Category Archives: Event News

Club Regatta and Head Race Announcements

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 200 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

Celebrating 50 years of The Grand

As well as England’s notable World Cup success 1966 marked the first of three victories for John Appleby, then a schoolboy at Durham School, in the coveted Grand Challenge Cup at Durham Regatta. Fifty years on John is still competing for Durham ARC, recently winning the masters single sculls at Durham City Regatta, defeating Andy Jaggard (cox of John’s third Grand winning crew of 1971) in the process.

Read Andy Jaggard’s fascinating account of the 1966 Grand-winning four (John Appleby, Gareth Powley, George Nicholson, Geoff Potts and cox Tony Bailes), who will be reunited after 50 years on June 11th, on the Durham Regatta website

Durham Regatta takes place on June 11th and 12th 2016.

Durham Regatta Video Competition

Durham Regatta takes place over the weekend of June 11th and 12th and this year the organisers are offering two prizes of £100 in vouchers for the best entries in a video competition.

The objective is to provide video content for inclusion on the Durham Regatta website which is to be relaunched following this year’s event. Videos of between 60 and 90 seconds duration will be accepted in either of 2 categories –

  1. Durham Regatta – ‘A Great Day Out’
  2. Durham Regatta 2016 – ‘Racing Action’

Entries should be uploaded to by June 30th.

See flyer for further details.

Durham Regatta was founded in 1834 with Founders including the University of Durham, Durham School and the Durham Boat Club (now known as Durham Amateur Rowing Club). Since 2011 the Regatta has been a Limited Company (Durham Regatta Company) overseen by an Executive Committee drawn from its 100+ members. This committee is overseen by a Board of 9 Directors whose membership comprises one member from each of the Founder organisations: Durham Amateur Rowing Club, Durham University and Durham School, plus 4 members of the Executive Committee, and one Councillor and one Officer from Durham County Council. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is Dr Nigel van Zwanenberg.

Entries to the Regatta itself need to be in by June 2nd. See for the list of races offered.



J16 boys at JIRR

Durham ARC’s Junior boys represented the Northern Region in the J16 coxless quad sculls in the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta (JIRR) at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham on April 23rd.

The Regatta is for ages up to J16 and is contested over a 1500m course between crews from each of the 12 British Rowing regions who undergo selection trials prior to the championships. The crews for the Northern Region were selected following trials at Cambois RC on February 27th.

At the Nottingham JIRR two heats are held for each event to accommodate the 12 regional teams on the 6-lane course and the heats are timed with the fastest 6 crews going into an A final while the remaining 6 contest the B final. Points are awarded to each region according to its finishing position in the final.

The J16 4x- of Harry Coe, Josh Stephenson, Matthew Skinner and Matthew Edge (pictured) were edged out of the A Final finishing a very close 3rd in their semi-final with the first three crews overlapping. They missed the A Final by under 2 seconds coming 7th overall. With a much improved first 500m in the final they led from the start and finished an easy winner in 5m 10.2s. Their main consolation is that based on their final time they would have been 4th overall.