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Grand Slam for Roger in Germany

Roger Stainforth concluded an excellent season on the indoor rowing circuit, winning last weekend in the 70-74 age category at the German Indoor Championships in Kettwig-Essen.

This sixth victory rounds off a highly successful season in which he has won medals at the North-Eastern, Scottish, Welsh, British, Irish and German Indoor Rowing Championships.

Although without opposition on this occasion he recorded a time of 3min 28.1 sec for the 1000 metre distance. The real excitement was the race against the German national champion Christian Sommer who moved up an age group this year and was on the machine next to Roger. A really close race ensued, stroke for stroke, every metre of the way. At 500m the splits were 1.43.6 and 1.44.7, with Roger down by 1.1sec but having raced Herr Sommer many times before he knew he was better in the first half than the second. The second 500m splits were 1.44.8 and 1.43.4, making Roger the winner overall by 0.3 seconds!

There is footage on YouTube with the race at 4hr 37.0 while at 5.49.35 Roger is joined on the podium by his grandson Maximilian after receiving his medal.

Durham Small Boats Head 2018

Rowers from across the north of England and Scotland converged on Durham City on Saturday February 3rd for the annual Durham Small Boats Head, a time trial over 1800 metres of the River Wear with nearly 400 crews taking on the course, starting at Count’s House and rowing through the arches of Elvet Bridge to finish near Durham Amateur Rowing Club.

The event proved as popular as ever with entries reaching capacity two weeks early. In calm but drizzly conditions competitors in quad, double and single sculls, fours and pairs from as far afield as Bradford, Lakeland and Edinburgh joined those from the north-east clubs, schools and universities to take up the challenge, with entries spread across the junior, senior and masters age spectrum.

Times achieved over the four divisions were compared to determine the overall winners in 60 contested events, with a prize awarded to each winner. The fastest crew overall was Durham ARC’s J18 junior boys’ coxless quad of Harry Coe, Josh Stephenson, Matthew Skinner and Matthew Edge in a time of 6min 16.7sec, one of 18 wins for the club, the most successful club of the day, followed closely by Chester-le-Street ARC with wins in 14 events. Wins were shared between 15 different clubs. 

Durham ARC performed well in the sculling events with wins for the senior men’s squad in the Open coxless quads for Reece Stockport, Can Evirgen, Mert Evirgen and Will Hamlyn in band 1 (6.37.9) and for David Rutter, Nicholas Baird, Nick Spong and Brad Knights in band 2 (6.35.4). Another victory came for Beth Holmes, Rachael O’Connor, Alison Danforth and Taya Parker in the senior Women’s coxless quad (7.19.9). Further wins came in the Open double and the J14 girls coxed quad sculls.

Durham’s Masters squad won ten events covering an age span from 27 to 70, including the Masters BCDE coxless quad with the overall 5th fastest time of the day, 6.36.7, coming from Richard Court, Brad Knights, Paul Rutter and John Lyons. Christine Heppell, Gabrielle Moore, Susan Jackson and Angela Lund won the Women’s Masters D coxless quad, Nicola Field, Linda Forwood, Vickie Jackson and Julie Kitson, coxed by Andy Jaggard, took the Women’s Masters DE coxed quad, and there was a win in the Masters EFG coxed quad for David Green, Steve Auster, Vaughan Gordon and Colin Lawson, coxed by Helen Adair.

In the smaller boat categories success went to Durham’s John Appleby and Micky Stevens in the Masters EG double sculls, and to Gill Prescott and Helen McMillan in the Women’s Masters EG double. David Muse won the Masters ABC single sculls, Andy Jaggard the Masters F single and John Appleby the Masters GH single, while Kim Forster took the Women’s Masters BC single.

Wins for Durham ARC in the sweep-oar discipline went to Becky Chilcott and Kate Sowden in the Women’s pair, and to the Women’s coxed four in a composite crew with St Leonard’s and Durham School.

Full results can be found in PDF and XLSX formats along with Results by Boat Class (PDF).

Another team facing a challenge in 2018 is the one from Tyne Amateur Rowing Club preparing to row across the Atlantic in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, due to set off in December. Seeking sponsorship the team brought their boat to Durham on Saturday. To find out more go to the Team Tyne Innovation website.

Durham SBH was covered by SI Event Photography whose images can be accessed by visiting http://www.sievents.co.uk/durham-small-boats-head-saturday-3rd-february-2018-main-menu/

or by viewing a facebook selection

Junior Formal Dinner

2018 got off to a successful start on January 4th, breaking new ground with a great turnout for the first ever Junior Formal Dinner, organised by the Junior Captains and Vice-Captains Alannah Baldwin, Harry Coe, Katie Strangward and Sam Taylor.

