Junior challenge quads this year looks like it is going to be a very interesting race. There are many standout crews that have performed solidly in the few earlier races this year but with it being so early on any crew could come out of nowhere and surprise everyone.
Hampton always put out strong combinations and with this quad showing as being their A crew I would expect nothing less than a strong performance and a solid challenge for the win. With Hampton coming back from a training camp in France this quad will have had a lot of practice and are sure to build on the solid performances often shown by this school.
Maidenhead had a stunning season last year after winning Schools Head, National schools but just falling short in the final of Henley. This is Maidenheads A crew and although it is an entirely new crew from the one that raced last year I would still expect them to be very fast. Maidenhead has a very solid program and I expect them to really challenge for the win given their reputation.
St Paul’s School:
After an outstanding performance at fours head last year I think St Paul’s will really be out to prove that they are going to challenge everyone once again this year. This being their D boat should be no comfort to any crews racing as they have already shown their skill at Wallingford LDS earlier in the year finishing 8th in a very strong field of J18 quads, just behind two Abingdon quads one of which will be racing in this category. Another factor to consider is that they train on this river every day so will have an in-depth knowledge of the course that other quads may not have. I think they may not quite get the win but should still not be underestimated.
Abingdon has recently had some very strong results in racing, especially in the quad. At Wallingford, their quads finished 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th. This is a very strong set of results and it shows that they are a force to be reckoned with. However, it is Abingdon’s E crew entered into this event, so they may not quite be able to live up to the previous set of results.
Tideway Scullers School:
Tideway Scullers are a huge force on the junior sculling scene and always put out very consistently powerful crews and I expect this crew to be no different. What they may lack in the funding that other schools have they always make up for in excellent coaching and determination. Given that this is their home water and their strong reputation I think that there is a very strong chance that they would come away with the win on Saturday.