BMS VIII in Henley 2019

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.

Sabaudia 2019…

The trailer has arrived and we’re on our way! Rowing is known for operating around some fairly unsociable hours, which I’m sure our parents can relate to, however arriving at school at 02:30am was particularly unpleasant.

During this week I have programmed a fairly relentless set of sessions designed to help our crews improve technically, push them as athletes and build as much cohesion amongst the whole squad as possible as we share many common goals.

Throughout the week the students will also be supported academically with all staff members supervising revision sessions and helping the students prepare for the busy exam season that is now fast approaching. The camp has become known for giving students a final push into this hectic time and allow them to approach their exams as prepared as possible. I can only thank the academic staff that give up their Easter break to attend the camp and support such a vital element of the trip.

The students will be taking it in turns to write a blog post each day, which will hopefully give you an insight of what they’re up to and how they are getting on. Mr Satchwill will also be uploading as many pictures as possible so that you can share your son/daughters experience.

The students are clearly excited, and the staff have definitely been on a count-down to camp for a numbers of weeks now, so fingers crossed for some fine Italian weather and food, which will set us up nicely for the week!

Please check back soon or follow us in Twitter which will guide you to the blog posts.

Mr Bavington

Bedford Small Boats Head 2018


Only a week on from an outstanding team performance at St. Neot’s Head, BMSBC were back in action, this time on home water competing at Bedford Small Boats Head. Every member of the boat club showed incredible determination and resilience as they battled the relentless rain throughout the entire day, none more so than our extremely committed Parents Support Group who powered on providing the best wet BBQ ever!!

Our J15 squads all worked hard in a combination of small boats, quads and coxed fours, where they all finished in the middle of the pack amongst some strong opposition. This event offers our 15 squad the opportunity to further their race experience whilst new crew formations are being decided. They all show a lot of promise for the future.

The J16 boy’s squad had a relatively quiet day with their efforts focused on racing two matched coxed fours. Both crews put in a solid row and were only separated by 4 seconds, with the crew of Foster Holt, Will Hartshorn, Miguel Carr, Oliver Little and Ben Cox taking the honours. Within their event the crews beat Emanuel School, Norwich School, but were unfortunately pipped to the event win by a very impressive crew from Twickenham Rowing Club.

The Yr11 girl’s had a great day both in their singles and in their coxless quads; a boat category new to the squad this year, which they have settled into brilliantly. There were excellent performances in the single scull from Emily Watson and Hope Chouffot, who led the way and were only separated by 1 second as well as pushing close to the times of some senior rowers. The single is a tricky boat class and the girls are starting to really thrive in it. The coaching team were really pleased with everyone’s approach with some student’s overcoming a lack of confidence in the boats to perform well. It was the coxless quads where the squad really excelled; the crew of Hope Chouffot, Georgia Smith, Ellen Fletcher and Emily Watson put in one of the performances of the day winning their category by some 24 seconds over competition from Putney High School, Mossbourne Rowing Academy and Guilford Rowing Club. This crew also set the four fastest time from a BMS. Well done to everyone in the WJ16 squad!

As well as our younger squads rowed, it was our senior squads that really excelled on home waters winning five events. Lizzie Rowe won the WJ18 single, as well as doubling up with Boat Club Captain Lara Brittain to win the WJ18 doubles category. Joe Herbert and Matteo Peluso put in a fantastic row in their pair to win a senior pairs event. Joe and Matteo then joined forces with Joe Walker and Rajesh Paul, as all four boys changed discipline to race in a quad scull, which the boys went on to win beating local rivals Bedford School and Star Club, as well as crews from Emanuel School. The senior coxed four of Aaron Smith, Caleb Avis, Ethan Carr, Jake Young, coxed by Sam Szeto were also victorious winning another senior category and beating Bedford School and Oundle Town.

There were many other excellent performances within the senior singles and pairs that impressed the whole coaching team. The rowing squad has had a fantastic first two events and are setting themselves up nicely for the rest of this terms events.

Full results can be view here

Pre-Season Training

We’re back!!

I hope you have all enjoyed your Summer break, feel energised and ready to get back in a boat, and probably not quite so excited to get back on the ergo!!!

Pre-season will take place from Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st August.

Seniors and J16’s have a session 08:00am – 10:00am on all four days.

J15 boys are on Wednesday (29th) and Friday (31s) at 10:00am – 12:00pm.

