THE Welsh Rowing Beach Sprints team shone in the blazing sunshine in Saundersfoot as they stormed to two golds, three silvers and a bronze and a first ever Home Countries overall team prize.
Jerry Owen took the men’s singles gold, matched by Twm Owen and Menna Sutton in the mixed junior double.
George Cowley and Ellie Byrne in mixed doubles, Katie Hale in the girls’ junior singles and Josh Port in the junior men’s single all took sterling silvers, while there was battling bronze for flat-water GB international Ruth Siddorn in women’s singles.
The junior mixed double of Agecroft’s Twm and RGS Worcester’s Menna won their time-trial by just 0.6 secs from England, but had more than 10 seconds in hand over the Irish in their semi.
And they then blasted to gold by just over four seconds from the English, crossing in 2mins 37.1secs.
Fishguard & Goodwick Jemima RC’s Jerry Owen stormed to victory in the men’s singles time-trial by 2.3 secs from England’s Hal Flowerdew before racing home 7.7secs clear of Scotland’s Aidan Graham in the semis.
And there was no stopping him in the final as he raced to gold by 4.4secs from Jersey’s Chris Thompson, crossing in 2.24.1.
Llandaff RC product George Cowley - who won a Henley Royal Regatta medal stroking the London RC Wyfold four in July - and Kingston RC’s Ellie Byrne set the benchmark in the mixed doubles time-trial, 2.6secs up on Jersey.
They then came home four seconds clear of Ireland in the semi to set up a head-to-head with the Channel islanders in the final.
But in a tight rush to the shore and sprint for the line, this time the Jersey duo prevailed to take gold by just two seconds in 2.39.0.
Royal Shrewsbury’s Katie finished second in the junior women’s singles time-trial to England before coming home six seconds clear of Scotland’s Zoe Cochrane in the semi.
That put her up against England’s Evelyn Pakule in the gold medal race, but it was the Londoner who prevailed by some nine seconds in 2.41.1.
Mumbles RC’s Josh Port powered home second in the junior men’s time-trial behind the Irish singler, and then saw off England’s Bear Cochrane by 3.2secs to make the final.
But time-trial winner Eoin O’Connell then had enough in the tank to push the Welsh sculler into silver by six seconds.
Chester-raised Oxford Blue Siddorn, who raced in the double scull for GB at the senior flat-water World Rowing Championships in 2018, launched her campaign with third in the five-boat time-trial, seven seconds behind the Jersey winner.
That put her into the semi with second placed Irish singler Miriam Sheehan, and it was the raider from across the Irish Sea who got home first by just over five seconds.
That left Ruth with a bronze medal race against Scottish teenager Isla MacCallum, and the Welsh sculler’s strength proved decisive as she battled to bronze by some eight seconds in 2.42.2.
Wales also scooped the overall team prize - the first time in 60 years of Home Countries rowing that the nation has landed a team award.
Full results at https://rowresults.co.uk/hirbs23