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BR Junior Championships 2017

The Club entered 2 crews for the British Rowing Junior Championships held at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham on July 14th to 16th, a J14 girls’ coxed quad (pictured) and a J15 girls’ coxed quad.

This year’s Championships was the biggest ever with a record number of entries and over 1500 rowers representing 131 clubs from across the UK.

For the second year the event started on Friday with an omnium for the J14s which included tests of skills such as standing rigger dips, 360 degree turns, slalom, roll ups and emergency stops carried out in singles and doubles, as well as a time trial. The J15s and above joined the competition on Saturday with the main finals taking place on Sunday.

The J14 girls’ crew of Maddy Elmer, Freya Court, Elicia Baldwin, Hope Simpson and cox Ruby Coe finished 20th out of 42 in the time trial and qualified for the D final over 1000 metres in which they were 3rd.

The J15 girls – Catherine Musgrave, Jess Cooper, Gabby Suggett, Honor Cessford and cox Lily Sanderson were 14th out of 29 in the Saturday time trial which took them into the C final over 2000 metres where they were 2nd.

See also the BR report on  the weekend. Full results are here and there is YouTube footage from each day.

River and path reopen

Contractors appointed by the Environment Agency were on site last weekend to effect a semi-permanent repair to the sluice gate at the Corn Mill which it is hoped means the weir will do its job as well as if not better than before. The river is therefore open for use again.

More good news is that the Council has completed the repairs to the riverbank following the landslip at Pelaw Wood in 2013 that led to the closure of the riverside footpath. The path is now open again with a new tarmac surface meaning that coaches will be able to go right up to the club on the far side of the river.

Two riverside paths form part of the National Cycle Network and the Weardale Way, linking the city centre and Old Durham. The reopening is in part thanks to the lobbying and peripheral work of volunteers from the Friends of Pelaw Wood.

The history of the restoration project is charted on the Durham County Council website.

Henley Masters Regatta 2017

Durham ARC returned with 3 gold medals from 10 events entered at Henley Masters Regatta, the regatta established in 1994 and hosted by Upper Thames Rowing Club held on July 7th and 8th 2017, the week after Henley Royal Regatta. Competitors travel from all over the world to compete over 1000 metres on the famous Henley reach.

Gill Prescott and Eva Rankin (Loch Lomond ARC) each won 2 gold medals, firstly in the Women’s Masters F double sculls before combining with Helen Frykman and Sherri Kline from Long Beach Rowing Association, California to win the Women’s Masters E coxless quad.

The 2x beat last year’s winners Tideway Scullers in the semi-final and Twickenham in the final. The 4x- beat an Ardingly/Gloucester composite in the quarter final, Kingston in the semi-final and Twickenham in the final.

Gill was returning a favour to the Americans who had made it possible for her to race in the Head of the Charles Regatta (HoCR) last year as they had always wanted to race at Henley. A third member of the Long Beach RA contingent, Wendy O’Brian, raced at Henley in the Women’s Masters D 2x with Antonella Corazza from SC Varese, Italy (who had also raced with Gill in the 4x- at the HoCR) and they also won their event, ensuring all of the group came away with a Henley Medal.

A third gold for Durham ARC was secured by John Lund in a Masters H 4x- composite with Quintin BC and Wallingford RC, overcoming a Cambridge (USA)/Christiania (Norway) combination in the semi-final and Upper Thames RC in the final.

In other events, the Durham Masters F eight beat Crabtree by a canvas in the semi-final but lost to Quintin in the final. The Durham/Upper Thames RC MasG 8+ also lost to Quintin in the final.

After a dead heat and rerow David Muse lost in the quarter-final of the MasB 1x by 1 foot against Twickenham. The Masters F 4+ lost to Crabtree in the quarter-final, and Andy Jaggard lost against Poplar B&D in the quarter-final of the MasG single sculls.

In their first appearance at Henley Kim Forster and Gabrielle Moore lost in the quarter-final of the WMasD 2x against Tideway Scullers, and the MasD 2x lost in the semi-final against Burton Leander.

Full results are  here.

Victor Ludorum at Talkin Tarn

The regatta season reached its conclusion in the Northern region at Talkin Tarn Regatta on July 1st. A bright and breezy day proved to be a very successful one for the Club, winning the Tarn Regatta’s inaugural Victor Ludorum award for the most successful club, for which they received a splendid new trophy sponsored by Darlington Prontaprint, along with a cash prize of £250.

Out of 44 entries spread over 3 divisions there were wins in 15 events on the buoyed 3-lane course, shortened slightly from the advertised 700 metres because of excessive weed infestation which is a perennial problem on the tarn.    

