Oarsport Junior Sculling Head 2014- A WJ17 Review

As requested, here is my review of the women’s J17 quad event from last Friday…

A bit of a whitewash by Marlow, who swept all before them to claim top spot once again. That club consistently turn out classy athletes and these girls, in their wonderful FluidDesign quad, looked superb. They are technically efficient and their secret lies in their ability to combine power with precision. Watching them on Friday, they look so smooth in the drive phase and I was really impressed by their front end work- synchronised catches are a truly beautiful thing! Their victory margin [44 seconds] is very impressive and they put some distance between themselves and Henley, who ran them close at the HOR4.

The Tideway Scullers crew also put in an excellent performance to finish second ahead of Headington. I’m unsure as to the composition of this crew but they looked sharp last week. I would presume that they are the same crew that made the final at Henley Women’s Regatta in WJ164x last year. I’ll be interested to see whether or not they push on and try to emulate previous TSS crews. TSS had a decent quad which came very close to qualifying for Henley last year and, with some strong small boat results this year, it’ll be good to see these girls develop.

What more can I say about Headington? I’m running out of superlatives with which to praise the Oxford based school. They have absolutely remarkable strength in depth and they have been turning out top crews for a number of years now. Having collected the WJ184x gold medal, a bronze in WJ17 is pretty handy too. Realistically these girls were never going to catch the superb Marlow crew and third is a pretty decent result for them. With the women’s J18 squad so strong, it is unlikely these girls will feature too much in the 1st VIII this season.

The best of the rest? It was a shame that Surbiton High School chose not to race as they were WJ164x silver medallists at NSR last year. City of Cambridge were a good name to see up there amongst the likes of Kings School Worcester and George Watsons. The Italian crew didn’t perform as well as their male counterparts and it looked like they struggled slightly with the, relatively mild, conditions. 

Marlow really look strong and I think they’ll be fighting to take that crown from Eton Excelsior at the next major event