Kingston Small Boats Head 2015 – WJ18 4X

Kingston small boats head is an interesting race, a week before fours head and 2 weeks before early ID trails. It’s good preparation for both – being 5200m and on a bend, both steering and endurance are tested. However, with only 6 crews entered including Tideway Scullers who are racing seemingly for the first time this season, this race can hardly be a great indicator as to the quality of competition this season for junior women quads.

Emmanuel – Rafferty & Donlan:
Though I couldn’t find anything in particular about these two bows, Emmanuel has shown with the Hayes and Sutton double at Pairs Head that they are well in the top 20 mix of competitive J17/18s. They have also shown with this result that they are capable in handling headraces with tricky steering so these two quads may just come out on top in this race.
Surbiton – Orsman
With the WJ18 Surbiton quad last year doing impressively at NSR and HRR, Surbition have shown they can put up a good fight in the sculling scene. Orsman is a J17 sculler this year joining the quad and if Lola Anderson is in this crew with her impressive track record last year and the start of this season then I think Surbiton will secure a win this Saturday. Lola is an incredibly strong sculler, and will be at the forefront of the junior women’s sculling scene this year.
Tideway Scullers School – Berterton
If this is the same WJ16 crew from last year then these girls definitely have experience in a quad. Having competed at NSR and Henley Women’s together, being a strong unit isn’t something Tideway will have to worry about. This is the first time seeing Tideway junior women racing this season so it will be fascinating to see where they stand, and whether they can put in a result to build from for the season to come.
Kingston Rowing Club – Bate
Similar to Emmanuel, I struggled to find much about this crew or really guess what the lineup will be. Bate this season has had some good results, and her compelling performance at Weybridge Silver Sculls has shown she can handle a long and tricky course which will benefit her crew this race.
Kingston Grammar school – Ibbetson
This is their home turf so Kingston Grammar School have an advantage over some of the other crews, however they did not compete in WJ18 quads last year in the major races so their quad strength is unknown at the moment. This would be the perfect race for them to make their mark in this category.

This is a tricky one but I predict:
1st place to Surbiton
2nd and 3rd place to Emmanuel; I’m not sure which way round – it would depend on which crew the pairs head crew is in.
Tideway should definitely be considered as testing all 3 crews for their places if they have had a strong start to winter training.

Good luck to all crews!