Bedford Regatta

On the morning of Saturday 12th May the weather was looking promising, or so we thought. A full days’ worth of racing was ahead of us at one of our favourite races of the year, Bedford Regatta, an event where every squad in our boat club gets the chance to compete side by side, all in good preparation for National Schools Regatta in two weeks’ time.
It was an early start for our J16 and J15 boys who both competed in their eights before splitting down to race in their fours later on. The competition at Bedford Regatta has certainly exceeded in its standard of racing. With tough draws for the boys they kept their focus and had strong performances. The J15 boys eight had a bittersweet result, losing to Eton by a foot.
Our J15 girl’s squad entered both of their quads they have been training in. Due to an unfortunate steering incident off the start the A quad girl’s day came to an early end. These four girls now need to stay confident that they’ve done the training to have a good weekend at Nat Schools. Our B quad had a boost in confidence after rapid start which brought them up level with their opposition. Both girls’ boats now need to believe that with hard work they can gain results they deserve.
Our J16/senior girl’s squad also had tough competition, up against crews that had beaten them the previous weekend, they were determined to make a comeback. Losing by half a length touched a sore spot but an experience to fuel their last few weeks of training.
The Senior boys had a full on day of racing, the squad split up into two fours for the majority of the morning, getting through each round, the boys were off to a solid start. The senior boys eight got together and raced a confident row, coming off the water they were pleased with their performance and ready to hop back into their fours. Already racing four times, our J18 4+ made it through to the semi-finals along with our op.4+ making it through to their final. A win for our op.4+ lifted spirits in the very damp conditions.
Once all changed into their shiny new all in ones, the J14 squad were excited to race in their very first regatta. Both squads had a pretty successful day with both boys and girl’s octos getting the chance to race and put into practice what they’ve been working so hard on. One of our highlights of the day were our J14 girls coxed quads who both made it through their rounds to compete in the final, this is a huge achievement and one they will remember for a long time. Not to mention one of our WJ14 4X+ win against St. Edwards was a fantastic end to the day.

This day wouldn’t have been possible without our Parents support group who clearly had THE BEST set up, food and decoration at the regatta that others were defiantly jealous of. When asking the rowers which part of the race they felt went the best, the answer was always ‘the roar past the parent’s tent’. It really does make all the difference, especially when it rains for most of the day.
Well rowed BMS.

Junior Sculling Regatta

BMSBC took two girls quads to compete at The Junior Sculling Regatta. Taking place at Dorney Lake in Eton, it gave the girls an opportunity to get some quality multi-lane racing practice in to kick start the Regatta season.

After a sociable leaving time of 5:30am, we arrived to perfect conditions. Both crews raced a ‘head race style’ time trial to determine either an A final, B final or elimination.

First up, the WJ18 4X- of Lara Brittain, Jess Read, Lizzie Rowe and Imogen Eales had aimed high to compete for a place in the A final, with most of them competing two years higher, they would have to work hard to achieve this. After a brave performace, they had made the A final, coming in 4th place.

Over to the WJ16 4X- of Abbie Davis, Hannah Heappey, Katie Gell and Lauren Burchell. For a crew that hasn’t been able to go out as much, Abbie steered a great line, Lauren set a solid rhythm, with Katie and Hannah backing eachother up, they made it through the time trial achieving a well earned place in the B final.

It was fantastic for both crews to make both their finals. The WJ16 4X- held nothing back and put a gutsy effort in. Unfortunatly, other crews were just that bit faster but with the condtions staying on their side, the girls put up an excellent fight all the way through the line, finishing 6th.

A very nervous WJ18 4X- knew they were in reaching distance of a bronze medal. Only being less than a second slower per 500m  than third place, they were determined to ruin someones day. Off the start the girls were sneeking in and out of 1st and 2nd place. As the race progressed, they could see the stronger crews edging away. Using the crews around them, they managed to stay fully involved in the competition. Finishing  in 6th place, the girls were dissapointed but has only made them more determined.

Along with the rest of the Boat club, these girls are very excited to compete on their home turf at Bedford Regatta on Saturday.

Well Rowed BMS.

 

Camp is coming to an end…

Mr White, Mr Satchwill and I left Bedford what seems like an age ago, having driven the trailer some 1300 miles to get to Sabaudia. Although it is safe to say that everyone has reached that point where they stroll into breakfast resembling your typical Hollywood zombie, with vacant eyes and a fairly unnatural walk from their aching muscles, everyone has been epic in their determination and commitment.

This is the first year in Sabaudia where we haven’t had perfect conditions for just about every session; we’ve faced rain, wind, more wind and some gales to finish off. We did reach a point earlier on in the week where extra straps were required to hold the boats down during a storm, not the weather we are used to. Our hosts have even provided the coaches with some extra waterproof jackets, which we very much appreciated even if they are a bit of a 90’s throwback, Mr White loves his! The students have handled the conditions superbly with minimal moans about going out in the sometimes sea-like conditions.

The staff and I have all loved the camp and found it extremely useful for getting to know some of the students that we don’t coach on a regular basis. We certainly have some characters in the younger years; Ben “Beats” Williams constantly protesting that we edited his blog posts (editing definitely required!) and then the year 10 girls squad seem to have endless energy, except when it comes to getting up for breakfast. Phoebe Wright, Hope Chouffot, Georgia Smith and Emily Watson require a special mention as ROOM 213, the first stop when it comes to reducing the noise throughout the hotel!!

