Nottingham City Regatta takes place this weekend, and is held at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham. With many crews racing twice, in morning and afternoon divisions and/or in junior and adult categories, we are going to break down some of the most promising looking crews by boat type, rather than each age group as many races include crews of different ages to ensure everyone gets a competitive and exciting race.
Firstly, Eights. Always the blue riband event, and with a collection of junior, student and adult crews both for men and women, Nottingham City will not disappoint. Entered into the J16 category are Shiplake, St George’s, Monmouth, Hampton, Shrewsbury, Abingdon and St Edwards. St Edwards placed third at Wallingford Regatta last weekend, three seconds ahead of Shiplake in fourth, and without any other opposition from Wallingford they should do pretty well here. Shrewsbury consistently gain speed from Autumn to Summer, so I would expect a strong performance from these boys wanting to follow in the shoes of their 1st VIII. The other crews entered here were not racing last weekend, so it should be interesting to see if they can throw a spanner in the works here before National Schools.
In the J18 category, Shiplake, Radley, Abingdon and Hampton look like the names to watch out for, although Radley, Hampton and Abingdon also have crews entered into Open eights in the same division, suggesting that the first crews from these schools will be up against the likes of Nottingham University and Agecroft RC in the adult's event, the former who were comfortably in the Intermediate A final at BUCS and the latter who are undoubtedly one of the fastest clubs in the north. For Shiplake, they will be looking to expand their gap and focus more on race practice and rehearsals, while Radley will desperately be wanting to close that gap from School's Head. In the afternoon Latymer Upper School join Shiplake, Abingdon and Hampton in making up the junior eights contingent in the second division. Latymer haven't yet capitalised on their successful season last year despite numerous returners, but as we saw in last year's Champ 8 scene, anything can happen over the Easter break.
For junior girls, a very small entry sees only Latymer and Cantabrigian RC, and it seems that the ever-dominant Latymer Upper School will take the win here to join Thames RC in the multi-category race in the final, despite Cantab's large junior squad depth.
Other sweep events include the three-way final for WJ18 pairs, comprised of Kings School Chester, Kingston Grammar and Cantabrigian, whilst there are no boys pairs entered - a refreshing change to see a girls event outnumber the boys. In the fours, Dulwich, Latymer, Hampton and St Edwards are racing coxless fours in the open categories, whilst Latymer Upper School, Kings School Chester, Hampton School and Hinksey make up the junior contingent of the open coxed fours category. St Edwards, not racing an 8 this year to lack of numbers, should dominate the coxless four as they'll look to take the win there at NSR, against direct rivals Dulwich who are doing the same. It is St George’s, Newark, Cantabrigian and Shiplake in coxed fours for the WJ18 category, and Lady Eleanor Holles School racing in the adult category on the girls side, getting some more training in to reclaim that 5 seconds they lost to Henley RC at Wallingford Regatta.
In quads, Latymer Upper School are racing the adult event in the morning, joined by Shrewsbury School, Lady Eleanor Holles and Hinksey in the afternoon event, whilst the J18 event includes Latymer Upper School again, Northwich, Hinksey and Shrewsbury School. On the boys side, it is another complicated multi-category race, with four adult crews and two J18 crews, from Northwich and Hinksey, joining four adult crews in the same race, with many more junior quads preferring to race at Bedford Amateur Regatta.
In the doubles, it is Hinksey and Nottingham & Union in the J16 event, and Norwich and Northwich in the J18 event, with all four crews racing each other in a straight final, whilst Dulwich College face Twickenham and Nottingham Uni in the Open event. For the girls, it is a slightly bigger category, with two heats before a final, with two Shrewsbury School, St George’s, Newark and three Hinksey crews entered. Hinksey especially have had some good performances on the junior girls sculling side this season, and with good depth shown by their three entries here it will be interesting to see if they can take the win.
In the singles, Shiplake’s Olivia Morgan, fresh from racing with GB in Munich last week, is racing twice here in both the morning and afternoon divisions in the Band 1 category. Other J18 girls, instead racing the J18 category in the afternoon, include two scullers from Hinksey, two from Kingston and Sheffield’s Baker and Twickenham’s Obukohwo. For the boys, there two promising looking crews from the same club, Norwich, joined by Newark, Cantabrigian and Nottingham in a straight final for J18 singles, whilst the J16 singles is a three way final, with Hinksey’s Adam appearing to be the most experienced sculler in that event.
Overall this should be a very exciting event, and despite the clash with Bedford Regatta Nottingham’s central location has attracted clubs from all around the country, many of whom have not yet raced each yet other this summer, and so this event should be a very good indicator of who is progressing in the right direction as we head towards National Schools Regatta in just over two weeks.