Bedford Regatta

On the morning of Saturday 12th May the weather was looking promising, or so we thought. A full days’ worth of racing was ahead of us at one of our favourite races of the year, Bedford Regatta, an event where every squad in our boat club gets the chance to compete side by side, all in good preparation for National Schools Regatta in two weeks’ time.
It was an early start for our J16 and J15 boys who both competed in their eights before splitting down to race in their fours later on. The competition at Bedford Regatta has certainly exceeded in its standard of racing. With tough draws for the boys they kept their focus and had strong performances. The J15 boys eight had a bittersweet result, losing to Eton by a foot.
Our J15 girl’s squad entered both of their quads they have been training in. Due to an unfortunate steering incident off the start the A quad girl’s day came to an early end. These four girls now need to stay confident that they’ve done the training to have a good weekend at Nat Schools. Our B quad had a boost in confidence after rapid start which brought them up level with their opposition. Both girls’ boats now need to believe that with hard work they can gain results they deserve.
Our J16/senior girl’s squad also had tough competition, up against crews that had beaten them the previous weekend, they were determined to make a comeback. Losing by half a length touched a sore spot but an experience to fuel their last few weeks of training.
The Senior boys had a full on day of racing, the squad split up into two fours for the majority of the morning, getting through each round, the boys were off to a solid start. The senior boys eight got together and raced a confident row, coming off the water they were pleased with their performance and ready to hop back into their fours. Already racing four times, our J18 4+ made it through to the semi-finals along with our op.4+ making it through to their final. A win for our op.4+ lifted spirits in the very damp conditions.
Once all changed into their shiny new all in ones, the J14 squad were excited to race in their very first regatta. Both squads had a pretty successful day with both boys and girl’s octos getting the chance to race and put into practice what they’ve been working so hard on. One of our highlights of the day were our J14 girls coxed quads who both made it through their rounds to compete in the final, this is a huge achievement and one they will remember for a long time. Not to mention one of our WJ14 4X+ win against St. Edwards was a fantastic end to the day.

This day wouldn’t have been possible without our Parents support group who clearly had THE BEST set up, food and decoration at the regatta that others were defiantly jealous of. When asking the rowers which part of the race they felt went the best, the answer was always ‘the roar past the parent’s tent’. It really does make all the difference, especially when it rains for most of the day.
Well rowed BMS.

Junior Sculling Regatta

BMSBC took two girls quads to compete at The Junior Sculling Regatta. Taking place at Dorney Lake in Eton, it gave the girls an opportunity to get some quality multi-lane racing practice in to kick start the Regatta season.

After a sociable leaving time of 5:30am, we arrived to perfect conditions. Both crews raced a ‘head race style’ time trial to determine either an A final, B final or elimination.

First up, the WJ18 4X- of Lara Brittain, Jess Read, Lizzie Rowe and Imogen Eales had aimed high to compete for a place in the A final, with most of them competing two years higher, they would have to work hard to achieve this. After a brave performace, they had made the A final, coming in 4th place.

Over to the WJ16 4X- of Abbie Davis, Hannah Heappey, Katie Gell and Lauren Burchell. For a crew that hasn’t been able to go out as much, Abbie steered a great line, Lauren set a solid rhythm, with Katie and Hannah backing eachother up, they made it through the time trial achieving a well earned place in the B final.

It was fantastic for both crews to make both their finals. The WJ16 4X- held nothing back and put a gutsy effort in. Unfortunatly, other crews were just that bit faster but with the condtions staying on their side, the girls put up an excellent fight all the way through the line, finishing 6th.

A very nervous WJ18 4X- knew they were in reaching distance of a bronze medal. Only being less than a second slower per 500m  than third place, they were determined to ruin someones day. Off the start the girls were sneeking in and out of 1st and 2nd place. As the race progressed, they could see the stronger crews edging away. Using the crews around them, they managed to stay fully involved in the competition. Finishing  in 6th place, the girls were dissapointed but has only made them more determined.

Along with the rest of the Boat club, these girls are very excited to compete on their home turf at Bedford Regatta on Saturday.

Well Rowed BMS.

 

The National Junior Sculling Head

Another full day of racing continued the next day at the National Junior Sculling head where we had every girl’s squad compete, along with our J14 boy’s octo.

