National Schools’ Regatta 2015- J16 Quads Preview

National Schools’ Regatta provides the perfect opportunity to test any crew; the competition is tough, the conditions are often far from ideal and the multi-lane 2000m racing is physically and mentally demanding. There are 20 crews in the J164x event and only 12 will progress to semi finals from the time trial, so total commitment will be required throughout the day’s racing for any prospective medallists. I have highlighted the seven crews I believe stand the best chance, based on the season’s results so far, of securing a place in the final.

 

Kingston

Kingston have had a strong season so far, with good performances in smaller boats, most notably a double sculling to a solid 7th position in J162x at the GB Junior assessment at Boston in February. They have not shied away from multi-lane racing, coming 4th in the quad at the Junior Inter-regional Regatta (JIRR) and 3rd in the same event at Wallingford Regatta. I’m not sure that they will medal on Saturday, however, there is all to play for come the day, and they have put themselves in a good position. It would be great to see them win the ‘Kingston Cup’!

 

King’s School Worcester

King’s Worcester took the J164x pennant at the Schools’ Head, and have solidified the fact that they mean business by taking silver medals at JIRR and a convincing win at Wallingford, both in this event. Like Kingston, Worcester had a well performing J16 double at the February assessment in Boston. These boys have a good chance of medalling if they perform on the day.

 

Marlow

There are three boys in this boat who attended the aforementioned trials at Boston, and the boat contains a lot of power in the form of Cooper and Long, both of whom have pulled a 2k in the low 6.30s as part of the trials process. A Marlow quad placed second in this category at Wallingford, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have picked up speed in the last few weeks, being part of Marlow’s well established junior programme.

 

Weybridge

Weybridge have spent a lot of time in the quad this season, achieving some impressive results in head races, including 3rd at Hampton Head and 2nd at Schools’ Head. They too sent two J16 boys to the February trials, and have opened the regatta season with an admirable 5th place at Wallingford. I think that this crew will have to be on good form to challenge for a top three placing, however, their experience together may prove useful if the National Water Sports Centre throws up some tricky racing conditions.

 

Maidenhead ‘A’

Maidenhead have a good J16 contingent this year, evidenced by the fact that they are entering two crews into this event. The ‘A’ crew appear the stronger, containing the J162x Pairs Head pennant winners. Maidenhead’s good winter season ended with a win in the J174x event at the Oarsport Junior Sculling Head by what was, I believe, a partly J16 crew. Sean O’Mahony was part of the GB trials in February, finishing an impressive 4th in a composite double in the J16 category. Maidenhead placed 3rd in the quad at JIRR, however, I believe that this was without Kleshnev, a very strong J15 who will be part of their crew on Saturday.

 

City of Oxford

This crew surprised me with their win in the quad at Hampton Head, at which they also placed second in the J164- event. They placed 4th at Wallingford in the quad, a position I expect that they can emulate in Nottingham on Saturday, or even supersede with a medal position if they row well.

 

Star Club

Star have a good tradition of producing fast J16 quads and this bunch appear no different. They’re all fairly new to the sport and so it’s power that they will be depending upon- Edward White, who is still a J16, is the brother of Will White [Gb junior international] and is rumoured to have a particularly strong ergo score. These boys came fifth at the Scullery and made the final at Wallingford Regatta- they’ll be contenders for a spot in the top six.

 

Also, look out for Leander, who have a good record of producing strong junior sculling boats, Carlow, an Irish crew- I would not expect them to make the trek to Nottingham without the prospect of a good result, Dart-Totnes and Llandaff, who placed 6th and 7th respectively at JIRR.

 

My Prediction:

1- Maidenhead

2- King’s Worcester

3- Marlow

KingCrab