Monthly Archives: June 2014

Racing news – The DARC side of Durham Regatta

J18 Womens Junior Quad


It was a pleasure to watch this classy quad compete over the long course, over the Durham Regatta week-end – Jessica Harris, Lauren Mcmillan, Carina Sowerby, Katie McDaid. They won Wj184x- on the Saturday, with some great action photos of their racing expertise

… and later, the crowd were left open-mouthed by the performance of the Masters E4x (see our anon racing correspondent’s report)

 

 

 

ATTENTION – GO!

picture courtesy of Alan Sharp

 

 

 

It’s that ELVET BRIDGE MOMENT! – picture courtesy of Colin Lawson

 

picture courtesy of Alan sharp

Other Durham regatta junior winners were:-

The mens J18 8

The Junior W8 winning the ‘B’ final of Championship 8’s

and the MJ14 4x-

 

‘Mature Peoples’,Rowing

Masters E 4x – Watkinson, Rutter, Lyons, Morris

We start with a report that , Tim ‘Prontaprint’ Morris, (other reprograhics companies are available), says is best left anonymous … and I can see his where he’s coming from-

“Conditions were ideal for racing, overcast, warm with a hint of light drizzle in the air and no breeze. As life had got in the way of rowing, the quad had not been on the water since its disappointment at the National Masters Championships a month ago, so this was always going to be something of a gamble.

Hexham, the opposition, had also been at the Nationals and were arguably the fastest combination they could put together. Following the now obligatory wait, even to get to the stake boats,  at Durham Regatta, the crews were finally there, called to attention and then GO!

Durham were up by the end of the first stroke, AND with a brilliant piece of steering, by moving to the middle, Hexham were put under more pressure, as DARC could then dominate the race from the centre of the river. (Is Anon an ex squash player?)

Hexham started to slip back, and as DARC hit their stride, just off the wall, continued to power away, finding their own rhythm,  about 10 strokes later – giving them a clear length lead. A short, but awesome display of controlled consolidation brought the race through Hild-Bede and down to Cuth’s, seeing DARC maintain complete control of the race.

At this point the call was made to unleash THE SURGE  (Timx, sorry, Anon, how many strokes did your ‘surge’ last?)  and DARC then cruised over the line to take an uncomplicated and well deserved victory.

 

photo courtesy of Colin Lawson – Tim grits his teeth as he prepares to unleash his ‘surge’

Editor’s note: These men certainly know how to ‘Big themselves up’, and we’re not talking just talking about their “six-packs”. But they are … THE AWESOME ’CUDDLY’ FOURSOME

Our anonymous racing correspondent relaxes at the Regatta after an epic victory

Masters ‘F’ 8  – racing in Open Elite Eights, Sunday.

British Rowing ready to move on from ‘MASTERS’

Being politically correct is all about getting the nuances of language right. So first it was ‘VETERANS’, then it became ‘MASTERS’. And now, there surely is a better way to describe mature peoples rowing.

The MASTERS F 8 bravely entered the new Championship event  for Open Elite 8’s. Lining up against the young mens eights, they time-trialled down the short course, winning through to the ‘C’ knock-out event.

Lining up to race a ‘Young Mens’ eight, these ‘very experienced’ and ‘hardened’ Durham oarsmen, sitting at the start, knew just how to psych out their opponents

“Every one of us is old enough to be your grandfathers ..”

… Probably sufficient motivation for the considerably younger rowers. The race was close with the Durham ‘Masters’ level most of the way down the course. The verdict: Our GRANDFATHERS EIGHT lost by a canvas.

MATURE WOMEN, RACE IM3 EIGHTS Gabby Moore writes, “Two of Darc’s coaches Mark French and Andy Jaggard, put their heads together and selected a Masters ‘D’ 8 for Durham Regatta. Four sessions of training, one a week in the lead up to Durham – two with Mark, one with Andy, and one with both, and Helen Lax, returning to the Club after a few years away, agreed to cox. The coaching across squads was invaluable – it’s always good to pick up new tips and new ways of looking at things, both in the boat and regarding ‘race plan’.

Unfortunately the region had heard we had a strong eight, and no club put an entry forward to challenge us, so we agreed to be bumped up to IM3 and take on the University crews. Oh dear – we were drawn against Cuths – a strong crew who were often on the water when we were and looked as though they would show no mercy.

On the day we had a good start and rowed well at 32 all the way down the course, long and strong as instructed by our coaches but we were out rowed by 2 lengths by Cuths. A great race, it felt good and we didn’t mind being beaten by such a good crew. And considering our crew was a total of 240 years older than theirs we didn’t do too badly !!”    

 Development squad

Sturat Elsy writes:-

“Durham was quiet for development squad with only 1 crew racing due to injuries. This was the IM3 4 that won Novice first time out at Tees. It was their first attempt at IM3 and they lost in the first round on both days.

Sunday was a better row where they lost to the eventual winners, Doncaster Schools, by only 1 length, having been neck and neck all the way to Hild/Bede landing stage. Doncaster then won their subsequent rounds by bigger margins, although the final was close.

