WYE rowers headed for the Thames in London for their last race of the time-trial season, as nearly 300 eights and quadruple sculls took to the water for the Vesta International Masters Head.

Racing over the reverse 4 1/4-mile Boat Race course from Chiswick Bridge to Putney, Monmouth Rowing Club had 31 veteran rowers in action in three eights and a quad.

Conditions on the day were favourable, sunny and with a tail wind for most of the race.

Going off at 10-second intervals, Monmouth RC's Masters F (average age over 60) men's 8 set off first in their 10-boat class as defending champions from last year.

The Monmouth RC men racing on the Tideway
The Monmouth RC men racing on the Tideway (Ben Redford Photography)

The crew of Peter Kelsall, Paul Bezani, James Allison, Colin Lewis, Simon Lee, Bill Downing, Nick Hooton, Tim Earnshaw and cox Hannah Llewelyn-Davies overtook a number of E (over-55) crews and put in a good row, but had to give second best this time to local club Tideway Scullers and London University's Tyrian alumni boat, containing triple Olympian Salih Hassan and a host of other former GB caps.

They placed third in 19 minutes 30 seconds, 36 seconds back on Scullers and 22 behind Tyrian, with Sons of the Thames fourth in 19.50.

The club's women's MD (over 50) eight were in a large category of 17 crews and had three crew members – Kathryn King, Louise Tanner and Denize Atan – making their debuts on the championship Tideway course.

Monmouth RC's MF women's boat push on around Chiswick Eyot
Monmouth RC's MF women's boat push on around Chiswick Eyot (Ben Redford Photography)

The crew – which also featured Ellen Rule, Rachel Westerlund, Julia Cowton, Dawn Brace, Bonita Birkett and cox Taryn Birkett – had a solid race finishing in 10th place in 22.11, just over two minutes behind the winning multi-club composite and a minute and a half back on second placed Marlow.

They were just 0.8secs behind an Irish composite in 10th and pipped Mortlake Anglian by 0.6secs.

Monmouth's MF women's eight of Louise Allison, Liz Lewis, Kate Hooton, Liz Newman, Paula Nixon, Maggie Hickland, Shelagh Sawyer, Mary Miller and cox Darcy Birkett rowed the whole race in a vacuum with no other crews around them.

Starting third of the six crews in their class, they pulled away from Marlow, Champion of the Thames and Royal Chester behind, while Wallingford in front and a multi-club crew containing several ex-international rowers edged clear in front.

The composite won in 20.54, with Wallingford 17 seconds back and Monmouth crossing in 21.48 nearly a minute ahead of the River Dee boat in fourth.

Monmouth RC's mixed quadruple scull were third in their class
Monmouth RC's mixed quadruple scull were third in their class (Ben Redford Photography)

The mixed MC (over-42) quad scull of Sarah Cochrane, Johann Brown-Fumeau, Debbie Beadle and Alex Butler raced in an A-D (27-50) category, and had an excellent race, benefitting from a 31-second handicap to finish third out of seven in a time 19.50, 40 seconds behind the Mortlake/Newark winners.

Attention now turns to the side-by-side regatta season, with Monmouth set to host its annual two-day event on the May 25/26 Bank Holiday weekend

Monmouth RC are looking for sponsors for the event, which dates back to the early 1930s.

Anyone or any business that can help support the event can go to www.monmouthrc.org.uk/sponsorship