The draw for the National Schools’ Regatta is available here:
After a hard week of training the girls senior squad went to Nottingham city regatta in order to put the valuable changes we had made last week into practise. The squad took two boats to the event, a coxless four and an eight. The four raced first and was made up of Nat graham, Voirrey Taylor, (myself) Georgia Goddard and Hannah Cowie. This being our first coxless race we were excited, slightly nervous and very optimistic to see what we could do after various techinal changes in the week.
We had a strong start, putting ourselves immediately ahead of the other boats and managed to find our mid race pace comfortably. After reaching 1k into the 2km lake, we were making considerable distance over the other boats, with the boat in second (GMS) being roughly half a length behind us. As we continued to pull away from the rest of the boats, the boat in second held their distance from us, which panicked us and as a result, we ended up losing touch with out race strangely. This resulted in a gruelling last 750m as GMS began to catch up with us. Despite maintaining a lead for the whole way of the course, in the last 50m our lack of confidence resulted in us finishing almost identically with GMS- which resulted in them piping us to the line by an incredibly frustrating 0.02 seconds.
As we found out, lessons are best learnt the hard way- which are also definitely better learnt two weeks before national schools!
The senior girls eight racing in the women’s IM2 category was made up of Hannah Cowie, (myself) Georgia Goddard, Natalie Graham, Voirrey Taylor, Emma Dobson, Izzy Glanvill, Eliza Ball, Ella Monaghan and coxed by Corinne McWilliams.
We had a consistent first race finishing third and qualifying for the final later that day. The women’s crews mostly consisted of university women’s crews, with us being only one of two school boat clubs entered! Out of all 12 boats, we managed to qualify for the final posting the fourth fastest time.
Due to the indication of our speed through being placed 4th in the heats, we were thus aiming to match this position in the final. However, a well executed race plan, and with lessons learnt earlier in the day from the girls in the four we managed to place third. Our start wasn’t executed as well as we would have hoped, but our newly found confidence enabled us to row through three boats. We are extremely happy with third place considering we exceeded our performance in the heat earlier in the day, and we feel as though we are in a good place for national schools in two weeks time.
Bedford Regatta turned out to be one of the nicest days of the year with clear skies, sunshine and loads of home support for BMSBC.
The girls’ squad had a successful day racing with most crews winning at least one round and four different crews making the final. The Development Girls started the day off winning their first race in the WN8+ category, this gave the crew a massive boost in confidence, which they carried on throughout the rest of the day. The crew was a combination of Yr10-12 students, really showing what they were capable of when they worked together. There was more evidence of this in the girls next race when they were behind for the whole race, except the last few strokes where they rowed through their opposition to win another round, cloud nine is an understatement. Unfortunately that was the end of their great run, losing to a university crew but I’m sure they will all agree that they far exceeded their own expectations.
Another impressive performance came from the Senior Girls racing in the WIM3 4+ category. The crew of Eliza Ball, Izzy Glanvill, Emma Dobson, Ella Monaghan, and Corinne McWilliams won their first round comfortably, after which they continued to win race after race to reach the final. The crew were unfortunately beaten by Auriol Kensington, an established senior club, but showed good composure whist racing and focus throughout the day.
The WNOV 4+ of Ellie O’Connell, Charlotte Willis, Izzy Donkin, Pip White and cox Corinne McWilliams made it to the semi-final where they were also pipped to the line by Auriol Kensington. This crew made up half the WNOV 8+ so had raced multiple times and were struggling on tired legs; they showed good effort down the course but fatigued and a faster crew just got the better of them.
The Yr9 Girls’ Squad had a great day; some getting their first ever racing experience and others winning a race or two. The crew of Holly Groom, Georgia Bratton, Hannah Heappey, Charlotte Andrew and cox Lily Morgan competed in the WJ14 4x+ category and were first to race. For many of these girls it was their first race. Lily did a great job steering a good course and the rowers found a nice rhythm. Unfortunately they were beaten but had a great experience competing at Bedford Regatta in front of the large home crowd and I’m sure they will have learned from the day, which they can use for the rest of the season.
One of the most entertaining races of the day was the WJ14 8x+ who won their first race by sheer determination and skill. The BMS crew had a fantastic start immediately putting their opposition under pressure, which caused them to crash into the bank and the BMS Octo to row away! The girls and coaches were extremely pleased with the success and composure the crew had shown. The girls approached the final in a very professional manner and led the race until about 300m to go where they just ran out of steam. Throughout the day they certainly gave a good fight and surprised themselves at how well they were able to race and challenge the other crews, lots of confidence gained!
The WJ15 squad gained some valuable racing experience throughout the day; the 4x+ lost their first round but found a new focus to work on, which wil make it faster for National Schools. The members of the WJ15 squad that competed in the WN8+ were successful in making it through a few rounds and taking on a new challenge in a bigger sweep boat. Unfortunately the full WJ15 8+ had tough draw racing in the WIM3 category, however the crew were able to find a good race pace, this will come in handy at the National Schools’ Regatta.
