Schools’ Head 2016 – J16 4x

As this is the first major national event for these crews in the coxless quad, it is very difficult to know how the crews will get on and who will be likely to be right at the top. The standout crew in this age group last year was without doubt Windsor Boys’, but with athletes from this crew making up their top junior quad and first eight they are a notable absence. That said, it’ll be interesting to see how these younger crews fair on the long tidal course, and here are a few crews who will be looking for a big result.
City of Bristol
This crew had a fairly promising result at Hampton Head so should show reasonable speed. It is a young crew however, with athletes from last year’s outstanding J14 quad. Because of this, it may struggle to make an impact right at the top end, but should still show some speed.

Marlow RC
Another crew that did reasonably well at Hampton, Marlow have an excellent and established junior sculling system and the J16 squad will be looking to set the scene for the rest of their junior careers. They will likely step up to the plate well and should be a pretty quick crew this Thursday. While they haven’t seen a huge amount of success recently from their senior squad, I have no doubt that these boys will be eager to forge ahead for their club and put in a solid result.

RGS High Wycombe
This certainly a club on its way up in the sculling scene, particularly at J16 level with recent wins at national Schools’ and competitors at GB France. They had an incredibly strong J15 double last year, and took silver in the quad, so with these athletes in tow they should be favourites for the pennant on Thursday. I would certainly expect this to be a crew to watch all season. It looks like it’ll be a fairly strong headwind on Thursday, so they’ll need to rely on a lot of power and a smooth rhythm in the wind if they want to really stamp out their authority on this category – something I have little doubt they’ll achieve.

Kings School Worcester
Worcester were one of the dominant forces in last years J164X, taking gold at the National Schools Regatta. With a new generation of athletes coming through it is difficult to predict whether or not this year’s squad will be capable of similar feats, but no doubt they will be aiming to show some continuity in this event by putting in a strong performance. The fact two crews are racing from Kings Worcester also displays a level of depth in their programme which no doubt they will aim to exploit.

Prediction
Naturally the stand out crew here are last years silver medalists from the National Schools Regatta; RGS High Wycombe. Predicting who will follow them into the top three is a far trickier affair however, with little data suggesting that any other crew can challenge RGS, though naturally there could be a surprise in stock.

Mr T