News 2021-2022

BBRC Autum Bewl Head 2021

Sunday 10th October and the 2021 BBRC Autumn Bewl Head! The day started with a beautiful early morning mist that cleared in time for boating. Excellent rowing conditions, perfect temperature and a fantastic turnout of eights, quads, doubles and singles (masters & juniors). It had been two years since the last Bewl Head (due to bad weather and then Covid) so pure joy to see everyone enjoying the occasion. Many thanks to all supporters, launch drivers, time keepers, pontoon marshals, cake bakers, photographers, visitors and special thanks to Rob P for organising and to Jamie M too!


An excellent turn-out for the first Club social event in nearly two years! A big thank you to everyone who came along and supported it, it was a lovely afternoon and the rain held off! Thanks too to Peter at Arena Pursuits for offering us the venue and to ALL the BBQ team (including Wendy, David, Lyn and Russ and everyone else who for some reason didn't get into the group photo)!

Vesta Single Scullers Head 2021

With 402 single scullers ready to tackle the championship course on the River Thames, the 2021 Vesta Scullers Head took place on the afternoon of Saturday 18th September.

Titled as one of the biggest and toughest sculling races in the world by its contenders, the course runs from University Stone Mortlake to Putney on the ebb tide (6.8km). Traditionally held in December it has now moved to a far more sensible September slot.

Five BBRC scullers took part this year, conditions were excellent for most of the course although it did become choppier towards the end of the race from Hammersmith Bridge to the finish at Putney Pier but all in all a really enjoyable day and a well organised event. Thanks goes to the organisers who made it an excellent day on the tideway.


Results are as follows:

Sarah Morris: 1st in W.MasF.1x

Jonathan Morris: 4th in MasF. 1x

Hagen Jahnich: 4th in MasE.1x

Mike Maunsell: 15th in MasE.1x

Rowena Suthers: 4th in W.MasF.1x

Peterborough Summer Regatta 2021                       Sunday 15th August

Congratulations to Hagen and Rod for winning Open Mas D2x beating LER/STA, Leicester RC and Loughborough BC following a series of time trials leading to the Final. Congratulations also to Hagen for winning the Open Mas E1x, beating Bentham BC, Norwich RC and Hollingworth Lake. A successful day for Bewl and a very enjoyable regatta.


Thanks extended to the organisers for a great day's racing!

140th Sudbury International Regatta

Last weekend saw six of our Masters Squad travel to Suffolk for the 140th Sudbury International Regatta. The atmosphere in Friars Meadow was excellent - all the best things about a traditional village fete (barbecues, beer tents, cream teas, a jazz band and many, many dogs) combined with some high drama racing on the River Stour.


The 650m course is described as being "characterised by some challenging bends" and the bends certainly proved challenging for us reservoir-dwellers who rarely have to steer around a corner. At least half of the Bewl contingent got well acquainted with the bull rushes whilst we were racing. And very nice bull rushes they were too...

In spite of the narrow, bendy course, we still brought home some pots. Victory in the MxMas C2x for Mika and Alastair which was BBRC's last race of the day against Lea RC. A well-deserved win.

Many thanks to the organisers of the regatta for putting on a splendid event. We thoroughly enjoyed it and are hoping to come back with an even bigger delegation from Bewl next year.


Special mention goes to Alastair Burns who had the courage to take Bewl's largest trailer and navigate it around the tightest of bends and down the narrowest of tracks to get all of our boats to the water. Where there's a will there's a way - thank you Al.




In extraordinary times BBRC sent its most successful junior entry to the British Junior Championships. What a fantastic set of results. This was a great group effort resulting from the ‘covid’ year. Managing to optimise the water time when we could all last year, the ergattas, zoom land training, individual athlete determination, and a final push to get to the Regatta. A big well done to all the athletes and coaches for their hard work and staying power.



  • OJ18 2x Ollie & Theo 4th in the A final, time of 7:29.77
  • OJ18 1x Keyan **Gold Medallist** time 7:31.54
  • WJ16 2x Biba & Sophie 5th in the A final, time 7:53.77
  • WJ16 2x Emily & Saskia 3rd in the B final, time 8:04.08
  • OJ16 2x Ryder & Mikey 5th in the C final, time 7:32.49
  • WJ15 1x Emma 5th in the B final, time 9.10.55



Thank you to Miles, Richard and parents for travelling and supporting the Juniors in Nottingham. A big well done to the juniors, a fantastic base for the next year.


Kingston Amateur & Borough Regatta – 10 & 11th July

Saturday 10th July - 1000m

After a morning of heavy rain, the afternoon brought drier weather and once again Kingston RC hosted an excellent day’s racing. Rising early at 4.14am, Jamie and Miles towed a trailer of 16 boats, numerous blades, and trestles up to Kingston for which we were all truly grateful!


In the mixed category of Masters age groups, Bewl had three doubles with various timed head starts. In the Mas C/D 2x Crawford & James were beaten by Maidenhead and in an ‘all Bewl race’ Mas E/F Neil & Andrew beat Rob & Alastair. In another mixed Masters age group category Suzanne MasE 1x enjoyed her race despite the bouncy water.


