Hampton Small Boats Head 2015 – J17 1X

The J17 Single is a very competitive category, and this year, as expected, there is a huge entry. The course at Hampton is fairly short and considering the fact that it is downstream, there should be some very tight and exciting results. Some of the athletes at the top end of this event are of a very high standard as well, so I’m looking forward to seeing some of them take each other on. Here are a few athletes who I think will be competitive this weekend.

Claire’s Court School – Costley

So far this season, Costley has proven to be one of the top athletes in the Claire’s Court system that has been very successful at the early stages. Winning the U19 4X- at Senior Brit Champs and coming 3rd in the J18 Quad at Fours Head as a J17 is certainly very impressive, so I’m expecting to see a big result in the single this weekend.

Leander Club – Forsythe

Forsythe was part of a very successful J16 Double last season that narrowly missed out on winning Junior Brit Champs and racing GB France behind a strong Windsor crew. He has also shown a decent amount of speed in a single so far, so I’ll expect to see a strong result. I think he’ll be the quickest of the Leander J17 scullers, and will therefore be pretty near the top on Saturday.

Leander Club – Few

Few was alongside Forsythe in Leander’s J16 double last season, and is therefore a strong athlete who has a lot of experience and pedigree. I believe he is the slower of the two in the Single Scull, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that he can definitely move a boat. Expect a pretty good result from him.

Windsor Boys’ School – Jacobs

As one of the scullers from last year’s GB France double, Jacobs has a wealth of experience in the discipline. He is a talented athlete, and should be aiming to do well at the weekend if he has made the same step up as the J16s from clubs like Leander. He should definitely put in a strong result, however I’m not sure he’ll be winning the event.

Molesey – Gowland

Gowland is the only Molesey boy racing in this event who was part of Molesey’s Child Beale Eight last season, and in doing this when he was a J16 would suggest that he has a reasonable amount of potential. As a result of this, I think he should be fairly quick, and I will be interested to see how well he does at the weekend.

Leander Club – Placidi

I believe Placidi is a new recruit from last year’s very successful City of Oxford J16 squad, and he seems to have continued to step up since joining Leander. I think he’ll definitely show some good speed in the Single Scull as well, so will be very close to the top of the results. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him being one of the top scullers in this event.

Star Club – White

White is one to watch as something of an underdog on Saturday. He raced in the final of the J164X- at National Schools’ last season and was the only member of this crew to race at Early IDs last weekend. This would suggest he’s the quickest of the Star boys and should therefore do reasonably well.

Dulwich College – McGowan

Dulwich have several entries to this event, and winning J16 First Eights last year would definitely suggest some potential. I believe McGowan is the strongest of their entered singles, and if he can make the transition to sculling successfully then he should show a decent amount of speed on Saturday, however I can’t see him challenging to win the event.

Hampton – Arnold

Hampton have several entries to the J17 Single – hardly surprising considering it’s their own event. They mostly seem to have come from last year’s J16 Eight which came 6th in the J16CH8+ at National Schools’ last year. As they’ve mostly come from an Eight it is difficult to tell who will be the fastest in a single however I’m predicting that Arnold will certainly be up there as he also raced in their J164- that did reasonably well last season. Being on his home stretch will also help, so he should do fairly well.

Hampton – Worthington

Worthington was also a part of both of these crews, and being on the home stretch should continue to assist him. I expect him to also do fairly well, however mainly being sweep athletes may hold the Hampton guys back from the top few places.

Claire’s Court School – Harris

Harris had some success at Claire’s Court last season, racing in the Child Beale as part of their Eight and doing fairly well in their J16 4- alongside Costley and Osborne. As Claire’s Court have such a strong Sculling system I would expect him to make the transition to the Single pretty competently, and think that as a result, he should do well on Saturday.

Claire’s Court – Osborne

Being part of the same crews as Harris last season, I expect to see similar things from Osborne, assuming he also makes the transition to sculling to successfully. I expect the pair of them to certainly put in strong results for Claire’s Court, however I think it’s unlikely they’ll be winning the event.

Windsor Boys’ School – Loughran

Loughran was part of last year’s successful J16 squad from Windsor Boys’ last year, and will therefore definitely show some speed. He has produced decent results in the single at other races so far this season so should also be looking to make an impact on Saturday.

Based on his success so far this season, I can’t see anyone other than Costley of Claire’s Court School taking the top prize in this event. Despite this, I think that the boys from Leander Club will certainly want to make a point after their disappointing result at Fours Head. I think that Forsythe and Placidi will follow in second and third, being the stronger of the Leander scullers. Jacobs of Windsor Boys’ also won’t be too far behind.