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Senior Women’s Squad looking to expand

The DARC Senior Women’s Squad is looking to expand after a successful 2016-17 racing season, and we are happy to accept novice and experienced rowers- get in touch via email (women’s captain Alison Danforth – womens-vc@durham-arc.org.uk) if you are interested in joining us for the 2017-18 season. We accept rowers throughout the year, and people new to the sport (those who completed a Learn to Row Course) in July through to September. We ask all rowers to commit to four training sessions a week, which may increase during regatta season. DARC is lucky to train all year on the River Wear, with additional strength and conditioning sessions in our indoor gym; a typical week’s training consists of four coached water sessions and two additional gym sessions. Occasionally we take our boats to the River Tyne where we have a bigger stretch of water to put some hard training to get ready for the long Head races.

See the Women’s Squad page for further details.

Great Tyne Row 2017

Three DARC crews took part in the seventh Great Tyne Row on September 2nd 2017, all mixed coxed quads. The event is a 25km row on the River Tyne in stable boats from Newburn to Tynemouth. Thirty-four crews took part in all.

Thirteen DARC members were joined by Roger Bean, now of Stourport RC, who had travelled from the Midlands for the occasion, and Victoria Dektereff of Tees RC, to form the 3 crews. As Roger and Victoria had each recovered from a stroke in the past and all the others in the crews have had family members affected by stroke it was decided to combine the row with some fundraising for the Stroke Association.

The Great Tyne Row is arranged by the Northern Rowing Council and attracts entries from around the UK. Because the number of stable boats in the region is limited, arrangements were made to borrow boats from Durham University, and to loan boats to other clubs who wished to take part, hence further complicating the already complex logistics of taking part and getting crews and boats to and from the start and finish.

With Tees RC’s trailer booked for a regatta at Hollingworth Lake on the same day, DARC offered to trailer the 2 Tees quads going to the Great Tyne Row, one of which was being loaned to Tynemouth RC, while one of the DARC quads was loaned to Tyne ARC.

This meant transporting 6 stable quads, but due to a clash with the World Masters Regatta in Bled DARC didn’t have a trailer capable of carrying that number, or a suitable vehicle to tow it, so it was necessary to borrow these from Durham University. Transport arrangements are always more challenging than the rowing itself.

Crews duly arrived at Tyne United RC kitted out by the Stroke Association and with appropriate team names. Stroke’n’Recovery (Elizabeth Judson, Sue Lyons, Roger Bean and Linda James, coxed by Clive Hole) stared in division 4 at 1.30pm, along with The FAST Crew (Vaughan Gordon, Victoria Dektereff and Jane Auster, with Dave Green and Steve Auster sharing coxing duties). Thirty Strokes a Minute (Chris Merchant, Colin Lawson and Nicola Field, with Kalpana Ganatra and Caroline Scholl sharing coxing and stroking) set off 10 minutes later in division 5. The latter two crews changed positions on the water at the halfway point.

All arrived safely at the finish line at North Shields before continuing across the harbour to land on the beach at Tynemouth, where another session of trailer loading awaited them before the BBQ and presentation of awards.

Fine conditions throughout made it a most enjoyable day. See the Great Tyne Row website for further details including results. The FAST crew and 30 Strokes a Minute finished joint 15th in 2hr 13 mins. Stroke’n’Recovery came 31st in 2hr 51 mins.

Tyne United’s open quad was the overall winner in 1hr 47min, with Weybridge and Weyfarers joint winners in the mixed category, and Weybridge also providing the fastest women’s crew. Will Hamlyn of Gateshead CRC won the Harry Clasper Award for being the first competitor ever to complete the event in a coxed single scull, using Gateshead’s Dory, James Renforth, and finishing in 3hr 04 mins.

Thanks go to our trailer drivers Mark French and Mark Bell. The event is co-ordinated by a small group of dedicated volunteers from the Northern Rowing Council. If you can help by supporting the event in future there is information about the types of support you might like to consider.

In total the DARC crews raised £1567 for the Stroke Association.

British Rowing UK Tour

Sixty-five rowers including Colin Lawson from Durham ARC took part in the 24th annual British Rowing UK Tour between August 24th and 27th 2017, thirteen stable coxed quads covering 40 miles of the Lancaster Canal from Preston to Tewitfield in three days.

