Wallingford Head 2017 – WJ18 4+

Wallingford will be the first opportunity to race in eights for many this head season, so the draw tends to be stacked with more of these entries rather than fours as clubs very often choose to race in matched eights. This category has only 5 entries so will make for an close matchup.

 

Godolphin and Latymer – Colegrave & Macbeth

Godolphin have two crews entered here. They had a strong season last year,  including a successful National Schools’ Regatta with a win in both coxed fours and championship pairs, with their second pair featuring Colegrave listed on this entry placing 6th in the A final. After focusing on sweep for the majority of the season, they switched into the quad for Henley Royal Regatta, beating local rivals and NSR ChG4x bronze medalists Latymer in the first round, before being beaten by eventual finalists Isle of Ely.  At the recent Head of the River Fours, their A crew placed 2nd with their B crew a respectable 18th, so I would expect their top crew to be fast.

 

Henley RC – Fletcher

This appears to be Henley’s 3rd four with an eight entry in the same division, however, this by no means should signal to underestimate them. Henley have shown fantastic depth time and time again, and their WJ18 4+ B crew finished 3rd at HOR4s just behind Godolphin’s crew. This is a very positive result considering these girls would not be featured in their top 8+ at the moment. However, Fletcher actually stroked Henley’s top four at Four’s Head to a dominating win well clear of any other crew, so this is potentially not their 3rd four. Regardless, Henley have such a strong squad this year-highlighted by their recent domination at EIDs- so whoever is in this crew, I would expect a strong performance from them.

 

Latymer Upper – Fabrizio

Latymer are a club much more known for entering sculling rather than sweep, as we see them normally sticking to two quads rather than racing an eight (although they have been spotted training in an eight on the tideway…perhaps watch this space). Fabrizio raced a 4+ at Henley Women’s Regatta last summer, but they were knocked out by Marlow who led by 3.5 lengths. Latymer did race a crew in WJ18 4+ at HOR4s, where they finished 6th a little further behind the two aforementioned clubs. They should be looking to build on this performance, but may find it hard to make up the 10-15 second margin on Godolphin and almost a minute on Henley’s top four.

 

St.Paul’s Girls’ School – Douse

SPGS had some strong results in fours last year, breaking the course record alongside Henley at HOR4s 2016 and taking many wins across smaller head races in the latter part of the head season. However, we haven’t seen them hold onto this coming into this season, finishing a disappointing 12th in WJ18 4+ at Four’s Head a long way behind the winners. Whilst there is still plenty of time for them to make progress before the main body of summer racing begins, I would expect them to struggle here to match these crews.

 

Prediciton:

Henley RC to take the win, followed by Godolphin A and then Latymer.

 

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