The Fullers Fours Head of the River 2014 – J18 4+ Crew Preview – St Paul’s School

This article comprises the first of a three part series written by myself; with pieces looking, with detail, in to the crews from St Paul’s, Abingdon and Shrewsbury, with the latter two being published tomorrow. Other crews will be being reviewed by one of my associates, whose schedule I do not know.

An interesting selection of crews entered into this year’s Four’s Head lineup, not the least in the J18 coxed fours event, with a mixture of ‘A’ and ‘B’ crews all competing to win one of the best prizes of any competition in the rowing season: a medal ceremony in the Fullers brewery.

Anyway, on with the article; this is a very strong crew from St Paul’s, comprised of messers Saigau, Benzecry, Hughes, Ambler and Doyle (cox to stroke). Obviously Paul’s ‘A’ combination, these boys have been fast so far this season, as has become usual for St Paul’s in the earlier races of the calendar.

Beginning with their achievements in the latter races of the previous season, Doyle and Hughes were members of St Paul’s CH8+ that failed to final at NSR, and was given a tough draw at Henley to face St Edwards (one of the favourites to win) on the first day. However, Doyle then went on to compete in the coxless pair at Junior Worlds, coming fifth in the B final.

Saigau, Benzecry and Ambler are all members of last season’s silver medal winning J16 CH8+, and have laid down good foundations at the start of this new season: at the Pair’s Head, Hughes (with Ross) took the twelfth spot; Benzecry (with Davidson) came in eighth; while Ambler combined with Doyle to successfully defend Doyle’s title from the previous year, much against my predictions.

Even more recently, all four oarsmen, and cox, helped make up the crew that competed over the Atlantic at the Head Of The Charles Regatta, in the Men’s Youth 8+ event. They placed a very creditable third, while bringing home the best result of any of the British crews that travelled over to compete there in that category.

I expect these boys to lay down a very fast time, and will even go as far as saying that they are my favourites to win the event.


The Rowing Jesus