The first major regatta of 2019 is tomorrow - the Junior Sculling Regatta, held at Eton Dorney. Amid the cancellation of other regattas this weekend because of the winds caused by Storm Hannah, everyone is hoping that the JSR will go ahead, not least because there are some pretty thrilling looking races.
Firstly we have the WJ18 events. In the quads, it is looking like the first of some pretty intense battles this season, moving towards the coveted 12 places in the Diamond Jubilee event at Henley. Last year’s Henley finalists Marlow have entered two crews, hoping to go one better than their second place at Fours Head earlier this season.
Other crews in the mix at the top of the draw for the times trials include Sir William Perkin’s School, Surbiton High School, Tideway Scullers School and first and second place crews from the Challenge event at Fours Head, Bedford Modern School and Hinksey Sculling School. In the doubles, it looks like another close race.
Gloucester Hartpury of previous junior women’s sculling success are entered, alongside other big names in this category including Walton, Molesey and two crews from Sir William Perkin’s School, whilst the draw for the WJ17 event is dominated by American School in London and Fulham Reach BC. Many established names in the single this season, such as Lauren Henry and Olivia Morgan, are racing at GB junior trials this weekend, so the field is small, and with only six crews progressing to side by side racing, the time trial will be especially important for these girls. The field is larger in the WJ17 singles, with 16 crews heading out to show what they can do.
On the boys side, the quads looks to be a pretty open field. Lea and Walton, third and fourth at the Junior Sculling Head respectively, are at the top of the draw, and those crews who beat them back in March are not racing here on Sunday. That makes this event a good opportunity to see which crews have gained some good speed coming into the summer racing season, and to see who may make up the draw for the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley, alongside some of the big names who are missing here, notably Leander in the quads, and Latymer Upper School.
In the doubles, it is Leander’s Hoeselbarth off first in the time trial, followed by some pretty quick crews in this event, including Tideway Scullers School and Hinksey Sculling School, who have been racing well in this combination for a few years. In the J17 doubles, there are several crews that have scratched from what was already quite a small draw, so expect there to be stiff competition between these crews as they race the all-important time trial. In the singles, it is Leander leading the crews in the time trial again, with a large number of Claire’s Court School scullers also in the draw, and it is the same in the J17 event, where there are 6 CCS scullers joining their J18 counter parts in aiming for the top spots.
In younger age groups, the J16 and WJ16 quads look to be the most exciting events. For the boys, big names like Wycliffe and Borlase lead off the time trial, but other crews should not be discounted, including Hinskey Sculling School racing for the first time in their new Wintech Cobra. Similarly for the girls, there are some big names in this age group leading off the field, but in this packed event there will also be plenty of excitement in the minor finals.
The minor finals will be especially important for some of the larger events, such as the J17 singles, J15 quads and WJ15 quads where there are a huge 31 crews entered, giving crews at all levels the opportunity to experience the thrill of side by side racing.
We are the official photographers for the event, so we'll be there to catch all the excellent racing and more that happens on the day.