The young Radley A crew stroked by Baldwin-Battersby has had a dominant start to regatta season. They comfortably won Bedford Amateur Regatta with a comfortable 3 length win over KSC in the final, adding to their win over SPSBC at BASHER the following week. This crew is certainly the favourite going into NSR and show a promising future for Radley boat club. Also take care to watch for their B crew in their separate event as they will be looking to change last year’s win in the B Final to a win in the A Final. Their B crew were also the fastest B crew at the Scullery, beating many A crews in the process. They even won all 3 J14 octo events at Bedford Regatta, so they have a ferocious squad depth.
St Paul’s always seem to reign supreme in the J14 Octos, having secured both the Cherwell Cup for A crews and the Dulwich Cup for B crews at NSR last year, will the boys from Barnes be able to once again come away triumphant? Despite being very narrowly beaten by Radley at BASHER and some less-than-ideal results at the Scullery, there’s no doubt the J14 coaches will have something up their sleeve to create a faster crew on the day. Coming in as underdogs this Pauls crew should certainly not be written off. Having won by a convincing 9 seconds at The Scullery, Whitgift School should not be underestimated. Even though they may not be best known for their rowing (4th in the D Final at NSR last year) their powerful display at the Scullery demonstrates their strength in the J14 category. Having a fairly quiet start to the regatta season it remains unknown how the boys have transferred their distance speed to racing potential, but will certainly be a force at NSR.
Another school to step up greatly from last year in their C final, the lads from Kings School Chester had a promising head season placing second at the Scullery. After disposing of Abingdon and Shiplake easily they were beaten by Radley at Bedford Amateur Regatta in the final, but a lot can change in 2 weeks in junior rowing, and a burst of more speed may have been found. Coming into NSR they should be optimistic about their proven endurance and not be disheartened over the result at Bedford, anything can happen on the day!
With a strong 3rd at the Scullery and only being knocked out by Champions Radley at Bedford Town it will be interesting to see where Bedford School stack up. Perhaps a disappointing result of 4th at BASHER but obviously a strong foundation from head season. While their B crew may not be in contention for a medal despite last year’s results, the A crew should rightly be gunning for a place on that podium.
Abingdon’s slow start was to be expected from the Oxford based 2 term rowing school and the result at the Scullery was not ideal but showed potential. Since then the boys have progressed greatly coming 3rd at BASHER and beating the likes of Windsor boys at Bedford Regatta only to be knocked out by eventual finalists Chester. The boys in pink will be trying to replicate the final position they’ve occupied for the past 2 years and due to their slightly later start to the sport will be progressing at a quick rate. Shiplake haven’t been making huge strides in the A boat category after losing “easily” to Chester at Bedford, but their B crew made life hard for Radley in the final of the 2nd boat category, and on top of ranking relatively highly amongst B crews at the Scullery, if their rise increases we could see medals for Shiplake’s B crew at NSR.
Radley B crew look to have a promising amount of speed coming up to NSR with a win in the B event at the scullery and placing 14th overall, confirming their winter speed. At BASHER they added to their successes with a decisive win over the other B crews and beating all other A crews except their own and Pauls. Radley are definitely ones to watch coming into Friday in both the A and B events.
Despite a fairly slow start for the Abingdon B octo placing 23rd overall at the scullery, the school should not be underestimated. With a history rich in triumphs and being known for their strength in depth, the 2-term rowing school will certainly have made large improvements since the Head season and will be looking to pick off rival schools in an attempt to climb up the rankings.
Shiplake B octo have remained fairly quiet this regatta season entering minimal events. After maybe a slightly disappointing 29th overall place at the Scullery, the boys from Henley will be looking to prove themselves to the other Champ schools. There is no doubt that the boys will have received excellent training since the winter months and with the record breaking J16A crew last year, it is clear they can produce some quick boats. As they say, performance breeds results.
St Paul’s school boat club has sustained its strong placements throughout the year. Its A crew took 5th at the scullery, and with the typical strength in their squads, we shouldn’t anticipate that their B crew will be much farther behind. While much can’t be said this time, we can expect a fast time from these boys.
Finally, Reading Blue Coat school appear to have a strong B crew, and we will possibly see a strong performance from these boys come Friday. Registered as the C Crew for JSR, the B crew placed 4th in the A final. This is a strong result for a B crew, especially when they are racing some A crews. Is this the year where we see the boys from Blue Coat pull through?
Some strong sculling schools have been entered, with big names in sculling such as Windsor Boys and Claires Court. It will be interesting to say the least to see what the younger years from these well respected clubs can do, as well as some of the smaller clubs like Walbrook, Wallingford and Kingston, who have given a good show in at events throughout the year. Results have been quite up in the air moving on from the Junior Sculling Head through to the Junior Sculling Regatta. With a total of 42 crews entered, it will be a very promising weekend, and a good insight to what the future of sculling for many clubs around the country holds
Windsor boys school and Claires Court school, are prestigious clubs in the world of sculling, could both sneak in and take podium spots, however, not much is known of these crews, apart from their 37th place finish at the scullery for Windsor Boys, and the Claires Court B crew’s 4th place at JSH, so we will see how their A crew will do. Could they both live up to the success of their older years, and come through with a podium finish? It’s all to play for.
Kingston Rowing Club took the win the Op J14 4X+ at the Junior Sculling Head, beating second place of Walbrook Rowing club by 6 seconds. At the Junior Sculling Regatta, the Kingston A quad took 1st in the A final. These are some strong results, and shows incredible strength in the squad, as they led by over 5 seconds in the final.
Walbrook Rowing club has stepped up to the challenge this year, and has given a strong show of force in some highly contested events. At the JSH, they came second to Kingston by only 6 seconds, and at JSR, they lost out on Gold by only five seconds to the winners, Kingston.
Finally, Walton Rowing club, who were a no show at JSH pulled back into the limelight when it came to JSR, finished in 3rd place, narrowly missing out on silver. With these three crews at the forefront of the pack, we can expect to see a strong showing from these crews, come Friday, and possibly a spot on the podium, but in the ned, it is all to play for, and it’s up to how the crews race on the day.