Wallingford Head of the River 2013 – Review (Eights)


Some surprising results from last sunday.
(I do not own any of the photos shown in this entry, all credits go to Paul Crewe https://plus.google.com/112736158618197214064/posts)

J18 8+

St Pauls (2nd IM1, 14:35)

We are assuming that this is Paul’s J18 1st eight, even though they entered IM1. Pauls were very very quick and did an astonishing job. They were through the course in 14:35, a whole 21 seconds ahead of Eton, winners of the J18 category. This was however expected of St Pauls after their outstanding results at HOR4s. Pauls are most definitely on track for schools head with a great amount of potential to be their schools first winners of the Championship Eights at Nat Schools.

Eton College (Gouws: 1st J18, 14:56) (Hayes: 2nd J18, 15:05)

Eton preformed well but not quite as good as St Pauls. both of their eights took 1st and 2nd in the J18 category with Eton ‘Hayes’ pulling back 8 seconds from Kings College in the final 1/4 of the race. Eton were surprisingly using their ERB shells rather than one of their Hudsons. Eton definitely have he potential to go well this season as we enter into the serious head races.

Kings College (3rd J18, 15:08)

Kings College did have a very good race and came 3rd in their category. They clearly had a good row but I did expect them to beat at least one of the Eton boats, which they were at the split point (about 2.5 km into the race) but unfortunately, Kings either lost speed or Eton just gained speed and Kings were left behind. Still a good result and are with a bit more training should be up there by Schools Head

Hampton (1st Nov, 15:10)

Hampton did as most people expected, not great. This is understandable, as last year they lost 4 of their internationals. They did come 4th in their category, 2 seconds behind Kings, but I do expect that they were hoping for better. Hard to tell what the Hampton coaches views on this crew are, as they were entered in the Novice category. Not sure if this was tactical, or a lack of belief. Hopefully Hampton have a lot more to give. Hampton also not using their top Hudson shell?

WJ18 8+

Great Marlow School (1st WJ18, 17:12)

The surprise winners over LEH. Great Marlow have obviously put a lot of work in because this eight appears to have come from no where. Their quad at HOR4s was placed 17th and their four was placed 8th. Although LEH and Sir William Perkins were their only real competition, a very good result from those girls.

Lady Eleanor Holles (2nd J18, 17:18)

LEH were just 6 seconds off the pace of Great Marlow School, and did put down a good performance. I was hoping for a better result from them after they did reasonably well at HOR4s, coming 4th in the W Jun 4+. Hopefully there will be some improvements over the Christmas break and we will see them back and up to speed.

Sir William Perkins (3rd J18, 17:32)

In my opinion, SWP were a bit off the pace, I felt they should really have been closer to LEH. Their quad at HOR4s was only 9 seconds slower than LEH’s and that was over a longer distance. Obviously, we don’t know whether the girls in the quad were in the eight, but it is most likely. I do believe though, that once the pressure for Schools Head comes in, the girls will react and do better.

J16 8+

Kings Chester (1st J16, 15:47)

A good win for KCH over all of Shrewsbury’s 5 eights. KCH were in fact down on Shrewsbury ‘Jones’ at the split point by 2 seconds but they pulled it back to win by 3 seconds. This crew has obviously got stamina and they are constant, as their split stays pretty much the same the whole way. This is a brilliant result for the crew, especially as this is the crew that came 6th at Nat Schools in J15CH8+. Will be interesting to see if they have the pace to take on Westminster this year.

Shrewsbury (2nd J16, 15:50)

Well, Shrewsbury entered 5 J16 Eights, and not a single one of them won. Interesting to see how much a crew can change over a period of 7 months, this should really have been an easy win for one of their crews. At the split point they were only just ahead, but KCH just came through them. This was the crew that came 2nd at Nat Schools and were very much ahead of everyone except Westminster. It will be interesting to see if this crew changes and improves before Schools Head.

St Pauls (3rd J16, 16:01)

Another crew that I expected to do better, interesting to see how they were only 5 seconds ahead of Bedford Modern School who came 3rd in the J151st8+ at Nat Schools (well rowed BMS). St Pauls really do have some very strong J16s, one of their boys, Davidson, won Wallingford Long Distance Sculls earlier on in the season. I feel though that the J16s will pull together as St Pauls have always done quite well in the J16CH8+ at Schools Head and Nat Schools.

WJ16 8+

Kings Chester (1st WJ16, 17:39)

So KCH wiped the floor in the J16 eight events, and they won this particular event by 18 seconds. KCH have obviously been training their crews hard ahead of the Christmas break and are definitely a force still to be reckoned with. I believe this is the same crew that won at Nat Schools in the J15G8+ and I hope to see them maintain it as we move ever closer to Schools Head. Potential here for Kings Chester to make a WJ16 Super eight by combining some of their WJ15s (who also won their category beating most of the boys eights in their age group) with WJ16s, shall have to look out for that.

Lady Eleanor Holles (2nd WJ16, 17:56)

Good to see these girls are keeping up appearances, after they came 3rd at Nat Schools 7 months ago. A positive result for these girls, who have still got a good chance at doing well at Schools Head. Good luck to these girls, although, they could do some good in the WJ18 eight.