Category Archives: Racing News

Club Racing Successes

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.

Durham LDS and Autumn SBH 2017

Rowers from across the north of England converged on the River Wear last Saturday for the Durham round of the Northern Rowing Council’s Long Distance Sculling (LDS) Series, a time trial over 1800 metres with competitors taking on the course from Count’s House to the Bandstand in single, double and quadruple sculls, the key element being successful negotiation of the narrow arches of Elvet Bridge at the midway point.

The latest round, hosted by Durham Amateur Rowing Club, was the fifth of six scheduled over the autumn at different locations across the north-east and with weather and water conditions ideal there was great enthusiasm among the 100 crews assembled, after the disappointment of seeing earlier rounds at Berwick and on the River Tyne cancelled because of high winds.

As in recent years the morning event was the first part of a double header, coinciding with Durham ARC’s Autumn Small Boats Head (SBH) in the afternoon. Such is its popularity that for the first time a second division of the SBH was added, thus allowing 3 opportunities to race in different categories throughout the day.

The Small Boats Head also provides an opportunity for competition in sweep-oared boats (pairs and fours), the format preferred by the colleges of Durham University. After the Tyne cancellation last week this was their first chance of the new academic year to race.  

The day is a showpiece for the sport, attracting the best of the region’s rowers of all ages, as well as enabling those new to the sport to take part, and brings together clubs, schools and colleges.

The fine conditions permitted some of the fastest times for many years, with the Durham ARC J18 junior coxless quad fastest of the 300 entries, Harry Coe, Josh Stephenson, Matthew Skinner and Matthew Edge posting a time of 6min 01.2 sec and maintaining their unbeaten record for the year in the LDS Series. In the LDS Durham ARC also took victory in the Open double sculls, Andy Jaggard won the Masters G single and there were wins in the Women’s coxless quad, Women’s Masters C double, with Clare Woodward and Susan Jackson also taking the prize for the fastest Senior Women’s double, and Joyce Collett in the Women’s Masters G single scull, while in the SBH there were wins for the club in 11 categories including the Open coxless quad, Open pair, Women’s coxed four, J16 girls coxless quad, J14 girls coxed quad, Alannah Baldwin and Katie Strangward in the J18 girls double, Open Masters D coxed quad, John Lyons in the Open Masters E single scull, and the Women’s Masters E double, with Gill Prescott and Helen McMillan also winning the prize for fastest Women’s double of the day. The Women’s Masters F coxed quad gained their first victory in a head race and Gabrielle Moore won for the first time in a single in the Women’s Masters E 1x.

Success was well distributed among other clubs with Chester-le-Street, Hexham, Tyne ARC, Tyne United, Talkin Tarn, Tees RC, Cambois, Sunderland City and Lakeland RC all claiming victories. Queen Elizabeth High School was the most successful school, while Hatfield College was the most successful of the Durham University clubs, setting the fastest times in both men’s and women’s categories from a total of 35 college coxed fours entered.  

Points accumulated in each round of the LDS Series go towards a Victor Ludorum prize presented to the winning club at Junior, Senior and Masters levels after the final round at Tees RC on Saturday.

LDS results

Wins in 6 events –

  • Open J18 4x- – Matthew Edge, Matthew Skinner, Josh Stephenson, Harry Coe
  • Open 2x – Joe Owen, Nicholas Baird
  • Women’s 4x- – Becky Chilcott, Alison Danforth, Rachael O’Connor, Beth Holmes
  • Open MasG 1x – Andy Jaggard
  • WMasC 2x – Clare Woodward, Susan Jackson – Fastest Senior Women’s 2x
  • WMasG 1x – Joyce Collett

SBH results

Wins in 11 events –

  • Open 4x- – Reece Stockport, Mert Evirgen, Can Evirgen, Brad Knights
  • Open 2- – Dan Pearson, John Roxborough
  • Women’s 4+ band 1 – Kate Sowden, Caroline Kirk, Heather Tosley, Becky Chilcott
  • WJ18 2x – Katie Strangward, Alannah Baldwin
  • WJ16 4x- – Gabby Suggett, Pardis Farahi, Millie McIntyre, Kirsty White
  • WJ14 4x+ – Georgia Abbott, Niamh Lang, Ruby Coe, Ellie Goad + cox Libby Morris
  • Open MasD 4x+ – Gary McCarthy, George Peattie, Dave Murray, Peter Robinson
  • Open Mas CDFG 1x – John Lyons
  • WMasE 2x – Gill Prescott, Helen McMillan – Fastest Women’s 2x
  • WMas CDF 4x+ – Kalpana Ganatra, Jane Auster, Sue Lyons, Alison Shepherd + cox Caroline Scholl
  • WMas DE 1x – Gabrielle Moore

