National Schools’ Regatta 2017 – Championship Coxless Pairs

This category is relatively depleted compared to recent years- often top championship crews will try their hand at this event in preparation for trials. However, that is not to say there won’t be some interesting and tight racing in this event, with a wealth of crews entered from both bigger quads and eights.

Shrewsbury SChool

From all that can be gathered in this event, this pair is a class above the rest of the field. Fox and Rowe are clearly two very strong athletes, coming in second place in the B final at the latest round of trials. No one here can compete with such a record. This crew will be a classy unit who can easily perform under pressure, and as a consequence I would expect that they’ll win by a comfortable margin.

Westminster

Whilst Santos and Dublin are coming in from Westminster’s top quad, this won’t do them any detriment in coming into the smaller sweep boat. In many ways, sculling and pairs work are interchangeable, and on top of that Westminster have been producing crews with some of the best technique of any schools, as the bulk of their bigger boat training is done in small boats. These boys will be speedy and technical, and I can see them competing for top places.

Great Marlow School

Like Westminster, this pair is coming from a strong bigger boat. Emmett-Bird and Peace have top credentials from their eight this season, coming second in the highly competitive B eights at Wallingford Regatta. On top of this, they attended the latest stage of trials as one of the top 35 boats, coming second in the F final, but in attending proving that they’re a competent pair who can put in a good fight. I suspect despite this performance they’ll be comfortable with only one other trialling boat to compete with, and as such they’ll be looking at a medal if they perform their best.

St Paul’s

Both of the St Paul’s crews are taken from their second eight, which is no small fact in light of the depth of the Hammersmith-based school’s squad. Whilst there hasn’t been much opportunity for competition so far, raw strength is guaranteed, and will probably place them in the A final at least.

Other mentions go to Tideway Scullers, with Kelly having been a strong part of their sculling scene in recent years, and J17s from Windsor Boys and Marlow who were top performers in their categories last season.

HighTide