The period after junior programmes return from their training camps is always strange, with the excitement of side-by-side racing seemingly put on hold until the season truly kicks off with Wallingford regatta. What is in store for us this summer?
As AMO goes to press, there is next to no information available about which crews are entering where. But, here’s a few dates for your diaries and some ‘one’s to watch’:
Wallingford Regatta – 6th May 2018
This event falls on the same weekend as the Munich Junior regatta, where GBRT will be fielding an 8+ and a 4-. Notably absent from the Munich team is all of the St Paul’s School triallists, who are opting to race at Wallingford in lieu of Munich regatta.
With many big names losing 1 or 2 of their top guys this weekend, it will be interesting to see if St Paul’s can extend their dominance over the Championship 8+ field they showed at School’s Head. Radley, Bedford, Westminster, Eton, Shrewsbury and Shiplake all lose at least one crew member. Last year St Paul’s entered fours, but with Head of the Charles and School’s Head records already under their belts, they may be looking for another record to their name.
Also absent from the Munich team is King’s College School, Wimbledon’s top performer Oscar Olsen. Unless other factors affect the availability of their crew, KCS may have an opportunity to take the field by the scruff of the neck, which would be especially impressive considering their recent leap from the 1st 8 category.
Bedford may find it difficult to hold on to their 1st 8 victory at School’s Head without their top performer, certainly as their second and J16 8s were a little off the pace. But, they weren’t drastically so, and a 9 second lead over Great Marlow School is significant. Time will tell if their depth can hold them off.
Of course, without any idea who has actually entered Wallingford, these are just musings, but they serve to give you some idea as to the proverbial spanner that Munich throws in the works. It will be interesting to see who takes the opportunity.
Bedford Regatta – 12th May 2018
Adversarial in nature and often well attended, Bedford Regatta provides ample opportunity to upset some complacent programs. Racing over 1200m, with open banks and bridges for spectators, there is always a superb atmosphere and the knock out format means there is no ‘strategy’ or hiding for crews – just one on one brutal racing.
At this point in time, it is hard to see what might happen because we have no idea who will attend, but the AMO team will certainly be keeping a close eye on happenings.
Shrewsbury Regatta – 12th May 2018
Being on the same day as Bedford, it is hard to see us learning anything significant from this event, but it is always worth keeping an eye out for surprises.
National Schools Regatta – 25th – 27th May 2018
These three events are all the racing preparation crews will likely have before National Schools' this year. With the absence of many athletes at Wallingford, we may not even get a true indication of where crews stand until the finals start running down the track on Saturday afternoon. What’s more exciting than a bit of uncertainty?
J17, South West