National Schools Regatta 2014- Championship Girls Doubles Preview

Another very strong event with several extremely fast crews. To the preview…

Flora Blake Parsons and Lydia Davis [Kingston Grammar School]

A combination that has the potential to be extremely fast. Flora raced in the pair at last years GB France match and has good pedigree in these events. These girls raced a Junior 4+ at SHORR, finishing second behind Henley RC which was a massive improvement on HOR4 where they finished 7th and I fancy them to be quick next weekend. KGS turned out a very sharp WJ184x last year and they have the athletes to do the same this year. I can see these girls making the final although they’ll be up against some seriously strong competition.

Robyn Armstrong and Lottie Bruce [Bedford Girls School RC]

It is good to see the talent of Robyn Armstrong back on the sculling scene after her injury put her out of action for the majority of last year. She’s a formidable sculler with a powerful ergo to back it up [7:10 I’m told] and her WJ162x with Lottie proved unassailable as they went practically undefeated through the 2011/2012 season. They won gold at NSR and took the WJ162x spot on the GB vs France team, helping GB to an overall victory with a win in their event. They’ll be looking to re-produce this form with a strong result this weekend. They raced to second place against a very strong unit from Tideway Scullers at Wallingford Regatta and they’ll be eager to make the final. I think they will.

Issy Cole and Megan Saunders [Tideway Scullers School]

Chasing the BGS double down will be their vanquishers from Wallingford, the TSS crew. Racing as Tideway Scullers C, these girls will be out to build upon the solid results they got earlier in the season. A crew containing Issy finished fourth in WJ182x at Hampton SBH while the latter also came third in WJ181x at the same event. I think they are one of the favourites to make the final and they’ll be looking to upset the likes of Marlow and Eton Excelsior. 

Heidi Long and Molly Harding [Marlow RC]

Probably my slight favourites to take the win although it will be incredibly tight between these girls and Eton Excelsior. If you want to see a world class display of junior sculling, venture down to Holme Pierre Point at around 10:45 on Saturday morning to see these three crews come flying down the course. These girls both represented Great Britain at the Munich International Regatta where Molly raced in the JW4x A, coming home in fourth place. Both of these girls are extremely capable oarswoman and their coach, Bret King, was particularly excited at the prospect of their junior quad, for obvious reasons. I can’t help but sense that the emphasis is on the quad. 

Alice Walker and Katie Metalli [Wallingford RC]

Having had such a strong WJ164x two years ago, it was a real shame when these girls disbanded at the end of that season to pursue fresh pastures. Alice Walker is the only remnant of that superb crew and she has done well to persevere, finding a decent double combination in the process. She’s raced well this season, finishing third at the Thames Valley Trial Head in WJ182x and, more recently, third at Wallingford Regatta in the same category, beating some good crews. I’m not sure these girls have what it takes to mount a serious challenge for the title but I can see them competing to make the final. 

Alice Mixter and Gabi Hatfield [Eton Excelsior RC]

Both of these girls are among the fastest scullers in the country and they’ll be looking to announce their return with a win. They’re racing the quad on the Sunday which will surely be the priority boat- but who would object to two medal chances? A crew with Alice onboard finished second in WJ172x at Hampton SBH while Gabi won WJ181x at Hampton SBH in November, raced and won at Pairs Head and has been competing at GB Trails albeit with slightly disappointing finishes. I can see these girls medalling although I think the win will go to Marlow.

My prediction for the final- Kingston Grammar School, Wallingford, Bedford Girls School, Marlow, Tideway Scullers School, Eton Excelsior

My prediction for the win- Marlow

Notable mentions go to Ardingly Scullers, who finished 6th in the WJ182x at Wallingford Regatta and Surbiton High School BC, who finished 5th in the same event.

If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know!

Good luck to all competitors!

This photo was taken from-