Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
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Company Registration No.07690054

Bedford Regatta

On Saturday GMSBC competed at the 156th Bedford Amateur Regatta against a number of top independent schools. This is a beautiful old-fashioned river regatta with up to four rounds of racing to reach the finals. The great benefit from head to head knock out racing is the greater opportunity to win a race outright. Hence the vast majority of our rowers won at least one race and it was a happy and successful day at the races.

Our Year 10 boys raced Shiplake in the first round of J15 VIIIs. They had lost to them by 1 ½ lengths at Marlow Spring and the Shiplake Crew were clearly confident of another win, given their banter at the start. The GMS crew had managed to work on their starts and build a little more cohesion during the week and hence set off at pace in the early stages of the race. The course is on a long bend so the star is staggered to balance this up. GMS, being on the inside, hence started ½ a length down, but the lack of being able to see their opposition for the first 250m seemed to calm them and avoid the somewhat frantic rowing we had seen the week before. As the bend came into play GMS moved alongside Shiplake and this progress definitely boosted their confidence and the crew as a whole lifted their heads and pushed on. With 400m to go they had ¾ length on Shiplake and continued to move ahead for the rest of the race.  It was a really impressive race from this strong squad of boys.

The girls were entered in two WJ18 4x. The first race was meant to be at 9:00 am, meaning a 7:30 arrival time at Bedford. Annoyingly, the opposition for this race did not get there in time so they were given a bye to the next round. In the semi-finals GMSBC raced Bedford girls crew and expected a tough race from the prestigious local private school. However, the GMS girls’ team dispatched them quite early in the race and romped home as a comfortable winner, putting them into the final later in the afternoon. The other girls’ crew had Bedford Modern School in their semi and after a little steering wobble at the start, they settled into a strong powerful row. Coming out of the bridge at halfway, GMS was half a length ahead and moving away. At this point BMS caught a crab and the race was over. That is, until BMS raised an objection that we had impeded them at the start. A re-row was considered the fairest solution. This time the girls began in a clean way: both crews were neck and neck around the bend with BMS coming out of the bridge slightly ahead. GMS put pressure on the opposition and soon took a half-length lead. Sadly, over the closing stages, BMS managed to regain some composure and edged past to win.

Our J16 Boys’ crew, with a slight line-up change from the victories of the last two weekends, were up against Hampton School in the semi-finals. For the first 250m, the crews were pretty even and the fast start made it look as though this race might go to the line. However, the GMS crew just moved ahead steadily, recording another successful win. In the final, they were against the South African Schools Rowing Association (the equivalent of their Junior National Team) and while we had a faster time in the semis, it was likely to be a tough race. Sure enough, South Africa started a length up on the outside and had a good viewpoint to respond to the push by our crew. The South Africans rowed a strong race and held off the GMS crew. It was with 300m left that the GMS crew started to make a move and eat into the lead, but it was too little too late and they lost to South Africa.

We finished the day with two great wins. The Year 11 Girls had a convincing victory over Bedford Girls School in their final to take the trophy. The Sixth Form Boys in the Open Coxless Fours beat a Cambridge crew by 1 ½ length in their final. The Cambridge crew had to beat Eton and Norwich to make the final and so the boys were very pleased with this win.

The website thanks Mr Murison for this report and for his leadership of our students that helps them enjoy success.

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