Wallingford Long Distance Sculls 2016 – WJ182x & WJ184x

Wallingford LDS will be the first race of the coming season for most, and it is here where we will get our chance to have a first look at some of the crews which may perform to a high standard throughout the rest of the year. Last year’s J16s are mixing with girls a year older and it will be interesting to see which new J17s will be able to improve their performance to adjust to the tougher category.

WJ182x

Henley RC-Jones and Henley RC- Barter

As only one member of each double has been published, I have found it hard to determine who the partners of these girls are and therefore I am choosing to review both together, as both girls competed in the same quad last season. Both Jones and Barter won double gold at National Schools in May, in both J16G8+ and J16G4x2. Whilst a win in second quads may not sound that impressive, they won with a time that would have won them a bronze in first quads which is an excellent achievement for a second boat at such a major event. However whilst these two crews have shown good speed last season, Henley have entered 10 girls in J18 and J17 1x including their Henley Royal competitors and the two girls who competed at Coupe this summer, implying that these two doubles may not even be top 10 at Henley. However with Henley’s excellent depth I would still expect a strong performance from both crews.

Lea RC-Donald and Lea RC-Moody

Lea RC had a fairly successful season last year, with a 6th place in ChG8+ and gold in ChG2- at National Schools. Flo Donald represented GB at Coupe in the 4- and 8+ over the summer, and for this reason I would expect her double to be the fastest, presumably with her pair partner from national schools Emily Downey, who also represented England at Home International Regatta. Downey raced a pair at the British Junior Championships with Lara Young, placing 9th in WJ182- overall in the semis, losing out to bronze NSR medallists Marlow. For this reason, I am assuming Lea’s depth isn’t as good as its strength, and therefore if Young and Moody are partnered together in a double, I would expect it to have significantly less speed than a Donald-Downey partnership.

Reading RC- Wootton

Reading RC junior girls had a very successful season last year with two athletes winning silver medals at the junior world championships in girls’ quads. Wootton raced at National Schools in ChG4x, coming 4th in the E final and 32nd overall, suggesting that the rest of the Reading squad last year was quite a way behind their best two athletes, and whilst if Wootton and her partner are aiming to improve their performance this year I am certain they could perform well, previous results have so far indicated that these girls will not be fast enough to compete with the top crews in this event.

American School London- Nadar

Nadar from ASL raced ChG2x at National schools last year with her partner Brunsberg, finishing 7th in the D final and 28th overall. Whilst they have experience racing in this category, their result from summer indicates that they will struggle to compete with the other girls in this category with stronger past performances to back them.

St George’s College- Bates

Bates raced National Schools in 2 events last year- J18 girls 4+ and J16G4x1, coming 7th and 13th respectively. Whilst her performance in J18 girls 4+ was decent, it isn’t a championship event and therefore many other crews such as Lea and Henley were racing eights that day. If Bates and her partner were in the St George’s quad that went to Henley Royal Qualifiers, including the pre-qualified competitors St George’s came 19th, and therefore whilst their performances at national events have been stronger than most in this category, I doubt St George’s will have the strength to compete with Lea or Henley.

 Stratford Upon Avon- Ward

I was unable to find any past results for Ward however Stratford Upon Avon entered a quad at National Schools in ChG4x which came 6th in the D final and 27th overall. Imogen North from SUA came 10th in WJ181x at British Junior Championships however, so if Ward is a new athlete to the club with past experience, if combined with North they may be able to put out a reasonable performance.

Itchen Imperial- Lewis

Itchen Imperial didn’t enter any crews for National Schools or British Junior Championships this year, and as these events are the highlight of the year for most clubs, I’m assuming Itchen is more recreational than competitive, and will struggle to compete against the other crews with better experience of racing to national level.

Prediction:

  • Lea- Donald
  • Henley- Barter
  • Henley- Jones

WJ184x

Henley – Wright

Although this is likely to be the ‘B’ Henley quad, they will certainly still be in contention for the top spot, thanks to the current depth of the Henley senior girls. Having qualified for Henley Royal this year in the prestigious Diamond Jubilee event, combined with the gold medal in J16G4x from last year’s National Schools won by Wright, they certainly are a force to be reckoned with and some inter club competition should keep them on their toes.

Henley – Robinson Ranger

If this is the same combination that raced together until the Friday at Henley Royal made up of Kay, Morgan, Pearson and Robinson Ranger, they should be looking to put in a very strong performance on Saturday. Based off last season’s results, where between them they managed to take two golds and one silver medal at National Schools, they are most definitely the stand out crew and it will be exciting to see if they can use their strength as a quad to take the win on Saturday over their fellow club members.

Canford – Cox

Canford has not entered many junior women scullers into major events over the past few years, and it will be interesting to see if this crew can overcome their lack of racing experience to try and post a faster time than a couple of the other more inexperienced crews in this category. Henley have proved themselves to be so dominant recently that I doubt Canford will have a chance of racing them for a win however they may still be able to earn a decent result in this category.

ASL – Simpson

Simpson also does not appear to have raced at any of the recent national events, and for this reason I am assuming that this is either a new combination or a novice quad looking for experience, and therefore I cannot see ASL being a threat to some of the other larger clubs they will be competing against.

Wallingford – Dawe

It is likely that some of Dawe’s teammates made up some of the members of their WJ184x at Brit Champs, which came 2nd in the B final. Although this quad doesn’t seem to have raced in this combination before unlike many of the other crews that will be racing, I would still expect Wallingford to put out a reasonably fast quad. Although this quad may be lacking the speed that will likely be needed for a win, they will be racing over their home stretch which, in a coxless boat, may still give them an edge over the competition.

Evesham – Ledbetter

Having not had any recent results as a quad under this name, a possible combination may have been formed from the WJ164x that raced at British Championships in the summer, where Evesham RC came a respectable 2nd in the B final. Assuming that this is a similar line up, they will likely struggle to compete against the more experienced crews in this category, however they will be looking to set up their season in the best way possible by securing a fast time on Saturday.

Prediction:

  • Henley- Robinson-Ranger
  • Henley- Wright
  • Wallingford- Dawe
Pairs Matrix