Head of the River Fours 2015 – WJun4+

Four’s Head of the River is one of the longest Head race courses from Chiswick bridge all the way down to Putney pier, slightly longer than the Schools head course which ends at Westminster. There is a strong showing from junior women this year, with many clubs choosing to enter both a four and a quad. I will be focusing on the Junior Women’s Four, a competitive event, and with all the major sweep schools competing I think it’ll be a close race.

Sir William Borlase

Starting off the division, these girls will be aiming to push away from the field right from the start, if not only to give them a good steering line for the whole course. I believe this is Borlase’s top boat, and should be very quick. It has the Bruce/Roberts pairing who came 6th at Pairs head and they will be looking to better that result, and most of these girls came 2nd in Champs 8+ at National Schools. Borlase girls have also been showing their face in the GB trailing process this year, which shows their high levels of ability even early in the season.

Henley Rowing Club

Although Henley have entered a top quad, this boat will no doubt be quick. Two of the members were in the J16 gold medalling 8+ in the summer, and three were selected to race at the GB Vs France Match in the four and eight. Edwards is probably the stand out athlete in this crew, she won Henley Women’s Regatta and came 3rd in the J18 2- at Pairs Head. Henley will want to reassert their dominance in both sweep and sculling events, and will produce a fast time.

Lady Eleanor Holles

LEH girls seem to be stronger this season, with a great result at Head of the Charles Regatta over in America, 23rd in Youth Eights and beating Headington in the process. Looking at their results from Head of the Schuylkill their four with Reddish was their faster in 12th, so this should be their top crew.

Putney High School

Putney’s four is also made up of girls who also competed as part of an eight at Head of the Charles, though they were behind LEH and Headington. However the pair of Loftstedt/Andrews won Pairs Head a few weeks ago, a very impressive result and that shows what this crew may be capable of. Their cox will be comfortable on home water, and Putney had some strong performances leading to National Schools finals in Champ 2- and J16 4+ last year, showing a high standard of sweeping ability.

Headington

This crew is likely to be Headingtons 2nd crew entered in the race, but as the strongest girls sweep school in the country I expect them to be quick. Two girls in this crew were in Headington’s 1st VII last year, which won National Schools and Henley Women’s Regatta. I don’t know much about the individuals in this crew but their squad is generally very competitive, so I can’t see them being too much off the top girls.

Other crews to mentions are some of the locals, whose knowledge and experience of the difficult course will gain them time on the others. The girls from Latymer Upper School all came 17th, 19th or 20th in J18 2x at Pairs Head, however they are doing a top quad so this four may struggle to compete with schools who have prioritized this category. St Pauls Girls School also seem to be a 2nd boat, but one member came 5th in pairs head in the double. Both these crews should be comfortably inside the top ten.

Prediction

Top 3: Sir William Borlase, Henley, Lady Eleanor Holles

Henley or Borlase for the win.

Good luck to all crews!

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