Henley Long Distance Sculls 2017 – J18 1x (Band 1)

At any racing event, rowing in a singles category is usually known to be one of toughest things to manage as these categories are usually extremely competitive. With a total of 93 single scullers entered in the open J18 single at Henley Sculls this year, it makes this category insanely challenging and will therefore make it extremely hard to place highly in the rankings. For those scullers looking to do well, an extremely quick time will be required on the 3000m upstream course.

As this category is so large, it is split into 3 bands and I will be previewing the first of these three groups within the category. I will therefore not be able to make any final predictions for this category, however I will be able to identify which of the scullers entered into this band should post the faster times in the overall category.

 

Reading Rowing Club- Pratt

Will Pratt placed a respectable 6th out of 42 scullers in J17 1x at the recent Reading Small Boats Head and he will therefore be looking to post a quick time down the Henley stretch. However, with 92 other scullers entered and the step up from J17 to J18 to contend with, he may well struggle in this category, despite his strong technical ability.

 

Globe Rowing Club

Globe Rowing Club are now known to be becoming a stronger force to be reckoned with, especially in sculling boats. Richardson and Offiler were both part of the quad which reached Day 3 of the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta last season, although Richardson’s 5th place finish in J18 championship 2x at Pairs Head was somewhat disappointing, and this could indicate these two scullers may be slower than expected. Kirk was part of Globe’s J16 quad last season which managed to receive a highly commendable silver medal at National Schools Regatta and he will therefore be looking to achieve an extremely quick time. Hughes also appears to be a respectable sculler, placing 1st in Intermediate J16 2x at the recent Pairs Head, however the step up from J16 to J18 racing means that Hughes is likely to struggle and will probably post one of the slower times in this competitive category.

 

Henley Rowing Club 

Henley Rowing Club have a total of four scullers entered into this category, with all of them occupying the first band of competitors. Both Turnell and Issa were part of the J16 quad which represented Henley Rowing Club at the National Schools’ Regatta last season and achieved a gold medal in the event, and therefore these two guys will be looking to achieve an extremely quick time in this category. Ethan O’Connor has recently moved from Maidenhead Rowing Club to Henley RC and he is therefore likely to bring speed and experience to an already well-drilled outfit. This is evidenced in O’Connor’s recent exploits in a double which placed third in J18 championship 2x at Pairs Head. Sidgwick placed a decent 16th out of 42 at the recent Reading Small Boats Head but is unlikely to be as fast as the other scullers from his club as he was in the J16 second quad at National Schools Regatta last May. All that said, the crew in question did still manage to win gold!

 

Star and Arrow Rowing Club

With the Henley stretch being Star and Arrow’s home stretch of water, the four scullers representing the club in band 1 will be at a distinct advantage to some of their competitors when it comes to taking the fastest racing line down the course. Eilers placed 1st in J18 1x at Reading Small Boats Head and this therefore sets him up to be posting one of the fastest times in this category. Murphy and Pikelis also did similarly well at the recent Reading Small Boats head where they both placed in the top 5 spots in J17 single, with Eilers also winning the J17 1x category. Smeeton placed 11th in J18 1x at Reading Small Boats Head and despite him still posting an extremely respectable time, this would indicate that he may be slightly slower than some of his fellow club members who are racing.

 

Marlow Rowing Club

Marlow Rowing Club have three scullers listed in Band 1 of this colossal category. Long placed a commendable 5th out of 41 in J18 1x at Reading Small Boats Head, however this would indicate that he isn’t up to the speed of some of the members of Star and Arrow club who he will be racing against. In the same category, Marshall placed a respectable 13th place with Collett a way behind in 24th place, which would indicate that Long will be fighting for one of the top spots in the rankings in this category, whilst Marshall and Collett will be looking to put in a solid performance and improve on their results from the recent Reading Small Boats Head.

 

Latymer Upper School Boat Club

Latymer have played their cards close to their chest so far this season having not entered any previous races. However, they are bound to have got some good training done over the last couple of months, with the boat club also visiting Dorney Lake over the half term to get some extra training sessions in. Latymer have entered this category in force, with nine scullers being listed in Band 1. Morgan, Phelps and Mcchesney were all in the championship quad which reached Day 3 of the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta last season, and these three scullers in particular will be looking to place at the top of the field on Saturday,

 

Eton College Boat Club

With Eton College being more orientated to rowing in sweeping boats opposed to sculling, I wouldn’t expect these three scullers listed in Band 1 to be achieving the fastest times in this category. However, Ridgewell was in the Championship eight which won a gold medal at National Schools Regatta last season and reached the semi finals of Henley Royal Regatta and he is therefore likely to have a strong ergo and be able to achieve a decent speed in a single. Taylor and Hall were both part of the Eton College second eight last season and they both finished in respectable positions at Reading Small Boats Head, with Hall placing 10th and Taylor placing 15th in J18 1x. Ridgewell also raced in this category and placed 20th, which would suggest that Taylor and Hall are likely to be faster than Ridgewell in the event this Saturday.

 

Metcalf and Ashforth-Pook are also listed in Band 1 of this category and will be representing Radley College Boat Club. As Radley are known to be slightly technically weaker than other clubs, usually playing rugby in the winter before coming into rowing in the summer, I would expect these two competitors to be slightly slower than some of the other scullers in the rest of the field who will have a higher technical ability.

Other scullers entered in this category include Nicholas Keunstler from the American School In London and Smith from Royal Grammar School Worcester. Looking at these scullers previous results, I expect these guys to be slower than some of the other scullers entered and therefore don’t expect them to be posting the fastest times in this category.

As this category is so large, it’s going to be really tough to achieve one of the fastest times and one of the top spots in the results and it’s pretty impossible to predict who will come out on top! Good luck to all the scullers racing in this incredibly competitive category!

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