Brit Champs 2016 – W J18 1x

The last National Regatta of the season, this event sees Athletes from all over the country compete in their last chance for a National medal, and the possibility of being selected as the single for the England Home Countries Team. Although many of the top juniors are not competing as they have been selected in the GB team over the summer, the Standard here is very high, with  J18’s who are too old to trial for an international vest, or young J17s taking the opportunity to race with closer competition. I will preview all the top scullers and make a prediction at the end.


Agecroft RC- Helen Leigh

A clear favourite for this event, Leigh has had a fantastic season in her scull this year. She came a very strong 4th at National Schools Regatta in Champs G 1x, but none of the top three who beat her are entered in this event. She also reached the semi finals of Henley Women’s Regatta is J1x, losing to the eventual winner but 2.5 lengths. She is a strong and confident sculler who should be able to win, finishing off her successful season.


Avon County RC- Carla May

May won the C final at National Schools In Champs G1x, but also reached the B final in Champs quads and got bronze in J17 1x at the National Sculling Regatta on Monday. As a J17 she is a year young for this category, but shows good potential in the scull and should be going for a top final at this event.


Northwich- Lucy Gillbanks

Although we haven’t seen much of Gillibanks in her single, she has had a great season getting silver in Champs doubles at Nat Schools, and making the final of J2x at Henley Women’s. The double scull is a difficult boat class, and to have such success she must be a strong and technical sculler. I think she’ll be faster than people expect in her single and could be the dark horse of this event.


Warrington- Eleanor Davies

Another sculler very proficient in crew boats, Davies was part of the Warrington Quad that won National Schools Regatta in the CH 4x, a very competitive event. This crew went on to compete at Henley Royal Regatta, reaching the Saturday, a Fantastic Achievement. She also won the J2x at Henley Women’s Regatta, beating Northwich in the final. With such success she must also be able to transfer her power and skill into a single, but if it is fast enough to beat the other scullers who have raced their single all year is more difficult to predict.


Stratford Upon Avon – Imogen North

North did very well to make the A final of National Schools Regatta this year in Champs G1x, the only other sculler apart from Leigh who has entered this event. She came 8th in the end, and also reached the quarter finals of Henley Womens in J1x, losing to the eventual winner. She’s another sculler who has raced in a single all year, and her strong result at National Schools shows she’s one to watch. However I fear she’ll be too far away from Leigh to take the win at this event.


Cam 99- Catherine Watson and BTC Southampton- Emily Green Both reached the A/B semi’s in their single at National Schools, and each came 7th in their respective semi. Both also entered Henley Womens J1x, making it into the top 16 through the time trial, and Watson won her first round to reach the quarter finals. These girls will be pretty close as they are similar speeds and I expect a tight race between them.


Other notable entries are Nottingham- Lucy Holgate and Mossbourne- Leila Bernstein who came 3rd and 7th respectively in the C final of Champs singles at Nat Schools. They both also qualified for Henley Women’s but were knocked out in their first round. Reading- Freyja Sendall is only J16 but won GB J16 trials in her single at February, and came fourth in Champs double at National Schools.



1st– Helen Leigh

2nd– Eleanor Davies

3rd– Lucy Gillibanks or Imogen North

Good Luck to all Crews!