National Schools’ Regatta 2017 – J16 Girls First Eights

National Schools’ Regatta is finally upon us! After a year of preparation every crew is ready to give its best performance at the largest junior regatta. With 12 entries this category is not massive by NSR standards. Saying that, it is certainly a big enough category that there will be fierce racing with entries from many clubs that we have already seen dominating the junior scene this season. Throughout the regatta season there have been limited chances for these boats to race against one another with limited WJ16 8+ events. This will therefore be a chance to see the top eights and who will be looking to be at the top next year moving into championship eights. Nearly all of the crews entered have placed first at some point over the season in their respectable events so there will certainly be some stiff competition. I am going to be looking at the crews which I think are going to do best in this category.


Latymer Upper School look as though they have a very strong selection of J16 girls and have been dominating every regatta which they attend. Latymer came second to Henley at Marlow Spring Regatta in the eights event. Last year this crew won the WJ15 8+ category so if they have continued to grow over the year they may well be able to repeat that result this year. At Nottingham City regatta Latymer entered two quads which are quite likely to make up the eight. These two boats placed first and second respectively. They look as likely contenders for the win and will certainly be targeting a top three finish.


Headington School had affirmed their spot as a top club and always manage to produce a strong eight in this category. At Hampton head during the head season this crew placed first in the WJ16 8+ event. Although there are limited results to show they have been racing in this eight this crew has recently been delivering constantly in both the four and quad events. At Wallingford regatta these girls raced in WJ18 events and placed near the top. There is every suggestion that this will be a strong eight looking to finish in the top three.


Henley RC came first at Marlow spring regatta but have few other results in sweep boats to look at. They have constantly placed well in sculling boats and have a great depth of rowers. They have been going from strength to strength over the course of the regatta season and I imagine that they will want to place in the top three.


Another two crews who have had wins recently in the eight are Putney High School who won at Bedford amateur regatta beating Emanuel School. In a quad Putney won gold at junior sculling regatta so if those girls are part of the eight it could be a very strong boat. After the loss at Bedford amateur regatta Emanuel School went on to come first at Putney town regatta.


Other crews to note are Godolphin and Latymer School who look to have had a lot of chances to race recently in this eight. This could be valuable experience going into the event on Saturday. Lady Eleanor Holles don’t seem to have had many recent results but always seems to have strong sweep boats so should have a good eight.


This looks as though it will be a very fast division with nearly all of the boats challenging for the top places. I think it will be very close and will certainly showcase some of the top talent. With limited results over the season that are comparable it is a very hard one to predict but I think that the top three in no particular order will be Latymer Upper School, Headington School and Henley RC.


Good Luck to all crews racing over the weekend!