FOUR Wales rowers helped power Oxford Brookes to Head of the River Race glory, as the world’s oldest time-trial race returned for the first time since 2019, reports NICK HARTLAND.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Josh Bugajski was joined by fellow Welsh Rowing product Sam Bannister, Matthew Aldridge and cox Harry Brightmore as the defending champions stormed home a full 15.9 seconds clear of the chasing Leander crew containing four GB Olympians in 16 minutes 59.8 seconds.

The Brookes second boat containing Welsh world U23 medallist Matt Rowe was just 1.7secs down on the Pink Palace in third, with Leander B’s second string in fourth a further 20 seconds adrift.

Fifth over the 4.25-mile Chiswick to Putney race were Brookes C 4.9 secs back, with Thames RC coxed by Wales’ Charlie Clarke taking the Vernon Trophy for best Tideway crew in sixth in 17.47.6, while fellow cap Tom Strudwick helped their C boat to 18th in 18.23.8.

Apr Website OBUBC pic OBUBC

Monmouth’s Sam Royston and Stephen Griffiths were on board the Upper Thames boat that came home 28th in 18.38.0, five places and 4.9secs up on Llandaff RC twins Rob and John Davies and Old Monmothian Robbie Prosser-Wrench in their Bristol University crew.

City of Swansea product Luke Gwenter helped his Surrey University eight to the Medium Academic Pennant finishing 59th in 19.06.

And Wales cap Sean Szekely was on board the Agecroft eight that finished 65th in 19.18.

Welsh club honours in the 283-boat men’s eights field went to Swansea University, who just squeezed into the top 100 in 97th, crossing in 19.41.0 to beat Monmouth RC in 104th by four seconds.

Apr Website Mon RC Head of the river Race boat pic Ben Rodford

Old Monmothian GB junior cap Will England’s Minerva Bath boat was another 6.5 secs back in 117th.

Swansea’s B boat came 203rd in 21.18, while Cardiff University’s men’s novices placed 244th in 22.21.

Pictures Ben Rodford Photography and OBUBC

Full results at