Schools’ Head 2016 – J15 Ch8+

In the J15 category, this will be a hard-fought and probably very close race between some already highly technically proficient crews. Many of the athletes racing in this category will go on to be the stars of the British junior scene in the future, so it will be interesting to track their development through the years.

Heading up the pack will be Westminster School. They’re a very rhythmical and well-timed crew considering their age, which follows in the path of several years of successful Westminster J15 crews. I think they’ll be difficult to contend with tomorrow, particularly given the challenging conditions that are likely to plague the course. However, they’ll be hard pressed by the another crew racing on their home water – St Paul’s School. Just as in the Championship 8+ and 2nd 8+ category St Pauls and Westminster will be going toe to toe, even in the J15s the rivalry is apparent. At Hammersmith, Westminster bettered St Paul’s, but not by a huge amount, and St Paul’s have been rapidly improving. I think it could come down to a very tight margin between these two. Hampton School will also be fighting towards the top end of the group, having won the J15 8+ category at Reading Uni Head (although technically losing to St Paul’s). They’ve got a good sense of technique and a clear capacity to feel the rhythm of the boat, and this will serve them very well over the long Schools’ Head course. Their lack of a home water advantage will obviously put them in a weaker position than Westminster and St Paul’s, but with a good race they’ll certainly be looking to trump the two Tideway schools. Radley, having won in their octuple at NSR as J14s, will also be looking to assert some dominance over the category, but as a crew that peaks more towards the Summer, I think they’ll struggle somewhat at Schools’ Head. St Edward’s are there-or-thereabouts, but won’t have the speed to challenge the likes of Westminster or St Paul’s.

Prediction
It’ll be a close one, but I think that Westminster will clinch it, with St Paul’s in second and Hampton in third.

Five Man

Five Man