National Schools’ Regatta 2017 – Championship Coxed Fours

It seems as though this year the 4- is the preferred event for schools to enter their top boat into, but don’t let this distract you from the fact that this is the event where the real watts are put down. Without the unnecessary burden of doing the coxes job from bow like in the 4- these crews can really focus on laying down the hurt on their opposition. However when you come to think of it bringing another body, yet highly valued body, down the course would make the speed a little slower. With the Hedsor Cup up for grabs let’s waste no more time and jump into the preview.

Radley College

Whilst it may not be their top 4 it is still good crew that Radley have put forward for the Hedsor Cup. The Crew features Freddie Elwes whose older brother certainly found further fame, winning this event in 2015. Elwes was in the top boat so his drop down to the second boat to light a fire in this Radley crew. The crew also has some good triallists on board with Innes-Ker and Dunlap. This pairing came 2nd in their C final at trails after what ‘Flapjack’ said was the worst start he’s ever had. To round off the rowers in the crew they have a good lightweight in Brassard who also goes by the name of Wattripper, so certainly suited for this 4+ event. I’m certain we will see this crew in the A final Saturday.

Eton College ‘A’

This boat is a combination of the ‘bottom’ 3 guys in the Eton 1st eight along with a member of their 2nd eight. As with Radley this far from makes them out of the picture as Baring and Boardman made the B final at the last trials. Carr-Middleton is also trialling and made the final just below his 4+ partners. I think Oscar and the boys will be really looking to ‘Dwop’ and ‘Pwess’ in the boat  this Sunday.

Winchester College

Certainly a good event to enter your top 4 guys into considering the lack of a lot of that in this event. This crew is certainly one of the medal contenders this year with a very formidable set of athletes, many of whom are 4+ specialists you might say. This boat sees Wythe drop down from the Worlds Pair into what was essentially last years coupe 4+, replacing Shiplakes Carey. So with top Athletes in Goodman, Robinson and Schroder, the latter pairing part of the A final at trials I imagine this boat will be flying down the course on Sunday, the only question marks would be how much water time they’ve actually managed to get in this combination. However saying that Winchester picked up a Bronze in this event last year and I believe this years crew combination is just as fast or even a bit faster.

Shiplake College

When I say Medal contenders for this crew it without a doubt that they are contenders for the gold kind. The Shiplake 4s were tearing it up at Wallingford regatta taking both heats in the truncated Wallingford regatta J18 4+ with their B four beating out Westminster in the morning, but that may have not been the pinks top boat. Shiplakes 4+ also went on to beat St. Pauls in the afternoon setting up a good matchup on Sunday. You can see why Shiplake have such a fast 4 when you have last years worlds 4+ member in Newman and one of the front runners for a top worlds boat this year in Blois-Brooke. If I was a betting man I would put some money on a top two finish for this crew.

St. Pauls School

Thatcher has been wanting to win this event for some time I believe and has decided to sacrifice what would be an almost guaranteed gold medal in the pair to keep the fastest possible four combination together. This crew should on paper beat Shiplake considering LB, De Graaf, Tarczy and Woods were amongst the top 12 sweepers in the country at the last trials, three of them being in the top two crews I might add. This SPS was the same crew which won fours head earlier in the season. So whilst they lost to Shiplake in the Wallingford Time trial we will have to see how they fare in 8 lane regatta racing this Sunday as they will be keen to put one over the boys from Henley-on-Thames

Westminster

Westminster aren’t in the same position they were in in 2015 in the 4- were they took both gold and silver in that race. This year they will have a much tougher situation where they’ll have to fight tooth and nail if they want a piece of the silverware. The crew features very familiar names in Green and Jones the former who was in the worlds 4+ last year having only picked up rowing that year the latter just having returned from Munich. I think Westminster will be pushing for the medals but they may just miss out to Winchester like last year as both teams are fielding similar fours to last year, this may spur Westminster on to return last years favour back to Winchester..

Prediction

1st- St.Pauls

2nd- Shiplake

3rd- Winchester

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