Pairs Head 2015 – J18 2x

As the first major head of the academic year, and the first on the tideway, it is unsurprising that the junior double has a large entry from both schools and clubs alike. A strong field is present including athletes who have already won at championship level, as well as Junior Great Britain internationals.

Westminster School – Stocker/Arzt-Jones
As the first crew off, and with a home advantage it is impossible to ignore this crew as a potential favourite. With Oswald Stocker we see an athlete who competed at the Junior World Championships in Rio in the 4+, and last year, alongside his doubles partner for this event added the Championship Eight to their already impressive collection of National Schools wins. Their loss at the Henley Royal Regatta was the only thing preventing Westminster from winning an historic treble – so these will be two athletes aiming to prove a point, and start the season how they intend for it to go on. They showed their ability in a sculling boat at a younger age, with a clean sweep of quads at J15 level, but have branched out to sweep as they have developed which will inevitably have taken its toll on their sculling ability.
RGS High Wycombe – Beagles/Davison
With RGS we see a crew that’s already enjoyed a successful start to the season, with a convincing victory at the Wallingford Long Distance Sculls. Following on with their British Rowing championships silver medal, these are certainly a pairing to watch. Beagles being a particularly efficient sculler and Davison providing a more physical dynamic to the crew, this is a crew which has enjoyed good success in sculling boats over the years, including representation at the GB vs. France match. I would expect a strong performance from this double, but whether they have the physical might to take a victory is yet to be known.
Maidenhead – Hoxley/O’Mahony
Maidenhead have entered a crew here which combines the experience of technical sculler Sam Hoxley, who is in his last year as a junior, and the strength of Sean O’Mahony who won the J16 pennant in the double at Pairs Head last year, alongside Victor Kleshnev, as well as an impressive silver in the J161x at National Schools. He is an athlete who I would expect to be trialling this year, and as a result of this, I think these guys are a crew to watch. Although they do not necessarily have the physical output some of the rest of the field will have, they will no doubt be a fast pairing.
City of Oxford – Crowther/Rogers
This pairing are both J17 so lack the experience of some of their competition, but despite this they remain a physical crew who consistently put in performances on a national level. It will be interesting to see how they compete against some of the bigger clubs and schools who are more established at the top level. I expect a good performance.
Shiplake – Blois-Brook/Carey
Another pairing that have spent the majority of their time in larger sweep boats, but one which clearly has a large amount of technical and physical output. With Carey winning the Child Beale at National Schools, and Blois-Brook competing at the GB vs France match. It will be interesting to see how competitive these two are in a sculling boat, in a field with athletes that have competed at international level.
American School London – Troyer/Skow
Another notable mention includes Troyer/Skow of American School London, which features Tyler Skow – the winner of the J181X at Wallingford LDS (beating Junior World’s athlete Matt Swiss in the process.) so should be able to put in a strong performance, whether the strength of Skow extends to the rest of their squad is yet to be seen however.

Prediction
I think that Westminster School will win this – by some margin – with RGS High Wycombe in second and Maidenhead in third.

Mr T

Mr T