Olympic Gold Medal Coach visits MSRC

Chepstow’s Robin Williams (far right), coach of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic champion women’s pair, took a session with (from left) Monmouth School rowers Ryan Baldwin, Antony Wright, Ben Emes, Cameron Michie, Joe Harrison, Robbie Prosser-Wrench, Jack Tottem (cox), Iwan Hadfield and Hamish Lawson

SCHOOL rowers warmed up for the National Schools championships with two great races at a top event, a session with one of the world’s top coaches and international success for a crew member.

Monmouth School RC is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and 11-time Cambridge Boat Race chief and two-time Olympic gold medal coach Robin Williams OM, from Chepstow, dropped down to the Wye where he learnt to row to run a coaching workshop and put the 1st eight through its paces.

Racing in their brand new state-of-the-art German-built Empacher 8, named after Robin’s former school coach John W Hartland, the crew had set a searing 2km time of six minutes two seconds at the prestigious Nottingham City Regatta just four days earlier, where they finished second in U18 8s against some of the country’s top juniors before winning the open 8s event.

And that came a week after strokeman Iwan Hadfield made his Great Britain debut with a two-medal haul at the Munich International Junior Regatta.

The 18-year-old took silver and bronze in the GB junior eight and four as he targets a place in the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships on the Tokyo Olympic course in August.

In the eights event, GB took on crews from Croatia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Germany, and came home just a length back on the top German crew in silver, while the fours saw his crew take bronze by just 0.4secs.

“Munich was an incredible experience,” said Iwan, who has made the step up from representing Wales at the Home International Regatta in 2018.

“Winning my first medal was a pretty good feeling and it was a very proud moment to win two medals in my first international event for GB.”

Source: Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Review