GB April Regatta Report

A busy weekend has been rounded off by three students attending the GB April Regatta, part of the selection process for the Team GB Junior Rowing Team.

Natalie Graham competed in the WJ 2- in a composite crew with Rachel Heap from Nottingham Rowing Club. This combination has competed previously and has shown promise, despite the 90 miles between the two girls regular training venues. After a fairly steady start in the time trial the girls found their race legs, really pushing against the form book and racing hard in the semi final. Unfortunately the girls didn’t quite have the sprint in the legs to qualify for the A final, as they were rowed through in the final few meters to come 4th, qualifying them for the B final. 

During the final the Graham/Heap combination continued to impress but couldn’t turn their new form into a final win. The girls finished 3rd in their final, 9th overall. Time will tell if they have done enough to continue in the process.

Alex Ventisei was part of a rare composite with Bedford School student Jared Sherridon. The boys have been training in the boat together for a handful of sessions over the Easter break, but still were down on training time compared to the non-composite crews. The boys completed a good time trial finishing 17th out of a large field of 41 pairs; this result qualified them for the C/D semi finals. During their semi final, the boys were caught napping slightly and dropped off the back of the pack, they worked hard to bring themselves back into contention but unfortunately the damage was done, the boys qualified for the D final.

With a large number of pairs expected to be selected to remain in the process, not all was lost. The “Harpur Trust Duo” learned from their earlier mistake and rowed well in their final. They eventually finished 3rd in their final, 21st overall. This puts them in the hands of the selectors to see if they will be carried forward.

Autumn MacKay was also in attendance as a cox. With not much to do herself, Autumn was there in support of all athletes, we couldn’t of coped without her!!!!!

Focus now shifts back to BMSBC, Wallingford Regatta next weekend followed by Bedford Regatta on the 7th May.

JIRR Report – J16 4+

This fine morning, the tunes were flowing in the mini bus like the love for rowing flows through our veins! We arrived at the course really excited for the first regatta of the year.

As we saw the course in Nottingham, there was a naughty tailwind. The first challenge of the day came when we had to locate the boat, but then we spotted the one and only Zooooooooooomis, aka Numismatica!!

As the WJ15 4+ were racing first, we helped them rig their boat so that they had no drama before racing. The girls did a great job in their first race, coming 7th, this put them as the fastest qualifier for the B Final. The girls crew continued with their good form and won their final by 10 seconds to the next crew. It was a really impressive performance.

We have really made an effort in the J16 4+ to build some crew cohesion, this included buying some new matching red slides! We laid down a solid performance in the heats, coming 2nd, this qualified us for the A Final in our event. We knew that we could improve on our performance going into the final. In the final we executed our race plan perfectly, making sure we focused on putting a good sprint finish together, we finished 3rd winning a bronze medal, just 0.02s off winning silver. 

Overall a strong days racing from both crews and many gains are to be made before National Schools’ Regatta. A big thanks to Mr Kempsell and Miss Bruce for all their support today.

Lots of Love, Hodgy, Mulk and Auts!



Inter-Regional Regatta

This Saturday BMSBC will be representing the Eastern region at the Inter-Regional Regatta in the WJ15 4+ and the J16 4+ categories. Both crews have been working hard in the transition between the long winter head races to the much shorter, high rating regatta races.

This is a good opportunity for the WJ15 crew of Thea Hale, Lara Brittain, Zoe Ziaullah, Zara Ziaullah and cox Anja Wharton to try their hand at some sweep oar racing. The girls have made some good technical improvements since being selected, we’re all keen to see how they get on.

The J16 4+ are slightly more established having spent some time in this crew during the Boat Club’s training camp to Sabaudia over Easter. The crew of Sam Hodgkiss, Glen Mulkerrins, Tom Rowe, Will Thornton and cox Autumn MacKay will be looking to race hard to make the final and push on for the medal positions.

Best of luck to both crews.

More information about the event can be found here:

DAY 6 – Boys’ & Girls’ Captain of Boat’s.

