Marlow Regatta- Review

A few surprising results yesterday, particularly in the IM1 eight field. Here is my review of the day:

Elite Eights

Newcastle underlined their superiority in the flagship event of the day but the withdrawal of Abingdon came as a surprise and dissapointment to many who had been anticipating the Abingdon-Griffen match up in Heat 1. As it was, Newcastle went on to win the race in a close match up with Brookes.

IM1 Eights

My predictions about the tightness between some of the top schoolboy eights came true as Hampton, seeking revenge for their surprise bronze at NSR, beat St Edwards in the final of IM1 eights, Div B by just under a second, having won their heat comfortably. Teddies, on the other hand, suffered a shock defeat to St Pauls in their heat but recovered to see them off in the final. This will shake things up nicely coming into Henley and will perhaps give Hampton the confidence they need to be getting on with. Another surprise result was the form of Eton. They comfortably saw off Radley in the final of IM1 eights Div A and were only 2 seconds slower than the winning Hampton time. With their J16s recording an impressive win in the J16 eights [see more down the page], it will be fascinating to see whether they try to amalgamate the stronger J16s to make an even faster 1st eight. Having suffered the disappointment of not even making the CH8 final at NSR, their performance yesterday makes them a crew to watch.

Junior Quads

It came as no surprise to see Leander record the fastest time by some margin in Junior quads although the increase in speed on Maidenheads part will give them great confidence coming into Henley. Leander won Div A of J18 quads by a comfortable seven seconds followed by Maidenhead and then, surprisingly, Northwich who have obviously upped their game. Walton slipped back yesterday, having struggled to see off Northwich in their heat. Star had a cracking second half of their race following a dreadful start and rowed through Star and Arrow and Newark to take 5th place, around a length behind Walton who had beaten them easily at NSR. The battle between these crews should be fascinating. Div 2 proved to be a seriously close encounter, with Marlow’s B boat just pipping Westminsters B boat to take the win in a time of 6:31. Tigre had a good showing, coming home a close 3rd and these three left the trailing crews behind, supported by the fact that the 4th place crew were 20 seconds behind 3rd. Leander are moving well and, having been ineligible to race a quad at NSR, will be a good match for the stronger competition.

Senior Quads

The final of Senior Quads proved to be yet another tight race, with Star and Arrow prevailing by just over a second to take the win. Marlow took second place but, worryingly for them, Borlase were less than a second behind them in third, beating off both Windsor Boys and Westminster. Their increase in speed is pronounced and will worry the likes of Westminster, who beat them comfortably at NSR. Westminster appeared off color yesterday , struggling to qualify directly from their heat but I still back them to be up there come Henley. Marlow remain my favorites for the Fawley as the speed of both Leander and Borlase, with the former going almost ten seconds faster than Marlow in respective finals, will most likely stimulate them into upping their game. Expect a real dogfight between the UK crews in the coming weeks.

J16 Eights

Eton, showing great form this year, won this one with Hampton 3 seconds behind in second. This one I got right but it will be interesting to see whether Eton attempt to strengthen their 1st eight like Hampton did in 2011 or leave their all-conquering J16 eight together to have a crack at the Temple like the St Pauls J16 eight did last year, going on to win a race against Nottingham University. 

Cheers, my next preview will be staggered as Henley is just too large to preview in one go. I have already started previewing the PE here http://juniorrowing.wordpress.com/category/henley-2013/princess-elizabeth-challenge-cup-2013/

and the Fawley here http://juniorrowing.wordpress.com/category/henley-2013/fawley-challenge-cup-2013/

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