Vesta Scullers Head 2014- J181x and WJ181x

The beast of all the great UK rowing races, the Scullers Head is renowned for the skill, tenacity and fitness required to complete the course in a competitive time. As is always the case with Tideway Heads, the starting order will have an effect on places and times but that doesn’t detract from what is a truly fantastic spectacle. The Junior events are pretty well stacked this year and this short preview will examine some of the main contenders for the coveted Scullers Head prize. A few of the usual suspects are missing from the draw due to the event’s clash with Hampton Small Boats Head [of which we are also covering here at juniorrowingnews.com] and so we may not have quite the depth of field that we are used to. Nonetheless, the preview…

 

J181x

Without wanting to discount every other sculler before they’ve even started, I would say that there looks to be a fairly clear winner in this event. Going off third and carrying the title of fastest junior sculler in the country on his broad shoulders, Sam Meijer will be pushing to not only win the J18 event but also claim the headship itself. Don’t discount him; he’s already been victorious in one Tideway head this season and, looking through the senior entries, it isn’t the most ludicrous statement to say he stands a chance. Moving through the other J18 entries, Ashley Cowley of Quintin is also a name to watch out for. He’s the current Open Junior Double Sculls champion at the British Championships and finished 41st at the weekend in the GB Early ID Trials. The rivalry between him and his 2x partner from last July, Oscar Bird, always makes for a good under-current to racing; Oscar had a phenomenal run at the Early ID Trials on Saturday, finishing 16th in a high class field. Both of these lads are racing on home water but I expect Oscar’s experience [Ashley only moved to Quintin this season after racing for Newark previously] to tell. The St Paul’s senior squad have also made an appearence, with talisman Arthur Doyle leading the charge. A Junior World oarsman, we haven’t seen much of Arthur sculling this year so far but he was always a very strong sculler in his earlier years so I expect him to be looking for a top three finish. Alongside him is St Paul’s highest finishing sculler from the weekend in the form of Bertie Woodward-Fisher. Although he hasn’t been racing in the top St Paul’s boat this year, he raced brilliantly on Sunday to finish 14th. Expect a strong showing from him. Another sculler to watch out for is Matt Martinez of Globe. He had an impressive season at J15 level last year and finished 49th on Sunday; despite his youth, he’ll be a name to watch this year and into the future. Meijer for the win.

WJ181x

This will probably be a tighter affair than the Junior Men’s race but I can still spot a favourite. Izzy Lingard, of Headington School, raced particularly well on Sunday and finished in 6th position behind a group of seasoned internationals. That said, Izzy is no stranger to Great Britain representation herself, having raced at the Coupe De La Jeunesse last year. I expect the young lady from Headington to be eyeing the win here. Close behind her should be Victoire Lienau, the only other returner from the Headington 1st VIII from last year who is racing at the Scullers Head. I expect these two to be leading the Headington charge. Watch out for Kes Roe of Mossbourne Academy; she finished 26th on Sunday and is a sculler with a lot of promise. Mossbourne have been in the news recently as the first state school that are introducing rowing as selection criteria for entry into the academy itself. Whatever your opinion on that move, it’ll be fascinating to see what sort of effect that has on the standard of their boat club. Izzy Lingard for the win.

JuniorRowingBlogger
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.