H.R.R – BMS Preview

Henley Royal Regatta 2017 is less than 24 hours away, where does the year go!

This year BMSBC will be represented by the senior girls, competing in the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup. This is a fantastic achievement to even be in the regatta; in an event where there are only 16 places available. Our quad had worked and raced hard throughout the season so that they were not required to attend the qualifying races, a nice feather in their caps!

The quad will face Beckett B on Thursday, a crew made up of some talented sweep rowers and certainly not to be under estimated.

BMS will have the usual drinks and nibbles available in Butlers Field on Wednesday lunchtime. Please do come along and chat all things rowing and BMS.

Unfortunately the boys side of the boat club had a tough day at qualifiers. The Fawley quad missing out by just over 1 second in some very unfavourable conditions. The second boat, a PE eight, missed out by just under 1 second. A good result for the young crew but still disappointing for the boys.

We were so close to having three crews in the event, but ended up wth one. A testament to the efforts being put in across the boat club, but margins matter in sport and unfortunately we were just the wrong side of them last Friday night. Your time will come!

I hope everyone enjoys the regatta and I would like to thank you for your on going support of BMSBC.


Sunday 18th June – Road Closure

Dear Parents/Pupil,

Apologies for the late e-mail, however I have just been made aware that The Embankment and other roads around the river will be closed Sunday morning due to the Bedford 10k Run, this will make access to the boathouse difficult. THIS WILL INFLUENCE DROP OFF AND COLLECTION.

I would suggest to drop students off around the far side of Russell Park, or anywhere along Castle Road and then students can walk the remainder of the journey. Another good location may be Aspects McDonalds.

Please try to factor this into your journey time!

Please do spread the word via text, WhatsApp or any other means.

Many thanks,

Mr Bavington

Director of Rowing

National Schools’ Regatta 2017 Info


National Schools’ Regatta is now upon us, where has the year gone!! Since the draw was published over the weekend, there has been a frenzy of reorganising plans, booking additional accommodation and trying to work out how to transport an entire boat club to the Olympic Lake in Dorney!!

There is now a dedicated NSR 2017 page on the website. This allows you access to all of the documentation relevant to BMSBC at NSR 2017.


As previously mentioned, there have been a few changes to those students that are required to stay in accommodation. You should receive a letter from the school regarding this, please respond ASAP. If you have already responded to the first request and your accommodation requirements have not changed then you do not need to do anything. An accommodation list is attached.

Transport: If you require transport back to BMS on Saturday then please e-mail me directly to arrange this. The return journey will be covered by mini-bus only, so information regarding numbers is crucial. I would ask that if parents are coming to watch on Saturday, please could you assist us by taking your child home. Thank you!!!

Spectator cars are charged at £20/day

Please keep an eye on the website as there will be additional information being added.

If you have any questions regarding this event then please do not hesitate to contact either myself or your squad coach.

Best of luck at the regatta!!

Mr Bavington

Director of Rowing

Bedford Regatta 2017 Report

On Saturday 6th May BMSBC had a very strong day of racing at Bedford Regatta with an entry of 15 boats racing.

Starting the day off we saw a Girls J15 quad of Charlie Andrew, Lauren Burchell, Hannah Heappey, and Abbie Davis, coxed by Anja Wharton come down the 1200m course as the first race of the day. With a head wind starting to pick up, they had a good start and put up a good fight against Bedford Girls Schools A Quad. It finished with a victory for BGS. Another girls J15 Quad of Imogen Eales, Katie Gell, Jess Read and Lizzie Rowe, coxed by Corinne McWilliams won their first race easily against Norwich School, which meant they went on to meet Sir William Borlase and Norwich in the quarter and semi-finals. The girls eventually met BGS in their final. They executed their race plan perfectly, however BGS pulled it out of the bag and won by 1 ½ lengths. Although the J15 girls were disappointed, they stayed very professional and gave them their well-deserved three cheers. Both crews are taking this weekend on board to learn what they need to improve on to have a very successful National Schools in three weeks’ time.

