Wallingford Regatta 2017 – J18 4x

Wallingford will, for many crews, present the first opportunity for laned racing of the season.  Consequently results here will show the quads who have transitioned well from head racing into the more gladiatorial form required for 2000m racing.  24 boats are entered across four heats.  Only the fastest crew from each heat gains automatic entry into the final with the next six fastest crews across the heats going into the repechage. As a result, the heats will see some fierce racing from the country’s top quadruple sculls.

Heat A: Key Match-up – The Windsor Boys’ School v Tideway Scullers School

Backed up by sending four scullers to the most recent GB Trial in Nottingham, WBS should be filled with confidence leading into this weekend. With an overall win from Tom Smith and Bryn Ellery close behind in 5th, the boys from Windsor are  looking set to have a strong start to this next phase of the season.

Led by Laurence Joss, who added to his impressive GB results with a 6th place finish in Nottingham, TSS have shown flourishes of speed throughout the head races.  These include 6th at Fours Head and 2nd at Hampton Head, piping heat rival Windor into 3rd. With strength also drawn from fellow Trialists Kelly and Hatteland-Dunn in the pair, TSS will have been disappointed with their  SHORR result and will use Wallingford as a way to reverse that result.  If TSS can rekindle their speed shown at Hampton, Windsor could well find themselves with a race on their hands.

Heat Winner- Windsor

Heat B: Key Match-up – Star and Arrow v Lea

Ever since Fours Head, Star and Arrow  have been one of the top junior quads at every race they’ve been to. Their top crew’s lowest placing has been 4th.  Placing two crews in the top five at SHORR,  Star and Arrow will look to continue this dominance into regatta season.  With 4s being the largest margin that separated these crews at the scullery, expect a close race on Saturday as Star and Arrow look to start their regatta season with a heat win.

Lea have seriously come on over the past five months since Fours head to become one of the standout Junior Quads. A win at Hampton followed by 2nd at the Sculling Head shows the quality crew Lea have grown into, emphasising they are real contenders for NSR if they keep up their form. Similar to Star and Arrow, Lea have no trialists these year. This ultimately means that their main focus can be purely making the quad go as fast as possible.

Heat Winner- Star and Arrow

Heat C: Key Match-up – Maidenhead v Marlow v Kings Worcester

Following their win at SHORR, Maidenhead will look to open regatta season with a bang to prove they  can continue their campaign to winning ‘the triple’. Maidenhead sent a large entry of seven scullers to the most recent GB Trial, with Kleshnev placing 2nd, Rowe 4th and a further three in the top 10.  Clearly one of the top sculling programmes, The club rounded off head racing with a win and 4th place at SHORR alongside a 28s win in J17 quads and 7th in J18 quads at the sculling head.  As one of two Maidenhead quads in this event it’s unclear as to where the athletes have been placed.  Regardless, both crews will look place highly in the final.

Following a heavy beating by Leander at Reading Uni head, Marlow struggled to 8th place some 14s behind winners Maidenhead on the shortened Schools’ Head course.  That being said they placed a solid 3rd the following day at the sculling head which suggests they may have struggled in the rough conditions.  With Wolfin and Simon placing in the top twelve at Trials last weekend, Marlow will look to draw upon strong results in small boats and transfer this speed into bigger boats for laned racing.

Similarly, Kings Worcester seemingly struggled on the rough Tideway and bounced back on the much calmer course at Eton, Dorney.  The quad returns to the venue where they won the ‘B’ final of CH4x of NSR last year and will look to use Wallingford as a stepping stone to hopefully reach this year’s ‘A’ final.

Heat Winner- Maidenhead

Heat D: Key Match-up – Globe v Maidenhead ‘B’ v Westminster

Globe are another club who have sent a quartet of scullers to the most recent GB Trial. So far they haven’t quite been able to turn small boat speed into that required of the bigger quad. 9th at SHORR is a respectable result, that being said the Globe boys will no doubt look to step up into the top six at Wallingford

As has also ready been discussed, Maidenhead has the ability to field a ‘B’ crew that can easily compete with the best 1st quads in the country.  Consequently it would be no surprise if both Maidenhead crews gained direct entry in the final on Saturday.

Westminster are another crew looking to break into the top of junior quads. 7th at Fours head and 6th at SHORR along demonstrates that this nippy crew does have good potential leading into Wallingford. The last time this crew raced at Dorney, they placed 11th at the Sculling Head, some 31s behind winners Windsor.  This crew needs to show consistent speed if they are to make it with the best.

Heat Winner- any one of these crews

 

Its great to see South African Schools Rowing Union (ZEZ) returning to race at Wallingford.  It is unclear as to their speed but it looks like they are sending a development squad to race at Wallingford as well as Bedford.

 

My prediction…Maidenhead or Windsor to take the win

 

6 man

 

6 Man