Next weekend is Marlow Regatta, or “Dorney III” as it’s known (with Wallingford and the Metropolitan being I & II). It is the last of the big pre-Henley regattas and offers the top crews the chance to work on their race pace, and for the lower ranked crews it offers the last chance to impress the Henley Regatta Stewards in an attempt to avoid the dreaded Qualifying races.
But not everyone racing at Marlow have their eyes set on Henley, it’s a prestigious regatta its own right. So, the entries have been published so it’s time to get the old crystal-ball out again…..
8 entries. No real stand-out entry, which should make for good racing. Probably the most in-form sculler in the field is Dave Read of Leander. He is a Henley medallist from 2010 and this season placed 2nd in Elite singles on the Sunday of Met Regatta. One place behind the Leander man in that race was Anthony English of Nottingham. English also placed 2nd in the Elite single division at Notts City Regatta in May. 4th at the Met was former Reading Uni athlete, Adam Neill, now racing as Brentwood College, Canada. There are also a couple of guys with U23 international experience, James Scott (racing for the Shrewsbury old boys club, Sabrina) was 5th in the U23 4+ in 2011 and Edward Couldwell (Loughborough) was in the U23 M4X the same year. The final two entries are London’s Juan Garcia-Reyes and former Commonwealth rowing champion, Eliot Barton of Exeter.
My money is on Leander for the win.
Just 2 entries. Matt Coughlan and Dan Bartlett of Poplar Blackwall & District v Leon Taylor & Will Eason of Star Club. These two pairs raced eachother at the Met regatta with the Bedford crew winning by the proverbial “country mile” (well, over 40 seconds!) So unless something dramatic happens this should be another win for Star.
7 entries. The most intriguing contest will be between BUCS winners from Durham (Angus Groom & Barnaby Stentiford) and the Leander entry of Jamie Copus & Alex Robertson. Copus is a world junior silver medallist and is studying at Cornell University in the USA. Robertson raced in the U23 LM4X last year coming 9th. Behind these two look out for the Nottingham double of Edward Mace & Alex Kratzer. These two won Elite 2X at Notts City Regatta last month. There is an overseas entry from the Dutch students, Nereus…well, they are from a Dutch university but Dominic Meyrick-Cole is a former GB U23 trialist.
I think Durham will win, just ahead of Leander with the Dutch or Nottingham 3rd.
A straight final of 6 boats. Molesey are my crew to watch. They were winners at Wallingford and at Ghent. But they have changed their line-up since racing at Ghent with U23 internationals Fred Gill and Blake Friedman coming in. Leander also won at Ghent and also won at the Met (although Molesey crossed the line first but were disqualified for undisclosed substitutions). These two are likely to head the field behind them, the “best of the rest” are probably Rob Roy who won Sen 4- at the Met chased by London and Thames.
Molesey for the win ahead of Leander and….Rob Roy
Another straight final with 5 boats entered. My pick is Durham, winners at BUCS regatta, but they will be chased hard by Thames who were 2nd on both days at the Met and Molesey who were 2nd in the Senior 4+ at the Met. Bath were 4th at BUCS behind Durham and Culrew were 6th in the final of Senior 4’s at Met behind Thames.
My pick…Durham to be well clear of Thames with Molesey 3rd.
7 entries. This is almost 2 races in 1, Seniors v Juniors. Leander are the overwhelming favourites. As a quad they have yet to be beaten this season winning in Ghent and at the Met (where they beat Agecroft). London are racing for the first time this season and have the experienced lightweight international James Lindsay-Flynn onboard. The Junior side of the race pits 1st, 3rd & 4th from the National Schools Regatta. Marlow came out on top in that race and should be the leading junior crew in the race.
My picks…Leander by clear water from Agecroft with Marlow 3rd (just ahead of London)
8 entries. The big showdown here is Newcastle v Oxford Brookes. Newcastle won at BUCS (beating Brookes), but Brookes have won just about everything else since, both days at Ghent and at the Met. Behind these two are the best schoolboy crew in the country, Abingdon. They won at the National Schools Regatta (breaking the record in the process) and were 2nd behind Brookes at the Met. Molesey have a strong entry which won at Wallingford. Since then the crew has been strengthened with the addition of the National Schools 2- champions (Elliot Tarrant & Morgan Bolding who raced as Walton at NSR). A real interesting entry are the Abingdon old boys of Griffen Boat Club. This includes a number of junior internationals like Vassilis Ragoussis, Felix Newman & John Carter. It’ll be interesting to see them take on the current crop of Abingdonians.
My pick…Newcastle ahead of Brookes with Molesey 3rd just ahead of Abingdon.
9 entries. Pick is Zac Lee-Green of Agecroft who was 8th in the single at the U23 world championships. Another U23 international is Belgium’s Vincent Perot who was 17th in the LM1X last year. Stuart Heap of London (an U23 trialist) should probably be the “best of the rest”
1st Lee-Green, 2nd Perot, 3rd Heap
Now moving to the Senior categories…
18 entries. Ben Eames of Trent was 3rd in Elite sculls at Notts City, but the favourite will probably be Andrew Jepson of Hollingworth Lake. He won IM1 at Wallingford. Oli Morgan of Star & Arrow is a GB trialist and came 4th in IM2 at the Met. Amongst the Irish contingent John Magan of Dublin University raced for Ireland at the Home International regatta. Also look out for Henley medallist Rory Buffachi and Tideway Sculler lightweight Max Wentzel (who won gold in the LM4X at Ghent.
