Hampton Head 2018 – J16 4x

Hampton is one of the key staging posts on the way to the Schools’ Head. Raced over a 3000m course this event is where some of the bigger names of the junior rowing scene give a taste of what’s to come and other clubs look to put their names on the radar for the season. Also with J16 February assessments looming on the horizon race experience will be vital. The J16 4x field is made up of 26 crews with plenty of athletes doubling up in the morning division.

 

Henley RC

A two boat entry from Henley who are without doubt one of the powerhouses on the junior rowing scene. The first crew is entered under the name of Swinburn, who raced a quad at 4s Head earlier this year, placing 22nd in a field of crews two years senior to them. Racing amoungst those who are the same age should bode well for this crew. The second crew is under the name of Turnell. He was in Henley’s J16 quad last year and already has a junior vest under his belt from the GB France Match last year. He also stroked a quad to victory at this years Upper Thames autumn head over a similar distance to this course. With additions to the Henley squad Henley will no doubt have two very powerful quads here who will be looking for strong results near the front of the field.

 

Star and Arrow Club

This is essentialy a J16 crew from Leander Club. As such they should be a very strong crew. Leander qualified 3 crews for the Fawley cup last year with two J15s on board, who will be a part of this crew. They have already done some racing this year mainly in small boats with Joe Willis racing in Leander’s top boat at Fours Head  and winning J16 1x at Reading small Boats Head with Ed Sharp finishing 5th. I expect good things from this crew and they will no doubt be looking to win it.

 

Team Keane Sculling School

Quite a new name on the junior rowing scene but one who will no doubt be wanting to make their mark. A two boat entry suggests a good depth of squad. The crew entered under the name of Will raced at the Kingston Small Boats Head, where they did struggle, however time together in the boat will no doubt have a positive impact on their speed. Whilst I can’t find any mention of the second crew stroked by Fenhalls it’s worth noting that a second quad was entered at Kingston, which beat the aforementioned crew albeit by a small margin. Whether this is a crew order change or other reason I don’t know, but these two quads will be looking to get one over on the other and make a mark.

 

Tideway Scullers School

Just the one entry here from TSS but they do know a thing or two about fast J16 quads. Last years crew qualified for the Fawley at HRR as the Tideway Scullers’ B crew, making it to the Thursday. This crew, entered under the name of Oliver looks to be another good crew. Oliver placed 3rd in the J16 2x at Walton Small Boats Head this season, and then won the J15 1x at the same event. This indicates good small boat skill, though how this translates into the larger quad remains to be seen. Nevertheless I still expect a solid result from these guys, though maybe not a winning one.

 

Other notable mentions

Claire’s Court have two crews, though as a school they do tend to be somewhat inconsistent at this point in the year. Windsor Boys School likewise don’t tend to do a lot of racing before this point in the year, but always produce a solid outfit. Other crews such as Staines and Bewl Bridge are newer to the scene as well but should be competitive. Fianlly Sir William Borlase are not the force they once were on the junior sculling scene however that isn’t to say their crew won’t be solid and looking to ruffle some feathers.

 

Predictions

Over a short course in a quad, I think small margins are going to be the order of the day, and crews will need to have a near perfect row in order to place well in this event. In terms of a top 3, I can’t see past the crew from Star and Arrow, though they will have a fight from neighbours Henley RC, with their two crews looking to get one over on their clubmates. Tideway Scullers are a young crew but have good racing under their belt already this season so could force a surprise. Therefore I think the top 3 will be:

1. Star and Arrow Club

2. Henley RC (Turnell)

3. Tideway Scullers School

 

BowLoader

 

BowLoader