In the Masters Fours/Quads BBRC picked up two further wins with MasD.4- (Lucien, Andrew, Crawford, James) beating Eton Excelsior RC with an ‘Easily’ verdict and in the Mx.MasE.4x (Annie, Rowena, Neil, Chris/TSS) beat KGS Vets and Maidstone Invicta by 5L.


Many thanks to Jamie and Miles and to all who made it such a fabulous day!


Juniors at Kingston Amateur & Borough Regatta 

10 & 11th July


Saturday 1000m

Amongst the early starters we had three scullers (Seb Murray, Sam Botting and Matt Purves) in B2.Op.1x with Seb progressing with a Canvas win over Kingston (former BBRC Member Nick Luck). In the semi-final (SF) at 9.15am Windsorian RC edged a recovering Seb by 2L.

With no J18 2x or J16 2x events, our J18 and J16 2x raced Open. In B2.Op.2x Theo and Oliver beat Reading RC and Mortlake AABC in the SF (verdict Easily) before going on to win their Final against Maidstone Invicta and Broxbourne RC again Easily – well done boys. Ed and Gabe lost out to Broxbourne in their heat beating Kingston. Similarly for the girls, Phoebe and Milly raced in Op.2x losing out to Kingston. Again, with limited Junior events, Susi competed in W.1x and beat Reading RC in her SF but lost in her final to Kingston.

In Junior Quads we had two fairly scratch crews impacted by Covid isolations and DoE. Both crews equipped themselves well but both were beaten by Molesey crews: J18 4x (Max, Jonty, Sean, Matt) and WJ16 4x (Ottilie, Sophia, Phoebe, Lara).

Sunday 500m

With only the younger age groups racing over 500m we had a smaller Sunday Squad but in very large event fields. In the J14 2x with (Jack, Olly) beat Barn Elms (5L) in the first round and then Molesey in the QF before losing out to Henley by ½L in the SF.

In WJ14.1x Anna beat Fulham Reach (3L) then Surbiton High School (5L) in her SF before losing a very close final to Kingston by ½L. In the J14.1x Jack raced Henley to win a straight final by a 4L verdict – see picture. Congratulations to Jack and Anna on their performances.

After her final in WJ14.1x, Anna raced with Bea in WJ14.2x losing to Kingston in their heat with no doubt some fatigue from the morning’s racing. In WJ15 1x Emma lost out to Surbiton High School in her heat.

In WJ15.A.2x (Maddy, Amelia) beat Sir William Perkins School (SWP) and Fulham Reach RC in their QF, then another SWP crew in the SF before winning their final in style by 4 lengths against Team Keane and another SWP crew. An excellent win in a field of 18 crews in the A Group – well done girls.

All in all, a busy couple of days at Kingston Regatta with 3 wins!



******************************************************************************************Peterborough Spring Regatta 2021


A small squad of BBRC Juniors entered this stripped back Covid safe regatta and our first Regatta after the Covid lockdowns.


On a very hot day,  the J18 4x of Ollie, Theo, Max and Matt came off an excellent start with some assured steering from Matt to hold second in their final (3.14.4) to York City (3.07.0) and beat crews from Star Club and King Rochester.


In the WJ18 4x (Susi, Ottilie, Milly, Phoebe) BBRC were in contention with the leaders up to 700m ultimately coming third in their final behind York City and Hartpury in 3.46.3 and a first regatta race for Milly.


In the WJ16 2x, Sophie and Biba won their heat in 3.52.9 and went on to win their final beating Peterborough City A and B and Gloucester RC in a time of 3.46.6. In their Singles, Sophie was eliminated in the heat (4.30.7) and Biba won her heat (4.07.6) and went on to come third in a closely fought final (4.04.1). Well done to both girls with their busy return to racing and a win in WJ16 2x.


It was great to see BBRC Juniors back racing in a regatta after the prolonged Covid absence of events and gives a good marker for building on for further Summer racing.






At the first residential World Class Start Camp in over a year, Bewl sent three athletes (sadly Seb was left at home with his THIRTY HOUR architecture exam..). This was a great opportunity for them to show what they have been working on for the last year. Sophie Pepper was promoted from group E up into group D by proving that the work she has done to strengthen her core and trunk has paid off. Keyan O’Donnell was promoted from group C into group B by making a big step up in his 1x speed, which suggests he is at a high level for an international junior. Biba Rabjohns also made significant improvements in her 1x speed and core/trunk endurance but narrowly missed out on group promotion 1x speed by 0.7% and the press up test.


The camp was immediately followed by a busy half term week of racing. On Monday, Biba and Sophie were the first Bewl Bridge RC crews to race since 2019 and competed at the Junior Sculling Regatta as a WJ16 2X. They came away with a bronze medal, lots of improvements and a reminder of how great rowing racing is.


