Wallingford Regatta 2015 – J18B 8+ Preview

At the time of writing, it looks increasingly unlikely that we’ll actually be seeing a heat raced as per the draw – the crosswind will be seriously disruptive, and will likely force the later events to race in a time trial format. However, this should not change the finishing order in what promises to be an intense and hard-fought race between some well-established second eights.

I am going to assume the entry under Eton College is Eton’s 3rd 8+, given the fact that their 2nd 8+ is already racing in J18A 8+ and are probably in a different league to the entries in this category in any case. For this reason, I think the battle for the cup will be between King’s Chester and Radley College, the 3rd and 4th place finishers at School’s Head respectively. These guys have a wealth of talent in their boats for second eight crews; highlighted by KCH’s second eight winning J18 8+ at the Ghent Regatta early last month, posting a quick time of 6:13, only two seconds behind their first eight. While there is talk that the strong Westminster J16s pushed them to this solid result (whereas the 1st VIII had a sluggish row), this is nonetheless a respectable performance by a clearly strong crew. Radley have some pretty big guys in the boat, and will have some speed off the start; Chester will have to watch this and make sure they stay in touch through the first 250. However, I think Chester will have the patience and the discipline to take the win. Judging by the School’s Head results, it would seem that Eton College‘s 3rd 8+ will come down the course in 3rd, but I think they’ll be well pushed by Reading Blue Coat – however, I think the lane bias and the home water advantage (yes, it exists on a lake) will see Eton through to the win over Blue Coat. King’s College School hasn’t seen a great deal of success in the 2nd 8+, and will be hard pressed to produce a result of note. SASRU remains an enigma, with a dearth of published results available to view, but I think as in J18A 8+ they won’t be able to match the likes of Radley or indeed King’s Chester. Whether they can get one over on KCS, or perhaps Reading and Eton, remains to be seen – watch out for these guys in both categories.

That concludes my J18B 8+ preview. Hopefully the winds will be kind on this event tomorrow.

Good luck to all crews!

Five Man

Five Man