WJ15 girls are on Tuesday (28th) and Thursday (30th) at 10:00am – 12:00pm.

The boathouse has had a major refurbishment; replacing all of the wooden facia, windows and doors, the building is looking smart and ready to go as well!!

If you are still on holiday then not to worry, but if you are able to come please ensure you have training kit for all occasions, trainer for example!

See you all soon, Mr Bavington.

Camp is coming to an end…

Mr White, Mr Satchwill and I left Bedford what seems like an age ago, having driven the trailer some 1300 miles to get to Sabaudia. Although it is safe to say that everyone has reached that point where they stroll into breakfast resembling your typical Hollywood zombie, with vacant eyes and a fairly unnatural walk from their aching muscles, everyone has been epic in their determination and commitment.

This is the first year in Sabaudia where we haven’t had perfect conditions for just about every session; we’ve faced rain, wind, more wind and some gales to finish off. We did reach a point earlier on in the week where extra straps were required to hold the boats down during a storm, not the weather we are used to. Our hosts have even provided the coaches with some extra waterproof jackets, which we very much appreciated even if they are a bit of a 90’s throwback, Mr White loves his! The students have handled the conditions superbly with minimal moans about going out in the sometimes sea-like conditions.

The staff and I have all loved the camp and found it extremely useful for getting to know some of the students that we don’t coach on a regular basis. We certainly have some characters in the younger years; Ben “Beats” Williams constantly protesting that we edited his blog posts (editing definitely required!) and then the year 10 girls squad seem to have endless energy, except when it comes to getting up for breakfast. Phoebe Wright, Hope Chouffot, Georgia Smith and Emily Watson require a special mention as ROOM 213, the first stop when it comes to reducing the noise throughout the hotel!!

As with most years on camp, the senior and J16 crews have been putting in some serious mileage. They have faced tough conditions all week but this hasn’t stopped them pushing boundaries physically and mentally. The development and improvement of all of our year11+ crews is a key factor to why we come away every year. I think this camp has seen the biggest step forward from all of our leading boats and am excited to see how they will get on back in the UK. This commitment hasn’t come with sacrifice though; Tom Rowe has slowly been drilling through the back of his heel with the worlds largest blister (we have perfected the endless bandaging and strapping applied to the most awkward place on the body), numerous hands are starting to look raw, Lauren has managed to hurt her big toe, and of course the usual aches and pains that come with pushing yourself so hard. None of the above has hampered their own preparation for the sessions and not going out hasn’t passed the lips of any of them. A tough bunch!

Each year one of the main worries when organising the camp is how the year10 students are going to cope with numerous aspects of the camp; sharing rooms together, the relentless timetable of early morning and rowing sessions, and how their bodies are going to cope with the significantly increased mileage. This year they have all committed themselves excellently. Of course there has been one or two that required a session in the launch to “recover” and I’m sure it had nothing to do with spending a sunny afternoon being driven around in a speed boat(!), but they advancement in their rowing is hard to measure. Both boys and girls squads have made massive steps forward in their rowing ability, and their energy around the hotel has been a welcome addition. They are an encouraging group to have involved at BMSBC and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in the future.

Mr White, Mr Honnor and Mr Ruta have once again been fantastic at ensuring the revision timetable has been stuck to, as well as offering their expertise whenever required to whoever needs it. Their commitment through the camp is second to none, with the students generally working for 3-4 hours a day, some more than. Hopefully this will put all of the students in a strong mindset for the rest of their holidays and into the exam season.

Sharing the hotel with the Slovakian Kayak Team was a worry initially. The average height is about 6’5 and they carry a certain “presence” when they enter the room. However, our students have been exceptional in the way they have conducted themselves around the hotel. With less than 24 hours to go I’m hoping for the first year that I don’t get shouted at in Italian by the hotel manager!

To summarise, another successful camp where speed and style has been developed on the water, and a greater TeamBMS spirit has been built on land. We now enter a crucial point in the year where the pressure increases in all aspects of life, however everyone should feel like they are leaving the camp knowing they are supported by their crew mates and staff that are willing to help however possible.

The coaching team and I wish you all a safe journey home and an enjoyable rest after a tough week away. Mr Satchwill and I are extremely excited about about another 2 days in the truck to get the equipment home I’m sure you can imagine. Thank you all for such an enjoyable camp!

Mr Bavington