A Shot in the DARC win Explore Series

The final round of the 2017 Explore Series took place at Tyne United on October 1st. It was a successful day for DARC with the women’s crew ‘A Shot in the Darc’ (Alison Shepherd, Sue Lyons, Jane Auster, Kalpana Ganatra and Margaret Richardson) winning all four of their races to clinch top place with 50 points in the women’s league, while Wear Well Away (Colin Lawson, Vaughan Gordon, Chris Merchant, Steve Auster and Dave Green) won 3 races to finish as runners-up in the Open league on 46, 4 points behind Hexham who have led all season.

Despite being on half points for the round Green Shoots (Zuzanna Swirad, Paddy Deans, Linda James, Alison Hoare, Maureen Miller, Louise Forster and Kate Wicks) secured 2 points, enabling them to take fourth place by half a point in the women’s league.

A total of 37 teams from 10 different clubs have taken part this year, the second successive year in which a DARC Women’s team has won the league. This concluded the sixth season of the Series which started as the Sunday League in 2012. The competition is for novice, recreational and returning rowers and retired racers.

Final league table

World Masters Regatta 2017

DARC surpassed all previous records taking a party of 36 rowers, some accompanied by non-rowing partners, to Slovenia for the World Rowing Masters Regatta held on Lake Bled over 5 days between September 6th and 10th 2017. Crews entered a total of 69 races, more than twice the number entered by the club at any previous championships. With such an expansion in the number of Masters wishing to compete it was necessary for the first time to take 2 trailers to transport the required fleet of boats on the 1900-mile round trip, a major challenge for the 5 drivers involved.

To accommodate the 4700 athletes and 6000 boat entries competing in over 900 races the organisers had to start a race every 3 minutes from 7am to 7pm over the four and a half days of competition, a remarkable feat of organisation, and an even greater achievement given the fluctuating weather conditions during the week, with sun, wind and rain in equal measure. All who travelled agreed that whatever the outcome it was a wonderful experience in a magnificent setting with races over the 1000 metre 8-lane course finishing in the shadow of Bled Castle.

For many of the party it was their first experience of the World Masters, while others have risen to the challenge many times, some virtually every year since 1996. The club has only once failed to return with a victory.

Fortunes were mixed, with 5 wins, 7 second place finishes and 6 third places. The first win came on Thursday for the men’s Masters G eight (above) of Derek Gordon, John Appleby, John Watkinson, Clive Cooper (Upper Thames RC), David Walker, Martin Judson, Micky Stevens and Paul Stanley, coxed by Emma Hocking, then on Friday there was a victory for the men’s G double (below) of John Appleby and Micky Stevens. Three further wins came on Sunday in the Mixed G double (Eva Rankin and John Appleby), then for Martin Judson, Paul Stanley and David Walker in a composite Mixed G eight including Colin Barratt of Ardingly RC and representatives from Hungary, Germany and USA, again coxed by Emma Hocking, and finally another victory for John Appleby, his 4th of the regatta, this time with a composite Mixed F quad including Tom Bishop of Quintin BC, Hilary Cook of Mortlake and Ailie Ord of Strathclyde Park.

John Appleby enjoyed the best return securing 4 second places – the F single scull on Wednesday, F double scull with Micky Stevens and G quad scull with Micky Stevens, David Walker and John Watkinson on Thursday, and the F eight with Tim Baker of Abingdon RC, John Watkinson, Paul Rutter, David Walker, Martin Judson, Micky Stevens and Paul Stanley, coxed by Emma Hocking on Friday.

