National Schools’ Regatta 2015 – J17 Singles Preview

With the CH 4x event being moved from the Sunday to the Saturday, the field is much narrower than we would of seen if it had not been moved, featuring many more die-hard single scullers, mainly from clubs rather than schools, instead of those who raced in quads looking to get a second event in. To that end, we won’t see the likes of Armstrong and Lawton, who came first and second respectively in the J16 1x last year, looking to retain their titles. That being said, there is still a huge entry of forty-four scullers, which will be whittled down to twelve after the time trial.

Clydesdale ARC (Galano)

Bronze medal winner from the J16 event last year, Giacomo Galano has had a pretty up-and-down season so far. Thirty-seventh at Early ID, then twelfth (out of sixteen) at Feb trials, while paired with a sculler from Queen Elizabeth High School, and, most recently, fourth in the ‘B’ final at April Trials. This didn’t reward him with a plane ticket to Munich, but the only two to better him last year occupied with quads, this may be his time to shine.

Dart Totnes ARC (Swiss)

Unlike Giacomo, Matt Swiss crashed out in the semi-final of last year’s competition, and is yet to hang an NSR single sculling medal around his neck. However, he has had the best season out of any of these guys so far, which included, most recently, beating Galano to third place in the ‘B’ final at April trials by 0.7 seconds. Provided Galano brings his A game on Saturday, this showdown is gonna be close, although Matt’s consistency may well get the upper hand.

Cambridge ’99 ‘A’ (Champion)

They say that coming fourth in a final is the toughest position; so close to getting a medal, but yet so far. This was the fate of Sam Champion last year, and no doubt, with having to worry about Armstrong and Lawton, he will be looking to achieve what he was so close to last year. Only three seconds away from Swiss at Feb trials, while paired with Harry Oliver of Windsor Boys, he is looking in a good position to do so. However, a fourth place finish in the ‘C’ final in April will have left a lot to be desired. I feel his consistency, or lack thereof, may well let him down.

Lea RC (Dixon)

The distinctive orange strip of Lea Rowing Club seems to be ever present, but always somewhat lacking. Perhaps Toby Dixon could turn this around. A fourteenth place finish at Feb trials, paired with Edwin Grimster of Burway, seemed in line with his forty-seventh place finish at Early ID. He possesses the consistency that many of the others lack, but isn’t quite hitting the speeds that they are either.

Others to mention would be Matthew Haywood, of Burton Leander, who also qualified for April Trials and Matt Martinez, of Globe RC, who finished fifth last year, but seems to have gone slightly off the boil over the course of the season.


1st Swiss, 2nd Galano and 3rd Champion.

The Rowing Jesus