Monmouth rowers are beaten narrowly by French
1:00pm Friday 26th October 2012 in Sport
WITH all eyes turned to the Olympics, many schoolboys will have dreamt of representing their country in their chosen sport, but for an impressive number of Monmouth School rowers that dream came true this summer.
Seven boys from the senior squad were selected to represent Wales in the Home Countries International at Cardiff Bay in late July.
Among them was this year’s captain of boats, William Gilliland, who raced in both the coxed IV and the VIII, achieving second place in both races and only missing out in the VIII’s race (against England) by a photo finish.
Earlier in the month another four boys, now in VI.1, were selected to represent Great Britain in a J16 race in Granville in northern France. Morgan Gray, Daniel Waters, Will England and Tobias Maltman joined forces with four boys from Hampton School to make up the GB VIII – a remarkable achievement.
Sadly they were narrowly beaten by a very experienced French crew, but performed admirably and had a superb experience.
Will said: “We rowed up, proud and confident, wearing our GB all-in-ones, with the reassuring knowledge that we had earned our place in the boat through the hard work and determination over the past year. We approached the start, just metres away.
“The wall of nerves hits you in an instant, but we stayed calm, knowing that we had a job to do.
“That moment just before the word “Go!” was one of the most exciting and terrifying moments ofmylife. As it happens your heart rate increases to uncontrollable levels but is suddenly unleashed into pure power and energy as the race commences.
“It seemed to go on forever, the lead changed throughout the race and we pushed ourselves to our physical and mental limits.
“However, this was not quite good enough to overcome a strong French crew who won by half a length. As we crossed the line, the emotions were overwhelming.
We were filled with agony and disappointment from the race, but, as it all sank in we felt truly proud and honoured to have simply raced for GB, even if we didn’t win.”