The Pairs Head of the River 2014 Preview- J18 Doubles

Another year, another Autumn, another season of seeing how the usual suspects from the sweep oar arena cope with sculling. A slightly younger set of entries than I would have anticipated, especially among those who look likely to take the top spot, with the majority being made up of J17s, rather than J18s.

A strong showing, as usual for a race on the Tideway, from St Paul’s. However, I wouldn’t consider any of them for the win, due to there being no returners from last years CH8+ entered, nor from the NSR silver winning J16 CH8+, who have chosen to enter the 2- category.

My top picks for the win are between three crews from two different clubs: firstly, two doubles from Great Marlow School, Magnussen/Honey and Nash/Nunn. Ross Honey and Edward Nunn were gold medal winners at NSR in the J16 2-; and revieved a gold medal in the annual J16 GB France match, after winning the trial with a gap of fourteen seconds, should my memory serve me correctly.

And secondly, two crews from RGS High Wycombe, one of Butler and Williams, and one of Beagles and Davison, both of which combined to win gold in the J16 4x at NSR and, again, were selected to represent GB in the GB France match. These four also came came away victorious, slightly more recently, in the J18 4x- category at the Wallingford LDS, and Beagles and Williams took sixth and seventh positions respectively in the J18 1x.

However, the two boys who won gold in France and at NSR from Great Marlow have been placed in separate crews, and it is for this reason, as well as their relative lack of sculling experience in comparison to their closest competition, that I’m going to pick one of the High Wycombe crews as my favourites to take the top spot.

The Rowing Jesus