As with most years on camp, the senior and J16 crews have been putting in some serious mileage. They have faced tough conditions all week but this hasn’t stopped them pushing boundaries physically and mentally. The development and improvement of all of our year11+ crews is a key factor to why we come away every year. I think this camp has seen the biggest step forward from all of our leading boats and am excited to see how they will get on back in the UK. This commitment hasn’t come with sacrifice though; Tom Rowe has slowly been drilling through the back of his heel with the worlds largest blister (we have perfected the endless bandaging and strapping applied to the most awkward place on the body), numerous hands are starting to look raw, Lauren has managed to hurt her big toe, and of course the usual aches and pains that come with pushing yourself so hard. None of the above has hampered their own preparation for the sessions and not going out hasn’t passed the lips of any of them. A tough bunch!

Each year one of the main worries when organising the camp is how the year10 students are going to cope with numerous aspects of the camp; sharing rooms together, the relentless timetable of early morning and rowing sessions, and how their bodies are going to cope with the significantly increased mileage. This year they have all committed themselves excellently. Of course there has been one or two that required a session in the launch to “recover” and I’m sure it had nothing to do with spending a sunny afternoon being driven around in a speed boat(!), but they advancement in their rowing is hard to measure. Both boys and girls squads have made massive steps forward in their rowing ability, and their energy around the hotel has been a welcome addition. They are an encouraging group to have involved at BMSBC and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in the future.

Mr White, Mr Honnor and Mr Ruta have once again been fantastic at ensuring the revision timetable has been stuck to, as well as offering their expertise whenever required to whoever needs it. Their commitment through the camp is second to none, with the students generally working for 3-4 hours a day, some more than. Hopefully this will put all of the students in a strong mindset for the rest of their holidays and into the exam season.

Sharing the hotel with the Slovakian Kayak Team was a worry initially. The average height is about 6’5 and they carry a certain “presence” when they enter the room. However, our students have been exceptional in the way they have conducted themselves around the hotel. With less than 24 hours to go I’m hoping for the first year that I don’t get shouted at in Italian by the hotel manager!

To summarise, another successful camp where speed and style has been developed on the water, and a greater TeamBMS spirit has been built on land. We now enter a crucial point in the year where the pressure increases in all aspects of life, however everyone should feel like they are leaving the camp knowing they are supported by their crew mates and staff that are willing to help however possible.

The coaching team and I wish you all a safe journey home and an enjoyable rest after a tough week away. Mr Satchwill and I are extremely excited about about another 2 days in the truck to get the equipment home I’m sure you can imagine. Thank you all for such an enjoyable camp!

Mr Bavington

Sabaudia – Wednesday Blog (J15 Boys)

Wednesday:

After an evening of watching Italian love island last night, we woke up for our energising breakfast ready for our power session with the J16’s. After managing to compete with them a couple of days ago they decided it would benefit them to regain what little confidence they had by racing their eight against ours this time a 4K battle in which they unfortunately came on top. After catching our breath and downing a few pints of water with the boys, we headed back out for another battle, we would have obviously won however Ben Cox got confused between the red buoys and and the yellow ones… never mind eh!

We returned to the hotel after an ear ache from Mr Ruta unleashing a rage of anger and disappointment, to receive another filling lunch to prepare for our second session of the day. After 2 hours of our technical session  we were pleasantly surprised with the progress it made into our boat which now no longer has the risk of capsizing after every stroke, however this was short lived when a boat of new arrivals distracted the boys causing all heads to suddenly tilt towards them, especially Luke Perrin.

After an unsuccessful attempt to get any of their snapchats, the mood was ‘deadened’ when we were forced to revise, locked in the basement guarded by Mr Honour. The day ended with a “yummy” fish meal, throughly enjoyed by the boys.

We’re looking forward to our final full day in Sabaudia and the hard rowing ahead!

Ben Williams (Please subscribe to Ben Beats on YouTube xx), Matt Shaw

Sabaudia – Tuesday Blog (Senior Girls)

Tuesday:
We woke up with more reluctancy than on previous days, as the lethargy began to set in, knowing that a hard day was to come. We were also under pressure to wear matching kit as Imi Eales likes us to look ‘aesthetically pleasing’ for the photos. Our first session didn’t disappoint as after we had revised in the hotel for an hour, the sun was out and raised the intensity of our seat racing. We were swapped in and out of the quad across 4 1km pieces on the lake. Each of these were timed and we had a different crew for each piece, with a double holding the two members of our squad not racing between each swap. This was incredibly tough!
After a lunch which we had correctly guessed would be pasta and meat, we embarked on another revision session in which Lara Brittain attempted to teach us our entire maths GCSE. We went down to the lake for our final session of the day, where we discovered Sir William Perkins had come to join us, this will be nice to have another English school here. We had a successful session in singles and doubles whilst the Senior and J16 boys were out battle paddling. Lizzie Rowe managed to keep up with a pair of Matej Sanders and Matteo Peluso who went out on their debut outing. Lauren decided though that she was now ‘tired’ after our hard session this morning, so we resorted to doing some stationary drills to improve our confidence in small boats, a nice break to be honest!
With only two full days left, we’re hoping the weather stays sunny and hoping the wind dies down. 
Jess Read