Wallingford Regatta 2014 Preview- J181x and WJ181x

By request, I’ve compiled a profile of each sculler I had sufficient information on. I’ll start with the J181x

Sam Meijer [Westminster]-

Raced Armada cup and won J171x, raced Scullers head and won J181x, 3rd place at Nov GB Trials, raced in A final at the weekend at GB Trials.

I think he’ll win the whole thing- and by a distance.

Cam Kerr [Westminster]-

Raced to 2nd  place at Scullers Head, won J181x at Weybridge Silver sculls, raced in A quad at SHORR which won plus raced last year in A quad, raced with Sam at Pairs head to win and in the composite with Imperial which won HOR4.

I think he’ll come in second as he is still a class act.

James Mackins [Evesham]-

Went to GB potential camp in October, races in the Evesham four, won silver at Brit Champs in J161x.

I think he’ll be up there as he is a decent sculler with fearsome power and height to call on.

Ben Gray [Maidenhead]- 

Raced in J161x at Brit champs and came 6th, won bronze at NSR in same event, finished 2nd in J181x at Wallingford LDS in September.

An accomplished sculler and someone who has stepped on this season. He’ll make the final.

Guy Playdon [Derby]-

Came fourth at Dee Head in IM2 1x, a few seconds behind Jack Kidd, has raced in a double before for Derwent at J16 level.

Had a decent double a few years back and could surprise a few people.

Ed Dean [Henley]-

Has raced in the Henley J184x, came 25th in J181x at Henley LDS.

Not convinced that he’ll do very well as Henley have been quiet all season.

Tim Halliday [Peterborough City]-

Has been racing the single for a while, won local events such as Bedford quarts, didn’t qualify for J171x at NSR.

A long term single sculler whose been racing this class of boat for as long as I can remember- I’m not sure as to his current speed.

Henry Smith [Windsor Boys]-

Raced in J184x for Windsor, which came ninth at Scullery and second at Head of the Trent

Good pedigree and is surrounded by decent scullers i.e. White twins so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was pretty quick.

Henry Jones [Ross Rowing club]-

 J17, raced the D final of J161x at Brit Champs

Can’t see this lad doing too much, a probable exist in the heats.

Dan Roe [Burton Leander]-

Did not qualify in CH1x at NSR 2013, finished 12 seconds behind Halliday at Boston Head 2014

Haven’t heard much of Burton Leander since they boated a J18 quad two years back- I think this might be an exit in the heats.

Rufus Dobson [Westminster]

Raced in J184x at HOR4 and Teddington, third at HOR4 and won Teddington, races in the J184x for Westminster, 5th in J181x at Scullers Head

A talented sculler who is probably benefiting from the speed of those around him. I think he’ll be fast, a possible finalist candidate.

Sam Geller [Henley]

Used to race for Reading, finished 2nd in B final in a composite double at Brit Champs, 14th at Scullers Head

This lad appears to have changed allegiances if it is the same sculler. A decent sculler and a possible finalist.


Now for the WJ181x…

Corinne Larkworthy [Bedford]

J162x medallist, finished top 20 at GB Trials before, rowed in a successful double with Emma Crouch for a long period of time.

Haven’t seen much of her lately but I expect, judging by her performance at Bedford Small Boats Head, for her to be quick. 

Susannah Lowe [Molesey]-

Finished 33rd at GB in November and 22nd in February.

Another girl that I’m not hugely familiar with but she’s been on the GB system so she’ll be competent in a single. 

Laetitia Tay [Shrewsbury]-

Finished 11th at Feb GB trials.

A strong sculler taken from the ranks of a competent girls squad. Could surprise a few with speed.

Fionnuala Gannon [St Georges]-

Finished 23rd at Feb GB trials

The first of two sisters who are evenly matched. It’ll be interesting to see whether they can both make the final.

 Johanna Gannon  [St Georges]-

Finished 26th at GB trials

The second of the Gannon sisterhood. Judging by the results, she’s marginally slower than her sibling.

Lucy Walker [Wallingford]- 

J16, won at Oxford City, won B final of WJ151x at Brit Champs last year

Racing up two years I believe, which is a big step. Might find the going a bit tough.

Claudia Kimpton Smith [Shrewsbury] –

Rowed for Grange School until last year, competed in a double scull at HWR which reached semi-finals of HWR, competed in J16 quad which came fourth

A contender for the win. A very able sculler who has had a number of notable results over the past year or so. 

Isobel Dodds [Kingston Grammar]-

Raced in GB vs France J16 match in women’s pair, won gold in J16 2- at NSR

A J17 with great quality- I’m not sure if she raced in the KGS quad from last year but I expect her to still be quick.

Emma Crouch [Star]

Raced at Bedford, moved across to Star, won silver in J162x, made final trials last year in pair

She’s been racing in the WJ184x for Star and I haven’t seen much of her single sculling ability this season. 

T Gibbs [Headington]-

Raced a J16 double at NSR last year, slowest qualifier in J161x at NSR

I can’t see this sculler getting past her heat.

S Simister [Heandington]-

Raced in J168+ which came fourth at NSR, raced in J16 4x which finished 5th in final, obviously can scull

The slightly more accomplished of the Headington athletes, this young lady appears to have more of a backing in sweep. Not sure if she is involved in the WCH8+ set up this year.

Maddy Dobson [Maidenhead]-

Raced a double which qualified 7th fastest at NSR in J16G2x- obvious sculling heritage, also raced in J164x which finished last in final 

Should be a strong contender as she has a lot of sculling practice. I believe she is J17.


That’s my preview for the singles events. I’ll look to do the doubles at some point later today. 

Good luck to all competitors!

This photo was taken from- http://www.vestarowing.co.uk/two-wins-at-wallingford-regatta-344