Bedford Autumn Fours & Small Boats Head 2010

October 11, 2010

What a brilliant day! Held in amazing weather for the time of year (or pretty much any time of year in this country), this was probably the most successful day’s racing for the club ever. In particular, the women’s squad simply dominated the fours racing, winning all four of the categories they entered. Steve and I backed that up with a win at Masters D and there were some very promising new combinations form some of the other guys.

The women entered five fours in all, and these all posted the fastest times in their categories with the sole exception of the second IM2 boat, who were beaten only by the first boat, by a measly two seconds.

W.IM1 4-
A first outing for the IM1 coxless boat saw them win over Guildford by over a minute (the latter crew getting a very close look at the greenery by the school’s boat house).

W.IM2 4+
Two crews out in this category,they finished first and second, well ahead of another Guildford crew

W.IM3 4+
A very strong performance by this boat saw them finish 37 seconds clear of the next placed boat (from Star Club) and the other three Guildford boats and one from Emanuel School still further behind

W.Novice 4+
Another pleasing performance form the novice women, finishing 18 seconds clear of Bedford, with two Guildford boats completing the category

W.IM3 4x-
A first event for a completely new crew saw them well on the pace. They ultimately finished fourth of five, but with just 10 seconds covering the first four boats, with Marlow winning and Guildford placing two boats ahead of us and one behind.

W.Novice 2x-
Being the first race in a new combination of Yemin and Clare, they put in a creditable performance, finishing fifth of six, some 39 seconds behind the winning Oundle Town boat.

IM1 4-
Yet another new combination, and an inaugural event for the new(ish) boat Lady Sheelah, this men’s crew were up against stiff competition and finished last of five, 44 seconds down. Not a bad result for a first race together.

IM3 4x-
Our Master’s Quad racing at IM3 (no competition in Masters) found it very tough going and, despite what seemed a good race, finished last of six but 51 seconds adrift, 22 seconds off fifth place

Novice 4+
This was always going to be an uphill struggle, racing against the school crews, but the Novice Men acquitted themselves very well, finishing seventh of nine. Crucially, they were the first club boat home though, beating Stratford by just one second (and a BMS school boat by two seconds!).

Senior 2-
Something of a “voyage of discovery” this for Tim and Phil, racing for the first time in a pair. That they managed to finish mid-table was a really good result, especially as Star Club were clearly focused on this, supplying five of the seven crews. Three of these led our guys home but they beat off two more plus the Guildford pair.

Masters D 2x-
Steve and I finally return to winning ways, seeing off the Star Club double by a fairly comfortable 31 seconds (although they did have the stronger wind later in the day). A more balanced race with better power than of late (I can tell as I was completely shattered at the end).

Novice 2x-
One of the performances of the day, Gwen and Benn finished second of the three crews, losing by just three seconds. Considering they had rowed together once before and you can count on one hand the number of times Gwen has sculled, we’re expecting a lot from this pair (no pressure guys…).

Mixed Masters B/C 2x-
Steve and Clare showed improvement on recent races, despite finishing 30 seconds (20 on handicap) behid a Loughborough boat, who (chatting to them after) have clearly rowed together for some time

A really good day out, in terms of weather, wins and performances. Some really stand-out competitors today, with Gwen and Benn in the Novice Double and, especially, Sam. She’d not won anything before today and left Bedford with a very impressive haul of three pots, from the IM2, IM3 and Novice fours. It was also very nice to see some new boats racing (a women’s quad, men’s coxless) and at some very senior levels too. It’s still amusing to hear people saying with incredulity that they’ve been beaten by Milton Keynes – maybe they should take a look at today’s results!

The event was, as ever, excellently run and it was very gratifying to hear crew being given time penalties for being late to the start. We’re all sitting there freezing while these crews take their time – how much of this is a deliberate tactic to try and gain an edge, as so many of the offenders came from the same (local) club? Can’t finish without mentioning the results system (again) – this is so quick and well organised, it removes the endless sitting around at the end of the day waiting for results.

Results can be found at Bedford Rowing Club, and my photos at MKRC fotopic site

Bedford Fours and Eights Head 2010

February 17, 2010

Despite several really good performances, we came away from Bedford empty handed this time. Not so much us putting in poor times as a reflection of how competitive this event is.

IM2 4+

This crew were rowing at IM2 although two of the crew are still Novices! The points tally from Tim and Josh tipped them over the limit. Originally planned to be an IM3 boat with Rob M, Tim swapped in late on when Rob did his back (on an ergo on the previous Thursday!). Thanks to Will Everett for being so obliging to move the crew. Despite Jon and Thomas being very inexperienced, they posted a respectable time of 7:33, fastest MKRC crew of the day

W.IM2 4+

The regular crew of Charlene, Jo, Paula and Steph put in a good time of 7:58 but were well outclassed by CORC who took first and second, and Bedford in third. Only just behind Cantabs, to place fifth. The step up from IM3 to IM2 certainly is challenging.

W.IM3 4+

A real mix of experience levels in this boat. Stroking it was Karen, with plenty of years and many points but the rest of the crew probably muster eight or so races between them. They looked good technically but lack of water time and practise saw them off the pace at 8:28

Novice 4+

Personally VERY pleased with this race. First time I’ve done sweep oar for longer than I can remember, we posted a respectable time of 7:59. Considering the crew comprised a Vet D, two guys in their second ever race and a Novice girlie (Andi subbing in for the injured Rob M), to put in the second fastest club time in this category was pretty damned good. Some interesting photos – spot the sculler in the crew (three with their outside arm between their legs, one with legs locked together…)

W.IM1 4+

A second race for the IM2 crew, rowing up a category. Although this felt a really strong row (I was coxing), following a really good motivational talk by Tim, it was a little disappointing to shave just 5 seconds off the first time. Still this was their second row and came at the end of a long, cold day. Showing the extent of their squad, CORC won this one as well.


As usual, a superbly run event, congratulations to all at Bedford RC. The only gripe I guess is that competing against the school and university crews is a bit disheartening – any chance of separate competitions for club crews?

Special mention to Will Everett (again). After the final race, Tim ran from the Schools’ Boat House to Bedford RC to get the times. By the time he got back, we’d read them off the internet! Didn’t impress him too much but we were very impressed (with the results service and him running there and back).

Results are (obviously) already on line at Bedford RC and photos up at the MKRC fotopic site