Quintin Head 2018 – WJ18 8+

Quintin Head is the first Tideway head of the new year as the big winter races- Women’s and Schools Heads- draw imminently closer. There are a few more entries in WJ18 8+ than we saw last year, and with an entry from consistent performers LEH, it will be a good opportunity for others to gauge where they are at this point in the season and for the coxes to get the crucial experience steering this course ahead of the big events to come.

St Paul’s Girls’ School

The girls from SPGS had a much improved head season last year comparative to previous years, racing a J18 eight for a second consecutive season after a long hiatus. They were 2nd at Quintin last year, although arguably amongst a much less competitive entry, but went on to place 4th in junior eights at WEHORR with their best overall placing to date. Unusually, they only raced a four at Wallingford so I’d expect their senior squad doesn’t have the depth we’d hope to see for them to continue racing a senior eight. For that reason, I’d suspect this is a J16 composite. They did have a large cohort of J15s last season, so their performance on Saturday will depend on how well they can take the older girls’ experience on board as they face a much more competitive category.

Godolphin and Latymer 

Godolphin started last season in the eight, but chose to drop to a coxed four from School’s Head for the the remainder of he season with much more success. They have a strong four at the moment, so it will be interesting to see how this translates into the eight and whether this could be their priority racing crew this year.  Their coxed four was second at both Wallingford and Fours Head, both times behind crews from Henley RC. Whilst a fairly long way behind the strong winning crew at HOR4s, they were only 5 seconds ahead of LEH, and I imagine LEH will have the advantage of greater depth when they move into eights.

Emanuel 

Emanuel have not raced much so far this season. They scratched their coxed four at Fours Head, which I would assume was their top boat, with a quad placing 19th in WJ18 4x. Last year’s J16 group placed a respectable 6th at National Schools, but with what seems to be a smaller squad after last year’s Quintin entry of  two mixed eights and their second quad placing a long way off some of the girls they will be racing here, they will most likely struggle to finish at the top of this event.

Latymer Upper 

There has been talk of Latymer potentially racing an eight this year for some time and it looks like Quintin will be their first opportunity to set a benchmark. Latymer are best known for being scullers rather than sweep rowers, so it is hard to predict how they’ll fare in this category. They have shown they have two strong quads to work with this year, with their J16 and J17 girls who finished 2nd & 4th and 3rd respectively at National Schools transitioning into this season well, with two Latymer quads posting the 2nd and 7th fastest times out of the juniors at Four’s Head. Whether or not they continue to race this category or this is just for race experience, many will be interested to see how Latymer perform this weekend.

Lady Eleanor Holles School

Last year we saw LEH race the eight very little throughout the head season, but this didn’t appear to set them back too much, with a 3rd place finish at School’s Head. Perhaps their lack of race experience caught up with them, however, as after a quiet spring, they lost out on matching their SHORR performance at National Schools to Becket in the late stages of the final, where they finished 4th. They’ve started this year well, with some good results including a win at Pairs Head. They slightly under performed at Fours Head after last season’s 3rd place finishes in both categories, finishing 4th in WJ18 4+ and only 9th in WJ18 4x. I’d still expect them to be fast, but maybe not as dominant as they might’ve been in previous years.

 

Prediction:

LEH

Godolphin

Latymer 

RockOver