Seven wins for the Juniors included Thomas Taylor in the J14 single scull, Matthew Harrison and Dominic Crilley in the J14 double, Katie Strangward, Allanah Baldwin, Bethan Hall, Izzy Wilkinson and cox Abbie Burke in the J16 4+, Sam Taylor and Aidan Crilley in the J18 2x, and wins in the Women’s coxed quads for 2 crews – Honor Cessford, Jess Cooper, Catherine Musgrave and Gabby Suggett, coxed by Lily Sanderson, and Alannah Baldwin, Katie Strangward, Georgia Murphy and Abby Burke, coxed by Elise Sanderson.

With 3 women’s eights and 2 open eights competing there was a win for the DARC/St Leonard’s combination including Harry Coe, Aidan Crilley, Matthew Skinner, Sam Taylor, Josh Stephenson and Matthew Edge, coxed by Rebecca Jackson in the Open 8+, and for the Senior Women’s crew of Claire Adams, Kate Sowden, Ruth Hodges, Fi Ashton, Liz Law, Taya Parker, Alison Danforth and Beth Holmes, with cox from St Leonards in the Women’s 8+.

Another win for the Seniors came for Brad Knights and Elliot Kay in the Open pair. The new BR ranking system saw the Women’s double divided into 3 bands, with band 2 won by Liz Law and Taya Parker.

Andy Jaggard won the Masters G single sculls, then combined with Joyce Collett to win the Mixed Masters G double. Kim Forster and David Muse won the Mixed Masters B double, and there were wins for George Adair, David Oliver, Michael Seed and Gerry Sharpe in the Masters F four coxed by Helen Adair, and in the Masters F coxless quad.

The calendar of events in the Northern region can be found on the Northern Rowing website.

Allcomers Regatta rescheduled for September 24th

As a result of problems with the river level the Allcomers Regatta  scheduled for 9th July has been postponed and will now take place on Sunday 24th September.

The Allcomers is for people who have never rowed before but who want to give it a try. All you need is a team of 4 people. All equipment is provided by the club. Full details and entry forms can be found on the Allcomers Regatta page.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday September 13th.

River Closed – Weir/Sluice gate has failed

Overnight on 27th/28th June the sluice gate at the old mill adjacent to Durham School Boat House appears to have failed. The river level has dropped around 20cm overnight.

As such no Durham ARC crews are allowed to go afloat until further notice. Once the river levels have stabilised we will be able to assess the river and determine which parts are still deep enough for use. More importantly we need to identify any submerged objects that are now likely to cause damage.

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York Summer Regatta 2017

The Juniors went to York on Sunday June 18th for York Summer Regatta, along with a crew from the Senior Women and one from the Masters Men, returning with wins in 6 events. Forty-seven events were contested overall in 3 divisions over a 1000 metre course on the River Ouse.

Both the J14 boys double sculls crews reached the final with Matthew Harrison’s crew finishing a length ahead of Tom Brumwell’s.

The J15 girls quad (Honor Cessford, Jess Cooper, Catherine Musgrave, Gabby Suggett and cox Lily Sanderson) won the Women’s coxed quad, overcoming Guy Fawkes and York before the same crew claimed a second victory in the WJ15 4x+ against York.

The J13 girls, Ruby Coe and Niamh Lang, won the WJ13 double then combined with Alice Davies, Lydia Kind and cox Thomas Woods to win the WJ13 4x+, against opposition from Leeds and York.

Two Durham crews entered the J14 girls double, with Elicia Baldwin and Hope Simpson winning against Freya Court and Maddy Elmer in the semi-final before losing against York in the final.

The Senior Women – Beth Holmes, Alison Danforth, Taya Parker and Liz Law (above) – won the coxless quad defeating York crews in both semi-final and final.

In the Masters D double Martyn Calkin and Rob Coe overcame York in the semi-final before losing out to Lancaster John O‘Gaunt in the final.

Full results here.

Intermediate Sculling Programme (Women’s and Men’s Masters)


To develop skills in fine single sculls aimed at:-

  • crew scullers who want to develop single sculling skills/enhance their ‘boat-moving’ ability
  • those who aspire to race in a single scull in the future

Minimum requirements:

  • to have sat in a fine single scull
  • you will need access to a single scull (some of the club’s fine sculls will be available)


10 x 3 hour sessions in 2 blocks with practice time in between

Dates: Block 1: 3 introductory sessions 27th June, 30th June and 4th July – PRACTICE BREAK –  Block 2: 7 sessions August  1st 4th 8th 11th 15th 18th 22nd including at least 1 full day session

6 to maximum of 8 places available; Priority for those who can commit to all or most sessions. There will be a small per session charge which will be used for future single sculling resources.

The programme will be run by Andy Jaggard, together with one or two other experienced single scullers.

To express your interest, and for more detailed information on the content of the programme and the approach please talk to me, or email:

Honour for Club stalwart

Durham Amateur Rowing Club Chairman Barry Hudson has been awarded the MBE for Services to the Community and Rowing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Barry is a long-standing member of the Club which he has served in many capacities for over 50 years.

