Hampton Small Boats Head 2015 – WJ18 2-

Despite a relativity small entry compared to the doubles, the standard of Women’s pairs in the recent years has certainly increased. Hampton’s two divisions means many athletes will be doing a single scull and also a pair, giving them a chance to show both sculling and sweep proficiency. The standard of entries this year is as always very high, and I will go through who I believe are the stand out crews in the draw before making a prediction.

Hen- Lister

All eyes are on these girls after an incredible start to the season, winning both the Junior 4+ and 4x at Fours Head of the River. However Lister didn’t seem to appear as an athlete in either of these crews. She was however part of their multiple golds including J16 8+ at national schools last year, and will still be of a very high standard. However I believe these aren’t Henley tops girls, and so may not be as strong in this event compared to others.

 

LEH- Fjortoft/Matthews

There is a large showing from LEH on home water, however I’m finding it difficult to pick out their top crew. Most of these names seem to come from their national schools J16/18 eights, which both came fourth. They also competed at Head of the Charles and Schykll in America, with the most notable result 22nd in their eight. Their fours head crew, including LEH- Fjortoft came an impressive 3rd, so I predict this combination to do well. However, LEH sent five girls to GB Early ID trials last Saturday and LEH- Matthews was their fastest time, so that crew should also be quick. LEH haven’t been having much success in small boats recently, so I’ll be interested to see if some top combos could break into the top three and meet the standard of their bigger crew boats.

 

MAR-Harding

Molly Harding is an incredible junior athlete. She represented GB in the top women’s boat, the quad, at the World Junior Championships in Rio where she won a silver medal, and all as a J17. This year she is unfortunately too old to trial, but will be a massive contribution to Marlow’s squad, especially as the only returner from their HRR Finalist Quad last year. I don’t know much about her sweeping history, however assuming her partner is one of the girls from the silver medal J16 8+ last year, their technique should be strong enough to be going for the top spot on Saturday.

 

PHS-Lofstedt

After a win at the Pairs Head these girls have shown their speed in a pair this season. Despite a slightly disappointing Fours head result for Putney, this is the only pairing that have already raced together this season which should give them an advantage. Assuming it’s the same pair, Andrews has kept up the standard by performing very well at the recent GB Trials, and this should give them extra confidence. The question for this crew is if they can transfer their strength and endurance over the longer course into a much shorter, more intense one like Hampton.

 

SES- Motteram

Motteram is a new name, however she may be one to watch after a decent performance at GB Early IDs and a win in the J17 1x at Wallingford LDS. SES have entered two pairs, but if this is their top one the second girl is likely to be Tilly Caitlin. She’s a very strong sweeper as she represented GB in the Coupe, selected for the Women’s pair and eight, and often performs well in the single scull too. These two girls together may be the dark horses of this event, having not raced together before, but the talent in this boat means they should be looking for at least a top three placing.

 

Prediction

MAR-Harding for the win. Followed by PHS- Lofstedt and SES-Mottram to make up the top three.

Good Luck to all crews racing!

 

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