With less than a week until NSR 2018 and both the boys' & girls' racing the J15 8’s prepped for one of the biggest regattas in the year, tension is mounting to see who will post the best times and qualify for the A final. With entries from Godolphin and Latymer, Great Marlow, Henley RC and Latymer Upper, there is sure to be rivalry between the girls, whilst everyone anticipates the return of the Aberdeen boys after a defining win back at SHORR. Westminster School will be confident after a win at Wallingford, with St. Paul's, Hampton and Shiplake hot on their heels alongside a new entry in this category from Tideway Scullers.
All eyes will look to Aberdeen after their victory at School’s Head of the River came, admittedly, as a bit of a surprise. We haven't seen them make the long trip to any of the popular pre-NSR regattas such as Bedford or Wallingford, so the key for this crew will be the preparation they have managed to do for a side-by-side racing situation.
Wallingford Regatta saw silver medallists at SHORR from Westminster take the win in J15 eights, followed by a new line up from Tideway Scullers School. They showed a promising result so it will be interesting to see if they can find themselves in a medalling position come Saturday. Meanwhile, Hampton School showed a positive step on as they overturned the SHORR result, finishing ahead of Winchester College.
Neither Shiplake or St. Paul's raced at Wallingford, and with these crews separated by less than a second at SHORR where they finished 3rd and 4th respectively, we can expect some very competitive racing over the regatta course. Whilst Shiplake hold their bronze medals from SHORR, with new crews such as TSS in the mix and SPS nipping at their heels, it will take a strong performance from them to retain a medalling position. St. Paul's are equally not to be underestimated, after a win over Abingdon at Bedford Regatta and success earlier this year at BASHER. Another crew worth a mention are Eton, who perhaps we haven't seen much from this year with some athletes lost to injury. But with the history behind them, we'd imagine they'll put in a decent performance on the day, just perhaps not into the medals.
It looks like we're in for a hot contest for the medals this year, with Aberdeen perhaps the favourites if they can take their speed into the pressures of regatta season. Westminster, Shiplake and Paul's will have their work cut out, with the TSS crew looking like they could cause an upset in the medals, but undoubtedly a cracking race ahead as this category looks very hard to call.
Read more on other crews to bear in mind here
Looking at previous results from the Schools Head Of The River in March, Latymer Upper School BC placed 1st, (00:19:33)with Henley RC coming 2nd 13 seconds later and Marlow a further 12 seconds later. All three crews showed they can put out respective long-distance times but can they also transfer this into the 2000m course at Eton Dorney, which consists of constant strain on the whole body for the sprint element but also maintaining long and power-efficiency strokes to send the boat.
At Wallingford Regatta, again Henley and Marlow both placed in the top 2 showing their ability to sprint down the 2000m course... fast! Both crews are therefore within the favourites for the GJ158’s after repeatedly showing others what they can do on the Lake.
Latymer Upper School BC - 00;19;33;8
Henley Rowing Club - 00;19;46;4
Marlow Rowing Club - 00;19;57;9
Surbiton High School BC - 00;20;03;9
Tideway Scullers School - 00;20;43;1 (8th)
Wallingford Regatta Results
Henley - 7;20;0
Marlow - 7;31;8
Lady Eleanor Holles School - 7;35;0
Wallingford - 7;42;5
Haberdashers Monmouth - 7;50;5
Jasper, Ben and Vicky- J15