All the junior squads were represented along with coaches and club officials and the meal was followed by music and dancing and presentation of the Junior Oarsman and Junior Oarswoman Awards for the 2017 season to Harry Coe and Gabby Suggett, along with an interesting selection of awards to squad members and coaches

Most Happy – Dom Crilley
Most Smiley – Katie Strangward
Fattest Erg – Kahn Evirgen
Best Coordinated Hair – J14 Girls
Loudest Rower – Jess Cooper
Best Baker – Gabby Suggett
Biggest Party Animal – Natya Priestley-Leach
Best Facial Expressions – Adam Morris

Most Famous Coach on the River Bank – Bill Parker
Most Motherly Coach – Vicky Jackson
Coach who is the Best Photographer – Ray Dominy
Calmest headed Coach in the face of adversity – Mike Rowe
Coach with Best Leggings – Beth Holmes
Coach who is the Biggest Beyonce Fan – Elliot Kay
Coach who is Best Looking in a Pigeon Costume – Mark Bell

A great success, and with seniors and masters providing the waitress service it looks set to be repeated.

Jess Eddie becomes President of Parliamentary Group

Former Durham ARC Junior Jess Eddie took up office on November 9th 2017 as the inaugural Honorary President of the All-Party Parliamentary Rowing Group, initially for a one-year term. The Group consists of MPs and Lords of all political persuasions and meets regularly to discuss issues of importance to the sport and to hear from those involved. The appointment was announced by Group Co-Chair and MP for Hendon Dr Matthew Offord. Roberta Blackman-Woods MP for Durham is also a member. Jess attended her first meeting with the group at Westminster on December 6th.  

Jess was coached in Durham as a junior by Gordon Beattie and represented Great Britain in the World Junior Championships in 2001 while training with the club before going on to win a silver medal with the GB Women’s Eight at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Chairman’s MBE Investiture

On November 21st Durham ARC Chairman Barry Hudson was presented with the MBE by the Duke of Cambridge in an investiture at Buckingham Palace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barry was awarded the MBE for services to the Community and to Rowing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June, having served on the DARC Committee for 50 years, taking on numerous roles including Secretary and Chairman, as well as carrying out coaching and umpiring duties.

Three River Serpents seeking new members

Dragon Boat Racing is Britain’s fastest growing water sport.  Three River Serpents, based at Durham ARC is the most northerly premier crew in the British Dragonboat Racing Association League and is looking to recruit new members, both male and female.

Club members meet for training at Durham Amateur Rowing Club on Sundays at 10am (all year round), or Wednesdays at 6.30pm (April to October). To take advantage of the offer of three free taster sessions send your details to Jane Kemp on 07932628007 or email JaneKemp@Gateshead.Gov.Uk

See the club poster and taster session leaflet for further details.

If you are interested and would like further information about the club please visit the website at http://www.threeriverserpents.co.uk/ or email Kendal Mayes at kenimayes@hotmail.com

British Rowing Indoor Championships 2017

Durham ARCs Roger Stainforth returned with a gold medal from the British Rowing Indoor Championships after winning the Masters 70-74 Men’s 2000 metres race at the Lea Valley VeloPark on Saturday December 9th, his fourth victory in that age group since the Championships moved to the London Olympic Velodrome in February 2015.

Although 10 seconds shy of the British record of 7.08.7 which he set at the 2015 Championships and still holds, Roger’s winning time of 7min 18.7sec was his fastest of the season so far, building on his successes in the North East Indoor Championships (7.21.5) and Welsh Indoor Championships (7.23.7) during November.

After a brief sortie into rowing on water last year, when he teamed up with Martyn Calkin to win the Masters F double sculls at the British Rowing Masters Regatta at Holme Pierrepont, Roger is again concentrating on the indoor discipline at which he specialises. Through his achievements at indoor rowing he is an inspiration to many, with a further success coming in September this year as a member of the team who set a World Record for the 100km relay for rowers aged over 70.   

With British Rowing promoting greater participation in indoor rowing the sell-out Championships at the Velodrome on Saturday was the biggest yet, with 2100 competitors taking part in 72 different races over the day, using 80 Concept2 ergometers, and GB athletes competing alongside rowing club and gym members from around the country.

The focus of media attention was a first appearance by 5-times Olympic Cycling gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins, taking part in the Men’s Open 2km race with a view to winning a place with the GB Rowing squad in time for the Tokyo Olympics, but after a slight hesitation at the start his time of 6.22.5 fell short of expectations and leaves him with work to do if he is to achieve his ambition.

Results from all races

Winning start for Hope at Harvard

Former Durham ARC Junior Hope Cessford who took up a place at Harvard University in the USA this autumn was selected for the Radcliffe Crew Women’s varsity first eight to compete at the Foot of the Charles Regatta on November 11th 2017.  

Raced this year in sub-zero temperatures the event is rowed over the same course as the Head of the Charles and marks the end of the autumn head season.

Radcliffe Crew is the rowing branch of the Harvard Department of Athletics, competing in varsity athletics at Harvard University, the women-only Radcliffe College having merged with the men-only Harvard College in 1976 continues to compete in its traditional black and white under the Radcliffe name.

