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Match Report – Bedford SBH, 13th October 2013

Bedford Small Boat Head marks the start of our Head season and has been a regular event on our calendar. For our new members coming up into the racing section this is the start of proper racing and a bit of step up not just in rowing standard but in the organizational skills that go with competing at this level.

Following the trend of the last few competitions, this event had a significant increase in entry and members quick response to the provisional crew lists meant that we got out club entry in early and potentially everyone got a race (with none of our crews rejected).In the end we were grateful to the members that offered to sub when rowers our couldn’t make it at the last minute. We also need to thank those members who coxed in uncomfortable conditions so others could have a race.

Once again OTRC was one of the best supported clubs and it was heartening to see so many family members and friends turn out in such inclement weather to support. A special mention must go to the couple that chose to spend their wedding anniversary racing for OTRC - what romantics!

We don’t normally have awards for the day but one or two cannot go unmarked:

Man of the Match:

Ben Honeywell, who kept his calm when his doubles partner turned up so late they were almost disqualified, who (despite being J14) volunteered to race in a senior event, who came second in his event and who was first of the juniors to arrive at re- rigging.

Rower of the Day:

Philip who won our only pot and who with his team mate was the fastest OTRC crew of the day.

Best Riggers:

Boys J14 quad who turned up in force to re - rig after the event


I leave this award to the judge, but a wedding anniversary rowing in the rain at Bedford?????


Vet E 4+: (John M, Peter, Martyn, Alan, cox: Anita) Time 8:05

W Vet C 4+: (Smithy, Jo, Vicky, Bec, cox: Rhona) Time 8:45

See report in next division, below


WIM3 4+: (Smithy, Jo, Vicky, Bec, cox: Rhona) Time 8:42

In training for the proposed tideway head we were entered into two consecutive divisions so we stayed on the water between races. Firstly WVetC4+ - time - 8.45 (2nd of 3). We rowed the same time over the course but lost out on handicap to Star. Secondly WIM34+ - time 8.42 (5th of 7). Having sat for a long time in the wet and cold between divisions (even Jo was showing visible signs of cold!) we felt this was a much better row, but disapointingly only 3 seconds faster. Demonstrates consistency I guess!

W Nov 4X-: (Lucy, Charlotte, Sophie, Lauren) Time: 8:13 With this being completely new combination of rowers and Sophie's first 2K race, we were pleased to keep our form and hold off a Marlow quad that were pressuring us all the way down the course but I think we need a bit more power to move up the results table. Well done girls.

Vet D 2X: (Hugh, Philip) Time 7:41

W J15 2X: (Rochelle, Becky) Time: 9.06

It transpired that we had made a mistake with some of the ages of the girls in the junior squad and made some hasty alteration to the crew line ups. Rochelle and Becky formed a new double partnership but had little training time before the event. The girls worked well as a team with Becky doing a great job of steering and Rochelle keeping focussed on the job of rowing. They finished in the top half of a very strong field.

Nov 1X: (Richard) Time 9:37


Vet D 4+: (Bob, Charlie E, Hugh, Andrew, cox: Peter) Time 8:07

W Vet D 4+: (Claire, Angela, Jennie, Anita, cox: Simon) Time 9:16

Four glamorous birds and their cox sitting in their boat said "oh, blow! We had a terrible outing yesterday but onwards we must row” So we swung our bodies as one, sat up straight and tall, tummies in, shoulders down as we paddled and paddled again, and at the finish of the race concluded what a fantastic outing despite the piddling rain.

W Nov 2X: (Keely, Katy) Time 9:06

Dodging the showers, we two Ks weaved our way to the start, stopping a while to keep a capsized sculler company while the launch was summoned then clinging to a tree to stay in place while the rest of the division was marshalled into place. As the boats ahead peeled off downstream we paddled along after, shot under the start bridges and settled into a steady, if somewhat fast rhythm! The boat felt like it was moving nicely, we suffered hardly any mishaps or duff strokes and after a little adjustment to the rate to prevent us both exploding we enjoyed a decent row, emerging tired but pleased and most of all - dry(ish)!! Keely did a brilliant job steering and I think we both enjoyed ourselves, finishing 45 secs after the winning crew in a time of 9.06. Thanks to all who helped us boat at either end - much appreciated.

W Nov 2X: (Kate E, Kate P) Time 10:47

Our time was 10:47 which was 2:26 off the winner (Emanuel School BC), but about 2 minutes faster than our practice runs. So we were quite pleased as it was our first 2k.

J14 2X: (Charlie C, Ben Honeywell) Time: 9.00 2nd

These two competitive guys formed a new combination for the event and Ben kept his cool despite the late arrival of his doubles partner. With very little training together and a rather rushed preparation these boys produced as strong performance. They came second to Marlow by just 10sec demonstrating considerable potential.