The Senior girls quad of Hannah Cowie, Izzy Glanvill, Emma Dobson and Ella Monaghan were drawn against Oundle for their first race, which they won by 2 ½ lengths. In the next round the girls shot off of the start showing Shiplake College their slick start knowing that they would have to work very hard to get through this round. The senior girls were knocked out by Shiplake who were the heavy favourites coming into this regatta and finally went on to win the category.

The J16 Girls Quad of Zoe Ziaullah, Thea Hale, Zara Ziaullah and Lara Brittain had a very successful day. Firstly beating Sir William Borlase, to then beating Putney High School, to make it through to the final against Oundle School. The girls were punchy off of the start and sculled their race plan well- first ones to the bridge! Coming into the last minute of the race, there just wasn’t enough gas left in the tank. Oundle won by ½ Length. Defiantly one of the most exciting races of the day. All four girls are very determined to get in as much water time as possible before National Schools.

This was the J14 Girls first ever regatta and what a very successful one it was. We saw a Quad of Amina Eldin, Romy Wharton, Phoebe Wright, Hope Chouffot coxed by Amirah Zaman beat Kings School Ely in their first race and winning their second race against Kingston Grammer School, putting them into the final. Norwich won their final; however, with the girls having not rowed as long as some of their competition and competing in a smaller boat, this was a fantastic result!

The highlight of the day has to be the J14 Girls octo. A very excited and slightly nervous boat of Ellen Fletcher, Hope Chouffot, Georgia Smith, Emily Jones, Hannah Mackay, Emily Watson, Sophie Lawrence, and Yasmin Canning, coxed by Grace Donkin started the day beating the BGS B octo, which gave them the confidence to on to beat Mossbourne. A very exciting BMS V’s BGS showdown was the final for the J14’s. The girls stayed calm and knew exactly what to do to achieve the best possible outcome. They rowed a fantastic race and came out with a Victory, winning their event!

Four finals and a Win from the girls is a very good start to the summer season of racing and not a bad end to Bedford Regatta 2017.

The boys also had a exciting day of racing. BMS had a first eight of Sam Hodgkiss, Glen Mulkerrins, Sam Kavanagh, Alex Ventisei, Toby Harris, Will Thornton, Tom Rowe and Jack Colliver, coxed by Georgia Bygraves. Winning their first round against City of Cambridge they went on to meet Abingdon in the semi-finals. It was a victory for Abingdon, who then went on to win the category. A very strong performance was put in by the eight.

Alex, Jack, Sam, Glen and Georgia doubled up to compete in a coxed four, beating Lea in their first round. Up against Bedford School in their semi-final the boys didn’t make it easy for Bedford as they approached Town Bridge. In the end, Bedford had the edge and went on to win the round and the whole category.

A senior boys Quad of Will Thornton, Chris Gell, Sam White and Tom Rowe were, as well, up against Bedford School in their first round. Not having sculled in a while, the boys proved they could come together and scull with excellent skill. However getting knocked out to Bedford, who later went to compete in the final

BMS had two eights competing in the Novice eight category. The J15 boys squad of Evan Potts, Jake Young, Aaron Smith, Caleb Avis, Matt Fox, Ethan Carr, Tim Evans and Arjun Patel, coxed by Sam Szeto beat Bedford School in their first round of the day which gave them that little boost of confidence for their next race against Abingdon. Our boys just didn’t have the pace to be able to beat such a strong crew…this time.

Also racing against Colleges, Universities and other schools and clubs were the J16 boys squad. We saw an eight of, Rajesh Paul, Joe Walker, Damon Hall, Robbie Marquand, Joe Herbert, Izaak Hull, Jack Tindall and Austin Roberts coxed by Zac Wilde. Winning their first round to Norwich, and then going on to beat Abingdon, put the boys into the final against Pembroke College. They raced to the same high standards as they had been all day but had to admit defeat this time.

