National Schools Regatta 2014- 2nd Eight’s Preview

I’m going to take a look at the semi finals and decide who will go through from each before deciding on an overall winner. It is a good standard of entry, which is great to see and all the big guns have come out to play. The preview…

Semi Final 1

Crews to proceed- Hampton, Abingdon, St Pauls

Hampton picked up a convincing result at Wallingford by finishing 3rd in J18 B 8+. They were however beaten by Abingdon at Bedford Regatta in J18 2nd 8+ by 3/4 of a length. Although the course was shorter at Bedford [1200m] it was an interesting reversal and the match-up between those two should be fascinating. Hampton had an excellent J16 8+ and 2nd 8+ last year and so their strength in depth is not surprising. Abingdon, who actually looked quite weak outside of their 1st VIII last year, have stepped on and surprised everyone again this year- they’re fearsome racers so watch out for them. The last crew through will be St Pauls who didn’t make the final of J18B 8+ but beat Reading Blue Coat School in their heat by 10 clear seconds.

Semi Final 2

Crews to proceed- Eton College, Latymer Upper School, Shrewsbury School

Eton College are my favourites to take this event and it is obvious that their strength last year is beginning to pay off as they have two or three crews which are competing at the top of their categories. They won J18B 8+ by 5 seconds at Wallingford Regatta and looked utterly composed and powerful in doing so. Latymer Upper School won this event at the SHORR but, like their first VIII, have struggled to really impose themselves on the scene in the regatta season. They benefited from the advantages of home water at SHORR but I believed they’d be the crew to beat in the summer in this event; their 5th place in J18B 8+ suggests otherwise. They’ll be contenders nonetheless though I’m looking forward to seeing the pace of Shrewsbury who looked good at SHORR, where they finished 4th. Their 1st VIII has really stepped on in terms of speed since SHORR and, if the second VIII have had anywhere near the same burst, then we could be in for a real race between Eton, Shrewsbury and Hampton. They had a poor row at Wallingford, finishing last in their heat and they’ll be looking to make amends at NSR.

My prediction for the win- Eton

Good luck to all competitors!

This photo was taken from-