Born in Sidegate in Durham City in 1945 Barry was educated at St Margaret’s C of E Infants and Juniors and Durham Johnston Boys Grammar School before training as a Chartered Surveyor as articled clerk to Geoffrey Wood at J.W.Wood and Son, Durham and was then employed in the Civil Service as a District Valuer for 40 years.

As a boy the banks of the River Wear were a “playground” and he soon found his way to the Durham Amateur Rowing Club where Rowing became a lifelong interest. On becoming a Member in 1959 he first tasted victory coxing a four stroked by future DARC President Bill Parker.

In 1967 he took on his first Committee role as Club Treasurer and soon afterwards became club representative on the Durham Regatta Committee, later becoming a Town Representative, a position he still holds.

As Treasurer he organised the first Wear Regatta, later renamed Durham City Regatta, and became the first Regatta Secretary. A major project at the time was the building of a new Boathouse on the Club’s move to its present site.

In 1971 he became Vice Captain and soon afterwards Club Captain.

After being elected a Life Member in 1974 he moved away to pursue a Civil Service career, joining Newark Rowing Club where he served as Regatta Secretary until 1976. He then moved to West Yorkshire and joined Bradford Amateur Rowing Club.

He qualified as an Amateur Rowing Association Bronze Level coach in 1978 and in 1983 became an ARA Umpire (a role he continues to carry out), moving back to Durham in 1984 and continuing his membership of Durham ARC and the Durham Regatta Committee. His next roles were as Press Officer from 1987 to 1989, and in 1990 Assistant Secretary. In 1991 he became Club Secretary, a position he was to hold for 25 years until 2016.

During his term as Secretary he acted as Project Manager of Durham ARC Building Project (1997-2007), culminating in the opening of the new £1 million Boathouse in September 2007. Responsible for overseeing the funding and development of the new premises he established partnerships with local schools and encouraged the expansion of the Club to all ages and abilities, and the use of the premises by other community organisations.

In 2010 he produced a History Timeline for Durham ARC to mark its 150th year. In 2011 he was appointed a Director of Durham Regatta when it registered as a limited company.

Also in 2011 he received the Durham City and Chester-le-Street Award for Contribution to Sport, the Durham  County Award for Contribution to Sport and the BBC North East and Cumbria Award for “Sporting Inspiration”.

In 2012 he was appointed Trustee of a new charity the “Wear Education and Water Sports Centre” based at Durham ARC, as well as being awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by British Rowing (one of 60).

Barry took on his current role as Chairman of Durham ARC in 2016, remaining actively involved as administrator, rower, umpire, and coach.

He is married and has two sons and two granddaughters.

Durham Regatta 2017

Weather conditions didn’t detract from the usual high standard of racing at the region’s premier event of the year on June 10th and 11th. For the second time Durham Regatta fell on the same weekend as the National Masters Championships in Nottingham, meaning no masters events at Durham with so many masters away racing. A damp start to Saturday was followed by a troublesome wind later in the day on Sunday, but despite this the packed schedule involving around 600 crews in 450 races was maintained almost to the minute on both days, testament to the magnificent efforts of the many volunteers.

Full use was made of the Club’s recently extended landing stage, the extension funded in part by Durham Regatta, with all crews including schools and colleges boating from DARC. Revised car parking, boat storage and crew circulation arrangements contributed to the improved efficiency.

The decision to adopt the old British Rowing points system on Saturday and the new one on Sunday worked well, with some close races particularly on Sunday.

There were 3 wins for the Juniors on Saturday and 2 wins on Sunday, one for the J13 girls coxed quad (Ruby Coe, Alice Davies, Niamh Lang and Ellie Goad, coxed by Thomas Woods) who battled through 3 rounds to beat the Chorister School in the final, and the other in the non-championship Women’s coxed quad, the third win this season for Michelle Joubert, Emily Hanscam, Ruth Hodges, Emma Lyons and cox Christie Lau, sculling to victory over Doncaster Schools and a Hexham/Durham School composite in Peter Burdess, the boat now restored after the incident in March when it was badly damaged by a heavy object dropped from Baths Bridge.

Saturday wins came from the J14 girls double scull (Hope Simpson and Elicia Baldwin), overcoming Durham School in the final, the Women’s Novice four (Catherine Musgrave, Jess Cooper, Mollie Coe, Honor Cessford and cox Lily Sanderson) who defeated Yarm School in the final, and the J18 DARC/St Leonard’s composite eight who beat the Yarm School eight in their race.

The Senior Women entered two Championship coxless quads but lost out to Tyne ARC and Newcastle University.

Crews received their prizes from special guests Jess Eddie and Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell at the presentation held at the Gala Theatre on Sunday evening.

Full results can be found here.