and then racing home in 6.36 in their 8 in division 2.

Monmouth School set the quickest coxed and coxless four times in 6.38 and 6.50 respectively in taking the junior classes, while Minerva Bath’s masters 8 just headed the Wye school’s 8 by five seconds, crossing in 6.38.

Grange also headed a competitive women’s quad scull class, crossing in 7.06, followed by Gloucester 7.22, Llandaff 7.24 and Monmouth Comprehensive 7.25, who took the U18 class, a second ahead of the Grange B boat, with Llandaff B next in 7.34.

Grange just pipped Monmouth School for Girls to the fastest women’s 8 time by three seconds in 7.17, to take the junior crown, although the local club won open women’s 8s from their B boat by 11 seconds in 7.44.

And Worcester RC also just squeezed out the Wye outfit to the fastest women’s coxed four time by four seconds, finishing in 7.47, although the latter took the junior crown.

Monmouth School added the open fours crown (6.59) by 27 seconds from Stourport, while hosts Monmouth RC landed the mixed coxed fours in 7.32, while Monmouth School for Girls also won U18 and U15 girls’ coxed fours 8.20 and 8.42 respectively.

The 15 clubs making the trip to the end-of-year race also included Evesham, Starford-upon-Avon, Pengwern in Shrewsbury, Penarth, Avon County, City of Bristol and Upton.

To see the full head of the river race results, you can go to

Racing pictures can be found at Oarstruck Photography