Whilst Friday was the last day of term before Christmas for most of Bedford Modern School, 17 students from the Boat Club still had the British Rowing Indoor Championships to compete at on Saturday. Arriving at BMS at 7am to make the journey to the Lee Valley Velodrome at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Whilst the recent windy weather has limited the amount of outdoor rowing sessions, the extra time inside on the ergos has clearly paid off with some brilliant performances across the day. First off, the senior boys and girls competed in the Sixth Form 2000m races. In the boys race, Alex Ventisei produced a personal best to finish 8th in 6:32.4. Alex was closely followed by Sam Kavanagh finishing in 9th place in 6:35.3, another big personal best performance.
In the girls race, Natalie Graham missed out on the bronze medal by just 3 seconds, finishing 5th in 7:19.6. This was another personal best, the atmosphere and close competition clearly bringing out the best in the BMS rowers.
In the same race, Izzy Glanvill finished 22nd, Hannah Cowie pipped Emma Dobson to 26th place by 0.1s and Georgia Goddard was 44th.
In the younger age categories, Glen Mulkerrins was 9th in the Year 11 Boys race over 6 minutes, with Sam Hodgkiss 21st. The Year 9 boys and girls competed in their first ever competitive rowing race, and inspired by watching GB Rower and World Champion Mo Sbihi set a new 2000m British Record in the race before, they all showed huge determination and commitment to their race. Imogen Eales was the highest placed girl finishing 14th out of 46 with 989m in 4 minutes, ahead of Hannah Heapey and Molly Kemble. Caleb Avis was the highest place BMS rower in the boys’ race in 23rd with Jake Young, Tim Evans, Aaron Smith and Charlie Tillett also competing.
The day finished on a high with the final of the Boys and Girls Team Relay competition. Raced over 2000m, with 4 rowers sharing one rowing machine and rowing flat out in short bursts, the race brought huge cheers from the crowd and produced some thrilling racing. The BMS Girls team of Hannah Cowie, Emma Dobson, Izzy Glanvill and Georgia Goddard briefly led off the start before settling into third place which they held to win the Bronze Medal.
Finally, the BMS team of Sam Kavanagh, Alex Ventisei, Sam Hodgkiss and Glen Mulkerrins put in a huge performance in the boys race to finish in 1st in a time of 5:47.1, 12 seconds ahead of the next placed team from Peterborough City Rowing Club. Rowing explosive shifts of 250m at a time, they were regularly hitting splits lower than the Senior GB athletes could manage in their 2000m race, and fully deserve their Gold Medals and title as 2015 British Champions.
Below are some pictures of the day, including the Yr9’s warming up next to the GB Senior Team…