Fours Head 2016- WJ4+

With Fours Head featuring many of the athletes and clubs we’d be expecting to be performing to a very high level this season, junior girls fours this year is full of medal winners from last regatta season, and it should prove to be an interesting race.

Emanuel- Thomas, Hayes, Jennings, Rafferty

This four features three of the winners of girls coxed fours at Nat schools this year, leading me to believe that this, rather than the quad entered, is their top boat. With Hayes and Sutton achieving relatively decent 2km ergo scores for GB trials already this season, this coxed four looks to have the potential for some real speed. This combined with having a home advantage on the Tideway, leaves me expecting them to be going for the top spot on Saturday

Henley- Edwards, Morgan, Pearson, Jonsson

Henley’s four seems to be the same combination of girls who won silver at Brit Champs this year, following a silver at Nat Schools in championship girls coxless fours with Kay instead of Jonsson, and although none of the crew were selected for GB this year therefore leading me to believe that this is their second boat, the Henley girls’ work in crew boats has always looked to gel very well compared to their competitors. Having qualified for the Diamond Jubilee at HRR, it will be interesting to see how their sweep compares to their sculling, and I therefore expect them to be very close to Emanuel in terms of speed on the weekend. Henley had a double win in junior girls fours and quads at fours head last year, and I am certain they will be aiming to do it again.

St Paul’s Girls’ School- Cowan, Kirkpatrick, Lawless, Valt

With SPGS having seen huge improvements in their programme over the last few years, particularly with sweep, this combination is likely to be fast. Three members of the crew won bronze at Nat Schools in the CHG4-, less than half a second off three of the members of the previously mentioned Henley crew, and later on placed 5th at Brit Champs. There seems to be a slight crew change, with Thomson being replaced by Cowan, although Cowan performed well at Brit Champs in the summer in J16 singles, coming a respectable 6th overall. Therefore I am sure this crew will be put out a solid performance, and set down a marker off which to improve for the rest of the season.

LEH-Snelling, Breeze, Benson, Taylor

This boat looks to contain many of LEH’s successful J16’s from last season. These four girls formed stern four of the 8+ that won bronze in the J168+ at National Schools, so they will have been rowing together for a while which, over the long Fours Head course, could really count for some speed. As well as this, some of the crew represented GB at the annual GB vs France match, showing that they definitely have the strength to put in a decent, but perhaps not winning, performance on Saturday.

Marlow- Taylor, Matthews, Strudwick, Claridge

After starting out their season with a trip to Head of the Charles where this crew came a respectable 14th, I’m sure Marlow will be aiming to put down a dominant result on Saturday. Some of the Brit Champs results from members of this crew include a silver in J16 pairs, 5th in junior quads and 6th in junior fours, showing that this Marlow crew should certainly be capable of putting out a decent result against some home competition.

Headington- Douglas, Butler, Dunmore, Smith

Headington have dominated junior womens sweep with wins in championship eights at Nat schools for the past 8 years. Having said this, I am certain this four is not made up of girls who will be in their top eight, so whilst the Headington program is very strong, these girls will still most likely struggle against the crews ranked more highly from other strong boat clubs. Three members of this crew came 53rd at Head of the Charles, quite a way off Marlow so whilst I’m sure that any crew from Headington would always aim to perform well, I doubt they’ll have the speed to match the top crews.

Predictions:

  1. Emanuel
  2. Henley
  3. St Paul’s Girls’
Pairs Matrix