Wallingford Regatta 2017 – WJ16 4+

Many schools traditionally choose to race coxed fours on the Sunday of National Schools’, so Wallingford will likely be a key step in the building of these crews. In addition to the National Schools’ Regatta, many schools will choose to enter their top athletes in fours for the GB vs France trials that happens later in the year. This will be one of the first 2km races of many this season, and is certainly an important one to get right.

St Paul’s School have entered two fours in this event, which are likely made up of their Schools’ Head winning eight. Despite the injury of one of their top athletes and GB Junior trialist, Oliver Parish, St Paul’s have shown good form, and recently came 4th overall at BASHER. Based off previous results, they should be able to make the final and push for the win.

Radley came 6th at the Schools’ Head in march, and are a very powerful crew. This showed at BASHER, where they managed to beat the St Paul’s eight by a decent margin. It will be interesting to see how they transfer this power into smaller boats, but I’m sure that we can expect a very fast crew from the Radley boys.

Hampton, like St Paul’s and Abingdon, have also entered two crews into this event. Hampton always produce good results at the J16 level, and last year, in this event, they managed to qualify both their A and B fours for the final. Similarly to last year, Hampton placed second at the Schools’ Head, behind St Paul’s. They’ll be keen to prove a point to the St Paul’s crews, and show that they are moving in the right direction as they build towards National Schools Regatta. I’d predict them to do very well.

The South African Schools Rowing union are always an unknown identity. Similar to the selection for the GB vs France match, South African J16 crews are selected to represent their country and race at a number of races in the UK. Last year, boys from St John’s and St Alban’s colleges were selected to race and gave lots of UK crews a run for their money. They should not be underestimated!