WALLINGFORD RC again conquered the United States when they retained their Over 50s coxed fours title at the 53rd Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, writes John Wiggins.

The holders fielded the same crew as 2016 – Mike Edge, Pete King, Steve Pearson, Richard Smith and cox Sara Ball – with the same result.

They opened up an early lead and kept moving away to finish 30 seconds ahead of the field in a course record time of 17mins 05 secs.

Jubilation was mixed with some relief, as their final race preparation had been hampered by illness to King.

Also racing for Wallingford at one of the largest rowing events in the world was the single-sculler, Heather Moon-Vogels.

While a lightweight sculler in the US rowing team more than decade ago, she was a three-time winner at this event.

Racing this year in the Masters 30+ category, she finished sixth.

Oxford Brookes’ lightweights also broke the course record, but missed victory by a mere half a second, having clashed blades with the four they were attemping to overtake.

Three GB internationals – Joel Cassells, Jamie Copus, and Pete Chambers – were joined by Brookes student Patrick Tawns and American cox Jack Carlson whose company, Rowing Blazers, sponsored the trip.

While the US event was raced in excellent conditions, most events in the UK were cancelled due to the excessive winds accompanying Storm Brian.

Significantly, this included the British Rowing Senior Championships, due to be contested in Nottingham, where in recent years Oxford Brookes have shone.