WYE rowers from Monmouth School for Girls made a big splash at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham, landing silver at the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta.

Representing Wales and WAGS (Wiltshire, Avon, Gloucester and Somerset) in the first regatta of the season, the crew of Anna Swartz, Anna Bieler, Ffion Hutchings, Sienna McKenna and Sasha Kilot came fifth in their opening 12-boat time-trial over 1,000m, qualifying for the six-boat A final by just 0.3 seconds from the seventh-fastest North West crew.

The Monmouth School for Girls crew after receiving their medals
The Monmouth School for Girls crew after receiving their medals. Photo: MSG RC (MSG RC)

The fastest three qualifiers were some six to nine seconds quicker, but the Wye boat were determined to make their mark in the 1500m medal race, and drawn in an outside lane blasted off with front runners Thames London and Thames Upriver.

They were third 1/2L back at 500m but pushed past into second in the mid 500m, to go through the 1km mark 1/2L clear of bronze.

And pushing away in the last third, they came home just over a length behind Thames London and a length ahead of East Midlands in third, crossing the line in six minutes 02.68 seconds.

The school’s U16 coxless four of Keilah Greaves, Lily Ebsworth, Ailsa Whitehead and Freya Berglund came so close to also getting on the podium, missing out on a medal in a blanket finish, with just 1/2L covering the first four boats home.

They qualified for the A final in fifth in 4.47.2, just a second behind East Midlands, and then bravely front-loaded the 1500m final to lead by just over a length with 500m to race from the chasing pack of Scotland, East Midlands and Thames London.

It was a brave move to put it all out there, and if the chasers had been more spread out instead of just feet apart pushing each other on, they may well have kept in front, but were caught just strokes short as all three pipped them in that order, with the Wye boat crossing in 5.37.29 just 1.61 secs off gold.

Monmouth School’s boys teamed up with four rowers from Monkton School to race the U16 8s, coming fifth in the opening trial in 3.17.0, just 0.2secs behind Eastern and 0.9secs ahead of West Midlands.

In the final they battled hard, but this time had to give second best to Eastern by 2L with West Midlands taking bronze, as Wales and WAGS placed sixth overall in 4.58.9.

The Monmouth Comprehensive boys who represented Wales and WAGS
The Monmouth Comprehensive boys who represented Wales and WAGS (Monmouth Comprehensive BC)

Monmouth Comprehensive School's U15 quadruple scullers Barney Shaw, Joseff Jones, Bartek Skrzypnik, Sam Willis and Nathan McAuliffe came 12th in their time-trial a couple of lengths off a place in the six-boat medal race-off, and then won the C final by 3L from the West for 12th overall in 5.40.27.

Full results at rowresults.co.uk/jirr24

Meanwhile, Monmouth Rowing Club are set to host their annual two-day event on the May 25/26 Bank Holiday weekend, and are looking for sponsors for the event, which dates back to the early 1930s.

See www.monmouthrc.org.uk/sponsorship