Category Archives: Event News

Club Regatta and Head Race Announcements

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.

Allcomers Regatta entries now open

If you’ve never rowed before but want to have a go then Durham ARC’s annual Allcomers Regatta is the ideal opportunity. This year’s Allcomers is on Sunday July 9th. All you need is a team of 4 people. Full details and entry forms can be found on the Allcomers Regatta page.

Boats are provided by the club, along with a cox and coach who will give you guidance and get you ready for the regatta where you will race against other ‘allcomers’ in a friendly competition over a 300 metre course.

Downloadable leaflet.

Entries need to be in by Wednesday June 28th.

European Tour visits Hamburg

The 2nd British Rowing European Tour took place between May 11th and 13th 2017 in Hamburg, Germany, following last year’s inaugural tour to Amsterdam. Both the European tours so far have been organised superbly by Richard Pickup of the Nottingham Explorers group of recreational rowers, affiliated to Nottingham Rowing Club, in conjunction with representatives of host clubs from the areas visited.

This year the British tour group consisted of 42 rowers and 2 non-rowing partners drawn from 13 different clubs and included Colin Lawson from Durham ARC. Three Hamburg clubs were involved in the arrangements to entertain the British tourers, Ruder-Gesellschaft Hansa, Hamburger Ruderinnen Club and the Wassersportabteilung SV Polizei, with Hans-Heinrich Busse of RG Hansa the co-ordinator in chief.

Set on two lakes formed by the damming of the Alster River in the 13th century, the Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg is an ideal location for touring, with around 20 rowing clubs in and around the city, its network of canals being crossed by some 2500 bridges, more than Amsterdam and Venice combined!

Boating took place from 3 clubs with the group sub-divided to enable a manageable number of crews to gather at each location, with crews allocated in advance to quads coxed by members of the host clubs and ‘doppelsechers’ (accommodating a crew of 6).

Crews embarked from RG Hansa at the northern end of the Aussenalster lake and from the two clubs situated on the Isebekkanal for 2 days, exploring around 25km each day along Hamburg’s scenic waterways. A damp start on day one was followed by gloriously calm conditions until day two was curtailed by a thunderstorm. The tour included lunch stops at Wassersportabteilung SV Polizei on Friday and at RG Hansa on Saturday, the party returning on Friday evening to be entertained to a sumptuous dinner as guests at the RG Hansa clubhouse.

Touring is a form of recreational rowing more prevalent in continental Europe where there is an 80/20 ratio of recreational to competitive rowing, ensuring availability of good quality touring boats at many clubs. British Rowing’s Recreational Rowing Committee, chaired by John Turnbull of Weyfarers Rowing Club, has organised a UK Tour visiting different waterways within the United Kingdom each year since 1994, with plans for the silver anniversary tour on the Thames in 2018 well advanced.  

Touring has been promoted increasingly in the UK since the launch of BR’s Explore Rowing programme by Sir Steve Redgrave in 2010.

The 2017 UK Tour is scheduled for August 24th to 27th on the Lancaster Canal with around 80 tourers expected to take part. Further details about this and other tours and touring can be found on the Recreational Rowing website.

Allcomers Regatta 2016

September sunshine welcomed the 9 crews entered for the 2016 Allcomers Regatta, six mixed (including one all-female) and 3 men’s fours.

After a few short weeks of intensive training friendly hostilities commenced over a 300 metre course with round-robin races alternating between DARC’s two stable boats and the pair borrowed from Durham University Boat Club.

The mixed competition was won by Boaty McBoatface (coached and coxed by Stephen Auster) winning all 4 of their races, with Daream Team (coxed by Nicola Field) in second place with 3 wins.

With a three-way tie on 2 wins each in the men’s competition the outcome was determined by a one-minute ergo relay. Five coxes in a boat (coached by Elliot Kay and coxed by Shannon Kay) took the honours with Blazing Paddles from Workwear Express taking second place.

An inter race interval allowed time for an octuple demonstration, the most recent addition to the club’s fleet, while spectators assembled on the riverbank enjoyed Pimms and ice cream.

