Boat Club sizzles at the Nationals!

Workman Storms to Victory 

In an epic finish, and in his sixth 2000m race of the weekend, punishing by any standards, Isaac Workman produced a scintillating performance to win the GOLD medal and the Championship Sculls Trophy at the National Schools Regatta on the Sunday of the first weekend of half term.

Isaac Workman with the Championship Single Sculls Trophy and GOLD medal

The National Schools Regatta is a huge event.  The scale is hard to describe.  It is the biggest multi lane regatta in the UK and indeed in the world for juniors.  Held this year at Dorney Lake, marquees, flags, boats, people, athletes were as far as the eye could see.  All the racing was broadcast live (albeit with dodgy commentary), and Dorney Lake looked spectacular.

J14 Second Octuple Boating

The Windsor Boys’ School had nearly 80 boys across all year groups and in different boat categories racing across the three day event – the major highlight for most juniors each year. Only Henley is bigger.

Training has been long and hard, measured in weeks, months and indeed years. The WBSBC set up at the regatta is a feat of logistics, with our base made up of six marquees alongside the course, ready to provide food and rest areas for the athletes across the weekend, and a base for all our supporters to meet and be involved. With a TV in the marquee, not a stroke would be missed!

J14 1st Octuple with their BRONZE medals!

Friday’s racing saw the Year 9s and 10s out in force. The year 9s were entered into three different categories. The first and second boats were octuples and had their own separate events to race in as first and second boats.  Four quads were also entered, however they were unable to progress beyond the time trial qualification races.

The regatta is huge! Time trial qualification racing boating can be very busy!

Hopes were high in the two octuple events though, and sure enough both boats progressed through to their respective ‘A’ finals, and a chance at medals.  The second boat looked strong, however a couple of mini disaster saw them unfortunately fall off the pace, and come home in sixth place.  Lots of disappointment for sure, but it is all part of the learning process. The first boat though fared much better, and were outstanding in winning the BRONZE medal.  The crew of Ben Lawson, Dylan James, Kyle Macklin, Max Griffin Sadler, Marcus Chute, Max Evans, Charlie Warren, Ben Lewin and cox William Parr were ecstatic with their results, as were the parents and of course the crew coach Chris Morrell.

The year 10s also saw the highs and lows. The B quad and the coxed four did not progress beyond the time trials, but the ‘A’ crew of Matvei Morozov, Oliver Pilbrow, Matthew King, Kieran Nathu and cox Bilal Ibrahim progressed well in the time trials and again in the semi-finals to make the ‘A’ final were they won the BRONZE medal!

J16 second eight getting ready in a quiet TWBS camp

Saturday saw the year 11 first and second eights compete.  The second eight made it through to the second eight ‘A’ final and fought well to come home in sixth place, while the 1st boat made the ‘B’ final; disappointing for sure not have a crack at the medals however they raced hard in the semi-finals!

Championship Quad SILVER medal winners

The Championship quad of Bryn Ellery, Sam Bodkin, Tom Shewell and Isaac Workman made it all the way to the ‘A’ final after strong performances in the time trials and semi-finals, and went onto win the SILVER medal.  A great effort, but they will now have their sights set firmly on improvement toward Henley Royal Regatta.

Sam Bodkin and Tom Shewell with their Championship Double Sculls BRONZE medals

Sunday saw Tom Shewell and Sam Bodkin competing in the Championship double sculls, and they raced superbly in the ‘A’ final to win the BRONZE medal.

Isaac Workman - no-one works harder!


But it was left to Isaac Workman to steal the show in the Championship Singles.  No-one works harder than Isaac and he is fiercely determined.  Single Sculling has not been his strength over the years, but he has stuck with it and persisted, and eventually got the ultimate rewards.  The final was breath-taking, and WBSBC were very well represented as Bryn Ellery and Julian Van Gelderen also made the ‘A’ final – the first time three athletes from the same club have ever achieved this.  Isaac sat most of the way in third place, until into the last 500m where we saw his ultimate grit and determination to catch and over take the leaders to storm to victory.  An amazing race, and sport at its finest!

So the National Schools Regatta 2018 saw The Windsor Boys’ School win five medals in total, an outstanding success - the most medals we have won there for several years! Plus:

  • Isaac Workman is the first ever TWBS athlete to win the Championship Single Sculls.
  • First time ever three athletes from the same club have made the ‘A’ final of the Championship Singles.
  • It is the first time TWBS has won medals in all three Championship Sculling events, and a feat rarely, if ever achieved before by any other club or school. The boys who won these medals have trained relentlessly hard for months and years - to date over 4000km of training plus about 100 gym sessions since September alone!
  • It is the first time ever TWBS has had 2 x J16 eights out competing.
  • It is the first time ever TWBS has had 2 x J14 octuples out competing.
  • The Windsor Boys’ School Boat Club Marquee set up was voted as the best at the regatta. Considering there was over 1250m of club and school marquees set up this was impressive in itself - it is all part of the attention to detail and support structure!

Part of the WBSBC crew and athlete rest areas at the main marquee setup - at its peak over 150 people were there!

Huge thanks must go to all the supporters and parents who turned up in force to scream ‘Come on Windsor!’ and a huge thank you for all their hard work in feeding the boys to ensure they were able to go out and perform to their very best!

And a huge thank you to all the coaches who have helped big or small over the past year!

The National Schools Regatta 2018 will go down as a major success!







Mark Wilkinson | Director of Rowing
The Windsor Boys’ School | 1 Maidenhead Road | Windsor | Berkshire | SL4 5EH
Tel: 01753 716060 | | @wbsbc |

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