FORMER Monmouth Comprehensive student Violet Holbrow-Brooksbank powered to a superb silver medal at the World Rowing U19 Championships on the Paris Olympic lake on Saturday.
The 17-year-old and her GB girls’ coxless four led through the middle of the race, but just missed out on gold to the fast-finishing Italian crew.
Violet, who rowed for Monmouth Comprehensive Boat Club and Wales juniors last year, has enjoyed a stellar season as part of the Wycliffe squad near Gloucester, helping them win the Championship girls’ 8s at the national Schools’ Head of the River in London in March, U17 titles at the UK Junior Sculling Head and Regatta, and junior quadruple sculls at the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta in June, before also helping her boat to the final at Henley Royal Regatta
And swapping two blades for one again, the teenager then secured the three seat in the GB U19s world championship four in Paris alongside Henley RC’s Rhiannon Luke, daughter of Llandaff RC GB world men’s finalist Dave Luke, Hinksey Sculling schools Martha Shepherd and Surbiton High School’s Madeliene Greenstock
They won their heat by two lengths from Australia in second to qualify directly for the six-boat final, but knew it would be tough in the final with other heat winners Italy and second-placed Romania going slightly faster.
Romania then proved the early pacesetters in the final, before the Brits squeezed through to lead at half-way, which inched out to a 1/4L lead over the eastern Europeans with 500m to race.
But it was Italy who came storming through with a powerful late surge to snatch gold on the line by a canvas from the Brits, with Romania another third of a length back in bronze, followed by Germany, Switzerland and France.
GB won six medals, three gold, two silver and and a bronze, topping the U19 medal table for the first time ever (tied with Italy). They picked up golds in the women’s and men’s eight and the women’s double scull, plus another silver in the men’s quad scull and bronze in the women’s quad scull.
The women’s eight was one of the most exciting races of the regatta with four boats clocking times just 0.24 seconds apart and GB taking gold by inches from Germany, Romania and the US.
Monmouth Comprehensive Boat Club posted “A big congratulations to former member Violet for picking up silver at the under 19’s world championship this morning in 4-
“Violet becomes the first person to row at MCSBC to win a medal at a world championship event in rowing!”
Mark Partridge, who attended the school before the club was formed in the early 1990s, rowed at Monmouth Rowing Club where the school boat from, and went on to win world men’s silver stroking the GB lightweight 8 in Montreal in 1992.