Special thanks go to Rebecca French for undertaking the bulk of the organisation.

Boaty McBoatface 4 points (winners)
Daream Team 3 (2nd)
Oarsome Foursome 2
Oar Dear! 1
Yogi Bears 1
Peru Crew 1

5 Coxes in a Boat 2 points (winners in ergo decider)
Blazing Paddles 2 (2nd )
Rock Bottom 2

More photos on facebook.

Great Tyne Row 2016

Durham ARC entered 3 crews for the 25km Great Tyne Row on Saturday August 27th, a popular annual challenge for stable and coastal boats, launching from Tyne  United Rowing Club at Newburn and finishing beyond the ferry terminal at North Shields with crews continuing onwards to land on Tynemouth beach at Prior’s Haven.

Twenty-six boats entered this year, down on last year’s 40. DARC crews included a women’s 4+ (DARC Blues Sisters) consisting of Ray Dominy, Steph Snowball, Vicky Jackson and Debbie Connolly coxed by Shona Miller, a mixed quad (Rose among thorns) comprising Paul Rutter, Sarah Rutter, Gabrielle Moore, Alison Shepherd and Kalpana Ganatra, and an open quad (Wear Still Here) including Colin Lawson, Dave Green, Stephen Auster, Chris Merchant and Vaughan Gordon. The latter 2 exchanged coxes mid-stream to share the duties.

The row is typified by challenging conditions for crossing Tynemouth harbour but this year departed from the norm with sunshine and relatively calm conditions at the mouth of the Tyne but with a headwind causing much rougher water along the route.

All participants relished the challenge and enjoyed the burger and Northumbrian Blonde provided on the beach by the co-hosts Tynemouth Rowing Club after the finish. DARC Blues Sisters won the pennant for Best Dressed Crew, finishing in a time of 2hrs 11mns. Rose Among Thorns came 5th in 2hrs 03min and Wear Still Here finished in 2hrs 09min.

Full results and award winners


River Wear Tour 2016

The second River Wear Tour, hosted by City of Sunderland Rowing Club, took place on Saturday August 13th. Thirteen rowers from Durham ARC joined crews form Tynemouth, Gateshead and Sunderland Rowing Clubs for a 20km paddle along the tidal stretch of the Wear in stable quads, a double and a skiff.

Armed with a tour map and informative documents about local landmarks crews departed upriver from South Hylton, passing the Shipwrights pub at North Hylton, Washington Wetlands Centre, the Nissan factory, Penshaw Monument and Cox Green before turning beyond the Victoria Railway Bridge, with the outgoing tide easing the return to South Hylton. A brief stop to change cox offered some respite before crews departed downstream again towards the historic Sunderland shipyards, passing the construction site of the new Wear bridge, Queen Alexandra Bridge, the Stadium of Light and Wearmouth Bridge along the way.

Turning back against a stiff westerly breeze combined with the outgoing tide made for difficult conditions on the final leg back to South Hylton before all tucked into the BBQ provided by the host club, celebrating the achievements of Team GB at the Rio Olympics.

Photo by Al Johnston shows Kalpana Ganatra, Lesley Wilkinson, Colin Lawson, Helen Adair, Steve Auster, Jane Auster, Sue Lyons, Margaret Richardson, Dorothy Featherstone, Vaughan Gordon, Chris Merchant and Arjun Badyal.

River Tees Tour 2016

On Saturday July 23rd ten of Durham ARC’s daytime and masters rowers joined a party of around 40 drawn from 5 different clubs to take part in the first River Tees Tour.

Rowing tours are an aspect of the Explore Rowing programme that British Rowing encourages. This one has been in the planning phase for several years and formalising it marks a great achievement, following on from last year’s exploratory visit by DARC rowers to Yarm.

Crews from Tyne, Durham, Hexham, Tees and Tynemouth Rowing Clubs assembled at the River Tees Watersports Centre in Stockton ready to embark on the 25km round trip to Yarm. Taking place under British Rowing rules required the use of stable Explore boats for the occasion.

