Wales and England share Home International bragging rights
Wales were crowned Senior Men’s champions at the 2012 Home International Regatta on Saturday, for the first time in the competition’s 50-year history – breaking England’s stranglehold on home water at Cardiff Bay.
A typically strong English team won the other three events; for Senior Women, Junior Men, and Junior Women.
The Welsh success in the Senior Men’s event breaks a nine-year run of wins for the English team, a stunning result for Welsh team manager Liz Hoskins and Head Coach Ian Shore. The Welsh men’s 36 points overall left them well clear of the second placed English crews, who took 25 points across the Senior Men’s event.
In the Senior Women’s event, England took their 11th title in 13 years with a dominant performance that included victories in the LW1x, W4+, LW2x and W8+.
England’s 34 points from the women’s event comfortably eclipsed second-placed Ireland (27 points), with Wales (20) and Scotland (16)unable to challenge the dominant English women.
The most dramatic finish of the day was saved for the Junior Men’s event, with England, Ireland and Wales all tied going into the final, blue riband race – the JM8+.
An entertaining race saw first Scotland and then Ireland drop off the pace, with England and Wales heading for a photo finish.
The English crew pulled just ahead at the death, finishing two tenths of a second ahead of their Welsh rivals in four minutes and 26.3 seconds.
The victory gave the English four points in the overall rankings, enough to win the Junior Men’s event by one point from the Welsh crews.
In the Junior Women’s event, England took another victory – this time upsetting an Irish squad that has won the event at six of the previous eight Home International Regattas.
Wins in the JW4-, JW2x, JW4+, and JW8+ were enough to seal victory for the English, with 24 points overall to second-placed Scotland’s 18.
Photographs from Saturday’s races are available from www.welshrugbypics.co.uk/events/3452-home-international-regatta-210712.
For a full list of results, as well as the final points standings, visit http://www.iaru.ie/sites/default/files/home_international_2012_-_results.pdf.