This will be an interesting event, certainly one to watch. For some programs, this is their top boat, but for others, it is their second. It is always hard to predict whether a program has the depth for a successful second 4-.
The clear medal contenders are Molesey, Shiplake, Eton and St Paul’s. It is possible that Shrewsbury could challenge, although their two pairs at trials failed to make a significant impact, perhaps disappointing for coach Sam Grant as all have been bought in on scholarship.
The fight for gold will probably come between Molesey and St Paul’s, and it is likely that, based off pairs results and overall strength of the programs, Eton will just nudge Shiplake off the podium.
There has been real ‘fight’ between members of the Molesey and St Paul’s crews, with the top pairs from each boat being the clear two fastest pairs in the country at all 3 sets of GB trials. AMO would not be surprised if the two coaches had decided which category to stack to ensure a brilliant race between the two boats.
Schools which will not be entering their first 4- include Westminster, Hampton, Radley and Abingdon.
Abingdon and Hampton have both prioritised the 4+, and Westminster have decided to enter their top pair which came 2nd in the B final at trials into Ch 2-. Without a strong showing in the 8 from any of these four programs, it is unlikely that they will be able to challenge for medals.
Lesser established programs such as Latymer and Kings College School may be looking to knock all four of them off their perches in the fight for the rest of the places in the A final.
Although, it is worth noting that there will only be 6 lane racing. The AB semi will be crucial, and it is likely to show some spirited racing – we are in for a real spectacle!