Quintin Head is the first major Tideway race of the calendar year and provides a rare opportunity for eights to get some racing experience on the Championship Course ahead of HORR and WEHORR. Quintin always attracts a large crowd of matched eights and incomplete top boats, but that’s not to say the racing isn’t competitive, and the results provide a strong indication of which clubs have put in the Winter training, looking to reap the benefits in the Spring racing season.
219 Surbiton High School "Donatello"
220 Putney High School "H"
221 Lady Eleanor Holles School "Black"
222 Godolphin & Latymer School
223 Surbiton High School "Master Splinter"
224 St Paul's Girls' School
225 Headington School
226 Putney High School "P"
227 Lady Eleanor Holles School "Red"
228 Surbiton High School "Shredder"
With a slightly larger entry of 11 clubs/schools than in WJ16, the WJ15 category sees the likes of Henley, Headington and Surbiton High School stepping up from J14 level into a more competitive circuit. Eyes will be on Surbiton after they took home the NSR gold in both the A and B octos last season. This has clearly been a source of motivation for this year group given the depth they are able to field this weekend with an impressive three crews entered. Their B octuple won National Schools by a huge margin of close to 20 seconds last year- this is no doubt a cohort their coaches will be excited about.
Henley will be first down the track at Quintin and while they weren't making waves in the bigger boats last season, they did top NSR in the girls' coxed quads. Moving up the age groups, they will need to prove they have the depth to remain competitive as the focus moves to eights. Meanwhile, Putney High School has seen the implementation of a new young and enthusiastic coach this year. After having a term of getting to know the girls they will now be looking keenly to prove their talent on a national scale. Nevertheless, J15 is always very tough to call with such young athletes and the big transition to sweep rowing. With all entries here surrounded by intense training environments and high accolades at their respective clubs, we can safely assume racing will be close and rivalrous whatever the outcome. This is potentially one of the first sweep races for these girs- a great learning opportunity for each and every crew to bring forward into the 2020 season!
209 Lady Eleanor Holles School
210 Surbiton High School
211 Headington School
212 Latymer Upper School
213 Putney High School
214 Emanuel School
Like last year, the WJ16 category has 8 entries from the top performing schools and clubs from around the South East. Marlow won this category in the time of 14:10 in 2019 - and are back again this year to try and defend their title with their up and coming junior women. A thirty second gap separated them from the rest of the girls last year, putting them in a comfortable and undoubtedly optimistic position given this group were bronze medallists in the eights at NSR last year. However, after winning the WJ15 category last year, Lady Eleanor Holles have entered again. Assuming this is the same crew, Marlow will have to be on it for the entirety of the 4800m course in order to maintain their title from a promising LEH crew who will be hungry for the win after their summer season left them a little off the pace of the top crews.
Not to be missed are the Henley and Putney High School crews who placed second and fourth respectively at this event in their J15 year and are here again racing for their second year. Henley were right up there with the likes of Marlow at the end of last summer so they could be a force to be reckoned with if they've hit the winter training hard, while Putney will have that all important home water advantage for the first tideway head of the year. The rest of the field will have had a little more work to do to make up speed looking at where they were last summer, but this is their chance to prove they mean business coming into the new year.
With it so early in the winter head season, predictions are consequently tricky and often inaccurate. However, as the majority of these clubs/schools raced here at J15 level its expected the girls can get a better general understanding of their ranking and fitness coming into 2020 - further allowing coaches to implement effective winter training programmes. The picture as SHORR approaches should soon become much clearer. Additionally, with only single club entries this year, it can be assumed that these clubs have been seat racing to enter the strongest crew combinations which will make for some great racing!