Boys, parents, staff and Old Bedfordians were thrilled to witness some outstanding performances and victories at this year’s National Schools’ Regatta with our 1st VIII producing the best performance by a Bedford School 1st VIII since 2005.

The crew started their day with an excellent fourth place in an extremely tight time trial: less than a second separated third and eighth places. In the semi-final, the crew achieved a very composed second place to progress to the A final.

The final was dominated by St Paul’s School from the beginning. However, the 1st VIII produced a strong first 500m and to hold second position to the 1000m mark, before they were edged out by Radley. The 1st VIII were now under pressure from Shiplake who produced a blistering final 500m to take third place. Undeterred, the 1st VIII hung on to claim fourth place ahead of Eton College, Latymer College, St Edwards School and Royal Shrewsbury School. Their great performance was a first for the school in earning them the Child Beale Cup, which is awarded to non-championship VIIIs.

The 1st VIII were joined at the National Schools’ Regatta by the 2nd VIII, 3rd VIII, Colts A and B, J15 A, B and C and J14 A, B, C and D, who also enjoyed considerable success.

A young 2nd VIII finished eighth; the first time in many years that the 2nd VIII reached the A final. The 3rd VIII finished sixth, the Colts A twelfth, the Colts B sixth. 

The J15 A finished fourth in the C final of the very competitive J15 competition. They just pipped Trentham to the finish and also beat KCS Wimbledon for the first time this season. The J15 B crew finished fourth and the J15 C crew finished fifth in the C final of the J15 B event and were the third fastest C crew on the day.

The J14 A crew finished second in the C final. The J14 B crew produced a fantastic set of races to finish 2nd in their time trial; a result that they backed up by winning their semi-final. Their final was dominated by St Paul’s, but Bedford were the only crew capable of keeping pace with them and won the silver medal two lengths ahead of King’s School Chester. The J14 C crew finished fourth in the C final and the D crew finished fifth in the D final. Both C and D crews produced good races to beat several B crews from other schools.

Well done to all the crews who took part, and of course the coaches and parents who all work so hard across the winter months.

Main image is courtesy of AllMarkOne. 

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