Hampton Small Boats Head 2014- Junior 17 Preview

J17 1x
There are some scullers here who are inevitably going to be quick and have the potential to place highly within the J18 1x category. George Lawton of Northwich Rowing Club takes the spot as favourite with an incredible result at GB trials last week. This sculler is going to make an impact this year, if not next and I expect to see him win this with relative ease. Another sculler to keep an eye out for is Harry Oliver of Windsor Boy’s School. Harry made it to the final of the Fawley cup (accompanied by the White Twins), much to everyone’s great surprise, and he showed how experienced and mature he is for someone of his age. Harry has beaten George Lawton before at the GB J16 Sculling Trial in February where he picked up a fantastic 2nd place. Other scullers to take note of are any of the RGS High Wycombe boys as well the guys from Claires Court. These boys have shown great sculling ability, especially as the 1st and 3rd place finishers at the National Schools’ Regatta 2014 in the J16 4x-.
WJ17 1x
A relatively small field of scullers yet there is quite a lot diversity in talent. We have girls that placed highly at last week’s trials, and girls who didn’t qualify, but you must make sure you don’t discount them. Due to her high placing at trials last weekend, Latymer’s Woolley should come out quite fast and I think everyone will struggle to beat her. She took away a solid 18th place at the trials last weekend and was quite a way ahead of anyone else competing here on Saturday. She is obviously a very fast sculler and I’m sure she will be looking to gain a seat in the Latymer 1st Quad this year. The next sculler to look out for is North from Stratford Upon Avon. She took a very good 27th place at the trials last week and showed she was of excellent pedigree. I expect to see her come second but she could contest for first place, as she had a very quick first half, virtually equal to that of Woolley from Latymer. However, my favourite has to be Molly Harding, from Marlow RC. She’s one of the top junior scullers in the country and was a key member in the Marlow WJ4x last year; she competed for Great Britain at the Munich International Regatta  and is also a bronze medallist in the JW4x at the Junior World Championships. She’s a class act and will probably be leading the line on Saturday. Other scullers to take note of are TRT-Fielding, NOR-Meakin and TSS-Saunders.
This will be my third and final preview looking at this event, my other ones being the W. JSch 1x and 2x. Some interesting entries, with perhaps some of the higher tier scullers being attracted to race at the Vesta Sculling Head which is taking part on the same weekend. But, nonetheless, there is still plenty of talent on show, and we should be in for a day of cracking racing.

In case you were wondering, although you probably weren’t, I keep on accidentally typing ‘rave’ instead of ‘race’; and ‘raving’ instead of ‘racing’ and I am finding it highly amusing, although that is beside the point.

So on to the review, and to start with, some guys who may well content for the top 10 places or so, but probably won’t compete for the top spots, the first of whom is the crew from Lea, stroked by Toby Dixon. Toby came 47th at the Early ID Trials and this crew may well be quite quick. As will the scullers from Tiffin, stroked by a man with the surname of Plunkett, who came 8th at the Pairs’ Head with a teammate of Everest. Neither boys were entered for Early ID but they may well be one to watch.

Another set of boys who were a no show in Boston were the crews from Maidenhead, which surprised me, especially after their 5th place finish at the Fours’ Head in the J18 4x category; no easy feat. The crew that I have my eye on is entered under the name of Doodson and, while they may be very fast, they may also be very slow now that they are out of the comfort zone of the larger boat class.

Now I come to the top crews of the event, and from where I’m sitting I can see two outright favourites. The first is the double from RGS High Wycombe, stroked by Nick Davison and backed up, I presume from looking at their combination at the Pairs’ Head, where they came 6th, by Sam Williams. Last season ended on a serious high for these boys: a win in the J16 4x at Nat Schools and selection for the GB France match. They have managed to keep the ball rolling this season too, with Davsion finishing 15th, and Williams finishing 26th, at Earky ID. They are gonna be fast, powerful, and in exactly the right mindset.

The second of my two potential victors, and the only one to challenge the High Wycombe crew, is the one from Northwich. George Lawton is the man in front, but I do not know who the man behind will be. At J17 level, and in the absence of Josh Armstrong, I can’t see Lawton losing: 2nd in the J16 1x at Nat Schools, and 5th in Boston, this guy can move a single. However depending on the ability of his bowman, I’m not sure how much he will be held back.

Northwich for the victory, followed closely by RGS High Wycombe, the rest to follow in their wake.



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.