GB Triallists 2014/2015 Season- Top Ten JW Scullers

As promised, here is my coverage of the junior women who are trialling this season. Speaking to Steve Thompson, junior team manager at Henley, he admitted that junior women’s rowing was becoming more competitive year on year and that he expected the quality to step up another notch this season. It is clear that certain clubs/schools have a pretty good spread of athletes across the board but the depth throughout the system is impressive. My sculling preview…


Anna Thornton [Nottingham Rowing Club]

Previous GB Representation- Junior World Championships, JW4x, 3rd place, 2014; Youth Olympic Games, JW1x, 8th, 2014; GB vs France Match, JW1x, 1st place, 2013


Arguably the quickest junior female sculler in the country, Anna dominated the CHG1x at the National School’s Regatta in May before going onto win a place in the top ranked girls crew for the JWRC. She’s an extremely talented oarsman and was described as ‘the best junior girls’ single sculler seen at the [GB vs France] regatta for a number of years’. Her dominance at domestic level may mean she is targeting a spot Great Britain representation this season; I presume she will continue training with the high performance woman at Nottingham and this will only serve to increase her speed. Having won a historic gold medal in the JW1x at the 2013 JWRC with Jess Leyden, can Anna emulate that success?


Susannah Duncan [Tideway Scullers School]

Previous GB Representation- Junior World Championships, JW4x, 3rd place, 2014


Another member of the bronze medal winning JW4x, Susannah is another product of the impressive system in place at the Tideway Scullers School. Surprisingly enough, the prodigious young sculler did not race very much at a domestic level last year which seemed strange to me; had she lent her considerable talents to the JW4x from Tideway Scullers, they may have challenged at a higher level in that arena last year. Whatever the case, the Great Britain team can count themselves lucky to have two returners from their top sculling boat last year.


Rosalind Wilson [Marlow Rowing Club]

Previous GB Representation- Coupe De La Jeunesse, JW4x, 1st place on Saturday, 2014; GB vs France Match, JW4x, 1st place, 2013


After her impressive performance at the November Trials last year, Rosalind will undoubtedly be looking to work her way into the JWRC team this year. She’s a very capable sculler who was in the quad that won gold at the National Schools Regatta last season; that same crew will be looking to reclaim that title in May and go one step further at the Henley Royal Regatta. Rosalind finished fourth in the CHG1x event too, proving that she is a skilled boat mover. It’ll be interesting to see how she matches up against Molly Harding, who has also chosen to scull this season.


Zoe Taylor [Reading Rowing Club]

Previous GB Representation- Coupe De La Jeunesse, JW2-, 3rd place, 2014


Zoe is a product of the GB start scheme and her results last season show that she has s very bright future ahead of her in the sport of rowing. She’s got a strong ergo score [7:26] and I expect to see her pushing for a seat on the plane to Rio. Her versatility was a factor that won her a place in the GB team last summer; despite sculling being her primary discipline, she raced a pair at the Coupe and won a brace of bronze medals. Her performance on Saturday on the Boston course will be one to watch.


Robyn Amstrong [Bedford Girls School]

Previous GB Representation- GB vs France Match, JW2x, 1st place, 2013


Despite suffering a major injury set-back, Robyn has bounced back to re-capture the sort of form that made her one of the most feared scullers on the circuit. She has an incredibly strong ergo score [7:16] and a very relaxed, efficient style. Boulton came to watch the sculler in Bedford at the back-end of last season to see if she could be a part of the GB team but that plan fell through. She won a silver medal in the CHG2x at the National Schools Regatta last year and raced at the Henley LDS last weekend, finishing up fourth in a very competitive field.Robyn will be looking to assert her power on proceedings and I expect to see her involved in the GB set-up come summer 2015.


Kyra Edwards [Nottingham Rowing Club]

Previous GB Representation- Coupe De La Jeunesse, JW2x, 5th place, 2014; GB vs France Match, JW2x, 1st place, 2013


You only need to take one look at Kyra Edward’s ergo score [7:11] to understand the power that this girl is harnessing. Yet another top class sculler from Nottingham, Kyra dominated the J17G1x at the National Schools Regatta last year before going on to compete for Great Britain in the summer. She’s been training and racing with the Nottingham senior women’s squad, racking up wins at the Fours Head and the Women’s Head of the River to name but a few. I think she’ll be a favourite to race at the JWRC this year and it just be tempting to race for Claire Parnell to race Kyra and Anna in a double together… just to see what happens!


