Wallingford Regatta 2017 – WJ18 8+

Wallingford marks the start of the summer regatta season and is the first opportunity for crews to prove themselves over 2000m, so there should be lots of competition for the top spots in this straight final.  Since the National Schools Regatta made the move to Dorney last year, Wallingford is a key opportunity for these crews to race on the same course and it will be interesting to see how the margins change over a shorter distance.

Becket

Becket placed a respectable 6th place at WEHORR and 7th in Ch8+ at SHORR. However, the extremely shortened SHORR course proved to really jumble up the rankings, so Becket will be looking to put in a much better performance at Wallingford. Their top triallist Rachel Heap has also shown her sweep ability as she took the win at April trials in a Henley composite pair.  As a newly established club, it will be interesting to see how they manage the transition into regatta season from head racing.

Henley

Henley have been chasing Headington down throughout the head season, and so far have not quite been able to catch them.  They have several triallists in both scull and sweep, including some who will be representing GB at Munich; notably Mary Wright who won pairs at April trials last weekend. With very little between the two clubs in challenging conditions at SHORR, Henley will want to snatch the top spot from HSOBC this weekend.

LEH

LEH first raced the majority of other crews normally in their category at SHORR, after only racing their 2nd 8+ at WEHORR. With School’s Head results putting their A and B boats at a very similar speed, it is hard to gauge the real potential of this crew, but looking back to Hammersmith Head they were roughly the same speed as a strong Marlow crew. They should be around the top end of this category, potentially pushing Henley and HSOBC.

Headington A

Headington have had a consistently good start to the season, with wins at both WEHORR and SHORR. They will be the ones to beat this weekend and trying to keep safely ahead of rivals Henley RC. They have been strong both over head races and regatta courses for many years and will be aiming to make this year at NSR their 8th consecutive win in Ch8+. HSOBC will want to set the marker at Wallingford with a decisive win this weekend.

South African Schools Rowing Union

SASRU came to race at Wallingford last year, but struggled to keep up with the pace set by a high standard of junior crews here. They will be looking to finish closer to the leaders with a stronger performance this year, but it is unlikely they will be able to rival the top clubs.

Headington B

It is unclear whether this boat is a J16 crew or 2nd 8+. Their 2nd boat have not performed as well as in previous years, but were still in the mix with the likes of Henley B at WEHORR and raced well to place 2nd in 1st 8s at SHORR. Meanwhile, their J16 boat performed very well at SHORR to win their category off the back of an impressive 85th place overall at WEHORR; despite being much younger than most of the other entries. Whichever crew is entered, they will be looking to stay as close to the other A crews as possible.

Prediction:

1. Headington
2. Henley
3. LEH

Pairs Matrix