The Senior Girls’ had one of the last races of the day in the WJ18 8+ category after beating a South African crew earlier in the day. In the final they raced Sir William Borlase School, an established crew from a strong rowing school. The crew started the race well with a very aggressive start and immediately gaining a strong position, however the speed dropped off and SWB won by 2 lengths. It was well raced forcing the opposition to row to the best of their abilities to beat BMS, but more work to be done building race confidence and maintaining speed in the second half. The squad are strong girls, and I am confident they can make the changes as we approach NSR.
With one last race after the girls eight, four of the same crew had to jump straight out to get into a four. The crew of Natalie Graham, Voirrey Taylor, Georgia Goddard and Hannah Cowie, who had beaten BGS earlier in the day, now had to race the in form Emmanual School; the same crew that had won Wallingford Regatta the previous weekend. This was BMSBC’s final race of the day, a very tough ask to race against such strong opposition immediately after racing the eight. The race did prove to be one too many with Emmanual beating BMS. The BMS crew came off the water with a positive attitude and ready to work on their individual points to make the required improvements.
All in all the girls had a successful day, they worked hard throughout with professional attitude and determined mindset. The support was absolutely fantastic from parents, staff and friends. I cannot fault the squads enthusiasm, roll on the rest of the season!
Miss Failla, Head of Girls’ Rowing
Bedford Regatta turned out to be everything we’d hoped it would be, with good weather, close racing, and a large number of races won for BMS crews throughout the day.
The regatta offers something for all ages and abilities, and I hope all of the boys were pleased with how their races went. For the J14 boys it was their first time racing competitively side-by-side with other schools, and despite the A and B octos losing to two very good crews from Windsor Boys School and Hampton School both crews gave a good account of themselves and I’m sure will be looking forward to their next race to go after that first win.
The J15 boys had a mixed day of results, with the two eights losing to strong opposition in the first round, however, the coxed four of Rajesh Paul, Austin Roberts, Joe Walker and Damon Hall with Zac Wilde coxing won two races to reach the semi finals where their run ended against 4 of the St Paul’s crew they had raced in the eight that morning. In a tough event with entries from 8 different schools, this was a really good performance and I’m sure will give the boys confidence of being able to compete with some top competition at Nat Schools next week.
The J16 boys eight had a tough draw in Novice Eights, losing to semi finalists Cheltenham College in the first round, and then drawing Shiplake in the Plate event who went on to win the Plate final later in the day. But two good races give against strong crews was important practice in their preparation for J16 1st Eights at Nat Schools.
The J16 coxed four of Sam Hogkiss, Glen Mulkerrins, Tom Rowe and Will Thornton coxed by Autumn Mackay were entered in two events, Novice and J16 coxed fours. They raced well throughout the day, winning four races in total to reach both finals, where they raced both halves of Norwich Schools’ Inter-Regionals winning eight. In the first final, BMS led to the weir, but were unable to match Norwich’s closing sprint and lost by half a length. The boys picked themselves up well to get out to a great start in their second final, but the efforts of the previous race started to take effect in the second half and Norwich were able to pull away to a 1 length winning margin.
From the senior squad, there was some great racing throughout the day. The coxed four of Miles McEwen, Jake Roberts, Toby Harris and Will Tillett coxed by Georgia Bygraves won their first race in style against an adult crew from Auriel Kensington Rowing Club, before facing an Abingdon four made up of some of their top rowers. The boys took the race to Abingdon, adopting a fly or die race strategy that sadly ended up with the latter, but the speed they were able to generate at the start of the race is encouraging for when they race the 1st Coxed Fours event at Nat Schools.
Finally, the most successful crew of the day, winning their event, was the J18 quad of Jake Wilson, Alex Ventisei, Keiran Smith and Sam Kavanagh. We were unsure before the event of how much racing the quad would get as there has been low entries in the past, but with 8 crews entered, the quad had to see off Star Club ‘B’ and then Sir William Borlase to set up a final against local rivals Star Club. The two boats came out of Town Bridge with nothing between them, but once Sam Kavanagh reassured the rest of the crew that the rudder was now straight, they were able to settle into a strong rhythm that saw them stretch out a 2 length lead by the finish. A well deserved win for the boys after a strong showing at Wallingford, they now face a big test in Championship Quads at Nat Schools, where the last crew from any Bedford club to reach the final had a youthful Mr Bavington in the boat!
Mr Kempsell, Senior Rowing Coach
Bedford Regatta is upon us, where does the time go!!
This year we once again have a very large entry into the regatta; 20 crews, 135 ‘seats’, lots of boats and hopefully lots of cheers from the BMS parents and supporters.
To help you keep track of what is going on, I have made the two documents below. One is a list of every crew we have entered, the other is the “theoretical” times and running order.
I will print a couple of copies and stick them up at the boathouse and at the gazebo, but if you would like your own version they can be downloaded.
Please bring sun cream, hats and a large water bottle, as there is a chance summer has arrived!
Looking forward to a successful day at the regatta!