Henley Long Distance Sculls 2014 – Junior Men & Women 18 Preview

Junior Men

 

J18 4x-

Star and Arrow (better known as the Leander Development Squad) have entered their current first quad for the event, which took second place behind Borlase. With only 1.5 seconds difference between the two crews, they should be right on top here. However, Claires Court have entered a boat which starts ahead of SAA and through Barnes Bridge at HOR4s, CCS were leading Leander. Unfortunately CCS don’t appear to have entered their first crews as none of the names appear in the crew lists from Fours Head. Unless they have made a substitute, I doubt they stand much chance up against Leander. Hinksey were a middle of the pack crew at HOR4s (finishing 18th) and so do have potential to do quite well here, I predict they should come top three. So to clear up, I predict:

 

Star and Arrow            1st

Claires Court               2nd (assuming they have their first boat)

Hinksey                       3rd

 

J18 2x

St. Neots are current J18 2x Pairs Head Pennant holders, and won the head in an impressive fashion beating many crews who were medalists at NSR and even represented GB for the Anglo-French match. They won by over 20 seconds over 4k, and I expect they should still be on form to take this head. Reading have a well established double who to my knowledge have competed together for quite a while at minor regattas and heads. So far this season though, they have had impressive results at HOR4s, and this could set them apart from everyone else. Star and Arrow are most probably from Leander’s second quad for HRR as I see Cameron Forsythe has been dragged away to compete with people of his own age group. Therefore I predict:

 

St. Neots                     1st

Reading                       2nd

Star and Arrow            2nd (can’t call this one)

 

J18 1x

There is a lot of scullers in this race, and a significant number of good ones. I’ve tried to speak about as many as possible.

 

Star and Arrow’s first sculler, Will New, has been making headway since joining the club. With a recent second place at HOR4s, and a win at Brit Champs, he has shown that he is a very capable sculler. However, I expect there will be some tense rivalry with fellow crew member James Lambton-Heys who sits in the powerhouse of their quad. I expect James to be quite quick, however it shall not surprise me if he isn’t as technically gifted as the rest of his quad (however if you’re sitting in-front of Harry Uglow in a quad, you know you’re doing something right). Another of the Star and Arrow entourage competing in the scull is Tom Mortimer, who earn himself an impressive 10th place at the J16 GB February Early ID trials. Aly Roy of Henley RC was placed just behind Mortimer there and has also shown proficiency in the single scull. It is also inevitable that the St. Neots boys will be fast along with the guys from Claires Court.

 

That is all I can report on for the J18 boys events, good luck to everyone competing

 

Junior Women

 

Quads

 

This year’s event has almost doubled in the number of entries since last year, now with 13 Quads registered to compete. The age of the entrants is fairly young, with most having been in their JW16 year last season, however with some very talent young girls competing this weekend.

The favourites in this event stand out – the Henley Girls Quad, having won National School’s Regatta JW16 4x – with the next crew 13.13 seconds behind them, HWR JW16 4x by 4 lengths, and reaching the semis at HRR. Speaking to Steve Thompson, it seems that the HRC girls squad is in a state of flux; injuries and changing priorities are the order of the day! Their combination for the weekend is confidential information at present but what can be noted is the racing at the Fours Head. The quad that won the WJun4x category was made up of last year’s J15’s, making their victory all the more remarkable. The all-conquering WJ16 quad from last season raced in WIM1, finishing 14th against some serious senior crews.  I know that there are injuries in the squad but, whatever the crew combination, expect this quad to go fast on Saturday.

Other notable crews to watch for are the Marlow quad – somewhat broken down over summer when one of their girls was injured and had to withdraw from the GB Junior World’s Quad. It will be interesting to see how the quad has developed in the new combination this season so far. Along-side these girls will be the Headington Quad, although it is not their first Quad, their girls produce medal winning boats year on year and so are likely to be in the top few crews.

Recent performances from the Weybridge quad at the Four’s Head, coming 3rd in the Junior Women’s Quads put them up in the top few crews, with a number of their girls hoping to trial for GB this year they should be moving well this weekend in the time trial format. Just behind these girls will be the St Neots  quad, who were just behind the Henley Quad in the National School’s Regatta JW16 4x event winning silver who will be eager to challenge the Henley crew.

 

Doubles

 

With 20 entrants this year, quite a lot of the crews are fairly young, most of them having competed at JW15 or JW14 level last season. Standing out from the younger crews are the more experienced, the Nottingham Rowing Club (Hayes), Hinksey, RGD Worcester, Sir William Perkins (Davison) and the Henley Rowing Club.

The Nottingham double has shown to be fairly strong, coming 3rd in a semi-final of National School’s regatta JW16 2x event in the summer.  Looking for similar times will be the Hinksey double, having  won a bronze at National School’s regatta in the JW16 8+. Just ahead of these two are going to be the RGD Worcester and Sir William Perkins doubles, having come 6th in their National School’s Regatta finals of Girl’s 4+ and Championship girl’s 8+ respectively.  Finally, I think the Henley Double is likely to be finishing in first place, having finished with a silver medal at National Schools last season as WJ16s. Their recent performance at the Four’s Head was a slight mix-up due to injuries and crew changes but I expect them to come back strong. The crew is made up of Ellie Thompson and Hattie Orr and I expect them to take the victory.

 

Singles

 

A huge event this year with 38 entries, most of whom will have been racing in the first Division so this will also be a test for them in terms of their own stamina. As this is the last event before the first round of water assessments for GB trials the following weekend, it will be a good indication for how they stand at Boston.

Out of all of the entries, there are a particular few who stand out. The singles entered from Henley should be fast however their lack of experience racing in singles may set them back in their racing. Nonetheless I expect Hattie Orr, Lauren Edwards and Ellie Thompson who have all qualified for Boston to be strong on home territory. The three entries from Headington of Ann Palmer, Lydia Currie and Rihannon Smith should be in the top few with their recent experience in singles at the Armada Cup. These girls all came in the top 20 in the U19s category, demonstrating their endurance abilities and their skills in a single.

 

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  • Smitho

    Can we be expecting a review any time soon?

    • Hi,

      Thanks for your feedback. I can write a review if you would like one?

      JuniorRowing