My picks…Jepson, Morgan with Eames 3rd
What is it with the coxless pairs…just 2 entries as in Elite. This time it’s Jack Wilkinson & Alex Jones of Tyne United v Alex Meigh & Mark Jinks of Birmingham University. Jinks won the National Championships in 2009 and is one of Birmingham’s Sports Shcolars.
Birmingham to beat Tyne
9 entries. Quite a few crews doubling up in Elite, including my pick for that event, Durham. Nereus (my pick for 2nd in E2X are also doubling up). Another crew doubling up are the Dunley brothers of London RC, but they are doubling up in the E4X. The Army crew includes Rob Hares who has been a trialist for the Welsh squad and also watch for Star & Arrow, Paul Spencer & Oliver Morgan who were in the IM1 M4X which won at the Met
The result…as per E2X…Durham ahead of the Dutch Students with Star & Arrow 3rd
A big entry with 19 crews. Derby may well be the favourites for this event, they won E4- at Notts City Regatta with Tyne in 2nd and Royal Chester in 4th. Sport Imperial can’t be discounted, they were 5th in a very competitive final at the BUCS regatta. Star raced this event at the Met and picked up a 3rd place behind Rob Roy (who have moved up to Elite) and the Irish from St.Michaels (who aren’t racing at Marlow). Keep an eye out for a strong schoolboy crew from Pangbourne. They won IM1 at Wallingford and silver at the National Schools Regatta. Upper Thames will mount a strong challenge, they were disqualified at the Met on Sunday (I think for undisclosed subs) but they should be quick at Marlow.
My picks, derby for the win with Star 2nd and either Tyne or Imperial for 3rd.
11 entries. This has the potential for some very good racing. Durham are the BUCS champions but they will be up against an Isis boat containing 2 of the victorious Isis crew from this year’s Boat Race (plus 1 from 2011). Challenging both of these student boats (who will have their eyes on the Prince Albert at Henley) will be Upper Thames, victorious on both days at the Met. Best of the rest are probably Henley who won Elite 4+ at Notts city but finished 6th at the Met and Molesey who were 2nd to Upper Thames at the Met.
My picks…I’m going to go for Durham 1st, Upper Thames 2nd and Isis 3rd
13 entries. As with the Senior 2X there is a fair amount of doubling (or even tripling up) with Elite 4X (and J18 4X which will come to later). As mentioned above, Marlow are the winners from the National Schools Regatta and will be one of the favourites for the Fawley at Henley. There is also the 2nd, 3rd & 4th placed crews from Nat Schools in this event as well (Westminster, Windsor and Sir William Borlase). But it’s not all about the juniors, Imperial won Sen4X at the Met and were 4th at BUCS. Rob Roy were 2nd behind IC at the Met so will hope to be challenging for the “A” final. We can’t rule out the Irish from Dublin and Carlow either (although I don’t think they will challenge for a top 3 spot). Star and Arrow won the IM1 4X event at both Wallingford and The Met.
My picks…Marlow to win with IC 2nd and Star & Arrow 3rd.
14 entries. A fair bit of doubling up with Elite 8’s. Favourites have to be the BUCS champions, Newcastle. Brookes have 2 crews entered, but it does not include their 1st VIII. Molesey are doubling up in Elite. The schoolboys of Hampton were a slightly disappointing 3rd at the National Schools Regatta (a lot of people picked them for the win) and will be looking to build speed to challenge Abingdon and St.Edwards (amongst others) for the PE. Royal Chester are another crew doubling up in Elite and (as mentioned above) they won Elite 8’s at Notts City.
My picks….Newcastle by a clear margin over Molesey with Brookes in 3rd
A huge entry of 35 boats….lots of crews will be wanting to catch the Henley Stewards eye to try and avoid qualifiers. But, what makes this event so interesting is the showdown between National Schools Champions, Marlow and winners from the Met, Leander. The Leander crew contains the National Schools’ 1X champion, Seb Devereux. Fatigue may become an issue as Marlow are entered in Elite and Senior quads as well as J18 (although it remains to be seen if they race all 3 events).
This event contains all 6 of the “A” finalists from the National Schools. The result at Nottingham was very close between Westminster in 2nd and Windsor in 3rd, just 8/100ths separated them on the line. Windsor will be hoping to reverse this at Marlow, but I don’t see them getting ahead of the top 2.
My picks…it’s going to be very close between Leander and Marlow. Assuming Marlow aren’t completely exhausted racing 3 events (if indeed they do) I think they may just pip Leander. Windsor for 3rd.
That’s it. If you are at Marlow Regatta on Saturday, you may even hear me doing some of the race commentary as the organisers are very kindly allowing me to have some practice before my debut with Regatta Radio at Henley!
See you there.