Bedford Regatta 2014 Preview

The 150th anniversary of one of the largest one day river regatta’s in the country should be a special day for everyone involved and, down in Bedford, the scene is set for a superb day of racing! This event can be taken as a pre-cursor for form leading into National Schools or Met Regatta so is a valuable reference point for coaches and competitors alike. There is a wide range of activities on offer this Saturday including a classic car show and an enclosure style area, all of which are taking place along the picturesque Bedford embankment. This year, the regatta has seen an impressive 11 entries for the Elite mens 8’s category and 5 for the women’s alternative. This is as a result of the £1000 prize promised to the winners of these two events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the regatta’s initiation. Evidently galvanised by the thought of a £1000 prize coupled with the undeniable lure of racing on the beautiful Ouse, this years regatta has seen a fantastic standard of entry throughout the program but particularly in the Elite events. A quick word on those…

Elite 8+

There promises to be some fantastic racing in this event, including an inter-collegiate battle between two Oxford crews and a local derby between the self entitled Bedford’s Premier Gentleman’s Rowing Club’, better known as Lady Rohesia, and the Star Club first VIII. If that wasn’t enough, Imperial College have entered a crew along with their sister club, Sport Imperial which may bring Josh Butler home. Newcastle University have thrown their hat in the ring and I hope that these crews are their top athletes- it’ll make for quite a spectacle down the 1200m course. I won’t make any predictions but I think the aforementioned names should be enough to get you thinking…

Jun 8+

Two real stand-out crews here. Abingdon, who are also racing in Elite 8’s, have entered crews to defend their title in both events. Last year, they beat Radley in the final to take the junior prize and it looks as if a re-match could well be on the cards this year. These two are my favourites to make the final particularly as they have been placed in opposite sides of the draw but there are some strong crews standing in their way. Hampton School have entered a crew and will race the winners of BMS and Abingdon. On the other side Bedford School, the other local crew, will race the winners of Radley and Winchester. I think the favourites are Abingdon, who are traditionally very good over the shorter distances and I think they’ll take this- expect Radley to push them hard though.

J16 8+

Three stand out crews here. I believe the Sandford crew is the top crew from Hampton and I make these boys slight favourites to take this one. A crew from Hampton raced into third position at Wallingford last Sunday and I think they’ll be looking to build on this. I fancy these guys to be fast and I’ll be interested to see if they face Sir William Borlase in the final. SWB came fourth in the same event last Sunday and were a mere two seconds behind Hampton at the 1k mark and finish point. SWB have been going well in their VIII, winning at JIRR and beating Hampton at SHORR. I think these two will be the front runners. If you want a good semi-final, there are two Radley crews in either side of the draw. One of them will likely be the crew which came 6th in the final on Sunday and they’ll likely come up against either Hampton or SWB so watch out for that.

J18 4+

Three entries but I actually think there’ll be some great racing here. Great Marlow School have a very tidy four, which has competed together for over a year now and won a bronze medal in 1st Fours at NSR last year. They have a bye to the final where they will come up against either Radley College or Bedford School. If Radley have entered the four which was so impressive earlier in the season [Charlie Elwes, Robbie Wendin] then I think they’ll take this. It won’t be easy though- the Bedford School boat is a combination of guys who didn’t quite make the 1st VIII this year so I think Radley will take this.

WJ184+

Another high entry standard, with a re-match from last Sunday. Henley, as it always seems in junior rowing, are my favourites to take this especially after their convincing win at Wallingford in WJ184+. They won at SHORR and HOR4 too and are the form crew in this event. However, the Ilic crew from BGS came third at Wallingford and, having returned to home waters, will be looking to take on Henley. The return of Robin Armstrong could be significant for BGS this summer and they are a crew to watch particularly if they boat an VIII. I’d also watch out for Kings School Chester, who won WJ18 8+ at Wallingford. If this is four of their top girls, they should be strong. Henley for the win.

J184x

Hard to see anyone getting past Star Club on their own river but the Radley crew could be strong. It depends which athletes are in this crew but if their 1st VIII get involved it could be a good race. Star Club, who have apparently boated their top crew for this event, will likely be too good though as I think* they are only doing the quad. Shiplake, who finished nearly a minute behind Star at SHORR, are unlikely to do much damage against either crew. Star for the win.

* Apparently Star are boating an VIII in IM3 that comprises their two junior quads- can anyone confirm?

That’s my Bedford Regatta preview. If anyone wants me to do an additional event just comment below or send me an email at juniorrowingwordpress@gmail.com.

Good luck to all competitors!

This photo was taken from- http://www.abingdon.org.uk/index.php/bedford_regatta_may10

bedfordregatta-10_16

 

JuniorRowingBlogger
  • Reblogged this on Park Life and commented:
    We can’t wait to see the river flooded (sorry!) with teams entering the 150th Anniversary Regatta this Saturday 10th May! With Classic Cars set to add a new dimension to the day, it promises to be one to remember! And now that Kiosk at The Park is on hand to dish out Marshmallow Mountains and Malteser Squares to the exhausted and elated – everyone will be happy!

  • We can’t wait to see the river flooded (sorry!) with teams entering the 150th Anniversary Regatta! With Classic Cars set to add a new dimension to the day, it promises to be one to remember! And now that Kiosk at The Park is on hand to dole out Marshmallow Mountains and Malteser Squares to the exhausted and elated – everyone will be happy!