Hampton Small Boats Head 2017 – WJ18 1x

Hampton Small Boats Head is another race which gives an overview of how crews are shaping up to the new season. The WJ18 1x category is looking very popular this year, with many strong competitors entered. Many of the competitors in this category have been racing each other since the start of the season, most recently at Wallingford and Henley Long Distance Sculls, so this race will allow for an insight into how the competition is hotting up.


Henley RC

Once again, Henley is dominating the entries for this race. Having taken the top two spots at the GB Junior Early ID Assessment at Boston last weekend, both Lottie Orr and Georgie Robinson Ranger are clearly going to be the ones to beat in this category. Mary Wright is also a talented sculler, racing at this year’s Munich Regatta, and winning her pairs race. Similarly, Issy Jonsson appears to be doing well, with wins in both the eight and four in recent races. Though there is no information on Jonsson’s success in the single scull, I’m sure that these entries from Henley will be calling the shots in this race.


Headington School

Headington School have most definitely proved their credentials of late, with successes at National Schools’ Regatta, Maidenhead Regatta and the GB Junior Trials. Smith, Douglas and Dunmore are the three entries for this race, and though there is no specific information about the three competitors entered, the standard set by Headington rowers is always very high, suggesting that they will be up for the challenge set by the Henley girls.


Magdalen College School

MGN has two competitors entered for this category. Both Millard and Sharp have experience racing, having previously raced each other at this year’s Gloucester Spring Head in WJ18 1x and again Marlow Town Regatta in IM3 single sculls, with Gabby Millard taking the win. With a very strong tradition of rowing and producing quality rowers, it will be very interesting to see how these two cope with the competition provided from this category.


Lady E Holles RC

Another school with a strong rowing tradition, LEH has five competitors entered. Most recently they, like Henley, sent two rowers to the GB trials in Boston, and have also enjoyed successes at this year’s Wallingford LDS, Reading SBH and Pairs Head. Historically, LEH crews have performed better in crew boats, so it will be interesting to see how they do in this category.


Marlow RC

Marlow’s junior women’s squad is doing very well, with recent wins at Henley Women’s Regatta and National School’s Regatta. Four of their WJ17 rowers have been part of the GB junior team, demonstrating the high level of coaching and dedication within the club. In fact, Marlow’s junior women’s coach Bret King coached the women’s pair at this year’s World Junior Rowing Champs, demonstrating his skill as a junior coach. The three entries for this race – Bourne, Fennell and Antioco – will definitely provide tough competition, with Charlotte Fennell stroking the women’s junior four at August’s World Junior Rowing Championships.


Kings School Ely

KSE have been doing well with their women’s squad in recent races. Emma Fowler was part of the coxless four which won the International Belgium Junior Championships in May. Though there is no information about the successes of the other competitor entered, KSE are carving out their position as a high achieving club as proven by their sending two rowers to the British Rowing Junior Championships in July. Their composite crew won the U16 women’s quad, with other KSE rowers coming in the top ten for their races. It looks as though there could be some strong competition provided by these girls as well.


Kingston RC

As one of the country’s oldest rowing clubs, Kingston’s squads have a very strong reputation, proving their credentials in both national and international races. Most recently, Kingston’s junior squad demonstrated their strength and ability at National Schools’ Regatta, winning a silver and a gold medal, and followed that success up with seven wins at this year’s Teddington Head. With only one entry for the race, Kingston are clearly hoping that their strong start to the season will stand them in good stead here.


Kings School Canterbury

KCA is definitely going for the win with their single entry to the draw. Tilly Abbott previously won her race in the single scull at Barnes and Mortlake Regatta in June, and most recently raced at the GB trials in Boston, last weekend, also in the single scull. Their strong training programme and increasing success over the past few seasons suggests that she will perform well in the coming race, particularly given the experience and confidence boost of racing at the ID Assessment.


Surbiton High School

Surbiton High School’s rowing has gone from strength to strength since their acquisition of their own boathouse in 2013. The squad has had success at races such as National Schools’, Henley Women’s, Henley Royal and National Championships, and most recently had one pupil take home two gold medals from the 2015 Coupe de la Jeunesse as part of the GB women’s quad. With one competitor entered for the race, it will be interesting to see how SBT’s method of coaching will paid off this weekend.


Twickenham RC

Twickenham’s entry, Lindo, has previously raced at this year’s Wallingford LDS in the WJ18 single sculls category. Though she missed out on medals here, in May she won the women’s novice singles at Walton and Weybridge Regatta. Twickenham’s junior squad has raced at National Schools’, the Ball Cup and Bedford Head, showing the club’s decision to provide frequent racing experience, which can only bring further successes.


Norwich School RC

NSC have been racing prolifically over the past season. The NSC competitor for this category, Anna Herrmann, won the women’s junior single scull at Bedford Autumn Head, and has also raced as part of the school’s junior women’s quad. I look forward to seeing how Herrmann does when faced with such strong competition.


Tideway Scullers School

TSS is known for its ability to produce world class level scullers, so I’m sure that Lawrence will perform well in this race. Having come second in the WJ17 single sculls at last year’s Scullers Head, and fourth in the same category at last year’s Hampton SBH, she is definitely capable of achieving a top position in this race.


I imagine that the top spots will be taken by the three Henley girls, with Marlow’s Charlotte Fennell and KCA’s Tilly Abbott providing strong competition.