National Schools Regatta 2016 – Championship Girls Quads

The biggest event in the junior rowing calender is here and there cannot be enough to show how big the racing is than the sheer amount of competitors entered. I am excited to be reviewing one of the toughest and most important events for junior women, the quadruple scull. The quad is not only an exciting race as it requires great skill in sculling but also how well you can scull as a crew to become a formidable force against your competition. Henley Royal Regatta is approaching, heightening the importance of results on Sunday as most top crews will be looking to qualify and see how their competitors have trained and perfected their rowing coming into the last stretch of the rowing year. The top quads over the last year have not shied away and this event is looking to be a lot like what we expect to be seeing at Henley Royal and Henley Women’s, making it all the more exciting. 35 crews in the time trail and only 14 qualify into the semi finals. The results are tricky to predict in this category as a lot depends on if the quads entered are the club or schools top boat. I am going to cover what crews I reckon will be in the A and B finals.

Headington – These girls have been dominating many categories in both sculling and sweep this season. Although they have not raced in the quadruple scull in all the major events, they definitely made their mark at the Oarsport Junior Sculling Head winning by over 10 seconds to Warrington and Glasgow. However, Headington have also entered a crew into championship women’s double sculls so, depending on whether they are putting their fastest combination into this category, I think they stand a chance of medalling.

Henley RC – This is Henley’s top crew and I’m certain they are out to win this category after their performance at Wallingford, beating their close competitors Shiplake Vikings by 4 seconds. Facing perennial rivals Headington in Championship eights on Saturday, the sub-current rumbles onto this event and, whatever the outcome on Saturday, Henley will be looking to secure a win over them on Sunday.

Warrington – Similarly to Henley, Warrington have put their top combination out for this event. With Lucy Glover a sculler who has accomplished a great deal already this year, including successful exploits at Munich International Regatta, this quad has a lot of power behind it. Warrington were also the closest crew to Headington at the Junior Sculling Head and I’m sure this crew will be looking to have closed that gap. Warrington entered women’s challenge quads at Wallingford and won against fellow juniors Reading but also defeated a smattering of senior quads, showing they can take on any competition.

Shiplake Vikings- This crew has stayed a strong and consistent top level female quad throughout the season, constantly competing with Henley RC in particular. Their most recent result at Wallingford placed them second, 4 seconds behind Henley. I am excited to see how this quad does as 4 seconds can be made up, given that they have prepared for this Sunday thoroughly and judging by how well Shiplake Vikings are doing as a junior squad this year I’m sure they are aiming for a medal.

Glasgow Schools – Another very strong crew, their most recent successes lie with a 3rd place at both School’s Head and the Junior Sculling Head, which were less than a day apart. This shows that Glasgow will not struggle with 3 races in one day. This crew will definitely be fighting for a medal on Sunday.

Molesey – Molesey secured a 7 second lead over Glasgow at Schools Head, placing 2nd behind Gloucester Hartpury. Similarly to Warrington, this crew includes GB trialist Georgie Grant who has raced well this season. With power and good technique this crew should be one to look out for.

Latymer Upper – Latymer Upper are a very familiar face in J18 Quads. Their experience racing in a quad over the past few years gives this crew a firm psychological advantage. I’m sure they will be looking to secure an A final place, or at least win the B final in the lead up to Henley Women’s and Henley Royal.

Reading – Like their competition Headington, Reading have also entered championship doubles, though it is likely this is not their top quad, Reading have produced top squads not just top crews. I reckon Reading will still be in the fight for an A final berth.

Good Luck to all crews racing !