This race was a very different set up compared to Schools head. Held at the Olympic Venue, Dorney Lake in Eton, crews raced two legs of a 1800m course, 3600m in total.

As well as it being the J14 boy’s first race, it was their most important one of the term. Itching to get out on the water to show off their new sculling skills. The boys came home with an excellent result of 35/57 which they were very happy about, especially at such a tough event. As well as having the day off school, beating Bedford School B,C and D boats was the highlight of their day.

This was also a big event for the J14 girls, competing at National level against the fastest girls in the country in their age category. Moving on from their performance at Bedford Head the girls have shown massive improvements in their timing, focus and performance. Coming 41 out of 49. Taking into consideration that the J14 were competing against some that have been rowing for nearly a year longer, they had done us coaches proud. All in all, the J14 year group had such a good experience of what is yet to come.

Moving to the J15 girls, we had two quads compete in a very busy division of 60 boats. Our first quad gave a very lively and gutsy performance staying very consistent with only 2 secs separating the first and second half. Finishing in 27th place these girls were pleased with their row. Our second Quad also had feisty row, this showed by their second half being a lot faster. Both quads are eager to keep making positive gains through an intense week of training at camp during Easter.

Our J16 girl’s quad came off the water pleased with their row, especially the first leg where they raced a brave first half. They described their second 1800m as tough, with not a lot left in the tank, however feel that they have a lot more to give and are very determined to crack on with their training leading into the regatta season.

The senior girls competed at J17, a category where they compete against girls more their own age. Racing into a strong head wind to start set them up for a challenging first half. The girls kept their technique and stayed in control setting them up nicely for their second half. The girls were chased the whole way down by Putney which worked well in their favor, coming in at 7th/22 again. A very positive result for them to take home.

A fantastic couple of days to end the terms racing.

Well rowed BMS

Schools Head of The River

BMS Boat Club have had a full house of fixtures this term with both Boy’s and Girl’s squads getting the chance to race almost every weekend, all in good preparation for our main events for this term, Schools Head of the River and The National Junior Sculling Head.

BMSBC had a very busy and successful couple of days racing. Schools Head came around first where we saw four Boys Eights and the Senior Girl’s quad race the famous 7km Oxford v’s Cambridge Boat race course.

The first eight came off the water feeling pretty happy with the performance they had given. Early morning sessions before school were key for their preparation where they spent quality time gelling together and making their final adjustments before getting the work done on the Tideway. This had paid off coming 12th in 1st Eights. Their time shows just how small the margins are between the crews in front of them, which really puts them in the mix in the top end of first eights.

J16 is when training and racing starts to get serious, which then prepares them for their senior years. For the J16 boys this race was a big one where they curious to see where they stand on the results table coming into the regatta season. Finishing comfortably in 6th place in J16 1st Eights, only 27secs off a bronze medal position. As well as beating two J16 Champ eights, it shows, with a couple more months of focus, hard work and determination, these boys are on the right tracks to make up that time for an exciting regatta season.

After such a successful term, the J15 boys had high expectations for themselves. Coming 6th, they had finished half way down the pack, beating Bedford School, again, by a close 5 seconds. Another fantastic result for these boys. The J15 boys second eight had a lot of competition, most of which matched J16 First Eight times. These boys were slightly disheartened about their 24th place, however, hanging on to the fact that they still beat Bedford Schools second eight.

Our girl’s J16/Senior Quad were in a tough event, Girls Championship Quads. Competing against the fastest quads in the country over a long course, the girls were confident that they had done the training to achieve the best result they could. Finishing 7th/22 was a result that these girls deserved. Coming away on a high, they were ready to smash the Scullery the next day.

Very well rowed BMS.

Nottingham Head of The Trent

 

For most of our Crews, Trent was the last opportunity to get some final racing under their belts and to practice executing well thought out race plans in preparation for Schools Head and the National Junior Sculling Head in a couple of weeks time.

The J16 boys eight of Matt Fox, Jake Young, Aaron Smith, Caleb Avis, Jack Hill, Evan Potts, Matej Sanders and Ethan Carr, coxed by Sam Szeto had an early start racing in division 1. Racing the 6K course was the longest the boys had raced this year and managed a very respectable time and 3rd place in very cold and tough conditions.

