On Sunday the BMS senior squad travelled to Henley-on-Thames for a training day with Canford School and King’s Canterbury School, two schools that we have been competing closely with over this year. The day consisted of two competitive training sessions and a tour of Leander Club, by former BMS Director of Rowing, Ali Brown.
Leander Club dedicates itself to supporting athletes aiming for international selection, so a truly perfect location for all the boys to be further motivated and inspired for the summer regatta season.
BMS boated an eight and a coxed four; the two boat types that will go ahead to compete at the National Schools’ Regatta. The squad have been working well in these combinations with many crew swaps, which has lifted the ability of all involved. The coaching team have been really pleased with the progression of the squad over the past couple of weeks.
Session one was more individually based allowing us time to settle the crews down into another new line up and gave the coxes and rowers the chance to get their bearings on the famous Henley Royal Regatta course, although this is only partially constructed, you could definitely still feel tension amongst the rowers as the regatta is being constructed around them. The crews learnt valuable lessons during this session; concentrating on our boat, control the controllable and of course, work hard through the water!
Session two was much more about gaining time side-by-side. This was a difficult session for the coxed four going up against the three school eights, however the boys were fully committed and produced some good times from all the pieces. It would have been easy for them to have become separated from the session but their focus was clear to see as the boat continued to improve throughout the day. The BMS eight also rowed well; leading out most of the pieces, we now know that we need to focus on our transition into our race pace, valuable data to have recorded prior to National Schools’ Regatta.
We concluded the day with all three eights side-by-side in a 90 second dash from a standing start. BMS launched into a small but impressive lead over the other two boats. Canford became detached leaving KSC and BMS sprinting to the line, honours fell to KSC by a small margin. An exciting way to finish the day.
Big thanks need to go to Leander Club, King’s Canterbury and Canford for being part of the day. All crews had their moment in front and all have learnt a lot, which will be hugely valuable moving forward.
BMS will definitely be looking for further matches of this format; it gave the crews a much better experience of competitive rowing with the chance to coach, improve and then implement changes prior to the next piece. A great day all round.