Head of the Trent 2014- J18 Preview

NOTE- The J16 preview will hopefully be live at some point tommorow. Apologies for the delay.

One of my favourite head races of the season. A very strong entry quality this year, with some classy crews present. To the preview…

Sen 8+

Six crews entered but three junior crews present. Following the cancellation of Peterborough Head, the face-off between Eton and St Pauls was sadly ruined. However, we get the pleasure of round two at Trent before the Schools Head. Both look to have entered strong crews and I think a lot will come down to the quality of their preparation. Eton have Dorney Lake and so will not have been affected by the floods as badly as others while a board system has been imposed on St Pauls stretch of the Thames. St Pauls [Arthur Doyle and Stijn De Graaf] took 1st place at the GB trials at the weekend followed by an Eton boat so congratulations to them both for this. I’m going to tip St Pauls for the win out of the three junior crews as I think they’ll still be too fast at this stage.

J18A 8+

Radley have boated two crews in this event but my sources lead me to believe that they have finalised crew selection for SHORR. These will probably be an A and a B boat so I’m going to rip the Bevan boat to take the win here. Bedford School had a strong set of J16’s last year and so it should be interesting to see what they can produce- I’m going to stick my neck out and say that I think they’ll be fast this year. They’ve also entered an VIII into IM3 8+ so it remains to be seen as to which is their A boat. Radley for the win.

WJ18A 8+

A battle between Bedford Girls School and Lady E Holles. Lady E Holles are arguably favourites off the back of previous performances, with a 2nd place at Wallingford Head of the River to their name. They’ve been steadily improving over the last few years and should be challenging for the top prizes this year. BGS are another club that have undergone a remarkable transition under Jacqui Round, turning out some really strong crews over the last three years. They have a very good four which is racing in the morning but I’m not sure as to the quality of the other four in the eight. It will be interesting to see what they can produce. Nonetheless, I’m going to tip LEH for the win.

J18 4x

Star are back in action with two boats. These guys were supposed to race at Peterborough so it will be interesting to see whether or not they’ve switched things around since then. Will White sits in the A boat and the match-up between these guys and the Windsor Boys crew directly in front should be excellent. With the flooding having a big effect on crews in the Thames Valley, Windsor have been forced to train at Dorney Lake so it will be interesting to see how they’ve adapted to this. York are starting right up the draw as the fourth boat off but, if it is the same crew as the one that entered Junior 4x at HOR4, Star and Windsor should have no problem in beating them. I’m not sure about George Watson or Yarm so I’m going to call Windsor for the win.

WJ18 4x

Not many names that really stick out here. York City are arguably the favourites here. Some of these girls were in the WJ164x- that got bronze at the British Junior Championships in July and so I expect them to be fast. York usually turn out some pretty good scullers so I’m expecting these girls to have pushed on this year. Star won’t be too shabby either as these girls came 16th at the Fours Head. I’m anticipating a battle between these two and I call York to take the win.

Good luck to all competitors and let’s hope this one doesn’t fall foul of the awful weather!

This photo was taken from- https://twitter.com/HeadOfTheTrent


  • ed

    i noticed from the results that kings chester did well in the cox less four. i know this wasn’t predicted but looks like they did a good job. will you be predicting the scullery? from this years results windsor boys seem to have suffered allot from loosing andy and josh.

    • Hi Ed,

      Thanks for your feedback. We certainly will be writing predictions for the Scullery. The performance of Kings School Chester took us all by surprise today and I will be interested to see how they progress.

      As for the performance of Windsor Boys, there is no denying that losing Andy Joel and Ross Brogan was a blow. However, Star have stepped on a considerable amount since last year so Windsor’s performance was not catastrophic considering they were racing arguably one of the best crews in the country.


      • ed

        so in the j18 category who would you put in the top 3 this year? other than borlase because that is a given…

        • Hi Ed,

          I would certainly put Sir William Borlase at the top of the pile. I would say that Westminster are also in the top three with Sam Meijer and Cam Kerr onboard.

          The last place is a tough one as there are a number of crews who could be put there. Marlow look strong judging by their performance at Fours Head, Northwich will certainly be around that spot with their experience and the addition of Alex Bain in the bow-seat. Evesham look good this year as do Star Club, who performed well at Trent [I’m told they actually overtook Windsor Boys which is no mean feat].

          It really does look like it is going to be a fascinating year for Junior Rowing! We will know more after the Scullery and Schools Head.