The Bedford School Boat Club (BSBC) is the sixth oldest school boat club in the country, with a history dating back to 1861 that includes winning the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup and many gold medals at The National Schools Regatta, including gold and silver medals in J16 and J15 1st VIIIs in 2014.
The school is continually looking at ways to improve its rowing programme, and in order to keep pace with an ever-changing world appointed double Olympian Pete Mulkerrins in 2012 for the new role of Director of Rowing.
Many boys have gone on to be selected for the Great Britain senior rowing team, the most notable of these to date is the double Olympic champion Jack Beresford, Britain’s best ever rower until one Steve Redgrave came along! More recently, the club was represented by Phelan Hill who steered the British eight to a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Recent old boys have also represented their country at the Under 23 World Championships, the Commonwealth Games and The Boat Race, and have won many events at Henley Royal Regatta. The club has excellent facilities within a short walk from the school on the river Great Ouse. It has one of the best-equipped school fleets in the country, thanks to a regular investment programme and careful management and maintenance from its team of boatmen.
The boathouse was recently refurbished to provide warm, comfortable surroundings, with modern changing facilities, as well as an ergometer room for land training and testing. In addition, boys use the newly refurbished gym in the recreation centre to develop their strength and have access to 22 ergometers to help with their conditioning.
In addition to domestic training camps, during half terms and holidays, at Pangbourne and Radley on the River Thames, the club has developed a tradition of foreign training camps at senior level. In 2013, the 1st VIII trained in Sousons, France during the Easter holidays. This year, the Boat Club sent senior and J16, crews to Sarnen in Switzerland, home of the Swiss National Team. This proved an excellent camp and good preparation for the summer’s racing.