It shows that this DARC crew, who only started rowing in September, are competitive in IM3 already. We will lose one to university this summer, but the core of the crew remains and they will become very good oarsmen.

The success of this crew is a great advert for the learn to row courses. There are now 4 entirely separate dev squad 4s that have de-noviced in the last 12 months at Hexham and TT 2013, Durham City and Tees 2014.”

 

Durham Regatta Report

DURHAM REGATTA 14th and 15th June 2014  – Record entry and new-look Championship events

picture courtesy of Alan Sharp

Coming soon – RACING NEWS – DARC AT DURHAM – GET YOUR RACE STORY TO ajaggard@btinternet.com NOW for inclusion ..

The 181st Corepeople Durham Regatta was another resounding success with superb racing and enjoyment all round. The weather was mixed with some grey skies, but with some beautiful afternoon and early evening sunshine on the Saturday. And the large crowds of spectators enjoyed, perhaps the best ever, range of bank side entertainments – brass bands and all kinds of music, a classic car rally, bungee runs, climbing wall, drumming workshops, arts and crafts, trade stands, and of course, food stalls, and Pimms marquees. Whilst the weather did not match last year’s hot and sunny conditions, the cooler and calm conditions were ideal for racing.

 Cardinal-sin-AS

picture courtesy of Alan Sharp

RECORD ENTRY and THE ‘ARMY’ OF VOLUNTEERS Crews came form all over the Country, the farthest being Bristol, Bath, Chester, Lancaster, Edinburgh, and Stirling.

Richard Mortimer, Entries secretary said, “There’s clearly a large influx of people coming into the sport. That creates challenges for event organisers as entry numbers grow, but it’s hugely rewarding to see so many people enjoying themselves both on and off the water.” The regatta is now so popular, that we had to turn away eighty crews ,that applied for entry, and we still had almost 700 crews racing. With this record entry, the schedule is demanding – races every two minutes from 8am in the morning till 7pm at night for 2 days. That would be difficult enough on a large expanse of water, but is tougher still on a narrow, winding river, with crews launching from all parts of the river.

Nigel van Zwanenberg, Chairman of the Durham Regatta commented, “I’m always amazed by just how many people contribute to making the regatta work so well – Army and Air cadets, Rowing club members, students from the University, members of the regatta from all walks of life, the umpires, and many more – and all are volunteers. We really are grateful to them and to all the competitors and supporters for making Durham regatta such a successful and friendly sporting event.”

THE ‘GRAND’ The Grand Challenge Cup, the premier event over the iconic ‘long course’, is 160 years old this year. Appropriately, a Durham School crew who won The Grand as schoolboys 60 years ago in 1954, returned to commemorate Graham Whitaker, the cox of the crew, , who sadly died last year. Graham’s daughter, Helen, coxed the crew, when they had an outing on Sunday morning, launching from DurhamSchool boathouse and rowing around the Prebends bridge area of the river.

picture courtesy of Colin Lawson

The Grand this year was contested between DurhamUniversity and NewcastleUniversity. The verdict from a seasoned rowing coach, “Newcastle were large” (the stature of basketball players) and, “a class act”. The other verdict, Championship Coxed Fours for The Grand Challenge Cup was won by NewcastleUniversity beating DurhamUniversity by 6 boat lengths.

NEW ‘CHAMPIONSHIP’ EVENTS’ New this year, were the ‘Championship events’ for the ‘high performance’ rowers. The crews are time trialled over the course, and then as a result allocated to ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’ Championship events. There was some initial bemusement about quite what was going on, but the real benefit came when we saw the racing in the knock-out championships. With crews ‘seeded’ on time, we enjoyed close and exciting racing in many events – sculls, doubles, fours, eights. Multi-lane racing at national and inter-national events may be seen as the pinnacle of many rowers ambitions, but the ‘gladiatorial’ contest at Durham, between two top-class eights, thundering down the narrow course, bow-ball to bow-ball, is a sight to behold.

picture courtesy of Alan Sharp

Championship Eights for the Reverend C J Saunders Trophy was won by DurhamUniversity.

The beauty of Durham Regatta is that it’s not just about the high performance rowers. It’s also a great experience for many novice rowers, some whom may only have been rowing a few months, having their moment in the limelight. It can be both a daunting and exhilarating experience, and one they won’t quickly forget. All of the Novice fours events were hotly contested with winners including DurhamUniversity, StephensonCollege, YorkUniversity, and St. Chads College.

Returning also this year was a Para rowing event, contested by two Tees scullers and won by Lathan.

And there was a novel sight when two ‘gigs’ raced down the course. These brightly painted sea-going rowing boats were built over the winter, as community projects at Gosforth and Byker.

picture courtesy of Alan Sharp

“What a great couple of days”, said Nigel van Zwanenberg, “really high quality racing and huge enjoyment for everyone on the banks on the Wear. Durham regatta has such a long history but it’s terrific to see us looking to the future with the new development of Championship racing and with Para rowing now a regular feature of the programme.”