Unlike 2011 when the UK Tour last visited Lancaster, rowers were greeted by dry and predominantly fine conditions with little wind, ideal for touring.

The Lancaster Canal was surveyed and constructed during the 1790s by Scottish engineer John Rennie. Being a contour canal, it has no locks, making life simpler for rowers, though it does have 122 bridges along its length, almost all too narrow for passage without shipping oars.

Accommodation for the group had been arranged by tour organiser Peter Barker of Upton Rowing Club at the Holiday Inn near the M6 exit for Lancaster, a perfect choice in a quiet setting next to the River Lune, and only yards from where the river is crossed by the Lune Aqueduct, the largest all-masonry aqueduct in Britain.

Day 1 on Friday was the longest of the three. A 20-mile coach journey united crews with their boats, coxed touring quads, before the latter were launched on to the canal for the first leg of 14 and a half miles, stopping at Bilsborrow after 9 miles for a packed lunch and visit to Owd Nell’s Tavern, continuing through beautiful scenery and passing numerous moored barges, and reaching Bridge House Marina at Garstang by mid-afternoon. This was to be the overnight stop.

Day 2, Saturday, was only marginally shorter, 13 and a half miles punctuated by lunch in the splendid setting of the Canal Craft Centre at Galgate. A lovely afternoon sculling through Lancaster followed before boats were hauled out for the overnight stop at Lansil Golf Club, giving crews a chance to walk to the Lune Aqueduct on the way back to the hotel. Saving the crossing for the following day there was the dinner and presentation on canal history by the chairman of the Lancaster Canal Trust to look forward to, along with an address by the chairman of Lancaster John O‘Gaunt Rowing Club, based just across the Lune,

A quad from Lancaster John O’Gaunt, recovering from the after effects of Storm Desmond and celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, joined the tour for the final day. After the excitement of the previous evening Sunday was a relatively short 10-mile affair, crossing the aqueduct then enjoying glorious views across Morecambe Bay towards the Lake District mountains beyond, and arriving at the northern extent of the navigation at Tewitfield in time for lunch at the Longlands Hotel, but not before negotiating the tunnel under the M6 motorway – wide enough for barges but not for sculling – so the onboard canoe paddle was brought into play to get through in the dark. Touring is not for the faint hearted!

The British Rowing UK Tour is arranged by BR’s Recreational Rowing Committee and has taken place each year since 1994. The 25th anniversary celebration will be a tour on the Thames in August 2018. 

The Grape Escape

On August 23rd twenty members enjoyed a wine tasting evening at the club hosted by Chris Merchant.

The convivial social gathering which involved sampling a selection of 6 wines from around the world proved to be a great success. Food was provided in the form of tapas style nibbles while Chris gave an insight into each of the wines to help guests decide on their favourite, with an opportunity to enjoy it later at their leisure.

A good time was had by all!

Rowing the Tyne for Stroke Association

Thirteen of DARC’s daytime members are combining with rowers from Tees and Stourport RC to enter three mixed quads for the Great Tyne Row on September 2nd while raising funds for a good cause.

‘We wanted to use the occasion to raise funds for a worthy cause, and as all of us has a family member or friend whose life has been affected as a result of a stroke we decided to adopt the Stroke Association as our chosen charity’ said Vaughan Gordon, one of the crew members.

Roger Bean of Stourport recovered from the stroke he had in 1997 but was fortunate enough to make a good recovery which allowed him to complete the Great Tyne Row for the first time in 2014, also following heart surgery.

Another member taking part is Victoria Dektereff of Tees RC, who started rowing as a means of getting her life back on track after suffering a stroke in 2009.

The Great Tyne Row is arranged by the Northern Rowing Council and takes place annually over 25km of the River Tyne between Newburn and Tynemouth.

For further details see http://www.greattynerow.com/

Team members including Chris Merchant, Colin Lawson, Jane Auster, Kalpana Ganatra, Nicola Field, Caroline Scholl, Dave Green, Steve Auster, Vaughan Gordon, Victoria Dektereff, Clive Hole, Elizabeth Judson, Linda James, Roger Bean and Sue Lyons hope to raise £1000 for the charity.

