National Schools’ Regatta 2015- Championship Girls Quads Preview

A viciously competitive event, with 26 whittled down to twelve from the time trial. As ever, there are a few favourites that stand out in the draw but, behind the top three or four, there is all to play for. The preview…

 

Marlow Rowing Club

Key Athlete- Rosalind Wilson

Coach- Bret King

You know a crew is good when you sit and think about who is the key athlete for fifteen minutes. As it is, I’ve opted for Rosalind off the back of her performances at GB Trials this year. Not to be outdone, Erica and Molly have also had excellent seasons while Heidi, ineligible for GB selection, raced at the Junior World Championships last summer. The Marlow girls have had a superb season so far, taking the win at the Schools’ Head and the Scullery. Although they were second in the Wallingford Regatta time trial, fatigue will have played its part in that. They are the current holders in this event and they’ll have their sights set firmly on retaining their crown- they’re my personal favourites.

 

Gloucester Hartpury

Key Athlete- Flo Pickles

Coach- Tom Pattichis

A crew with so much horsepower to call upon. It’s worth noting right from the off that Flo Pickles, whom I spoke about in my CHG1x preview, is in with a much better chance of winning that event than I gave her- I was informed that she represented GB at U23 level in the LW2x, winning at Essen Regatta. Therefore, she’s probably favourite for CHG1x and will have a huge impact on speed in the quad too. She’s joined by two returners from last years HRR winning crew in Charlotte Hodgkins-Bryne and Alice Bowyer. They’re a fearsome unit albeit they too were off the pace at Wallingford. I think they’ll be Marlow’s closest challengers due to the power, technical ability and combined experienced they have between them.

 

Headington School ‘A’

Key Athlete- Matilda Martin

Coach- Ryan Demaine

It’s difficult to talk about junior women’s rowing without citing Headington somewhere. If I know Ryan, he’ll have had his athletes training in small boats right up until the regatta, working on boat-moving ability and technical ability. I expect Headington to win WCH8+ with relative ease, leaving them with work to do in the quad. They were well off the pace at the Scullery, finishing joint second and thirty seconds behind Marlow. However, they qualified two crews for the final of WELI4x at Wallingford Regatta- a remarkable feat and a standing tribute to their strength in depth. They’ve got two junior international on-board, along with two others members of their first eight. I don’t think they’ll be able to improve on their silver medal from last year but they stand a good chance of retaining it.

 

Surbiton High School

Key Athlete- Lola Anderson

Coach- Stewart Walker

It really pleases me to see Surbiton succeed at a national level. They’re a small school who are relatively new to the junior rowing scene yet they are regularly upsetting the big names. Their quad, which contains sculler extraordinare Lola Anderson, will be looking to ensure they have a spot in the final. I also think they’re in with a shout of a medal albeit it’s a big ask. This crew also contains Sofia Turner, who I remember took the win in WJ152x at the British Championships in 2013. They’ve had a great season, finishing fifth at the Schools’ Head before taking a shock win at Wallingford Regatta. They are a crew in form and I fancy them to be strong this weekend.

 

Latymer Upper School

Key Athlete- Georgia Hellard Timm

Coach-  Michael Probert

Latymer, in my eyes, are aristocracy within junior women’s rowing. They consistently turn out excellent crews- it was always going to be a challenge to follow up on that brilliant crew from 2013 but they performed admirably last year and are back in 2015 for another shot at glory. Their winter season form was good- they finished second at the Fours Head and the Scullery and third at the Schools’ Head, which are excellent results by any standards. They look to this event for maximum speed and I think they’ll be quick on Sunday- they were fifth in the time trial at Wallingford but I think there’s more to come. They’re always well drilled and strong- I think they’ll be looking for a spot in the final.

 

Sir William Borlase

Key Athlete- Georgia Mulraine

Coach- Harry Lyons

They just seem to crop up in all age groups and genders and that’s down to the brilliant work that Robin Dowell has invested into the system. They’ll be strong contenders for a medal in WCH8+ and I think they stand a very good chance of making a final with two blades too. Another crew stacked with experienced athletes, Borlase have also had a good head season. They won WJ4+ at the Fours Head and finished fourth at the Scullery, having raced their eight to second place in WCH8+ at the Schools’ Head the day before. All the crews in this event will have one eye on the Diamomd Jubilee Challenge Cup and Borlase just love a bit of Henley. This crew narrowly missed out on the final of WELI4x at Wallingford Regatta despite finishing third in their heat. They’ll be contenders for a spot in the final.

 

Other crews to look out for are Shrewsbury School, who are undergoing a resurgence up north and also be looking for a spot in the final, Headington School ‘B’, who make up half of Headington’s second eight, The King’s School Worcester, who are a crew in form having finished seventh at Wallingford Regatta, Sir William Perkin’s School, who are a junior women’s powerhouse and Liverpool Victoria, whom I had the pleasure of speaking with for my Vets Head report.

It’s going to be a cracker. I’m going to err on the side of caution and predict a Marlow win. Realistically though, it’s too close to call.

 

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.
  • RowingGirl

    Please can you do a preview of championships girls pairs?