The Fullers Fours Head of the River 2014- Women’s Junior Quads Preview

This is one of the flagship events in the whole season and the importance of junior women’s quads is growing every year; the winner of this event for the previous two years running has gone on to win a major title in the summer.

Last season, Henley’s W.J16.4x dominated their field, winning at National Schools and Henley Women’s Regatta as well as at many other events, ending the season by representing Great Britain in the GB vs. France match. Now they are competing in the-undeniably more competitive W.J18 category and so will have to shift up a gear to mirror last season’s record. Nonetheless, these girls will be the ones to beat come next Saturday; the crew is slightly different from the combination that finished third last year but they will still be very strong.

I expect that Eton Excelsior and St George’s College will also be fast, the former having performed well last season- coming 4th at National Schools and 2nd at the British Junior Championships- and the latter containing Fionnuala Gannon, who represented GB in the quad at the World Junior Championships this summer.

The Weybridge entry contains the winners from the W.J18.2x category at the Pairs Head and is also the same crew that competed in multiple national finals last year. I’m expecting big things from these girls this year and I anticipate a strong showing at the Fours Head.

The Latymer Upper School crew is composed of the 5th and 6th placed crews in the Pairs Head; although Latymer had a relatively quiet season last year, their strength should never be under-estimated.

Kingston Grammar School, who have Flo Blake Parsons onboard, will be looking to build on their good results in small boats last year and they’ll be pushing for the top ten.

Noticeable absentees in this category include Marlow, Gloucester Hartpury and Headington, all of whom were key players in this category last season. I would have expected the winner of this event to be among the aforementioned crews and so I won’t be surprised if we see the Henley crew doing what they are known for- taking home the pennant.