Oarsport Junior Sculling Head 2017 – WJ18 4X

The Scullery is a 3600m race split into two 1800m legs, and while it maintains the endurance of head races, it brings in the shorter, 2K style sprints of the summer regatta season. Many crews will have raced at the Schools Head the day before, so it is essential that those looking for a high finishing position recover well, and pace the race correctly, or they could risk blowing up on the second leg. It will also be a great marker for summer racing coming up, especially National Schools in 2 months, also taking place at Dorney, so I’m excited to see the results.

Headington have continued to dominate junior womens’ racing this year, and have shown their strength amongst senior crews too, with an impressive 13th at WEHORR. They’ve picked up a solid win at Hammersmith Head, and 3rd in IM1 at Fours Head (with a time that would’ve won the junior category), already showing their strength in the quad. 3 crews have been entered, and considering the depth of their squad, all will be looking to rank highly. The top quad will definitely be aiming to repeat last year’s win in this event, and I think they’ll be pretty tough to beat.

Another consistently successful club in junior women’s rowing, and with just 6 seconds between Headington at WEHORR, Henley will definitely be looking to keep up with them. Winning the pennant for WJ4X at Fours Head, and coming 3rd at Hampton Head, they’ve certainly proved their position as one of the top quads, however Headington have constantly held a slight lead. With 2 crews entered, I suspect both will rank highly, but I’m doubtful that they will be able to snatch the win of Headington.

LEH have previously competed mostly in sweep events, but this year switched over to sculling, and have taken this change in their stride. They came 3rd at Fours Head, and 4th at Hampton Head, setting a strong benchmark for their quad racing. 2 crews are entered, and although they may not have the experience of some of the faster clubs, I reckon LEH will have at least one crew within the top 10, and should be looking to close up the margins between the top crews.

Marlow haven’t been at many smaller head races, but have put down some strong markers at larger events; they came 2nd at Fours Head (11s behind Henley), and demonstrated the depth of their squad at Pairs Head, with both 3rd and 5th place going to Marlow. These results definitely indicate massive skill and strength in sculling, and I think this quad could be pretty rapid. There is still a gap between crews like Henley, but on a shorter distance, Marlow may be able to close in on them. I suspect this crew won’t be far off the top spots.

Another club transitioning to sculling; St Pauls have previously shown strong results in the 4+, and look to be focusing on their 8+ for SHORR. However, their quad have already had shown a lot of strength, with a win at Hammersmith Head. I suspect this is another crew who will work into the top 10.

Although they haven’t been in many large head races, they won WJ18 4X at Head of the Trent by a large margin, and have previously shown some good results, including 4th and 8th in OJSH last year, indicating depth throughout the squad. I’m not certain how they will fare against other crews, as there is little to compare, but I think a top 10 finish would be a good benchmark.

These clubs all had quads racing at Hampton, finishing 6th, 7th and 8th respectively, and all within 5s of each other. These crews should be aiming at top 10 finishes, and I’m interested to see how they’ll compare in the results.

All crews placed within the top 10 at Fours Head (5th, 8th, 9th respectively). Again, they should be going for a spot in the top 10 in this event.

It is also worth mentioning Glasgow Academy – they haven’t been at any large head races this year, and unfortunately I haven’t found any other local events – however, they came 3rd at OJSH last year, and their girls quad had a very strong season, coming 2nd at National Schools and competing at HRR. If this seasons crew is anything like last seasons, they could definitely perform well in this event.

For the top 3, I predict Headington to take the win, closely followed by Henley, and 3rd for Marlow.

Good Luck to all crews racing!