The Judson, Walker, Stanley and Baker combination started day 1 of the regatta on Wednesday with a 4th place finish in the Masters E 4+. Several crews had their first experience of World Masters racing on Wednesday – Clare Woodward and Jacki Patrickson were 7th in the Women’s Masters D double while Kim Forster and Gabrielle Moore were 5th in the same event. Another 5th place came for the women’s E8+ (Sarah Rutter, Kim Forster, Hazel Stainforth, Gabrielle Moore, Helen Adair, June Davison, Susan Jackson and Angela Lund, coxed by Nigel van Zwanenberg). Susan Jackson, June Davison, Jacki Patrickson, Clare Woodward and cox Helen Adair had their best result of the week with a third place finish in the women’s Masters C coxed four. Andy Jaggard also finished 3rd in the F single scull, then partnered David Muse to a 6th place in the D 2x.

Thursday saw a 4th place finish for Hazel Stainforth, Helen Adair, Gabrielle Moore and Angela Lund in the women’s E 4x-. Joyce Collett had the first of three 4th place finishes in single sculls, the F on Thursday followed by G and E on Saturday, June Davison finishing 7th in the F 1x. Paul Rutter and David Oliver were 7th in the E pair. Julian Ringer and Paul Freeman of Cambois were 8th in the F 2x, Clare Woodward and Kim Forster were 6th and 8th respectively in the women’s C 1x, and Gerry Sharpe, Michael Seed, David Oliver, George Adair were 7th in the F 4-.

Hazel Stainforth, Gabrielle Moore and Angela Lund went one better than the previous day in the women’s F 4x- on Friday, a third place, this time with Joyce Collett completing the line-up. Paul Rutter was 5th in the E single scull, and Clare Woodward and Ray Dominy were 5th and 7th in the women’s D single. Gerry Sharpe, Michael Seed, David Oliver and George Adair again came 7th, this time in the F 4x-, Paul Rutter, Martin Judson, David Walker and John Watkinson finishing 5th in the same event. John Lund and Andy Jaggard were 4th in the G 2x, and Susan Jackson, June Davison, Jacki Patrickson and Clare Woodward were 4th in the women’s C 4x-.

Saturday was the busiest day. Results included 3rd for Paul Rutter in a composite D coxless quad, 8th in the same event for John Lyons, Julian Ringer, David Muse and Paul Freeman, 3rd in the G4+ for Micky Stevens, Paul Stanley, David Walker, John Appleby and cox Emma Hocking, 6th in the women’s F 2x for Hazel Stainforth and Angela Lund, 6th in the B 1x for David Muse, 7th in the C 2x for John Lyons and David Muse, another 7th in the F 4+ for Gerry Sharpe, Michael Seed, David Oliver and George Adair, this time coxed by Helen Adair, 4th in the F4+ for John Watkinson, Martin Judson, David Walker, Paul Stanley and cox Emma Hocking, 7th in the women’s C 2x for Clare Woodward and Susan Jackson, 2nd, 4th and 8th respectively in the G 1x for Andy Jaggard, John Appleby and Julian Ringer, 8th in the E 2x for Julian Ringer and Paul Freeman, 6th on the women’s D 4x- for Susan Jackson, June Davison, Jacki Patrickson and Clare Woodward, 5th for David Walker and Martin Judson in the F pair, and a 2nd place for Derek Gordon in a composite Masters H eight.

Sunday of the World Masters is reserved for mixed events drawn during the regatta, and is a further opportunity for competitors to form composite crews with other clubs. As well as the three wins there was a 5th place for Hazel Stainforth, Roger Stainforth, John Lund and Angela Lund in the mixed G 4x-, 7th for Paul Rutter and Sarah Rutter in the mixed E 2x, 2nd for Hazel Stanforth and Micky Stevens in the mixed G 2x, 7th for Kim Forster, John Lyons, Clare Woodward and David Muse in the mixed C 4x-, 5th for Kim Forster and David Muse in the mixed B 2x. 6th for Paul Rutter, Sarah Rutter and an Abingdon composite in the mixed E 4x-, and 8th in the same event for Clare Woodward, June Davison, John Lyons and Paul Freeman.

Full results are available here.

Official photos from Sport Graphics

Videos of G8+, G4x and F8+.

Explanation of Masters age categories – a crew can be entered in the age category corresponding to the age attained during the current year or in any younger category.

Age categories: A Minimum age 27 years or more
  B Average age 36 years or more
  C Average age 43 years or more
  D Average age 50 years or more
  E Average age 55 years or more
  F Average age 60 years or more
  G Average age 65 years or more
  H Average age 70 years or more
  I Average age 75 years or more
  J Average age 80 years or more
  K Average age 85 years or more

There is no progression system so a medal is awarded to the winner of each race.

