M14 Prediction & W14 Shrug

Certainly the Eights are the easiest to predict.  They often race in heats and finals – giving us more information.

Even if they change rowers, that is only one of the eight individuals, and the performance of the whole team doesn’t change too much.

The fours are more difficult.  There are fewer races and more variability in performance.  I looked at both the Mens and Womens First Four.  Lets look at the men first.

Here are the entries:

Of the teams here, Mathews seems to have the best chance.  They won both the Darrell Winslow and the Al Urquia convincingly (7 seconds and 6 seconds over the second place boats.)  No need to be fancy here: Mathews for the win.

But… if we were to be fancy…  St Albans had a nice margin over McLean at the TBC Tussle.  A margin that would make them competitive with Mathews.  Unfortunately, their win over TC Williams was not as convincing at the Charlie Butt Regatta (2 seconds.)  If they had rowed well clear of TCW I would be a little more enamored of their capabilities.  So we will put them in the category of “possible – not probable.”  They are – however – my choice for 2nd overall.

I would then place TC Williams in third.  Aside from Mathews and STA, they have beat the other boats in the field (except for one close loss to Woodbridge at the Smokey Jacobs.)  Could they overtake STA for 2nd?  Possibly.  Could they catch Mathews for 1st?  The magic eight ball says “no”.

Next up – Gloucester and Woodbridge look evenly matched.  I wouldn’t try to draw a line between the two.  Gloucester was off-form at the Darrell Winslow – but I don’t want to hold that against them.  They were back to form at the Al Urquia.  If they have great races I think either of these teams has the potential to get around TC Williams for the show position.

Next on the list – if I consider the whole season – is Woodson.  Even though they were beaten by Langley in the Al Urquia, that might be a bad race.  If – on the other hand – Langley did something to their crew and the performance change is permanent, they may be placed in front of Woodson.

South County has made the finals before in this event, but has had trouble challenging the other teams there.

Great Bridge won this event at the EVSRA finals, but they have raced here at the Darrell Winslow and seemed to have difficulty keeping up with these other teams.  Norfolk Academy followed Great Bridge in that race. James River was third in that race.

I have no information on Hickory.

I haven’t seen Madison row a M14 this year (it may have happened – I make mistakes.)  Unless they have scavenged from their other eights, I don’t know that they will be able to make the finals here.

Womens First Four:

I started to evaluate the women’s first four the way I normally do.  First – here are the teams:

This is the biggest group of the regatta (18 teams).

In general – I don’t do predictions for fun – I do them because the races are predictable.

In this event, certainly there are teams which appear to have a very good chance:

  • Langley won the Polar Bear and the Al Urquia.
  • Gloucester won the Regional Park Regatta and the Darrell Winslow (barely over McLean and Episcopal)
  • Washington Lee won the Arlington Cup.
  • Episcopal won the Smokey Jacobs.
  • McLean won the Charlie Butt (beating Episcopal).

Of those – I think Langley, Gloucester, McLean and Episcopal probably have the best chance.  Washington Lee hasn’t been as consistently competitive.  But which one of those will win?

I haven’t got a clue…

James River won the EVSRA race.  Where do they fit it?  I have no idea.

And just to be more confusing, West Springfield and West Potomac have put in a couple nice races this season as well (although they would have to really improve to threaten for medals.)

In general I think the winner will come from this list (in no particular order):

McLean  Episcopal, Langley, Gloucester.

Beyond that?   ….  shrug ….


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