With eights racing taking place on the same day, this category tends to be a little smaller than the former so we are likely to see some second fours racing here, but fierce racing nonetheless.
Aberdeen Schools won this event at School's Head, a clear 17 seconds ahead of second place finishers from Walton. Aberdeen have an excellent J15 8+ at the moment so this may show promise for them racing together at J18 level a few years down the line.
Walton had some success in this age group last year so it isn't a surprise to see them up there also, although the margin on Aberdeen looks like it may be too much to close. But the race for the silver medal could be exciting, as only one second separated Walton from third place finishers St. George's College at SHORR. With the added pressure on a regatta course, that second place spot looks all to play for. From there, the margin extends to around thirty seconds to the next crew at SHORR of Royal Shrewsbury School, so the medals race looks fairly set.
Comparatively, the girls' category is a little smaller, with twelve entries, although fewer entries in the GJ16 2nd 8+ may indicate more clubs are fielding second fours.
Kingston RC were in Abedeen's position on the girls' side, taking the top spot at School's Head by a sixteen second margin over Emanuel School. We don't see Kingston often in the medals at J18 level, but in the last few years they've been doing very well in the younger age groups so it would be great to see that continue.
The margin from second place to the next cluster of crews was large at SHORR, as 37 seconds separated second and third, whilst the following five crews were only within 7 seconds of each other, which promises an exciting race for the bronze medal in a fairly open field. This pack of crews was headed by Stratford upon Avon, a mere 0.3 seconds ahead of Putney High who will be keen to try and close that very small gap. These two look most likely to take the bronze, although the remainder of that cluster in Trentham, Latymer and St. George's could all still come through to push for the last medal spot.
George and Emily