Our J15 squads all raced a shorter course in division 2. The girls quad of Emily Watson, Ellen Fletcher, Georgia Smith and Hope Chouffot, coxed by Anja Wharton have recently had a crew mix up where girls have been put into different postions to see what combinations start to gel and work best.After a very positive row the girls came away with 3/9th,along with beating Nottingham on their home turf.

The other quad of Sophie Lawrence, Hannah Mackay, Romy Wharton and Phoebe Wright coxed by Grace Donkin really showed what they had been working hard on in training and rowed a very controlled gutsy race. Finishing 8th they weren’t exactly over the moon, but managed to find a silver lining by beating BGS.

The J15 boys eight of Will Hartshorn, Miggy Carr, Lewis Dunning, Ben Williams, Huw Sheppard, Joshua Noble-Layng, Ivor Luffman and James McDermott coxed by Ben Cox, have been on a mission this year, with a collection of exellent of results in the bank puts them in a strong postion for Schools Head. 2nd place for the boys,just behind and infront of two Royal Shrewsbury eights makes racing very exciting.

The second eight of Ollie Little, Matt Shaw, Max Kroon, Foster Holt, Tosan Awani, Tobi Ajibola, Sohail Shaikh and Luke Perrin coxed by Joe Smith came 4th in their category against big schools. They all managed to row well in tricky conditions which they are not used to.

The J16/Senior girls were last to race in Division 3. Abbie Davis sat in the bow seat steering a brilliant course. Hannah Heappy being backed up by Katie Gell and Lauren Burchell all really pulled together for this race. The first half was spent putting in the ground work to eventually take on Kings School Chester. At the point where most crews started to get tired, these girls decided to step it up a gear and go for the overtake. Ending in 2nd place has really boosted the girls confidence. Our very young WJ18 quad of Lara Brittain, Jess Read, Lizzie Rowe and Imi Eales came off the water pleased with their row, however, uncertain of how they had done. Results show that they had managed to close the gap on Star Club from last time, but not enough to beat them,coming 4th. Carrying a postitive attitude,these girls are keen to get back on the training leading up to the Scullery, starting tonight with a lovely ergo.

 

Well rowed BMS.

 

 

 

Bedford 4’s & 8’s Head

A bottle of Champagne was popped and poured over the bows, christening our brand new Hudson eight. Named after an OBM who attended BMS between the years of 1991-2001, Michael Biggs, or better known as ‘Biggsy’. Dedicating a lot of his own time and effort into the boat club both in his BMS years and currently still, made naming the new first eight not to be a difficult task and a perfect way to recognise his dedication to the boat club. ‘Biggsy’ was to make her debut, racing later on in the day.
Now over to our other stars of the show, our rowers. Bedford Head saw a very competitive bunch from our boat club compete this weekend. Racing on home turf, our crews love to show what they can do on ‘their water’.
Starting off the day we saw a J16 boys fours of Matt Fox, Caleb Avis, Aaron Smith and Jake Young, coxed by Sam Szeto race down the familiar course. After not achieving the result they were hoping four, they teamed up with the rest of their crew and the Senior Boys Squad to form two J16/Senior Boys Eights. Coming 5th and 7th in Open Eights were results they weren’ t too disheartened about, especially when competing against the Bedford School first Eight and other College Crews.
The Senior Boys have been busy on the land. Getting their training done on the ergos and in the gym has proven not to weaken their performance on the water. The four of Glen Mulkerrins, Jack Colliver, Sam Hodgkiss and Tom Rowe, coxed by Georgia Bygraves came away with a dominant victory in Open Fours.
The time had come when Biggsy was to be launched and raced. The Senior boys eight of Jack Colliver, Tom Rowe, Glen Mulkerrins, Sam Hodgkins, Sam White, Joe Walker, Rajesh Paul and Joe Herbert coxed by Zac Wilde had the pleasure to race down the Bedford course achieving third place and 5th place on the overall results of the day. The boys will continue to smash their training and of course continue enjoying doing so in their new boat.
Trying out a slightly new boat type, the J16/Senior girls squad divided into two coxed fours. Pre-race chats consisted of a little uncertainty about not having swept in a while, but after some great advice, being told ‘you’ll be fine’ consequently seemed to work. Racing in Women’s Fours, both boats came off the water feeling like they had a good row, despite only using one oar for a change they achieved first and second place.
Both girls fours got back into their quads which they have been racing in almost every weekend now. With a few races and good results under their belts, they had set the bar high for themselves. Its fair to say the quad of Lizzie Rowe, Jess Read, Imi Eales and Lara Brittain were disappointment with their time, coming second to Star Club. However this hasn’t dampened spirits and has only encouraged more determination.
The J16 girls quad of Katie Gell, Lauren Burchell, Abbie Davis and Jace Woodworth have continued to show improvements these last few weeks, climbing up the results table, they rowed a well steered race resulting in second place.
Aswell as focusing on improving boat speed, the J15 girls have been focusing a lot on their technique which really showed this weekend when slightly different combinations raced. Both quads came away with 3rd and 9th place in a busy category.
The J15 boys have have been working hard to improve their sweep skills in their eights recently. Changes in the crews and few switches are being tried out to achieve the best combinations to race. During the day we saw two eights compete in the J15 Boys Eight category achieving 5th and 7th place.
Another event making Bedford Head such a special day for us was the J14’s  first ever race. Both Boys and Girls Squad’s have taken a particular interest in everything rowing has to offer this year. They have all also shown such a mature approach to their training and have been itching to show off what they’ve been working on these last few weeks.
It all seemed to come together for the girls race. No one caught a crab, no one fell in and everyone stayed roughly in time, making us coaches very proud, coming in 5th place. Unfortunately, due to availability on the boys side, their Octo was unable to race, which is a shame, however theres plenty more races coming up.
It was lovely to see so many supporters along the bank on Sunday. Hearing the roar from our tent really makes all the difference to the rowers as they come by.
This weekend we see five members of our Boat Club attend the GB February Trials in Boston Lincolnshire. We will be sure to inform you on how they get on.
Well rowed BMS.

