Wallingford Head of the River 2015 – WJ18 8+ and WJ18 4+

Wallingford is one of the last big boat heads of this calender year, with many early head races being in small boats, this gives girls the chance to get out of singles and pairs and race in bigger hulls. Lots of girls will be sweeping here when they had been sculling previously, and its a good chance to show the depth of a squad instead of just relying talented individuals for pennants.

I believe there is going to be lots of overlap in crews in the WJ18 8+ and 4+ as girls may race in two divisions. I will cover the eights first, and then cover fours who are not also racing eights if I believe the same girls will be involved.

WJ18 8+

HED-Curtis
If this race is about depth, HED-Curtis will be strong contenders in this eights category. Having won CHG8+ at National Schools consecutively for as long as some people can remember, and their second eight regularly making the final, it is well known the strength the whole of this squad has. After a disappointing loss to LEH at Head of the Charles Regatta, they’ll be looking to perform better, but this shouldn’t be hard, with many of their girls attending GB Early IDs a few weeks ago.

HEN-Morgan
Henley have been chasing Headington for some time now, and also with an outstanding number of high quality athletes they are probably the people that have come closest to them in the last few years. They’ll want to show they can beat them, and with recent results winning Fours Head 4+, 4x, and pairs head 2x, many people believe these girls can do it.

SPG- Lewis
St Pauls Girls have been doing well this season, one crew came 5th at fours head however the other came a slightly disappointing 22nd, and their top result at pairs head was 5th. Encouraging results, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to compete with the powerhouses of Henley or Headington on Sunday.

LTU- Wolley
Latymer are a strong girls school, and have had a reasonable start to the season with a 6th in Fours head 4x and 7th at pairs head. As they girls switch from one blade to two, I’m sure they’ll be very proficient and gunning for their tideway neighbours St Pauls Girls, but again won’t be able to compete with the top two clubs in this event.

Prediction:
I’m going to go for Henley to take this one, their recent form has been exceptional and although a controversial choice Headingtons standard so far this season just hasn’t been as high.

WJ18 4+

I believe SPG-Jackman and SPG-Vault will be the eight above split in two, so good crews with some solid results but will find it difficult to make the top three. HED-King-Smith came 4th in the quad at fours head, and is probably also the eight HED-Mattocks, or possibly their second eight, as they have a larger senior squad than most. SWB- McNab haven’t entered an eight, although the surname is different to their top four than came 2nd at Fours Head. Because of this I find it difficult to predict this crews performance, if it is their top crew it’ll be fast, if not they’ll still be of a high quality but may not be as competitive as Borlase usually is. Finally SES- Mottram, this is likely to be a top crew, with Mottram who raced at the recent GB Trials, and Caitlin from teddies also competing in Coupe in the summer, I think this four will be very fast on Sunday.

Prediction:

HED-King-Smith, SES-Mottram and SWB-McNab top three.

Good luck to all crews racing!

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