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