IM3 4+: (Richard, Andrew, Charlie B, Jack, cox: Vicky) Time 7:52

W J16 4X-: (Emily, Rochelle, Jess, Julia) Time: 8.19

This event is a serious test of steering ability and the one of most difficult boats to steer is a quad, so a considerable test of Julia’s newly developed steering skills. She appeared completely unfazed by the whole experience and precisely bisected all the arches of the bridges, in stark contrast to some senior members of the club. The rest of the crew got on with the job of rowing and produced a creditable performance. By W J16 some clubs with a High Performance section are training their athletes most days of the week and it is worth noting how close our girls were to Marlow, which has one of these High Performance sections.

W J 14 4X+: (Olivia, Beatrice, Ellie N, Becky, cox: Lucy) Time 9.11

The girls have worked well in training developing their skills learning how hard they have to push themselves to be competitive. They were grateful to Becky who stepped in at the last minute to sub for Chloe. They finished in the top half of a very large and competitive field.

W Nov 2X: (Charlotte, Ellie T) Time: 9.17

The girls didn’t have their best row at Milton Keynes last time out, but more than made up for it at this event. Ellie was nervous about the responsibility of steering but needn’t have worried and Charlotte did a great job of keeping the crew focussed. They were only just behind an OTRC crew of much more experienced senior rowers, so a very creditable performance.

Vet D 1X: (Philip) 7:55

Very pleased not only to win, but to beat the other, younger scullers with my actual time as against their handicap advantages!


Vet D 4+; (Quiggers, Brian, John W, Jon H, cox Katy) Time 7:46

This is a new four, consisting of rejects and refuseniks from the Thames 8 and the World Class Four. Despite rowing with dented pride and broken hearts, we had a solid row and came second to Bedford Star. A big thank you goes to Katy our stand in cox who drove us on with some intelligent calls and an aggressive tone in her voice. Oops, almost forgot to mention that we trounced all the other Oundle fours consisting of; two fours made up from the Thames 8, the World Class Four and a crew who were at least 100 years younger than us. Beginners’ luck I'm sure so we won't rub it in too much.......................

W Nov 4+: (Kate E, Kate P, Rhona, Matine, cox: Anita) Time 10.35. We are taking lots of positives from our row: We really enjoyed it We were a LOT older than our opposition, mere schoolgirls Etc etc

W J 18 2X: (Lucy, Lauren) Time: 8:41 Despite racing together in the quad a lot, this was our first race together in the double, and after not much training we thought we had a good, smooth row and the sun even came out half way down the course, so we enjoyed it even if we weren't the quickest. Well done to Lauren for perfect steering as always :)

Nov 2X: (Ben J, Ben Honeywell) Time: 9.04

This was timetabled to be Jock & Ben in the crew and for various reasons the boys had not been able to train much together and even managed an unscheduled swim in training. Jock had over done the weight training during the week and had to pull out at the last minute. Ben Honeywell from the J14 squad stepped up into this senior event and the boys produced a great performance in beating some local clubs and finishing well in the pack.


Vet E 4+: (Bob, Charlie E, Simon, Ian Smith, cox: Rhona) Time: 7:56 A chance for the Italian mob to reunite one more time. With only one practice outing in the intervening 5 weeks, your correspondent wasn't sure if we could get back to the level we felt we had achieved in the summer. Having watched all the other club 4+ crews battle their way through storm and tempest, our turn coincided with a rare break in the rain. The row itself however was unencumbered by mishap or memorable misdemeanour. The general feeling was that it was ok but not spectacular, reflected in the time of 7.56; well off the winning time for the event (7.17) but with the satisfaction of knowing that on handicap we beat all the other OTRC Masters 4+ crews. PS - Domestic bragging rights for coxing also lost!

J 14 4X+: (Ben Honeywell, William B, Jordan, Charlie C, cox; Lauren) Time: 8.52 3rd

Sam was not available for the event so Charlie C took his place. The crew raced last at Milton keynes but this event would represent a considerable step up. The challenge with these guys guys is rounding them up and getting them into the boat ready to race. Ben had raced in the previous division so had a very quick turn-around but was there ready to race. The captain had a stressful time rounding up Ben’s crew mates and making sure

they had the boat and oars necessary to race. In the end we were grateful to the senior rowers who took the boat down to the water, while the crew mates were rounded up. Once in the boat the boys produced a great performance beating several crews from Bedford but behind Marlow again.

W J 16 2X: (Beth, Melissa) Time: 9.35

These two girls are part of the re-arranged girls squad that were forced to move into a new crew. They showed considerable promise in their first outing but hadn’t experienced the problems of steering through bridges until the event. They showed considerable commitment in the race and produced one of the best finishes, spurred on by the OTRC support.

Nov 1X: (Jack S) Time 8:36