Marlow Long Distance Sculls 2015 – J171X

Marlow Long Distance is held on a notoriously tough course, and the 4700 metres upstream will feel particularly difficult in the single scull. With the event being absent from the calendar in recent years, it is perhaps unsurprising that, whilst there is a fairly reasonable entry for the J171X, they are only from a handful of clubs and the two clear favourites coming from Shiplake College.

Shiplake – Rollet-Manus

Keeping up with this young scullers progress is not an easy task, having begun his rowing career at Henley Rowing Club before a brief stint racing for Reading Blue Coat School. Now in Shiplake College colours, it is clear that he has developed a name for himself as a man of the sculls, rounding off last season with an impressive win in the J161X at the British Junior Championships in Strathclyde. Though short in stature, it’s clear that his stroke packs a punch, and with a strong second place at the Pairs Head of River alongside doubles partner Seb Newman, Rollett-Manus has to be considered one of the favourites to take first place this weekend.

Shiplake – Newman

The other sculler to watch in this event is Seb Newman, also of Shiplake. Newman would be considered the stand out athlete for his squad at Shiplake, and whilst last season he spent more time with one oar in his hand, it has to be said that he will be challenging his doubles partner for first place here. Newman is perhaps the more impressive athlete of the two, and certainly holds the height advantage; he lacks the single sculling experience of his club mate though. Despite this, the upstream course will favour the heavier athlete and I would expect Newman to take full advantage of this and therefore take the win.


Other Scullers to Watch

Given the large entry from Shiplake it would be impossible to ignore their other scullers when discussing potential favourites. Athletes from last years J16 four spring to mind as well as a contingent of GB France competitors, including Blois-Brooke and Marks. Scullers Nock and Essery from the Royal Grammar School, Worcester are also noteworthy given their J16 trialist status last season, though low finishes suggest they are not quite at the level required to take victory here. Finally, it is also worth noting that Marlow and Borlase have both elected to enter scullers, and their home water advantage should lead to respectable finishes. Ashman of Borlase, having spent some time in their Junior Eight last season, is perhaps one to watch.

Prediction

Despite Rollet-Manus being the more proven of the two in the single scull, I’m going to go with my gut and predict a victory for the more sizeable athlete, Newman, though there is very little to choose between the two. Third place is equally difficult to predict and I would not be surprised to see it go to another Shiplake athlete – it’s just a question of which one.

 

Photo courtesy of http://www.paxton.co.uk/news.asp?strStage=case_studies

Mr T