The J16 boys also doubled up and did a coxed four of Rajesh, Joe Walker, Damon and Austin coxed by Zac Wilde. They had a very successful day of racing not only making the final in the eight, but racing their way to compete in the final for their four, by beating Kingston Grammar School and Cheltenham to be beaten in the final by Norwich. Two finals from the J16 boys squad is very encouraging just weeks before National Schools.

A J15 boy’s quad of Jack Hill, James Willis, Lewis Dunning and Julian Smith, coxed by Alex Hogben raced their first round against Windsor boy’s school. Windsor went on to win this round and the category. We were very impressed with how this quad performed considering Lewis from the J14 boy’s squad had stepped up to the challenges of being super sub!

BMSBC had two octos compete on Saturday. An octo of Miguel Carr, Oliver Little, James McDermott, Joshua Noble-Layng, Lewis Dunning, Oluwatobi Ajibola, Mathew Shaw and Tosan Awani coxed by Ben Cox were drawn up against Abingdon School A in their first round. The boys raced very well knowing that it was going to be a tough first race to get through. Despite their greatest efforts, the j14 boys were knocked out to very strong contenders!

The second octo of Huw Sheppard, Foster Holt, Ivor Luffman, Jacob Suman, George Miller, Max Kroon, Luke Perrin and Sohail Shaikh coxed by Anja Wharton were up against Hampton, another strong school. All of the boys put their training into practice and gelled well as a crew losing to Hampton who went on to win the category.

BMS also entered a J14 boy’s quad of Miguel Carr, Lewis Dunning, Joshua Noble-Layng and Oliver Little, coxed by Ben Cox. They raced Kingston Grammar in their first round and were unfortunately knocked out. For not being in a quad for long, they had a strong start setting them up for an impressive race. It was fantastic to see so many J14 boys racing and very exciting to see what National Schools will bring for them.

An excellent day all round, with special thanks to all the Parents who came to support and provided everyone with food and drink in the tent!


Camp Review by Mr Bavington

Apologies for the odd typo, this has been written on the back of the truck under the English channel!!

This was our third year visiting Sabaudia, and thankfully it lived up to previous years experiences and more. I was kindly assisted on the 1300 mile trip by Mr Satchwill and Mr White, neither of which had made the journey before, and in fact Mr White’s only previous experience of towing the boat trailer was a quick trip up the A6 one Saturday morning so he could ‘get his eye in’! I’m pleased to say that we had no problems in either direction!!

I have had previous experience of angry hotel managers shouting at me in Italian after the students have perhaps got a little bit over excited but this year everyone stayed inside the acceptable level of noise and “banter”! I think this was helped by the fact we were being compared to the L.E.H J15 squad who were particularly excitable!

I have spent most of my week coaching the senior squad. I have been extremely pleased with the progress of the 1st VIII and the W4x, both making some valuable steps forward which will definitely put them in stronger positions when we start racing at the regattas, the first being Wallingford on 30th April. What has also been extremely pleasing to see is the development of a W2- made up of Emma Dobson and Izzy Donkin. A crew that has never been tried before but immediately seem to find some middle ground and give them both something to work on throughout the rest of the season; hopefully they will not break anymore riggers having already dismantled two whilst on camp!!!

Whilst introducing Will Thornton back into some sweep rowing this had a knock on effect to Sam White who found some form in the single. Again a boat that Sam has not spent lots of time in but within a few KM’s of getting in he was perfecting his square blade roll ups and putting together some promising firm pressure pieces. This gives us another avenue to explore this summer.

The camp has allowed some healthy internal competition to develop also; although there always seems to be one crew in the middle of every battle which is the J15 eight. This has been very pleasing to see as it is not uncommon for J15’s to stay quite within themselves but this lot have taken it upon themselves to race any boat which dares to go near them, taking on both the J16’s and the senior girls! I believe this J15 group have a promising rowing career ahead of them.

