Head of the River Fours 2015 – WJun4x

Fuller’s Fours Head of the River is regarded as one of the biggest head races of the year. Crews will be racing 6.8km with the stream from Chiswick to Putney; the reverse of the Boat Race course, and a slight extension of the School’s Head course – grueling to say the least. Regardless of the conditions on the day this course is a tricky one. Steerers have a tough job and will certainly need to know exactly where to be. From looking at the current weather for the day, strong winds and heavy rain, the steerers and crew have an even tougher situation than before. I think the decider of who does well on Saturday are the crews that deal with tough conditions well. In this weather it is vital for crews to stay calm and work together – and crews who know the Tideway will have a strong advantage. I am covering the WJ18 quads, an event filled with high-calibre boats; there are 38 crews entered which include some of the top rowers J18 women.

Henley RC
Henley have had a strong start to the new season, with Morgan coming 1st in J18 doubles and Orr coming 1st in J16 doubles at pairs head. Henley have always had a strong reputation and by coming first last year in J18 quads at fours head they have shown that they can take on The tideway with confidence and strength. Henley have also shown that though their crew members may not be the tallest or the biggest they’re very effective in terms of technique and power – and this is something that stands them in very good stead across all age groups. This crew will definitely be a strong competitor this year.

Latymer Upper School
This is another club who has already shown their strength this early on in their season. This crew is made up from two doubles who raced at pairs head and came a respectable 7th and 12th place. Latymer also have the advantage of being on their home turf. They have shown they can race and steer a head race; the only thing unknown is if this new crew can work together and create an even stronger quad. Personally, I think they can do very well here. Latymer have a strong squad, and I fancy these girls to take the Fours Head head-on.

Shiplake Vikings
The Orr sisters and Edwards and Tompson are some seriously competitive rowers and showed their strength last year both in trials, home internationals, Henley Women’s and British Championships. The Orr sisters who moved to Shiplake Vikings last year late in the season showed their strength as rowers with the results produced at their previous club as they were in the Henley crew that came 1st at fours head last year. The sisters have also shown that a move of clubs has not shaken their confidence or set them back in anyway and I believe this crew are one of the crews that could take the win this year.

Marlow RC
Its difficult to say much about this crew as Marlow have raced once this season so far and these girls did not appear to be racing. However the results Marlow produced last year, coming second at Henley Royal Regatta and National schools in j18 quads shows this club can produce some seriously competitive scullers. I’m interested to see how they do this Saturday.

Lea RC , Nottingham RC & St Georges College
These 3 crews are very strong, they’ve all produced very competitive results this season showing some good speed. I believe these crews can all be in competition for the top 7 but a lot depends on how they row in a quad and how they row the course.

Other notable crews
Crews definitely worth a mention are Llandaff, Headington School , St Pauls, Tideway Scullers and Thames. These crews I predict will be in top 10 some row on the tideway normally so the tricky course should be a walk in the park for them, and others have shown previously they can put up a strong fight in J18 Quads.

I predict that Henley will take the win this year though many strong crews will be fighting for it so they will have to watch their back. Shiplake Vikings to take second and Lea or possibly Latymer to take third, though it depends on the crew who can stay calm and take on this course the best.

All the best to the crews racing!