Rowing

Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games describes rowing as “the most complete sport that one could imagine”. At Monmouth we are fortunate enough to be able to partake in such a sport on one of the best stretches of river in the UK for rowing in a most beautiful part of the country.

Season highlights

Welsh Junior Trials

It has been an incredibly successful season on the water for Monmouth School boys. Six pupils undertook final trials and gained selection for the Welsh Junior Rowing Team to compete at the Home Countries Regatta in Cork, Ireland. Alex, Morgan, Rory and cox Gabriel have all been successful and will represent their country at the forthcoming regatta on Saturday, July 27. Sadly, Freddie, Louis just missed out on selection but both will return next year.

Henley Royal Regatta

Monmouth School’s 1st VIII acquitted themselves in fine form by beating Emanuel School in the first round, only to come up against defending champions Abingdon School. Monmouth being the underdogs displayed great courage and gave Abingdon a challenging race, losing by just 11/2 lengths in a much better row than the previous day. Six boys out of the 1st VIII leave us this year and we wish them well in their future careers.

Many OMs were competing at Henley this year, but there was one individual who went all the way. GB and Welsh junior champion, Steve Tuck, OM 2007-2009, travelled over to compete with the University of California, Berkeley. After winning the American National Championships earlier this year, Steve was looking forward to a return to Henley and competing in the Ladies’ Challenge Plate. Steve at stroke with his crew battled their way to the final where they met a strong and favoured Leander crew. After a tight race over the 2,112 metre course, California were victorious by a small margin of three feet.

GB Team Trials

Congratulations to William who has been selected to row at the Junior World Rowing Championships in Hamburg. After a gruelling selection process William performed superbly to earn his vest. This is a fantastic reward for all of his hard work and effort this year and we are delighted with his success. We are also thrilled to announce Gabriel has been selected to row for England at the Home Countries in Cork, Ireland. Gabriel was provisionally selected to cox the Junior Girls’ Welsh Squad but has made the decision (after careful thought) to cox with the England Junior Men’s Team. We wish Gabriel our best wishes and good luck. We would also like to thank and wish Elliott the very best for the future and it is with sadness we say farewell to him. Elliott has made a huge contribution to Monmouth School’s rowing programme and we are forever in appreciation.

Rowing starts at Monmouth School in the summer of Form II through the Junior Rowing Club (JRC) where boys get a taste of the sport on Fridays after school. Then from Lent term of the third form onwards, boys can choose rowing as their games option. If they wish to do so, boys are encouraged to join or continue in the JRC in the Michaelmas term of form III. For obvious safety reasons, boys are expected to be confident swimmers and a swimming test as well as a capsize drill will be performed during Lent term.

We encourage boys to learn to both scull and row and place great emphasis on teamwork as well as personal development. Crews compete at local and national events including Henley Royal Regatta and we regularly take boys on training camps, often abroad, most recently to Seville in Spain and previously to Belgium and the South of France.

Boys are encouraged to pursue international aspirations and many have been selected to represent their country. In 2013 five boys from the Senior Squad were selected to represent Wales in the Home Countries International at Nottingham, and Will was selected to represent Great Britain in the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Lucerne, Switzerland where he won two bronze medals in the coxless pair.

Recent illustrious old boys include Tom Lucy who, after winning a Gold Medal at the World Junior Rowing Championships, went on to represent GB at the Beijing Olympics where his VIII claimed silver. Other former internationals include Steve Pearson, Robin Williams (now coach of the current Olympic Champion women’s pair) and of course Lord Moynihan, cox of the Moscow Olympics bronze medal VIII. And Old Monmothian, Laurence Harvey coxed Isis in the 159th BNY Mellon Boat Race.

If you would like to know more about rowing at Monmouth please email John Griffiths, Master in charge of Rowing at jd.griffiths@monmouthschool.org