Bellboating Regatta @ Stourport Rowing Club

regatta timeDate: 6 July 2017

Event: Third Wyre Forest Schools MAIN Regatta

Venue: Stourport Rowing Club

Weather prediction: Rain and cloud


Nine Year 6 children represented Martley CE Primary School at the Third Wyre Forest Schools MAIN Regatta at Stourport Rowing Club.

The following 13 schools took part: Abberley Parochial VC, Belbroughton, Cookley Sebright, Franche Community, Oasis Academy Foundry, St Bartholomew’s CE, St Catherine’s CE, St James’s CE, St Kenelm’s CE, Stourport Primary Academy, Wilden All Saints CE, Wolverley Sebright VA and ourselves. Some schools took two or more teams, which gave Martley the chance to race several times before entering a final category.

The tactics were to think time – not just to win each race, as each race was timed and those times would be added together. The teams with the overall fastest time would be placed into categories A, B, C etc in the final (only 4 boats in each category, 31 teams entered).  Those categories would then race to find an overall winner in each category. The finals were not timed.

The heat was on – not just in the races – but the weather, and boy had those weather people got it wrong – really wrong! Luckily, our wonderful helpers, Mrs Dawe and Mrs Gatfield, were on hand, buying the children drinks and ice lollies (in between their massive support during races). Thank you to both these fantastic parent volunteers, whom without their help we would have found it difficult to enter this event.

The children demonstrated how throughout the year they really had mastered the 5 Cs values: Co-operation, Commitment, Courage, Creativity and Compassion.  As once the tactics had been explained, Mrs Chilvers left it to the team to organise and talk through positions, row chants, weight distribution etc. Martley won every race they entered – but was the timing fast enough?

The fastest time during the event was 1.36 secs (one of the first races in the day), Martley’s fastest was 1.39 secs. We had lost out being in Category A by 1 second! Not a problem for our team, they were up for the challenge of trying to beat their own personal best and to win Category B, if they could. Feeling extremely hot (especially with their life jackets on), they were still showing excellent commitment and courage. Even though the finals didn’t officially get timed, Martley couldn’t beat their 1.39 secs, but this was enough to win their category.  If times had been used, Martley had matched Category A’s winning time of 1.39 by Wolverley Sebright VA!

Overall, the day had been a fantastic experience for the children, who had never been in a boat together as a team! They had great fun going back to school with a trophy and hiding it from Mr Massey! However, they couldn’t hold back their excitement for long and it was magical seeing his face light up on hearing the news that Martley had indeed won a trophy!

Well done all of you and once again a big thanks to Mrs Dawe and Mrs Gatfield for their help and enthusiasm throughout the event. Also Andy Train and his father deserve a massive thank you for organising such events, as without them the children wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience bell boating, let alone race in a regatta.

Below are some quotes from Leah and Ben: