Hampton Small Boats Head 2017 – WJ17 1x

As it always is with single scull races, you can’t win with only the steering or only the power, you need to have both and be able to successfully apply these skills to the water. The 3000m course may not be a challenge for many rowers in comparison to other races they will be taking part in at the moment so the distinguishing feature between winning and not could lie within the steering. While the course isn’t straight, with one large bend, with the correct preparation it shouldn’t be too difficult. With 45 boats entered in this category, it is one of the biggest categories in the head and it looks like it could be full of lots of very strong competitors. The category has been split over the 2 divisions and it will be interesting to see how the times from the two halves compare. Despite the large number of competitors, there are very few results available from previous races and so first place could be open to anyone. While I’m focusing on the rowers who have represented GB and therefore have results available, it could be that it will be the rowers with fewer results that win either due to the secrecy of their ability giving them the advantage of being a hidden threat to other racers or as they may have been training the hardest in order to prove themselves.
Of the 51 junior rowers (of which 23 were female) selected to compete in the J16 GB v France match in July, this race features 8 of the girls. LTU- Andersen, LTU- Lloyd, LTU- Matthews and LTU- Seal raced in the quad while PHS-Miles raced in the four. MAR- Bellamy raced in the eight and LEH-Witt went as a racing spare. Racing in a single and who I consequently believe will be the winner in this event is SHP- Morgan. While she was piped to the post by the french single by 5 seconds, to get to this level proves her excellence in a single. At the EIDs last weekend, she finished 5th giving us a good idea of what she is capable of.
The GB quad from Latymer Upper school won gold with a convincing race and it will be interesting to see how this skill in the quad transfers into a single. LTU-Andersen, LTU-Lloyd and LTU-Seal were successful when racing for the older age category at Henley as well as their own and I imagine this will give them a high chance of reaching the top competitors in this race. PHS-Miles has shown strength in a four, breaking a course record at Henley Women’s earlier this year and it will be very interesting to see how she compares sculling. Also more accustomed to sweep boats, MAR- Bellamy won in her eight at the GB v France match and it will also be interesting to see how this transfers into a single.
LEH-Witt will have an advantage over many of the other rowers due to her familiarity with the course due to it being her regular training stretch of river. Other tideway clubs such as Tideway Scullers school are likely to provide high results in comparison to those who don’t have as much competence in dealing with the river.
While Headington school haven’t given us names for their 3 singles in this category, I imagine that at least one of their rowers will reach the top 10. They have done well both sculling and sweeping over the last year and currently have many strong WJ17 scullers. I imagine that if any of these rowers were in their successful WJ16 quad last year, they are likely to be more successful than those rowers who were in the eight which gained dominance throughout the regatta season.
Prediction: SHP-Morgan to win with rowers from Latymer Upper school taking the following places. I also expect good results from LEH-Witt but am expecting surprise results.