National Schools Regatta 2014- Championship Quads Finalists Preview

One of the most hotly contested events of the regatta with a huge number of entries. Due to the sheer number, I’m going to go all out here and try to detail as many potential players as I can. I’l split my preview into two parts; the first will be given over to potential finalists while the second will be to highlight crews which could cause an upset. The preview…

Sir William Borlase

Coach- Robin Dowell

Key Athlete- Chris Lawrie

Notable Results- 1st place at the OJSH in J184x, 1st place at Wallingford Regatta in J184x

One of the strongest junior quads we’ve seen in a number of years even when taking into account the superb Marlow quad from last year. They’re my favourites to take the title although it won’t be as simple as some would have you think. SWB have some truly exceptional athletes in the fold, with three guys from the top 10 at April Trials. Their average ergo has to be below 6:20, which is exceptional for a junior quad. They are well drilled, powerful and technically superb; watching them race is always a real pleasure. Can they win? If they perform to their potential, I see no reason why not. Borlase actually had a weakened crew at Wallingford so expect SWB to really turn up the heat at NSR. There are a number of crews who could potentially stand in their way but I just feel they’ll be too good.

Westminster School

Coach- Bill Mason

Key Athlete- Sam Meijer

Notable Results- 1st place at SHORR in J4x, 1st place in U234x at Ghent Spring regatta

Another product of the superb system Bill Mason has in place at Westminster. Westminster are renowned for their technical efficiency and this is evident in the quality of their catch placement and drive. Sam Meijer is their outstanding oarsman although I’m sure Cam Kerr would have had us thinking differently with 500m to go at Wallingford Regatta. Sam has a monster 2k score [6:04] and I fancy these boys to push Borlase all the way. Aided by their lovely new carbon rigged Empacher, which was used for the Elizabethan Wyfold four last year, they’ll undoubtedly be fast on Sunday. Can they beat Borlase? Westminster often find optimum speed at NSR and so it is a possibility but I just think SWB will have the legs on them.

Northwich

Coach- Jed Barlow

Key Athlete- Alex Bain

Notable Results- U194x National Champions at the British Senior Championships, 1st place in J184x at Nottingham City

I can’t help but admire the way these boys have stepped on this year. They looked so good at Wallingford and the manner in which they took the win at Nottingham City will send a definitive message out to all their competitors. They’ve had a few shake-ups recently, with Leon Langmead moving into the 3 seat while Alex Bain has moved into the stroke seat. Tom Asteriades has lost his seat for whatever reason but the move has paid dividends as Northwich look to have stepped on in the pursuit of Borlase, closing the gap to 8 seconds at Wallingford. They are my personal favourite for the bronze medal and I think they’ll be closing on Westminster- enjoy the sight of these boys while you can as they are, with the exception of Leon, all J18. 

Leander Club

Coach- Livinia Cowell-Sheriff

Key Athlete- Harry Leask

Notable Results- 3rd place at Wallingford Regatta, 4th place in J184x at OJSH

Another class act with serious financial support behind them. Expect Leander to turn up in one of those beautifully sleek Empacher shells they have and display a powerful style of rowing. I didn’t actually think these boys would do all that well but they’ve surprised me this season by building their quad around the one remaining member from last years boat, Harry Leask. The intensive program of training and development has obviously worked as Leander look good coming into this event. Can they challenge the likes of Borlase? Unlikely judging by Wallingford but they won’t be too far off. Their main competition for the bronze medal is Northwich.

Gloucester Hartpury

Coach-  Tom Pattichis

Key Athlete- Jack Williams

Notable Results- 4th in J4x at SHORR, 4th in J184x at Wallingford Regatta

These boys dominated the repecharge at Wallingford Regatta and were probably unlucky to have drawn Borlase in their heat as they would have been a lot more competitive in the final. Their result at the SHORR puzzled me a little as I expected them to be a little closer to Westminster and Borlase but they’ve come back strong and, with a number of particularly good athletes, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with this weekend. With Gloucester Hartpury a spots specialist college designed to produce top quality athletes, these guys are one of my favourites to make the final.

Grange School

Coach- Matthew Jump

Key Athlete- Scott Ozsanlav Harris

Notable Results- 2nd place in J184x at Nottingham City

The last boat that I believe will make the final. They have obviously stepped on since the OJSH as they took Marlow to pieces on Saturday in Nottingham and I think they’ll be strong at the weekend. The Ozsanlav Harris brothers are the driving force behind this crew and I would look out for their double on the Saturday. Scott has had a series of impressive results and the Ozsanlav Harris brothers teamed up with Leon Langmead and Harry Blake earlier in the season to finish 13th in IM14x at the HOR4. They’ve found two decent scullers from their own ranks while their coach, Matt Jump, is renowned for his ability to produce decent athletes consistently. A good crew who I think will take the last spot.

My 2nd part to follow!

Good luck to all competitors!

This photo was taken from- http://www.abingdon.org.uk/index.php/national_schools_regatta_may10

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JuniorRowingBlogger
  • Harry

    That’s great! 🙂 your blogs are great by the way really helpful!

  • Harry

    Any chance of a j16 1x mate?

    • Hi Harry,

      Thanks for your feedback. My understanding is that J161x will be published within the next 24 hours.

      JuniorRowing

  • mark

    How can you not mention parsonage??

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your feedback. I don’t think that Steven’s quad, without any disrespect, will be up to the standard. I’ll make a note of him in my next preview.

      JuniorRowing