Warm greetings accompanied the warm sunshine and were followed by the consumption of bacon butties in preparation for the day’s exertions. Each of the 8 crews (7 coxed quads and one coxed four) was issued with a tour brochure by organiser John Anderson, and after a safety briefing all boats were able to take to the water by 11am. A short paddle upstream saw crews reconvene alongside the Old Boathouse before embarking on the tour at their own pace.

Preston Park was the next pause to allow slower crews to catch up, before the flotilla continued as far as the twin bridges at Yarm, turning and landing briefly at the recently refurbished Yarm School boathouse before returning downstream, arriving back at Tees RC by 2.30pm ready for the feast of pulled pork sandwiches and cakes awaiting them. Participants were in agreement that the day was most enjoyable and should become an annual feature in the rowing calendar.

DARC crews included Helen Adair, Alison Shepherd, Alan Clark, Linda Forwood, Tony Speight, Colin Lawson, Margaret Richardson, Vaughan Gordon, Chris Merchant and Sylvia Bell.

Northern Rowing photos

With the popular Great Tyne Row now in its 6th year and the second River Wear Tour of Sunderland scheduled for August 13th it can only be a matter of time before rowing tours encompass all of the northern region’s navigable rivers.

NRS Media corporate event

On Thursday July 14th the club hosted a group of 35 from NRS Media who were taking part in a corporate event organised by Team Arena.

Participants were divided into 4 teams and assigned in turn to land-based challenges while remaining teams were given rowing tuition in stable fours by the club’s volunteer coaches assisted by members of the daytime rowers. Challenges included a 2000 metre timed ergo relay and a ‘cross that gap’ exercise involving crossing a divide using planks without touching the ground and liberating a ping-pong ball from a cylinder using buckets of water, with the outcome determined by the number of team members successfully completing each element of the task.

After a short break for a buffet lunch the morning tuition was put to the test with a timed obstacle course with representatives from each of the 4 teams rowing round a buoyed course on the river with placings determined by the time over 2 rounds, with time penalties for any transgressions of the rules.

The red team was declared the winner and the day concluded with a post event BBQ.

If your company would like to take part in something similar Team Arena will be pleased to tailor an event to meet your needs.

More photos of the day

Formula Rowing Open

UPDATE – due to unfortunate circumstances the Formula Rowing Open has been cancelled. Please see for further information.

Formula Rowing‘s inaugural event takes place on Sunday 19th June at Stockton-on-Tees. The Formula Rowing Open is the exciting start of the rowing revolution jovially dubbed #WeRowInCircles, and DARC members are being invited to take part.

Formula Rowing Operations Manager Louise Watkin explains

Entries are filling up rapidly, ranging from Oxford Colleges to Bristol, even with interest from the Highlands. However, we need a strong Northern contingent.

Formula Rowing aims to bring a new dimension to racing. To enable races to be in a circular format, we have specially developed patented technologies to allow for steep turns along with an integrated communications system to ensure safe overtaking and crew feedback. This is looking to be a fantastic spectator event, with live streaming of stroke rate and GPS tracking along with live Go Pro footage from inside the boat and cameras on both the bankside and on the water. Sandwiches and a fully licensed bar will be available on the waterfront, so get your Pimms in early and bring your whole boat club down to support!

Qualifying is between 9am and 12 noon. You have three laps in which to set the best individual lap time. Finals take place between 1pm and 3pm. Eight boats start in a gridded 2-lane format.

Entry requirements –

  • Due to the more demanding role of the cox we ask that they’ve had at least 1 years racing experience.
  • As we have updated our steering technology, both bow loaders and stern loaders are welcome.
  • Entrants must be over 18

Any questions- please get in touch with

More information on our technology can be found here and a short film to introduce Formula Rowing.

Entries can be made here:

In addition to the Formula Rowing Open, Formula Rowing is very excited to announce that in partnership with Durham Regatta, they will be live streaming racing at Durham Regatta 2016 on June 11th and 12th! Catch every Stroke at