The Fullers Fours Head of the River 2014 – J18 4+ Crew Preview – Royal Shrewsbury School

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.

This is it, the third and final part of my Four’s Head reviews; after this you won’t be hearing from me until the Hampton SBH, where I will be looking at the WJ18 2x, my first delve in to the women’s side of junior rowing, so that will be interesting.

Anyway, I digress, it is the Shrewsbury School J18 4+ that I will be having a look at here; crewed by Jones, Bonthrone, O Dwyer, Thomas and Patterson (cox to stroke).

When all is said and done, Shrewsbury’s CH8+ did pretty poorly last season; starting off by coming eighth out of ten at the Schools’ Head, then finishing it coming last in their semi at NSR and failing to reach the final, before being knocked out on the Thursday at Henley is not ideal for a club of their pedigree. However, that being said, on the Sunday of NSR, they redeemed themselves slightly by coming fourth, after leading for 1500 metres, in the CH4+ event. Two of the boys who were in that four, Thomas and Patterson, are back for this season, perhaps looking to start off slightly better than the last one.

I’m afraid the other three boys, Jones, O Dwyer and Bonthrone, are an enigma to me. I can’t find them in any crew lists of any of Shrewsbury’s crews from the previous season, so they must have joined the school in the sixth form. However, all four oarsmen in this crew competed recently in Boston for the Head of the Charles Regatta in the Youth 8+ event, and finished in eleventh position. I would say this is a better start to the season than last year, but still not quite what they are looking for, as their time was over thirty seconds slower than the benchmark set by St Paul’s.

I think these boys will go quickly, drawing on the bounty of experience their stern pair posses, especially after their trip to Ireland with the Welsh squad to row at the Home International Regatta in Cork. I expect a top ten finish at least, if not pushing for the top five.


The Rowing Jesus