National Schools’ Regatta 2016 – 1st Coxed Fours

With changes to the category this season opening it up to the eights competitors from Saturday, this will be a close and competitive event and many crews will be looking to maintain momentum, or right the wrongs from Saturday’s racing.

Reading Blue Coat
Blue Coat have a history of producing fast first eight crews, and they demonstrated this year would be no exception with a solid 8th place finish at Schools’ Head. As the stern four from that eight, we can expect a good rhythm and strong set of athletes which should navigate them well through the time trials, and into the A final.

Norwich School
The first boat contingent from Norwich has been something of a revelation this season, as they demonstrated early on with top quarter finishes in both junior Fours Head categories, and a good finish at Schools’ Head. As a very light crew, they have had to rely largely on well drilled and precise technique in order to produce effective power, a formula which will perhaps suit them to shifting the four better than some of the heavier crews around them. I would count on seeing this crew in the A final and pushing for some medals.

Kingston Grammar School
This is something of a last stand for the best athletes the school has produced in many years. Although the London Oratory (who are in a similar position) have taken the mantle they may have wanted of being the dominant eight in the Child Beale field, they’re not going to go down without a fight. With a big ergo from Lucas Hiller driving the boat along, this crew will be putting in a strong performance and will certainly be making an A final appearance.

Latymer Upper School
After losing quite a few top athletes last season, Latymer have unfortunately been struggling to keep pace with the top echelons of the category, which may go some way to explaining their decision not to make a first eights entry. However, that’s not to say that they don’t have some talented individuals in the mix; Mayhew and Phelps both demonstrated a healthy measure of strength in their early ergo assessments. Both have the experience of being national medalists at this regatta and that should show with an appearance in the A final and an attempt to push for a medal.

Dulwich College
As winners of J16 1st eights last season in a somewhat depleted field, Dulwich have been producing good pace this season, although it has often fallen short of the level to which these boys want to perform. Loaded with some of the strongest athletes in their eight, this should be a fast combination and one eager to prove their potential; they will all be returners next season.

St George’s College

This crew will probably be fuming about now at the change to the category, after winning the event at the SHORR in the state that it would have been with the previous arrangements. I imagine this shouldn’t affect their result too much, as this is the remainder of an exceptional first eight last season, who were only beaten out of the Child Beale final by the three crews who eventually won the medals. This crew will be pushing for the medals, and with somewhat fresher legs than most of the other crew, they may just have what it takes to still come out at the top of the event.

Predictions
Gold- St George’s College
Silver- Latymer Upper
Bronze- Kingston Grammar

HighTide