Scullers Head 2016 – J18 1x

A big field of 28 scullers will race in the J18 category.  As all these scullers will know, racing on the infamous tideway is challenging, let alone in a single. On familar water crews from both Westminster and Tideway Scullers will hope to capitalise on the home field advantage. However, there are several big names who have recently performed very highly at the first GBRT assessment in Boston last weekend.

 

Laurence Joss- TSS

Fresh from a win in the single at Early I.Ds no one can question the ability of Laurence Joss.  He will be going into this race feeling confident and reassured knowing he will understand every twist and turn of the tideway. Last year he raced predominantly in sweep boats coming away with a silver in J16 4+ and NSR and a gold in J16 pairs at the British Junior Championships. Nonetheless, he stormed to victory in Boston meaning that he is arguably favourite this weekend.

Tom Smith- WBS

Tom was second behind Laurence last weekend in Boston and will look to overturn that result on Saturday.  Tom was a crucial part of the dominant quad that Windsor boys produced last season, falling in the final of the Fawley. Tom has had individual success in the GB system last year, forming part of the outstanding Coupe quad that won double gold.  As a very experienced sculler, I imagine Tom will be feeling confident going into this weekend in the hope he can get one up against his main competitor from Tideway Scullers.

Callum Sullivan- GLB

Another member of the 2016 Coupe Quad, Callum has developed extremely well since winning silver at NSR in 2015 in the J16 double.  Globe’s quad last season was unlucky not to qualify for the Fawley back in June, however, they will no doubt want to put that behind them and press on with this season’s plans.  A strong result at Early I.Ds has shown intial speed in the single, depsite being pipped by clubmate Sam Baker!  Come Saturday, I expect to see Callum amoungst the top scullers, but it will take  a huge effort to overthrow the favourites.

Tyler Skow- ASL

Tyler is yet another dominant sculler from Boston last weekend, bashing out an icredibly good performance.  Tyler has seen further success in the sinlge this season.  He placed 3rd in Youth Singles at HOCR and, on the domestic circuit, has won E2x at Wallingford LDS.  Clearly a sculler who is on form, Tyler will be a tough opponent for any and all who race J18 1x this weekend.

Matthew Day- BRX

Mat Day had some tough results earlier in last year’s season including 3rd place in the ‘D’ final of CH4x at NSR.  However, towards the end of the season, Mat proved himself to be the strong sculler many expect.  This culminated with a sliver in the J18 1x at the British Championships and a seat in the winning England Quad at Home Countries in Cardiff.  Although I don’t see Mat as a winner this weekend, I do think he will find himself near the top of the order.

James Beattie- KSW

James Stroked the strong quad from Kings’ Worcester throughout last season, finishing in the ‘B’ final at NSR & Marlow and ultimately qualfiying for the Fawley but falling to Abingdon in the first round.  This season has seen James race more in the single and so far, he’s come away with the win in J18 1x at Henley sculls a few weeks ago.  This shows he’s currently on form and will look to challenge for some of the top positons this weekend.

Marcus Jonas- TSS

Marcus is no stranger to success.  He raced in the Coupe 4- and won gold on both days.  This season has seen him step up and race in the Senior and U23 trials as he is ineligible to trial at Junior.  He placed 13th in LWT 1x.  I It will be extremely interesting to see how Marcus compares with the top athletes from Early I.Ds particularly his clubmate, Laurence Joss.  Given his credentials I fully expect to see Marcus towards the top of the results.  His knowledge of the Tideway  will be very useful to knock crucial seconds off his time.

Henry Jones, Will Allen, Will Dubin, Alex Green- WES

I have picked out all four of these scullers due to their outstanding resumes.  Henry Jones was Marcus’ crewmate in the dominant 4- at Coupe and this season has teamed up with Will Dubin, winner of 2nd 8s at NSR, this season to come away with  a win in J18 2x at Pairs head as well placing 3rd overall.  Alex Green was involved in the GB trialing process all of last season and ultimately was selected to compete at the Junior Worlds in the coxed 4.  Not to be out done, Will Allen also gained GB selection, this time in the Coupe pair and won gold and silver.  I see all four of these athletes performing very well on their hime stretch but I think Henty Jones will prevail out of these Westminster boys.  I don’t think clubmate Bouvier will have the speed to match the others from Westminster.

 

I would like to give a mention to Bryn Ellery of Windsor Boys.  He may be racing J17 but I expect to see him near the top of the J18 rankings.  A top 5 finish in the single at Early I.Ds as well as being a key part of the Windsor Fawley crew, This J17 will be a very tough match for even the best J18 scullers.

 

My Prediction…Laurence Joss and Marcus Jonas leading the way followed by Tom Smith and Tyler Skow

6 Man