National Schools Regatta 2014 – J162x & J162- Preview


This article was written by a guest author.

The Sunday small boats for j16 are always interesting to look at, as we find many of the eights and quads from the Saturday split into smaller boats.  As a result of  this, we see many big names throughout the day to make for some very high standard and enjoyable racing.

J16 2-:

So lets kick things off with the j16 pair. It appears that many schools have opted to put their top guns into the coxless fours as opposed to the pairs. We have various big names here such as Westminster, St Pauls, Shrewsbury and Borlase and many more. I think it will come down to which school/club has opted to put the top oarsmen into this event. However I fancy Westminster or St Pauls to take this one. Westminster, in particular, have shown outstanding form all season in the eight, taking an astonishing amount of wins. However St Pauls have recently gained significant boat speed which was particularly highlighted at Wallingford where they beat Westminster in the eight. I think either of these schools could easily field a pair that could potentially take the win. Next should come either Borlase or Shrewsbury. At JIRR Borlase took us all by surprise by beating Shrewsbury by 6 seconds in the eight. However I have seen the pair that Shrewsbury have put forward for the NSR race and they are a very slick looking unit. So I believe either could take 3rd or possibly 2nd. Other potential crews to watch are The Oratory School and Bedford Modern but I don’t think either of these will have enough speed to medal.

J16 2x:

Another interesting event at j16 as again clubs and schools split their eights and quads into smaller boats for the Sunday racing. Here again we have a lot of big names competing but it seems like it could potentially be very close. Westminster have proven that they can scull as well as sweep on numerous occasions winning junior sculling head j16 4x in a quite an impressive manner. If this double contains 2 members of that quad I would say they should take the win, although the competition is fierce. Leander club have interestingly fielded a double containing Joseph Mortimer who came 10th at the GB Boston trials in February. Judging by Leander’s pedigree and the obvious talent in this crew these guys could very well take the win. Next we have Maidenhead’s Sam Hoxley and Henry Bennett. These guys have been at the top of this age group since J14, winning in the quad that year and getting silver last year. They are an exceptionally fast combination but they’ve failed to claim major silverware after their victory in the double at pairs head. Any of these three crews have the potential to take the win here but I’m going to go with Leander. I believe that Leander only enter crews who can win as we’ve seen in recent years so I would assume this is quite a tidy unit. Other possible candidates for medals would be Borlase, Windsor Boys and Burton Leander. However as Windsor doesn’t appear to have their top guns in this category I wouldn’t expect them to take this one. Borlase and Burton have not shown sufficient speed in sculling to be at the very front in this race either.