The eight raced against opposition from other universities in Boston and was fastest of the 17 competing, finishing in 20.26.2, twenty two seconds ahead of Northwestern University.

The culmination of Hope’s time as a Junior at DARC, where she was coached by Gordon Beattie, was selection for the GB Women’s squad for the World Junior Championships in Lithuania in August, rowing in the coxless four that won the B final.

Rutherford Head 2017

Durham ARC entered 13 crews for Rutherford Head, raced over two divisions on November 25th, and came away with successes for the Women’s Masters E eight and the Masters C coxless quad, both winning in division 1 in entries of five and three respectively.

Rutherford Head traditionally marks the finish of the autumn season before crews regather in the New Year for the build-up to the Tideway Heads in March.

As a consequence of the BUCS Head being relocated to the Tyne for an initial 3-year period recent Heads have seen vastly increased interest from further afield. This year London University was the most successful club with wins in 9 events over the two divisions.

Founded in 1966 by the then Rutherford College (later to become Newcastle Polytechnic and later still Northumbria University), Rutherford Head is rowed over 4500 metres from Scotswood to Newburn and is the largest rowing event on the River Tyne with 250 entries this year, including 96 eights. Since 1977 it has been organised by Tyne ARC.

DARC’s Masters C 4x- of John Lyons, Paul Rutter, Brad Knights and Richard Court was the best placed of the club’s entries, finishing 33rd overall in division 1 in 19.25.1, defeating Tyne United and Talkin Tarn, while the Women’s Masters E 8+ of Sarah Rutter, Ray Dominy, Hazel Stainforth, Gabrielle Moore, Susan Jackson, June Davison, Helen Adair and Christine Heppell, coxed by Nigel van Zwanenberg completed the course in 23.08.4 beating Cambois, Tyne ARC, a Tyne United composite and Auriol Kensington RC.

The J18 8+ finished 37th, placing them third of the J18s behind Queen Elizabeth High School and Yarm School, in 19.46.4, while the Women’s 4x- was second in band 2 to Edinburgh University, finishing 61st in 22.07.8, one place ahead of DARC’s mainly junior open 8+ who finished in 22.13.8. The women’s coxed quad completed the course in 27.23.0.

The J18s entered a 4x- In division 2, this time finishing as the club’s highest placed crew, 38th in 18.40.2. Two open coxless quads entered in band 3 and finished in 18.47.5 and 20.58.1, while the coxed quad finished in 20.02.5. The J18 girls 8+ was second of four entries in 21.43.3, just ahead of the Masters D 8+ in 21.48.0. The band 3 Women’s 8+ raced against strong University opposition and completed the course in 22.26.6.

Final results with masters adjustments can be found on the Tyne ARC website.

Head of the River Fours weekend

November 11th and 12th was a weekend to remember on the Tideway with competitors returning to action after the cancellation of the British Rowing Senior Championships in October. The Veteran Fours Head for Masters took place on November 11th and the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours for Senior crews took place on November 12th.

The Veterans Head was rowed over a shorter course from Chiswick to Putney and attracted 235 entries in all Masters categories. It was the second outing on the Tideway in a month for Gill Prescott, having completed the Pairs Head in a DARC Masters E double with Helen McMillan on October 14th.

On Saturday Gill and another of her doubles partners Eva Rankin from Loch Lomond joined Jackie Darling of Barnes Bridge Ladies and Birgith Sims of Kingston RC to form a coxless quad rowing out of Thames Rowing Club. It was the first time that the combination had taken to the water so they were very pleased to have the 5-6km row up to the start. Gill stroked the boat and, with Birgith steering an exceptional course, they started in the middle of the Women’s Masters F 4x- with Tideway Scullers and Molesey ahead, and Walbrook and Marlow behind. The crew had a really good row, passing both of those ahead of them and won their event by more than a minute, finishing 115th overall in 21.22.7. As Gill remarked afterwards ‘A win on the Tideway is always special!’.

Veteran fours results.

Photo by Ben Rodford.

Accompanied by coach Phill Tully the DARC Senior Women travelled to London with two crews boating from Cygnet RC in the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours on Sunday, a coxless quad of Taya Parker, Alison Danforth, Rachael O’Connor and Beth Holmes and a coxed four comprising Kate Sowden, Rebecca Ward, Heather Tosley and Becky Chilcott, coxed by Katie Warburton.

Rowed over 6.8km on the Tideway course from Mortlake to Putney the event attracts nearly 500 entries from around the UK and this year was run for the first time under BR’s new Competition Framework.

Taking on some of the best crews in the country the 4x- finished 15th of 16 entries in band 1 in 22.34.2 (the winners being the Leander quad of Beth Bryan, Holly Nixon, Victoria Thornley and Katherine Copeland) and the 4x+ was 13th of 17 entered in band 3 in 24.13.6. As Kate pointed out ‘the two DARC boats did themselves so proud and when you race against the UK’s best rowers it’s just lovely not being last!’

HoR Fours results.