Breakfast started nicely with an unnamed member of the senior squad coating the dining room floor with his morning hydration, and then decorating the stairs with last nights dinner… (Alex then spent the rest of the day in bed watching the all time classic ‘dinoshark’ and is now feeling much better)
This left the quad able to do the much needed beach weights. Sams attire raised some eyebrows and jakes bench press rinsing us all.. Despite this Kieran left with a massive pump on.

In the mean time the J15&J16 boys bashed out some great battle paddling in eights.

The novice girls eight were doing 1min&2min pieces with some starts and made some great steps forward. Shout out to the J15s who were killing themselves in that to produce some strong scores.

The senior girls were out in fours doing 500m work, and all made big gear changes laying down some beans.

The J16&senior boys fours were both out doing some intense power water work side by side. The session was very powerful and useful despite a slight altercation with the Ukrainian national team Womens quad… Who are quite frankly more than big enough to intimidate the entire senior and coach teams.

In the afternoon the girls did a large leg day sesh in the gym, leaving their coxes Georgia&Corrine&Anja feeling rather sorry for themselves..

It’s safe to say the week has been enjoyed by everyone, especially the J15s who’ve had a little taste of the senior squads chat.

Thank you to all of the coaches for making this possible and bringing us back to Sab.

Delayed Day 5!

The weather today would have certainly stopped anyone missing home; chilly rain and wind set the scene for Day 5 in Sabaudia.

The first session saw the forming of an eight made up from a combination of WJ15’s-17’s. There was a great focus in the boat whilst the crew built up their summer session starts. They began to find a fantastic base speed, which continued into their 1500m timed piece in the afternoon.  

The Senior girls coxed and coxless fours went out to work on their technical skills in the first session before a hard interval session in the afternoon. The crews made some good changes in the morning and the high speed interval session gave them the belief that they have what it takes to compete at the Championship level at National Schools Regatta. So much brute force was being deployed that an oar was broken; one guess as to who it was… Miss Graham! 

The boys J16 8+ had a technical day with some strong power strokes in the afternoon. Solid effort made by the crew during the power water work in a tough wind, lead by Miss Bruce and Henry Black they fought against a head wind to complete almost 8k of work.  

The seniors did a mixture of boats during the day with some technical and speed work in the morning, to finish the day with a 1500m time trial in a tail wind. Some good racing was done on some tired legs. Some of the results were very impressive and the boys should be happy with their performances! 

The day was rounded off with the BMSBC Training Camp Quiz. With the students contributing towards the questions we had a wide range of categories. Toby Harris has an exceptional talent and knowledge for film making, with the film round being especially difficult! The quiz was rounded off by the coaches round with a question about each member of staff; it was quite alarming just how much the students knew! Although the guessing the combined ages of staff lead to a wide range of answers!   

Day 4 – WJ15 Squad

The morning started with none of us ready for a day with Anja, we made fun of Anja all day, well all camp to be honest but she’s takes it like a champ and we couldn’t do it without her.

We stuffed our faces with cake for breakfast which made us buzzing for this mornings session, which was in an eight with the senior girls, where we showed them how it’s done! Steph made a really unattractive rowing face but at least she was pulling hard. Zoe did the usual looking out of the boat- we think it’s because she’s checking out the Hungarian men;)
We had our first session with Miss Failla; where we did some two minute bursts on the way up and down of the lake whilst the coaches were following us in the launch. The eight was good and Anja made some good calls, and her steering was ‘interesting’. Once we got back to our rooms, Zoe thought it would be funny to drop a shelf on the cleaner. RIP cleaner. 
After lunch we tried to do some ‘revision’ outside but Austin was being annoying so we didn’t really do much.  

Anja acted like a 9 year old at the beach whilst building a sand fortress with an added moat whilst Lara was being a show off with her gymnastic skills. As we were tired from our earlier session, we decided to just chill out and watch the rest of the squad run up and down the beach, much more relaxing!!