Boston Marathon 2017

This year we sent three crews to the Boston Marathon, the mother of all long course events. They rowed 50.2 Km (and some cycled slightly more) and performed extremely well in one of the toughest events on the rowing calendar.

First to set off were the J16 girls in the coxed quad, consisting of Catherine Musgrave, Jess Cooper, Mollie Coe, Honor Cessford, and Lily Sanderson. They kept up a good pace, and set a time of 4:33:35. In an impressive achievement, they managed to beat the course record by nearly three minutes. The previous record had stood since 2002.

Following close behind was Adam Morris in the J16 single, who won his event with an almost superhuman time of 4:19:45, beating his closest opposition by over 45 minutes, and the fastest J18 single by 15 minutes. Unconfirmed rumours report that the bottom of his boat is singed from the sheer speed he reached.

Last, and also fastest of the Durham crews, were the Masters D double of Rob Coe and Martyn Calkin. They set a time of 4:08:38, which is apparently ‘not bad for a couple of old men’. However, their success can easily be explained by the stash of jelly babies on board, which will have increased boat speed to previously impossible levels!

Report by Harry Coe, photos by Jo Coe

Results

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

 

World Junior Championships, Lithuania 2017

Hope Cessford of Durham ARC was the northern region’s only representative in the Great Britain squad at the World Rowing Junior Championships at Trakai, Lithuania recently. Hope rowed at bow in the junior women’s coxless four along with Flo Donald (Lea RC), Mary Wright (Henley RC) and Charlotte Fennell (Marlow RC).

With 17 nations competing in their event the GB four finished second in heat 1 on Thursday August 3rd, behind the eventual champions Croatia, which qualified them automatically for the semi-finals on Saturday along with Romania, USA, China and Poland. Qualifiers from Thursdays heats were joined in the semi-finals by crews progressing from Friday’s repechage.

In the second of two semi-finals GB finished 4th behind China and USA, with New Zealand only edging them out by 0.6sec from the 3rd place that would have qualified them for the A final. This put GB into the B final which took place at 7.30am on Sunday 6th.

The GB four won the B final, completing the 2000 metre course in 7.15.38, beating Italy, Greece, France, Germany and the Netherlands, ranking them 7th in the world in the event.

Results of the B final and all finals.

Photos courtesy of FISA.

It was a very successful championships for Great Britain, who finished 2nd in the medal table with two gold, one silver and one bronze medals, as described in British Rowing’s report.

Hope selected for World Championships

Hope Cessford of Durham ARC joins a squad of 34 chosen by British Rowing to represent Great Britain at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships taking place at Trakai, Lithuania between August 2nd and 6th. Crews were finalised following trials 2 weeks ago. Selection for the Women’s coxless four is a fantastic achievement for Hope who has been with DARC’s Juniors squad throughout her teenage years, having being identified for GB squad trials after winning the women’s single sculls at J16 level at the British Rowing Junior Championships in 2015.

Strong opposition can be expected in Lithuania with a huge entry of 752 rowers overall from 59 countries in 258 boats. The GB four of Charlotte Fennell (Marlow RC), Mary Wright (Henley RC), Hope Cessford (Durham ARC) and Flo Donald (Lea RC) is one of 17 crews from 5 continents contesting their event.

In recent years Hope has been the latest in a series of junior athletes coached to success by Gordon Beattie who counts 2016 Olympic Women’s 8+ silver medallist Jess Eddie among his former protoges.   

Now in her final year as a junior Hope had a successful 2016 rowing as a pair with Lauren Irwin, then of Chester-le-Street ARC, winning the Women’s Senior Pair at the Metropolitan Regatta at Eton Dorney and the Women’s Elite Pair at Durham Regatta (above) before their selection together to represent GB for the first time at the September 2016 World Championships in Rotterdam, where they achieved 3rd place in the B final of the Junior Women’s Pair.

Already this year Hope has represented Great Britain at an international regatta in Munich in May and at the European Junior Championships at Krefeld, Germany where Hope and Flo Donald took 5th place in the final of the Women’s Pair.

The World Championships is likely to be Hope’s final competition as a junior before going to Harvard University.

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.

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.