Pairs Head of the River 2014 Preview- J16 Doubles & Women’s J16 Doubles

J16 2x


A combination of sharp technique to overcome the often undesirable conditions on the tideway along with clever steering to give your crew the quickest water are among the most important skills that the competitors will need to be successful in the Pairs Head this weekend. Those clubs that train on the tideway and are accustomed to it therefore have a slight advantage over those that don’t. Having said this, the crew from Maidenhead will likely be very competitive; they won the J152x event at NSR in the summer and had a good set of results at Wallingford LDS, with one of the members of this crew winning the J51x event. The crew from Weybridge came 2nd at Wallingford LDS and so are also likely to be competitive, likewise Kingston RC, who came 5th in J152x and 2nd in J154x+1 at NSR, and Globe, who came 4th at the British Junior Championships. Dulwich College had a quick J15 Championship eight last year and have entered three boats into this event; though perhaps lacking in so much sculling experience as other competitors they- as a club that calls the tideway home- should not be underestimated. Emanuel and Barn Elms will also be racing on home water and could use that to their advantage. The crew from A B Severn are – I believe- the crew that won J152x at Wallingford last weekend and they, alongside RGS Wycombe- who are most likely the reigning NSR and British Junior champions in J142x- are racing above their age category but will still, no doubt, acquit themselves well. I expect that either Maidenhead or Dulwich will take the win, with Weybridge close behind.



WJ16 2x


From what I can tell, not a single boat in this category competed at Wallingford LDS and so this preview is based on the form that the crews held last season; though often a very good indicator of future success, past results are no guarantee that those to come will follow suit and so there may be some surprises when these crews race on Saturday. Emanuel, Latymer Upper School and Eton Excelsior are out in force, with all clubs entering three crews each. Although none of these clubs had significant success in the J15 sculling field last year, they may produce a fast crew, especially either Latymer or Emmanuel, who have their boathouse on the tideway. However, I expect that the main challenge for the title will come from either Warrington, Globe or Nottingham, who came 1st, 2nd and 3rd at NSR in J15G2x respectively. Behind these crews, I expect that Maidenhead, LEH and Barn Elms will be fighting it out for the 4th, 5th and 6th places. With no indication this season of these crews’ speeds, it is hard to call the outright winner at this point. Nonetheless, I should think it will come from one of the three that I mentioned among the main challengers.