Oarsport Junior Sculling Head 2016 – J174X

The J17 Quad is always a bit of a strange event, as a large number of crews are racing are essentially just B crews, with most serious J17 crews aiming for the more prestigious J18 Quad event. That tends to turn predicting the results into a bit of a guessing game as it is difficult to tell who is racing in what. In some ways however, this makes racing all the more exciting, as pretty much anything can happen – so it should produce some interesting results.

Kings Worcester
Although this is not their top boat (which is racing J18), Kings Worcester had a very impressive J16 quad last year, and this would suggest an element of depth to their squad. Because of this, I would expect them to do well in this event, and they should be aiming to get pretty close to the top.

Northwich RC
Interestingly, Northwich had their top athlete racing in their J17 quad last year, showing that there are indeed some clubs who focus on winning this event. Despite this, they only achieved silver and although this is likely a strong B quad (beating both of Borlase’s crews at Hampton!) it may struggle to replicate this result without the strength of Lawton on board.

Marlow RC
Entered under the name Simon, this crew contains Marlow’s top athlete and suggests that they will be very quick indeed. With another J18 quad representing Marlow, how well this crew does will depend on how big an impact he can make. It is likely that the inclusion of this athlete will work hugely in Marlow’s future however, and they will certainly be looking for a medal.

Lea RC
Lea are something of an enigma in the rowing world at the moment, showing some relatively inconsistent results. They don’t have a J18 quad racing, so it is likely that this is the same quad that did very well at Hampton, beating the likes of Windsor Boys’ and Claire’s Court’s top boats. With this in mind, this crew will be hoping to prove themselves in the junior sculling world with strong result on Friday.

Maidenhead RC
This crew is not the top Maidenhead boat, with Kleshnev’s crew racing in the J18 quad, however Maidenhead managed to win this event last year, so I would expect to see them do well again this year, as their senior squad has reasonably good strength in depth. I can’t see this crew winning the event, however they are definitely worth mentioning and should do well.

Borlase
An incredibly strong sculling school, with recent years showing incredible strength in depth – they may not be having their strongest season, however I can’t see this crew being slow. They may not be winning the gold medal, however they should certainly produce a pretty strong result.

RGS High Wycombe
Once again it is difficult to tell how strong this crew will be, however RGS are a consistently strong sculling centre, so it is unlikely they’ll be slow. Like Borlase, this crew may not be one of the quickest in the event, but they will still produce a solid result.

Prediction
With most crews racing their top boats in the J18 category, it is incredibly difficult to predict who will win this event. Being a top boat surrounded by weakened crews, Lea should be able to produce a very strong result and will certainly be challenging for the gold, and if the Hampton result is anything to go by, then this is very realistic. Having Simon on board should also make Marlow amongst the favourites for a medal, and I think they will be battling Northwich for the silver – Marlow should have the edge, leaving Northwich with the bronze.

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