Marlow Long Distance Sculls 2015 – J18 1X

Marlow Long Distance Sculls is one of the smaller heads with only one division, but this hasn’t stopped it from having a reasonably strong entry in the J181X. Many local clubs have a few entries and it’ll be exciting to see how well these guys can cope with the gruelling 4700 metre upstream course. Here’s some of the scullers I think will be nearing the top of the results at the weekend.

Borlase – Bennett

At Reading Small Boats, Bennett did well to finish in 5th place and will be looking to build upon this over the longer course. As a part of Borlase’s successful sculling system, he will continue to be quick and I would expect him to be finishing at the top end of the results at the weekend.

Borlase – Bownass

Bownass spent last season with Bennett in Borlase’s impressive eight, and will be looking to prove himself in the single if he hopes to make his way towards their prestigious quad this season. Bownass didn’t race at Reading, but I would expect him to be competitive with his contemporaries at the weekend, so should show speed.

Shiplake – Carey

Carey was part of Shiplake’s Child Beale winning eight last season, so is clearly a capable sweep oar athlete. Whether he’s quick in a single is yet to be seen, but he has already shown he can be a part of a successful crew and therefore will be aiming to make an impact when placed on his own.

Windsor Boys – Laws

Laws was part of the Windsor quad and double that did fairly well at the Senior British Rowing Championships last weekend, so will be hoping to continue this success in the smaller boats at head races. As part of such a successful sculling centre, he will be able to move a single quickly too.

Shiplake – Gerrard

Gerrard was also part of Shiplake’s first eight last year, so should prove to be a similar case to Carey. I think he has the potential to be quick, but this will depend on how successfully he moves into a smaller sculling boat. Still, watch out for him as he could show a decent turn of pace.

Windsor Boys – Oliver

Probably the favourite for this event in the eyes of most people, Oliver raced in the Coupe quad last season and has shown time and time again to be a quick sculler. He has already made the final of the Fawley Challenge Cup, and recently had a fairly successful weekend at the Senior British Rowing Championships with Laws. He hammered the field at Reading Small Boats Head too, a result which shows him to be a sculler in form. As a result of this, I think it is unlikely he will be challenged on the longer upstream course. I expect him to win.

RGS High Wycombe – Beagles

As a part of the very successful RGS J16 quad that won at the National Schools’ Regatta in 2014 and raced at GB vs France, Beagles had more of a quiet 2014/15 season. Despite this, the RGS quad did show speed and won a silver medal at the Junior British Rowing Championships in Strathclyde, showing that they still have what it takes. It’ll be interesting to see how they manage in smaller boats, but I would expect good things from the RGS boys this season.

RGS High Wycombe – Williams

As one of the strongest RGS athletes from the successful J16 quad, I expect Williams to be quick and have a good performance at the weekend. I’m interested to see how their J18s will do this season, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on in singles. I expect Williams to show some real speed, even if he won’t challenge Oliver of Windsor Boys.

Prediction
Due to his pedigree in the single, I can’t see any of the other athletes touching Oliver of Windsor Boys, who will win comfortably. The next few places are more up for grabs; I expect to see Williams of RGS High Wycombe finish second, with the rest of the singles I have mentioned tussling for third place, which could go to any of them. However, I feel it will likely be between Bennett of Borlase, Beagles of RGS High Wycombe or Laws of Windsor Boys. The Shiplake boys also have the potential to show a lot of speed however, so certainly don’t write them off.

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