Emily Richards [Monmouth Comprehensive School Boat Club] 

Previous GB Representation- Coupe De La Jeunesse, JW4x, 1st place on Saturday, 2014


Emily is a sculler who stands out for obvious reasons. She isn’t from a typical rowing ‘powerhouse’ school or club but has still managed to achieve a Great Britain vest at J17 level. She raced at the Henley Women’s Regatta, making the second round in a JW4x while she won at the British Championships in 2013 in a record time. Following an impressive showing at the Coupe last year, I think Emily will be pushing for a top ten finish on Saturday and the course should suit her power [7:23 ergo score]. I’m not sure as to the situation at Monmouth but I can’t help but feel that Emily’s priorities will be firmly aligned with Great Britain representation.


Alice Bowyer [Gloucester Hartpury]

Previous GB Representation- Coupe De La Jeunesse, JW2x, 5th place, 2014


The only remaining member of the Gloucester Hartpury quad that won the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, Alice will be determined to drive the squad forward this year. Last season was something of a vintage year for Gloucester Hartpury after they qualified two crews into Henley Regatta and had five athletes represent Great Britain. I’ll be interested to see what Tom Pattichis can produce against the strength of Henley, Marlow and Headington. Alice is a strong sculler with a powerful ergo to back her up [7:28] and I expect to see a big performance from her on Saturday.


Georgia Hellard Timm [Latymer Upper School]

Previous GB Representation- NA


The Latymer girl’s squad had a relatively quiet season last year, failing to make the National Schools final or qualify for Henley Royal Regatta. They were unfortunate to draw Gloucester Hartpury in the initial rounds of the Henley Women’s Regatta but I think they’ll be a stronger force this year. They finished a close second behind Henley at the Fours Head and it is clear that Georgia is their fastest sculler. She finished an impressive second in WJ181x at the Henley LDS, losing out to Rosalind Wilson of Marlow but I think she’ll be strong on Saturday. Looking ahead, I can certainly say that she’ll be in contention for a spot in the GB team in the summer.


Hattie Orr [Henley Rowing Club]

Previous GB Representation- GB vs France Match, JW8+, 1st place, 2014


A central part of that dominant J16 quad from last year, Hattie has been racking up some good results this season including a a fifth place in WJ181x at the Henley LDS. She’s one of the top members of the Henley junior women’s squad and, although she doesn’t have the strongest ergo [7:45], she’s a very technical sculler and is well capable of challenging girls who are stronger on paper. She’s in a very competitive squad and this environment will only serve to increase her capabilities so I think she, along with several others from her squad, will be strong contenders through the year.


That’s all for this particular preview. My sweep preview will hopefully be live this evening. Other names to watch out for are Izzy Lingard [Headingrton School], who won a bronze medal at the Coupe last year, Laura McDonald [George Watson’s College Boat Club], who won a gold medal for Scotland at the age of 16 in a double scull, Lauren Edwards [Henley Rowing Club], who was also a member of the WJ164x from Henley last year, Molly Harding [Marlow Rowing Club], who was a gold medallist in CHG2x last year, Lola Anderson [Surbiton High School], who won gold in the GB vs France match last summer, Meg Saunders [Tideway Scullers School], who was another impressive performer at domestic level last year and Sally Downing [York City Rowing Club], who is probably York’s top junior girl sculler.


I am the editor of a rapidly growing blog based around the junior rowing circuit within the UK. From launch in June 2013, the website has experienced vast growth in both its reader count and view count while the article range has expanded. I currently work with a team of 10 people, all of whom voluntarily write articles for the blog. In our first year, I looked to expand from the standard previews and reviews that had gained initial success to building relationships with clubs and conducting interviews. This move proved successful and we are currently exploring new routes to further improve our platform. The blog has led to involvement with Regatta Radio, Rowing & Regatta, Row 360 and British Rowing.