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Head of the Dart

On Saturday (10 April 2022) two crews from Monmouth Rowing Club took part in the 50th Head of the Dart head race run by Dart Totnes Amateur Rowing Club. The 15km course from Totnes to Dartmouth takes in some stunning scenery, including the home of thriller writer Agatha Christie, along the tidal river.

Monmouth Mixed E Eight Head of the Dart 2022

93 crews raced in some choppy conditions, with visitors from around the UK enjoying the race for the first time for 2 years - prior years being victims of Covid. Saturday saw fixed seat gig boats as well as fine 8’s and 4’s.

First on the water for MRC was the mixed E crew (average age of 55+). The crew of Louise Allison, Nick Hooton, Tim Male, James Allison, Colin Lewis, Kate Callaghan, Kate Hooton, and Liz Lewis were coxed by Zach Salmon won their category in a time of 47.52mins, placing them 12th overall (1st crew with any women racing).

The women’s 8 in the slightly older category of Masters 5 featured Matt Royston at cox. Matt coaches rowing at the Comprehensive School, and has successfully coxed a winning MRC crew at the Dart. There was a bit of rivalry between the 2 coxes, Zach is a former Comp pupil and has until recently been an assistant coach at the school.

Monmouth Women's Masters 5 Head of the Dart April 2022

The crew of Mary Miller, Sue Smith, Helen Tilley, Maggie Hickland, Dawn Brace, Gail Adams, Frances Lester, Amanda Snelson and Matt were 2nd in their category in a time of 57.00mins just behind hosts Dart Totnes WD8+; and were placed 50th overall.

On Sunday it was the turn of the smaller boats - singles and doubles/pairs. Because of the tide the race started in Dartmouth and finished in Totnes. The wind was stronger, offering up larger waves that the rowers did well to contend with. Representing Monmouth was club coach Tim Male. Despite have raced on Saturday, Tim posted an impressive time of 52.34mins; good enough to win his Masters C category, and once all age handicaps were applied he came out as the fastest masters single rower (he was the 4th fastest overall).

Monmouth Tim Male Masters C Single Sculls Head of the Dart April 2022

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