Schools’ Head 2017 – Championship Quads

The Schools’ Head of the River Race is the first opportunity for crews to challenge for rowing’s equivalent of the triple crown.  Last year, Claire’s Court took victory on the tideway and continued their fine form all the through to Henley where’s they won the Fawley Challenge Cup. This year there will be 43 quads hoping to start their ‘triple’ campaign, finishing head racing season on a high and laying down a big marker for regatta season.

 

Windsor Boys School

This quartet will undoubtedly be looking to win this event come Thursday. Windsor have proved how strong they are in small boats, with 1st and 3rd place at February Trials in the double scull as well as excellent single scull results at Sculler’s Head at Trials.  They will look to amend their narrow loss at Hampton Head earlier in the year as well as Reading University Head in order to move up from their third place finish at Fours Head, proving that they are capable of great things this season.

Lea 

Lea snatched victory at Hampton with the joint fastest time alongside Tideway Scullers, a mere two seconds ahead of Windsor. This was a significant result as it proved their quad is coming together nicely in time for SHORR. Early results in the season have also indicated this could be a strong year for Lea, with 9th at Fours Head and a 5th place finish for its top junior double at Pairs Head.  Consequently Lea will aim for one of the top positions on Thursday.

Tideway Scullers

Wth a strong selection of Trialists this year, TSS have a group of athletes that could form one of the strongest quads come regatta season.  One home water, they will look to take advantage of the all important stream. As with Lea, they will hope to build on their (joint) win at Hampton and give further evidence as to why they’re one of the top crews at the moment.

Leander 

Leander will have been bitterly dissapointed not to have won at Hampton but they will have undoubtedly raised their game since and this was proved at Reading University Head when they beat WBS by two seconds to win J18 4x.  What is unusual is that Leander have no athletes in the trialling system this year.  That being said, they clearly aren’t concerned about this given the results this season. Expect to see Leander around the top three, if not winning.

Maidenhead

Despite being 5s off the pace at Hampton, Maidenhead proved to be one of the top sculling programmes in the country by having three doubles place in top ten at February Trials.  Regardless of the crew combination, make no mistake, the Maidenhead quad will be quick and a win is certainly not out of the question.

Globe

Considering they had four trialists onboard, Globe will not have been particularly pleased with their result at Hampton Head, however, they turned that around with a relatively comfortable win a Kingston Head beating Kings School Canterbury’s top crew this year by 18s. It will be tough for Globe to win, a solid place in the top five or six crews would be a good showing.

Claire’s Court School

While they may not have the same speed that their Fawley winning crew had last season, with Trialist Ollie Costley still in the crew, this boat won’t be slow. 10th place at Hampton shows they still have work to do so its unlikely they will storm to victory on Thursday.

Marlow

The ‘Marlow Mafia’ as they like to call themselves may have finished 3rd at Reading Uni Head, but they were 21s behind Leander proving there is still work to do.  However, a 4th place finish for Ben Simon and Joe Wolfin at Feb Trials makes it clear that Marlow have very high aspirations for the year and although they won’t necessarily win this particular event, they are definitely not a crew you want to count out this early in the year.

Expect to see strong finishes from Northwich, Westminster and Kings Worcester too.

My Prediction…a win for either Windsor or Leander.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Man