AS a reward for their results so far this season, crews from Northwich have been seeded in the draw for this week’s Henley Royal Regatta.
Northwich Rowing Club, along with neighbours Grange School, are rated as contenders to win the Fawley Challenge Cup for the best junior men’s quad sculls.
The former, with Finn Lawton, Zak Trigg, Leon Langmead and Alistair Bain in the boat, race either Windsor Boys’ School or American entrants Malvern Preparatory School in the second round.
Northwich exited at the same stage last year at the hands of runners-up Sir William Borlase’s School.
They return this time with a crew strengthened by Sir John Deane’s College students Bain and Langmead, a triallist for Great Britain’s junior team this season.
With wins at Nottingham City and Marlow regattas to their name already, plus a bronze medal at the National Schools’ Regatta, they head to the most prestigious event in the British rowing calendar in fine form.
“They’re feeling pretty confident,” said coach Jed Barlow.
“We measure up well against our main rivals, so have probably raised our own expectations of what is possible.
“The four are a laid back bunch though, so won’t be fazed much.”
Grange School, with brothers Luke and Scott Ozsanlav-Harris joined on board by Ben Holt and Connor Gay, await the victor of Claires Court School’s first round encounter on Wednesday with Marlow.
Second behind Northwich at Nottingham, they narrowly missed out on a medal at the National Schools’ Regatta.
“The boat is going faster than ever,” said coach Matt Jump after a final practice session on Saturday.
The quartet has made history already as the first crew from the Hartford school to pre-qualify for the event.
Lucy Burgess races at Henley for the first time as part of a women’s quad scull that hopes to represent Great Britain at next month’s World Under 23s Championship.
Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne (Glos Hartpury), Holly Nixon (Portora) and Jo Wratten (Tees) complete the line-up.
They compete in the Princess Grace Challenge Cup, with a Reading and Cardiff University composite their quarter finals opponents on Friday.
This week’s regatta is the 175th edition, with a total of 494 crews – including more than 100 from overseas – taking part.