Hampton Head 2016 – WJ18 4x

Hampton Head is the first big head race of 2016 with a huge 27 entries for junior women’s quads. There’s a lot of competition this year. This next month is important as it is the lead up to Schools Head and the Oarsport Scullery; Hampton head will provide a real insight on how the winter training is going for all crews. The race is 3000m downstream and a tricky course – good steering will definitely benefit a crew’s final position. The weather for Saturday is currently heavy rain and strong winds , so these quads will have to be able to deal with the conditions well if they want to stay ahead. I am going to review the crews I think will be fighting for the top 8 positions on Saturday.

Surbiton – Surbiton have made their mark at the start of the season, with many entries into small regattas such as Weybridge Sliver Sculls, Surbiton are showing that they are confident and strong scullers. Interestingly Surbiton did not race at Fours Head or indeed Pairs Head, so it remains to be seen how they do in a quad up against some of the best quads out there for junior women. If Lola Anderson’s crewmates are similar to her then this quad will definitely be a strong contender for the win, and given Surbiton’s track record in the event, I think they’re likely to put in a very strong showing.

Molesey – Similar to Surbiton, Molesey did not made a appearance in Fours Head for junior women quads so it will be interesting to see how they do. If their performances in the double scull at Weybridge and Georgie Grant’s performance at Early IDs are anything to go by then Molesey are ones to look out for. They’ve got some powerful athletes who know how to move a boat, and with Grant at the helm I’m sure they can demonstrate some great sculling.

Headington – Headington have entered 2 quads in this category showing they’re not lacking strong scullers. With a competitive 4th place at Fours Head and 2 scullers in the top 15 for Early ID’s, Headington will be in the mix for the top 3 crews on Saturday. Historically they’re strong in both the sweep and sculling disciplines, and I’m excited to see how they fare.

Shiplake Vikings – Shiplake are favorites to win on Saturday as their very strong 2nd place at Fours Head show that they are ready to dominate the junior women’s quads this season. Hattie Orr performed very well at Early IDs and her sister and crewmates last season showed they are very strong scullers. If this crew can get the steering right they’ll be in with a very strong chance to take the win.

Thames Rowing Club – Thames are a new face in the top 8 female quad mix, their performance at Fours Head and Pairs Head show that they’re ready to show everyone what they can do. Recent performances by their scullers Chloe Knight and Gabby Munyard in early IDs show the strength backing this quad for Saturday.

Sir William Borlase – Borlase came a competitive 9th place in Fours Head only 4 seconds behind Thames. If Borlase have kept up their skill and stamina in quads over the winter period then they will be ready to fight for top 5 on Saturday.

Putney High School – Putney High are not a familiar face in the sculling side of junior women’s rowing, however Emma Andrews single scull performances show they are not strangers to it at all. This quad could one to keep an eye out for on Saturday. Emma is going from strength to strength in the junior women’s circuit, and if she can bring on her crewmates this crew could surprise a few.

Prediction: Shiplake Vikings to take the win on Saturday, Headington will all be right on their backs in second place and closely followed by Molesey.

Good Luck to all crews racing !