The small scattering of drizzle on the morning of Saturday 11 May soon made way for wonderful sunny spells which shone down on the 155th Bedford Regatta. Rowers, supporters, organisers and all who attended enjoyed a day of thrilling rowing, a friendly atmosphere and the heat of the sun on their backs – it was a wonderful social day for the Bedford School community and the town of Bedford.
Around 130 boys, almost every boy in the school’s Boat Club, raced in at least one of the 280 races over the course of the day. With 1,800 competitors taking part, some of them travelling from as far away as South Africa, the river was buzzing with racing activity. It was not just the crews who worked hard – the supporters produced cheers which broke decibel meters across the town every time Bedford raced!
The Bedford School Boat Club had 14 crews racing and faced stiff competition from the major rowing schools, who were all in attendance. The Colts A had the closest race of the day, losing to Abingdon by two feet in their semi-final, while the 1st eight and 1st quad brought home pewter with both crews winning their events.
Special mention goes to Upper Sixth Former Chris Lodge who, after coxing the 1st eight for the last two years, won his first Bedford Regatta race as an oarsman, beating Hampton as part of the 2nd eight.
We would like to thank everybody from the wider school community who travelled from far and wide for this special day. In particular, to The Friends of Bedford School Boat Club for organising and toiling away all day on the barbecue and keeping everyone refreshed. A final thank you, as always, to Old Bedfordian and Regatta Secretary, Hugh Maltby, and his wife, Rachel, for all of their meticulous planning in the build up to this key ‘home fixture’ and careful coordination on the day.