On the Tuesday to Thursday, Keyan was at Dorney Lake competing at the GB trial with the fastest U18s in the country. He made great progress through the days to climb well into the top groups of scullers likely to form the GB team for the World Championships. Massive thanks goes to Miles for dropping everything to support Keyan extremely effectively when Richard was unexpectedly out of action for a couple of days. Sadly, British Rowing has announced it will not be sending a team to the Junior World Championships, but the trials process was very helpful nonetheless.


On Saturday Sophie and Biba were busy up in Peterborough winning the WJ12 2X event and also racing their singles. In the meantime, Keyan was back at Dorney Lake at the Metropolitan Regatta putting into practise all the improvements from the last week and coming away with a win (and a very chunky medal).


Richard Poole

GB World Class Start Coach




Emma J15 had a great indoor row and came 5th in the Year 10 Girls 5 minute Row (average split 1.55.6) 1,298m. 




Dear Bewlers,


Well, we finally got back on the water after what seemed like one of the longest winters I can remember.  I suppose the only consolation of the lockdown was that we didn’t have to endure cold, windy and wet January, February and March on Bewl when it can be at its worst! It’s great to be out in a boat once more and, particularly for those of us who are sick and tired of the ergo, to have something different to look forward to every week! However, despite the lack of rowing in the first quarter of the year, there has been a lot going on since the last newsletter in December, and much of which has involved an army of volunteers from all parts of the Club who I must thank for their time and hard work, though I won’t name you all as there are too many to include (and I’ll only end up leaving someone out!).


So, what got done?


- We managed to fit in two ergattas over the enforced break, with many other clubs joining in, which again puts a feather in BBRC’s cap.  We even included an adaptive category which was much appreciated by those who entered.

- Before returning to rowing at the end of March, a huge effort was made to get everything ready - checking boats, blades, racks, safety stuff, launches, replacing the hose reel, checking the pontoon, removing bird’s nests in shoes (!) etc. etc.

- We persuaded MSL to replace the boathouse roof and invested some club funds to upgrade their proposal of a plain tin roof to an insulated one to help combat the condensation that has been damaging some of our equipment such as blade grips and shoes.

- The disgusting mouldy blade grips on the newish Concept2 sweep oars have been replaced with new blue and green grips.

- The need to empty the boathouse for the installation of the new roof gave us a great opportunity to clear out the boathouse (and the blade shed) of all the accumulated rubbish and obsolete equipment that has been lying around for years. 

- We have painted the boathouse and repaired the windows (which now have more filler than wood in places!).  A fantastic job - see the photos later in this newsletter!

- The racks have all been labelled so you know where to put your boat!


Sadly, we have of course missed a lot of what we would have normally been doing as a club.  There was no ceilidh; no Bewl Head or other head races; no visiting Clubs, although we have just managed to host Lea RC juniors which Jamie reports on in this newsletter; no JIRR (again!) or Scullery for the Juniors.  I really hope we can get back to a more normal operation, but in the meantime, I thank you all for helping to make what we ARE allowed to do possible by sticking to our COVID protocols, which we will relax when we are able to.


But we are definitely emerging from the tunnel! Competitions are being organized and entered, LTRs are starting again, other clubs are arranging visits (University of London are planning to visit for training camps in June and July), and even Henley Royal Regatta is going to take place albeit in August instead of July. I really do think we can look forward to a decent summer of fun at Bewl, and I look forward to seeing you all down there enjoying yourselves.


There are two great reports in this newsletter about former BBRC members, Emily Craig and Georgie Grant, who have separately gone on to accomplish great things in the rowing world.


Finally, for those of you who are British Rowing members, I hope you spotted in the May BR newsletter Lou Allen’s photo of someone limbering up on the pontoon on a glorious looking morning at Bewl!


Stay safe and stay fit!




May 2021




And Paint Job

A Big Thank you to everyone who helped in getting the Boat Shed prepared for the new roof, with moving boats/blades etc in and out. And A Big Thank you to those who helped with the external scrubbing and painting: 1 Captain Angus and 3 previous Captains: Martin, Chris and Rob M taking the pic.

Bewl / Lea RC match (3rd May)


23 members of the Bewl Junior squad welcomed Lea RC for the second time to Bewl for a morning training outing and 1000m match racing. The weather had kept everyone on tenterhooks all week with a looming gale and we were close to a last minute cancellation. But our optimism paid off with decent water on the rowing arm and both squads safely back on dry land by 11.00am after a bumpy ride home as the predicted south westerly arrived.


The pressure of GCSE’s and a few sore throats saw some of the Lea contingent depleted but Emily, Saskia and Matt subbed in to the opposition crews with typical versatility.  A big thank you also to Wendy for coxing our J14 mixed quad in tricky conditions, Miles and Brooke for coaching their groups and David for marshalling everyone on time from the pontoons. By all accounts some close racing and competitive drills were enjoyed by all.


Along with the invaluable experience, it was great to bring a sense of competition in to our training. The Lea RC coaches Harry, Lindsay and Richard were hugely appreciative of the Club’s hospitality. Thanks also to Sarah Wyn-Jones for organizing the Lea RC team and we look forward to catching up with her at Docklands soon. 



more updates to follow....

Print Print | Sitemap