Quintin Head 2017- J18 8+

It’s here, the first big showdown for the top schools to lay down an early marker for the Schools Head of the River. After the cancellation of BASHER, it will be the first time we see the stalwarts of the rowing scene do battle (does Wallingford really count?) but, counter-intuitively, not everyone is coming for a race that is half the Schools Head course in the wrong direction. The schools who have come are mainly tideway schools (with the exception of Radley) and there are the prestigious names of Westminster, St Pauls and Radley in the field. But this field is more open then it may look upon casual observance, for both Westminster and St Pauls have crews racing in higher categories and Radley appears to have two matched eights.

So the win is up anyone.


Despite this being a second eight, expect it to be fast. After-all last year Westminster’s second eight had a time which would have placed them 7th in the A final of Champ 8+s and one member of that boat went to the Coup de la Jeunesse, something most school first eights cannot do. They will be fast but possibly not quite up there for the win.

St Pauls

Likewise, this is probably a second eight (unless there is some dodgy matched eight entering) and St Pauls has a less prestigious second eight history, so will probably fill out the middle pack in the finishing results. However they are on home water and will still be well drilled, so could surprise.

Kings College

This is most likely a first eight and if they have any Championship eight ambitions this year should be looking to win this and win it comfortably. If they’re on form they should definitely win, especially since they are likewise on home water and cannot blame a loss on the cox.


Radley have two matched eights, so expect them to be matched and probably in the high end of the finishing list. It is also worth saying that Radley tend to build their season and are not often in the best of shapes at this stage of the year.

The rest of the draw is filled up by St Georges School, Emanuel, Bedford and London Oratory, who could possibly (very possibly) surprise but given recent history are likely to be propping up the finishing list.

Well that is it, the first main head of the year is slightly lacking in entries from the major schools (even Latymer haven’t put out an eight) but should provide some interesting results if nothing else.