The first major event of the rowing year, Wallingford Long Distance Sculls pits the very best of the Thames Valley (and a few from further afield) against each other down a 4250m course, and it's a great opportunity for scullers to get their name out there early and make the most of their summer training.
W J16 4x-
With only 10 crews being entered into this category, the win for cox-less quadruple sculls will be competitive with Henley Rowing, Maidenhead Rowing and Headington school entering the same boats that all in the A final at last year’s National Schools Regatta - Maidenhead winning bronze, Henley just seconds off medalling and Headington placing 6th. All of these scullers will be hoping for a strong win going into the beginning of the Head season; their debut will definitely be impressive! Joining the race for the fastest time at the 4250m course will also be Abingdon Rowing Club, Emmanuel School and City of Oxford boat club and these girls are just a few of the many that will be ready to leave an impression on their competitors for future races as well as taking this competitive opportunity to practice more skills going into the season like steering a boat throughout the course without a cox - a concept only a few would have experienced.
Op J16 4x-
All of these crews will definitely be hoping to perform at the top standards as Radley College, Westminster School, Maidenhead Rowing and more will be starting the winter season sculling rather than in sweep boats like most ended last year - Radley College placing third for J15 8+ at National Schools. Developing their skills in sculling will be adequate practice and beneficial for future plans like GB vs France Trials in the summer and those hoping to be able to trial for the GB squad as they become J18s. Magdalen College and Royal Grammar School High Wycombe have both entered two quadruple sculls into this category adding to the competition as well as getting their crews to experience one of the longer heads they’d race in preparation for Schools Head or potentially the Scullery both taking place in March.
W J16 2x & W J16 1x
Henley Rowing Club, Headington School, Latymer Upper School and Maidenhead Rowing Club have their eyes set on practicing and starting the Winter season in small boats with at least 6 boats racing from each boat club and we will certainly be expecting some impressive results from them! Headington have entered their scullers who won silver at National Schools in the WJ15 4x+ category as well as those who placed 6th in the WJ15 8+ and Henley will also have some speedy rowers as members of the crew that were just one place off medalling for WJ15 4+ will be tackling the 4250m race. A few scullers from Ross Rowing club, St George’s College and Stratford-upon-Avon will be setting out to race in small boats too which will hopefully boost these younger scullers’s confidence and improve their technique as this will benefit any rower in future races, especially regattas, and allow them to achieve their wanted results. Many J16 girls will be racing down the course at Wallingford LDS and show off the capabilities they really have; it will be an exciting event to look out for.
Op J16 2x & Op J16 1x
Some Latymer Upper School scullers have started off the season in small boats as 6 doubles and 6 singles from their boat club are entered in these categories including those who placed 9th at National Schools in the J15 8+ and potentially those who placed 5th at Schools Head in the Ch J15 8+; these rowers have shown strength in both Heads and Regattas so their results will be one to look out for. Numerous boats from Westminster School and Royal Grammar School High Wycombe are also looking to take part in this event and will be hoping for a successful performance over the 4250m course especially Westminster School who came in the top 15 at National Schools and top 10 at Schools Head. Radley College have entered a few boats into the J16 1x who all raced at National Schools winning bronze in the J15 8+ and J15 2nd 8+ so we will be expecting some strong times from these scullers especially after also placing third at Schools Head in the Championship Eights for J15s. All crews taking part will want to be rowing their best in terms of strength as well as technically to get some impressive and winning times down.