Welsh quartet make waves across the pond

FOUR Welsh rowers have been making waves across the Atlantic on the US varsity and college circuit.

GB World U23 medallist Iwan Hadfield helped his California Berkeley varsity 8 to rowing’s biggest prize across the pond, landing the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) title this month in New Jersey, to crown an unbeaten domestic season.

GB U23 World finalist Katherine George also took bronze at the women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships in Florida in her Princeton varsity boat, while Llandaff RC’s British junior cap Angharad Broughton took third in the 2nds women’s varsity 8s final for Washington.

Former Wales junior Patrick George was also on the podium stroking the George Washington University 8 to the American Collegiate Rowing Association Varsity title last month.

Cardiff and Vale and Monmouth School product Hadfield helped the Golden Bears to the West Coast Pac-12 US college 8s title in May in Oregon, taking an early lead they never surrendered in the six-boat final to come home a length and a half clear of defending champions Washington in five minutes 36.9 secs.

That set his boat up for the IRA championships - recognised as the national championship, and featuring the top 24 rowing programmes in the US.

The Old Monmothian’s boat were up against rivals packed with Olympic and international talent, Cal’s Bears squeezed a two-seat lead by the 500m mark from Yale’s Bulldogs, containing three Tokyo Olympians, closely followed by Washington and Brown.

Cal had stretched out to 3/4L at half-way, and there was nothing going to stop them as they hit the 1500m mark a length to the good.

The Bulldogs snapped at their heels in the closing stages, but the Bears came home 3/4L to the good in 5mins 44.2secs, Yale taking silver, Brown bronze another 1L back followed by Washington, Syracuse and Harvard.  

Meanwhile Katherine George rowed 4 in the Princeton 8 that won the Ivy League Championships at Coopers River, New Jersey, seeing off strong finishes from Brown and Yale.  

That set them up for the NCAA championships for the top 22 women’s varsity programmes at Sarasota where they raced home 2L behind Texas in gold and 1/2L behind Stanford in silver to take a brilliant bronze, covering the course in 6.17.70.

Welsh Rowing graduate Angharad Broughton, who raced at the 2019 junior worlds in Tokyo, rowed five in the Washington 8 that won the Pac-12 US college 2nd 8s.

The Welsh speaker’s boat then took bronze just 3.3 secs behind Yale and 1.2 secs behind Stanford at the NCAA championships.

Meanwhile, fellow Wales junior cap Patrick George stroked the George Washington University boat to Varsity 8s gold at the American Collegiate Rowing Association university championships in Tennessee coming home just over a length clear of UCLA and Michigan in 5.52.

Hadfield’s Bears and Broughton’s Huskies are in action at Henley this week, while George goes in a GB squad women’s double scull.