National Schools’ Regatta 2015 – First Girls Coxed Fours Preview

The Jim Mason Plate for girls Coxed fours has 21 entries this year and a greater number of club entries compared to the coxless fours, as girls’ schools tend to race eights on the Saturday and so cannot race a coxed four, followed by a coxless on the Sunday. As usual, the fastest twelve from the time trial make the two semi finals and so I will preview those crews who in my opinion will make the final. The first semi final is at 15:10 so make sure you get down to the line in time as very close racing is on the cards.

Henley Rowing Club
Henley look to be on the best form recently out of all the girls’ coxed fours, sailing to victory in the same event at Wallingford, beating Sir William Perkins, Molesey and Marlow in the process. Emma Lister this year makes the step up from the J16 Henley 4+ that won Henley Women’s Regatta last year, something I think this crew can repeat this year. There has really been a Henley led dominance all year, with this crew finishing second at the School’s Head, behind Reading who are absent from this event, instead focusing on their coxless boat. Henley are strong favourites for a medal on Saturday and I wish them all the best.

Marlow Rowing Club
If there’s one crew who will give Henley a run for their money it’s this Marlow crew. I suspect Marlow will be disappointed with the result of Wallingford yet results clearly followed a trend of fastest in lane 6 to slowest in lane 1. With Marlow in lane 1, the odds were stacked against them. Yet I believe Marlow can strike back and deliver on Saturday pushing their way to the upper echelons of girls rowing. The crew also contains GB trialist Saskia Devereux, who gave a solid performance over the year.

Surbiton High School
Surbiton have produced fairly pleasing results at the beginning of the year, with an eighth place finish at the School’s Head, yet they seem to have dropped off the pace drastically and suffered an embarrassing defeat at Wallingford. I’m hoping that they have picked things up again since then and therefore these guys just might have a chance of reaching the final on Saturday.

Shiplake College
This appears to be the first major race for this Shiplake four this year, yet it’s very hard to believe that Shiplake’s fantastic rowing programme would let any crew slip through the net and so with no evidence but the previous strength of Shiplake crews I foresee Shiplake progressing to the final.

Could be contenders for the final. Wallingford showed us that they are relatively close to the pace, by staying close to Molesey, LEH and St George’s in the time trial. I’d like to think Cantabridgian could really burst onto the scene and surprise a few people. While I can’t perhaps see them winning a semi final, I think they will be involved in a close fought battle for second or third and reach the final of this event.

After this, the final crew in the final is tricky to predict. St Paul’s Girls’ School have a pretty good shot at it, as might the King’s School Worcester who came 14th at the Schools’ Head. Molesey are further contenders usually and so keep an eye out for these girls too.

Predicted winner: Henley
2nd: Marlow
3rd: Shiplake

Dr. Oarsome