All donations will be gratefully appreciated. To support the team please sign the list on the Club notice board or see their JustGiving page on https://www.justgiving.com/teams/darcgtr

Record entry for Bled

DARC Masters rowers are making final preparations for the World Rowing Masters Championships, this year taking place at Lake Bled, Slovenia between September 6th and 10th.

Known as one of the most beautiful rowing courses in the world Bled is ready to welcome a record entry of 6376 rowers from 861 clubs from around the world.

With entries in 62 events the DARC contingent of 36 rowers occupying 154 racing seats is easily twice the number catered for before.

Entries over the 5 days include –

Wednesday – Masters A 1x, F 1x, D 2x, E 4+, B 8+, Women’s Masters D 2x, W C 4+, W E 8+

Thursday –  H 1x, E 2-, F 2x, F 4-, G 4x-, G 8+, W C 1x, W F 1x, W D 4+, W E 4x-

Friday – E 1x, G 2x, F 4x-, F 8+, W D 1x, W C 4x-, W F 4x-

Saturday – B 1x, G 1x, C 2x, E 2x, D 4x-, F 4+, G 4+, H 8+, W B 1x, W E 1x, W G 1x, W F 2x, W D 4x-

Traditionally Sunday is reserved for mixed races with entries drawn during the course of the Championships. DARC has entered for the Mixed Masters B, E, F and G 2x, and C and G 4x.

Draw details and times can be found here.

Watch a video of the F/G 8+ training on the Wear, and find out more about the squads on the Masters page.

Gateshead visit

DARC rowers maintained links with neighbouring clubs by accepting an invitation to visit Gateshead Community Rowing Club for a social visit on August 17th. A group of 11 daytime rowers enjoyed a first outing rowing along the River Derwent in a selection of Gateshead’s expanding fleet of boats before a BBQ at the new clubhouse.

Since the club was formed in 2014 Gateshead has relocated a short distance along the Tyne from the Sea Cadets building at Derwenthaugh Marina which was its base at the time of the launch of Harry Clasper. They are now fortunate to enjoy access to the River Derwent as well as the Tyne.

Several clubs in the Northern Region and beyond have developing recreational groups who enjoy visiting one another and networking. See our recreational events page for more about activities in which we take part. We look forward to continued good relations.

Visit to Yarm

The summer months are an ideal opportunity for recreational rowing, with visits, tours and similar challenges offering the chance to share a common interest while developing links between clubs.

For the third year a group of daytime rowers from DARC accepted an invitation from Tees RC to join them for the annual 25km row from Stockton to Yarm and back. On Tuesday August 8th 10 of the daytime rowers from DARC joined a group of 48 for the round trip organised this time by Len Small from Tees. Crews were formed to combine members of the two clubs and Tees kindly allowed us to use their fine and stable boats to avoid the need for unnecessary trailering.

After a dry start conditions deteriorated for the return journey but the weary rowers were rewarded on their return with an excellent 3 course BBQ lunch prepared by Julian Bunn of Tees RC.

The DARC contingent included Clare Staines, Nicola Field, Paddy Deans, Caroline Scholl, Jane Auster, Margaret Richardson, Colin Lawson, Vaughan Gordon, Dave Green and Steve Auster.

DARC into the lead at Tynemouth

After the July round was cut short by windy conditions on the Tyne, the sixth round of the Explore Series was back on track for the sixth round at Tynemouth on August 6th. The Tynemouth round is always one of the most eagerly anticipated of the season, with challenging conditions guaranteed. After last year’s cancellation this year certainly lived up to expectations for the 14 crews taking over the 300 metre sprint along the harbour wall.

With some very close contests it was a good day for the 3 DARC crews, A Shot in the Darc and Wear Well Away both winning 3 races, and Green Shoots winning 2 as well as being involved in a dead heat.

This took A Shot in the Darc (above) ahead of Wine on the Tyne (from Tyne ARC) to move into overall lead in the women’s league with 36 points with their closest rivals now on 31. Green Shoots move ahead of Tynemouth into 5th on 19.5 points. Wear Well Away retain 2nd place in the open league on 34, two points behind Hextraordinary (Hexham RC), a healthy situation with two rounds remaining.

Tynemouth RC provided their usual excellent hospitality for crews and spectators, and the wet weather held off just long enough to complete all the races.

The next round is a sweep-oar splash & dash event at Chester-le-Street on September 10th.

League tables after round 6 – and Tynemouth results below