With exams coming around quickly the J16 group always have the most pressure at this time of year, and with the presence of Mr White on camp this year I believe the boys felt they had something to prove in the study area as well as on the water. After some gentle nudging initially they all found their stride and settled into a routine of sleep/eat/row/study in various different orders!! They have without a shadow of a doubt made some good steps forward this camp and definitely can put solid performances together; it’s more about making sure we can get them working as a unit to ensure the good performances are as consistent as possible. I believe Mr Ruta is pleased with their progress though.

With the J15 squad not being shy to take any crew on, the WJ15 squad was certainly not going to be shown up by their counter parts. The girls have spent the week taking each other on in both quads and some work in singles. The girls have thoroughly enjoyed the space to sit and do some intense technical sessions, and have certainly not wasted the opportunity of staff being available as Miss Bruce and Miss Mackay spent most evenings going through videos of the girls rowing. The girls clearly have an infectious desire for improvement and perfection; all the girls have made huge steps forward.

This year we have the largest number of students attending which are not in set crews, which did make me nervous that they wouldn’t get good value for money with regards to water time or coaching. The boys have been great though at jumping in any boat going, any crew that needed a sub, or just grabbing a single and going for a paddle. I think Alex Hogben has been in just about every boat going on camp and has made himself a vital member of the week, showing wiliness to cox or row, but mainly just enjoy himself out on the water. It has been a great week for all involved.

Mr White has come into the camp with just about no rowing experience at all, and has left with similar, of course I’m joking. Mr White has offered a lot of feedback to students, not necessarily with the best rowing terminology but we all knew what he meant!!! I wold like to thank him, Mr Honnor and Mr Ruta for running a tight ship in the study room; I would like to think that a lot of the students have made good steps forward in the class room as well as the water.

Moving forward the WJ15 4x+ (A) has been selected for the Inter-Regional Regatta on the 22nd April, Hannah Cowie and Voirrey Taylor will be racing GB trials on the 23rd April. Our next squad events consist of Wallingford Regatta on 30th April for our senior boats and some J16’s, then the ntire Boat Club will hopefully get a run out at Bedford Regatta on the 6th May, please come along to support!!!

I have thoroughly enjoyed the week; I have got to know some of the younger students more and look forward to them working their way up to the senior boats. I’m extremely pleased with my senior squad as I write a hard programme for this week and they have all exceeded my expectations to the high standard to which they have completed the sessions.

Great week to be part of BMSBC and I’m thoroughly excited to be heading into the regatta season with our current squad.

Sabaudia Day 7 – J16 Squad

We all woke this morning feeling very lethargic after several days of concentrated lactic acid building in our muscles, which was now beginning to affect our bodies – but not our minds!!

To quote a wise man “if you can move, you can row.”

We were on session one, which was a gruelling 10×1 minute sprint with only 30 seconds rest between, to be completed TWICE!! The J16’s put their tender bodies on the line fighting the pain, putting all other crews to shame! (Apparently!)

The J15 boys eight had another productive day, working with the Senior Girls this morning. Both boats worked well through the work, and have developed a great little battle between each other throughout the week. As you can imagine, there is plenty riding on the results of tomorrow’s racing!

The WJ15 squad have made huge improvements, and despite the odd niggle, have really shown true BMS resilience to support each other through the testing times. Great progress by all these girls!!

The afternoon brought with it some kinder water, and an enjoyable penultimate session for all involved. The weather has been faultless all week, and some of us are looking like we have been on a beach holiday rather than a training camp, I guess our blisters will show that we haven’t had an easy time!!

Tomorrow brings the last day of camp, where all crews will complete a final 2km race, where the coaches can compare the times between the crews, and the targets set. The lions will be revealed amongst the sheep; the men will be separated from the boys.

Watch out all…