National Schools’ Regatta 2015- J16 Girls Quads Preview


Who knows, we could see the future winners of the Diamond Jubilee Challenge cup grace the waters of Holme Pierrepont this Sunday in the J16G4x category, in fact, it’s quite likely we will! A strong field of 21 crews will contest this event, with only the top 12 progressing from the time trial to the semi finals. I have highlighted the seven crews I think stand the best chance of securing a spot in the final.


Wallingford have entered two quads in this event, showing a good depth in their junior squad. The club entered two quads at their namesake’s regatta several weeks ago, and both crews came second in their heats. Unfortunately the final was called off due to the weather, however, both of the crews entered will have benefited from the inter-squad competition, and I expect the top boat to perform well. Most of the Wallingford girls are racing the day before; this has mixed blessings: they will be in the ‘racing zone’, but may be rather tired!



Thames had a strong head season, winning the pennant in WJ164x at the Schools’ Head and coming fourth at the Oarsport Junior Sculling Head the next day. They came fourth at the Junior Inter-regional Regatta (JIRR) too, and most of them are not racing on the Saturday, so I expect that they will fare well, after all, they are contesting the ‘Thames Rowing Club, Fawley Cup’!



The Marlow WJ18 quad are looking very strong at the moment, and the J16 crew are following in their footsteps. A Marlow quad came third in their heat at Wallingford Regatta in WJ164x and two girls in Sunday’s boat attended the GB Junior trials in Boston in February, with Siobhan Mottram placing a creditable 3rd place in WJ162x. All of these girls are racing in an eight on Saturday, though this is likely to work to their advantage; Marlow’s WJ168+ has shown good form, winning at Hampton Head, and so a good result on Saturday is well within their grasp- if this happens, their spirits will be high and that can work to a crew’s advantage.


Headington School

It is common knowledge that Headington are one of the clubs to beat when it comes to junior women’s’ rowing; they have recorded some fantastic results this season, with a win at Schools’ Head in WCH8+ and a very good result at WEHORR. I mention this because three of the girls in this quad are part of the club’s Championship eight racing on the Saturday. Danielle Semple and Katie King-Smith came 2nd in WJ162x at the February trials in Boston, and the other two girls in this quad came a creditable 9th. This crew won the quad at The Oarsport Junior Sculling Head and I expect them to be frontrunners on Sunday.



Another powerhouse of junior women’s rowing, I expect that Henley will be Headington’s greatest rivals for the gold medal on Sunday. This crew won the quad at the JIRR and followed this up a week later with a win of their heat at Wallingford Regatta. Like Marlow, all of these girls are racing in eights on Saturday, and this could likewise be an advantage for them if they come away with a good result. Two of the girls in this crew represented Henley at the Boston assessment, and one of them, Florence Wiggins, was part of the winning Henley WJ162x.


Surbiton High School

Surbiton have established themselves this year as a club that can produce quality crews, and this was shown by the fact that a SHS quad won the WJ164x event at Hampton Head and came third at the Schools’ Head in the same event. Their crew at Wallingford was a bit off the pace; however, this will only serve to augment their hunger for a better result this time round.



No one will know the changeable nature of weather conditions at the National Water Sports Centre better than these girls, and they should capitalise on their home advantage. There are three girls in the boat who attended the aforementioned trials in February, and two of them- Hannah Stocks and Rachel Heap- placed a creditable 6th in WJ162x. This crew came runner up at the JIRR, and so has shown that it is capable of performing well in a multi-lane situation.


Also, look out for Eton Excelsior, who had a solid head season, and Tideway Scullers’ School, who performed well at Wallingford Regatta.


My prediction:

1- Headington

2- Henley

3- Nottingham