Hampton Head

On Saturday we had a large number of crews competing at Hampton Head, an event renowned for the amount of big schools competing and of course, being cold.

First up in division one we saw our senior boys four race the 3km course. Getting off the water they felt they had rowed well, coming in 6th place out of 12. Two of our other senior boys, a pair of Glen Mulkerrins and Jack Colliver transferred their sweep skills into a smaller boat for this division resulting in 8th place out of 13.

Two very competitive J16 fours raced down the course to achieve their best time. With both boats only being 5 seconds apart, keeps all the boys focused and ready for their upcoming training.

Boats in division two started boating in what can only be described as a mud bath. It became very normal to see people get completely caked in mud whilst trying their very best to stay up right.

Our senior four and pair teamed up with two other senior boys to make our First Eight. After refuelling and changing into a dry set of kit, the boys were eager to get back out on the water to row fast! Not a bad result followed, 14/22.

Both fours from the J16 boys got together to form their eight. Results weren’t quite what they were hoping for in this race. The boys were quite disappointed that they couldn’t carry the speed from their fours. However, this hasn’t phased them and has pushed them even further to continue to smash their training.

The J15 boys continued their success from Cambridge last weekend. Their eight had such an impressive performance achieving 6th/22 in their category. Not only were they just behind crews such as Hampton and Westminster, they had also beaten Bedford School by a very impressive 10 seconds. The rest of the team were also competing in the J15 eights category. The crew were slightly frustrated with their result, however managed to find a silver lining, they had also beaten another Bedford School eight.

Over to the girls. Competing in the J18 category, we had our Senior/J16 girls who rowed a tidy race filled with plenty of determination. Coming home with 13th/25 puts the girls on the right side of the results table and a performance to take confidence from.

Our WJ16 quad had another chance to get out on the water and compete. After last weekend and a week of training gave the girls that extra bit grit to get the work done. All of the girls had taken what they’ve been working on in training straight into the race and sculled a very controlled and gutsy row.

Last, but not least raced our J15 girls. This year group have really stepped on this term and results so far has really shown their capability. After a long day of waiting around, these four girls raced a very lively and brave race. Walking away with 18th/41 this weekend is a huge achievement for these girls-a result to be proud of.

A huge thankyou to all the parents who came to watch, support and provide us all with tea and coffee, we really couldn’t do it without you.

Looking forward to Bedford Head this Sunday.

Well rowed BMS.