Fours Head 2017 – Women’s Junior Quads Part 1

This is the first major race of the year and the results will set a real benchmark of who to watch throughout the season to come. Henley RC ‘did the double’ last year, with a win in both junior quads and fours, so I’m sure they’ll be looking to have that same success this time around.


Henley RC

Henley are current holders of both junior pennants, and with the majority of their top athletes returning again this year, I’m certain they’ll want to keep hold of those titles. Regrettably mentioning fierce rivals Headington, both of these clubs have dominated the junior women’s rowing scene in recent times and demonstrate the fairly unique ability to be at the top of the game in both sweep and sculling. Orr is undoubtedly a talented sculler, part of the quad that just missed out on a Junior Worlds medal this summer, alongside Robinson-Ranger, who took home a bronze and silver medal from Coupe in the double scull. Both of these girls return from last year’s winning crew in this event, alongside Hahn, who really proved herself as a strong sculler since she was still only a J16 this time last year. Now with some international success under their belts, I’d be very surprised to see anyone come in the way of Henley regaining this pennant this year.


Latymer Upper

Latymer have a strong reputation as scullers and have consistently produced quick junior girls’ quads for a number of years now. Last year’s top crew earned a bronze medal at National Schools’ in a very competitive event, as well as qualifying for Henley Royal Regatta; although their campaign was rather unexpectedly cut short in the first round at the hands of a crew from local rivals, Godolphin & Latymer. Meanwhile, their J16s placed 2nd and 4th at NSR in quads, so there seems to be a lot of young talent coming up into the senior age group this year. They have a quad entered in the WU23 4x category, with the members of last year’s top quad split across both crews. It is hard to tell, but this could mean the new J17s are very strong, or I might suspect this indicates either mixed quads or a late substitution into one of the categories. Whatever they decide to do, I would expect this crew to be fast and hot on the heels of Henley, so it will be very interesting to see how close they can get.


Lady Eleanor Holles

LEH have featured nearer the top end of junior women’s rowing for some time, but certainly have a more concrete reputation for their sweep ability rather than their sculling. They performed well in quads last season, with a 4th place finish at the competitive Junior Sculling Head as well as taking 3rd place in both categories at last year’s Fours Head. At Henley Royal Regatta, their quad was knocked out by eventual finalists Isle of Ely on the Thursday, however, qualification in itself in the Diamond Jubilee is quite the challenge. The King sisters in this crew had success recently at Pair’s Head, taking a dominant victory in junior women’s pairs over a strong Henley crew, but in quads here Henley undoubtedly have the upper hand. LEH should be placing somewhere in the top 5, but with some other strong crews in the draw such as Headington, they might not quite equal last year’s result.


Tideway Scullers School

TSS have had consistent success in recent years amongst the younger J15/6 age groups, but we haven’t seen many entries from them in this age group for the last few seasons in boat classes bigger than doubles. As well as holding onto the vast majority of their athletes, many girls made the move to TSS with the reduction of Thames RC’s junior programme, so they now find themselves with a huge junior women’s squad. This crew looks to be fairly young, including Goodall who was part of last year’s J16 quad that won bronze medals at Brit Champs, along with White, who won a bronze medal at National Schools’ in J154x+ as well as a silver medal at Brit Champs in that event. This may be a big step up for them into this more competitive age group, now racing girls with a lot of experience, but they definitely show a lot of potential as a crew and it will be interesting to see how high they can rank in this event.



Marlow are quite similar to LEH in that they have a solid set of past performances in the eight, but have a less prominent presence in junior women’s sculling, with no entry at National Schools or Henley Royal Regatta last year. Last season, they raced a quad very successfully at the beginning of the year, winning a bronze medal in WJ184x+ at Head of the Charles and were 2nd in this Four’s Head category. This early form however didn’t extend throughout the season, as they chose not to continue regularly racing in this boat class in the summer. Fennell is probably the standout athlete of this crew, racing at the Junior World Championships this summer in the four. I can’t see them matching their result last year here, but they should be aiming for the top few spots in this event.