Hampton Head 2017 – J16 8+

This event is likely to be the second competitive race between these young lads in the J16 Category, with Quintin being the first. The race is taking place on the idyllic stretch of river set in front of the millennium boat house and it is approximately 3000m in distance. There are 12 entries into this race.

Westminster School

Westminster are sending out the thought provokingly named ’17ws16 8′ J16 boat  to race at Hampton this weekend. Fielding the one eight as they did at Quintin, would lead you to believe that they are sending out their top athletes again, to do the business. With a strong performance on the tideway with them to winning Quintin Head, they should look to emulate this performance on the calmer waters above the Molesey lock.

Radley College

Not normally the school to be seen fielding J16 8’s. As we have seen in the past there has been a distinct absence of Radley J16 boats as they usually prefer to pool them into their senior squad. Radley coaches keeping this group separate from the seniors can only mean one thing, that they are sure these 16’s are in for a shot of silverware in the big events this season. There are no signs currently that this wouldn’t be the case with last weeks performance putting them just behind Westminster who certainly are one of the favourites for the top spot. So with both Radley and Westminster on unknown water its up for grabs.

St. Pauls School

St. Pauls known notoriously for their fierce head racing ability, look to be fielding a set of matched eights as they did last weekend under the names of ‘Black’ and ‘White’. As mentioned in other previews the boys within these units are very impressive. With the likes of Parish, Eaton and Doyle, all of whom have been impressive in the early trials process even at such a young age. The two eights last weekend fared well considering they were matched coming 3rd and 5th with less than 10 seconds separating them. Without the home water advantage however we should see how they perform with crews more used to the conditions that the Molesey stretch provides.

Hampton School

On home water this crew should make a formidable match up for Westminster. After coming 4th behind one of the Pauls crews, Hampton should look to take their knowledge of the stretch to try to assail and reverse the result that a matched boat put on them down on the tideway. This School with its numbers and facilities certainly could produce a very fine J16 8, and with a 5th place at Nat schools in the J15 Ch8 they have a good platform to build on.

Latymer Upper

An interesting entry this one, as the crew will undoubtedly contain 4 of the oarsmen who took the gold in the J15 4+1. Now what makes it interesting is the fact that last year Latymer opted out of J15 CH8’s but chose to field two fours. You would think that this would be because they only had 4 strong athletes and the rest were average, however their second boat not only won J15 4+2 but they also came 5th in the final. So with the two fours combining it will be very interesting to see how this boat goes in what would be a step up from fours to the big leagues in the 8.

Other mentions  

Bedford Modern School, London Oratory School, Dulwich and Oratory all have a crew racing here, its hard to see these crews pushing up and on with these more well established Championship programmes, with BMS, LOS and Dulwich falling behind last weekend at Quintin. Kingston Grammar may perform well here as they train on near enough the same stretch as Hampton so will know the water. Big hitters in the championship world Eton will be down this weekend as well, however they are not known in J16s in particular, for rowing long distances well and preferring to grunt it down a shorter course, this coupled with possible matched 8s will mean they are unlikely to contend.

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