Hampton Head 2017 – WJ16 8+

Hampton Head remains one of the most competitive junior head races of the season, and the 7 eights entered here will be looking to put in a good result ready for the schools head and regatta season. Unfortunately, some of the top crews in this event, such as Latymer Upper, Headington and Henley have chosen to race the WJ16 4x instead but considering the quality of the event we’ll still be seeing a good race.


Leading the field is Haberdashers and it’s going to be interesting to see how they place considering we haven’t seen much of this eight in the past. At last year’s National Schools’, they placed 2nd in the D Final of the J15 8+, and so will be looking to improve on this coming into the larger head races. I can’t see them being too competitive based on last season, but a lot can change moving up an age group.

Sir William Perkins

Racing next is Sir William Perkins, who put in a shock at last year’s National Schools’ when they took a surprise silver in the J15 G8+. This crew has really upped their pace recently and will be looking to build on the success of last regatta season. With many of the other top WJ16 eights absent they will be looking to take the win here and definitely have the potential.

Lady Eleanor Holles

LEH haven’t had the best track record in this age group so far compared to previous years, but as a powerhouse rowing school I’m sure they have the ability to change this. After taking 4th at the School’s Head and 2nd at Hampton in the WJ15 8+ last year, they only managed to win the B final at National Schools, which must have been a disappointment. This of course may have just been a blip in performance, and considering the speed this eight has had at the head races I think they may be able to put in a good result, especially after their recent win at Weybridge Head.

St Pauls Girls School

This crew has raced quite frequently in the eight recently, but so far are yet to find a real turn of speed. At NSR they finished 3rd in the C Final, but more recently came 3rd at Wallingford Head behind Latymer and Henley, two very strong crews. They also won Quintin Head, beating Weybridge and Putney High, although admittedly their time was a minute slower than the WJ15 winners from Latymer. This crew seem to be building up some speed however and will be hoping to have another solid race at Hampton.

Weybridge RC

A new crew in this category, it’s great to see a club racing in a field dominated by schools. It’s hard to judge the speed of these girls, but after coming 2nd at both Quintin Head and Weybridge I think they still may be finding their feet in the eight. Nonetheless it will be interesting to see how they place come Saturday, although I do not believe they will be competitive with the top crews in the category.

Putney High School

Another crew who frequently race in the eights, these girls put in a good performance at National Schools’, where they finished 5th in the A Final. More recently they finished 3rd at Quintin, behind St Pauls and Weybridge, however considering the lengths they were beaten by I believe it might have been their second boat racing. If this is Putney’s top crew racing this weekend, they should be competitive with the field and may be in the mix.

Lea RC

A surprise entry but one for me that may be a contender. Whilst Lea were absent from NSR and I believe this may be the first time they have raced in an eight, they have been putting in some solid results in smaller boats and may have a chance in this category. Its difficult to tell but I think Lea may be in contention come Saturday.

Prediction – Considering their recent form it should be difficult for anyone to challenge Sir William Perkins, they are the only NSR medallists in the field and a top class crew. LEH will also be gunning for redemption and the win on home water and both Putney and Lea have potential to deliver a good result, but ultimately I think SWP will take the win.