NEXT YEAR AND THE SEARCH FOR THE WATERLOO MEN The origins of Durham Regatta are closely tied with the commemorations to honour the “glorious victory” at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. There is some certainty that a parade of boats took place in the years preceding the founding of the regatta in 1834. There were firework displays and regatta balls at the City’s Assembly Rooms. Events also included ‘the firing of cannons’ and ‘ a substantial supper with a plentiful supply of strong ale and punch for the Waterloo men.’

Next year we plan to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and Durham regatta’s special links with it. The search for the Waterloo men’ and their descendents will be a major project for the Regatta throughout the year … and when we find them we intend to repeat the hospitality offered to them in the 1830’s.  

Hastings

 

so if you have a family story of a relative who survived Waterloo or the Peninsular war and mustered with ‘other brave fellows’ on the banks of the Wear to display their banner and fire off cannons each June – please let us know www.durham-regatta.org.uk      

Curry Night – unwind after Durham Regatta

Our famous Curry Night and only £7 a ticket. Please buy your tickets NOW – Helen and Sarah need to know numbers so they can get the quantities right.

Helen Adair and Sarah Rutter have been organising this for some time – lets support it and get together as a club. Tickets available from Helen, Sarah, Andy, and many others.

By the way that’s unwind, not un-wind.

Blindfold Dynasaurs stay on track

The fourth round of the 2014 Northern Rowing Sunday League was memorable in a number of ways. Falling as it did within the local regatta season meant that we had to bid farewell to those who had recently lost their novice status and become ineligible. Among the DARC contingent this included 3 members of We’ar Winners, until then holding pole position in the Women’s category, and Mick from the Dynasaurs. As a result the DARC entries were down to 5 this time, with the enforced withdrawal of We’ar Winners and the unavailability of Go wit’the Flow.

The leaders of the Open category from Tyne were also ineligible due to the loss of their novice status at Wansbeck Regatta the previous day. With the leaders in both categories now out of the running this opened up the competition and provided real encouragement for the remaining teams.

 

Scheduling the Talkin Tarn round for June 1st gave us hope of better conditions than those endured in October of the previous year, and this indeed proved to be the case with sunshine and calm water. This was most welcome as the organisers had dreamt up the idea of making competitors wear blindfolds for the second of 2 rounds in what was our first attempt at a sweep version of the popular skills head. Fortunately there was plenty of time in between rounds to enjoy the spectacular surroundings without our blindfolds. Proceedings went on about 2 hours longer than planned but nobody was in any hurry to leave. Bradford were however granted the dubious honour of going first to allow them more time for the long homeward journey.

The blindfolds helped to level the playing field for Mark, who is blind, to make his first appearance in the League, and demonstrated to everyone else how difficult rowing is when you can’t see. If this wasn’t enough we were among the first to have our efforts recorded with James’s new GoPro video camera, the results of which you can see by following the links below.

On to the business of the day and what fun it turned out to be. The skills round is as much a test of coxing ability as it is of rowing, and our designated coxes for the day, Roger and Mick, were certainly up to the mark with some expert steering and calling (essential with a blindfold crew!). Some contentious judging and interpretation of the rules added spice with several crews incurring time penalties.

After the first round, without the blindfolds, DARC were standing first and second in the Open category and leading in the Women’s. The positions changed somewhat after the blindfold round and ended with 4 of the DARC teams winning points, with the Dynasaurs 1st and Darc’n’Dandy 4th in the Open, and DarcErr, with a superb blindfold round, coming 2nd and the Demons 3rd in the Women’s category. Aireheads from Bradford achieved the notable distinction of a faster time with their blindfolds than without.

Gerry takes up the story in his now customary epistle of the day…

Sunday 1st June 2014

Hi again to all Rec Rowers who took part at Talkin Tarn. Dynasaurs Rule OK!!

Another great performance by the Recs, hit the points again, an outstanding day. Thanks to Talkin Tarn for making us all welcome… It was good to see Bradford make it to Talkin Tarn, nice to catch up after our trip to the War of the Roses previously.

Can I put the Sunday League to one side and mention a book, Beware of Pity, author Stefan Zweig, a read that will take some putting down… give it a try. Also I would like to mention Gene and her helpers for the BBQ on Bank Holiday Monday 26th of May, another success, and a mention to Stewart for the work with the power wash on the benches, tables and chairs – a good job – to stain later.

This Thursday we welcomed Sue and Fiona form Hexham who joined us for our regular outing. We look forward to seeing them and others again in the near future.

Looking to do well at Tynemouth on the 6th of July.

Favourite no. 2 band Snow Patrol.

Kind Regards to you all.

Wind it down.

Gerry.

Sunday’s result sees DARC Dynasaurs surging into overall lead in the Open category with We’ar Winners holding on to joint leadership in the Women’s section.

Times and scores for the day can be found here along with cumulative scores for the season and photos from Northern Rowing.

Not to be missed are 2 videos on the Northern Rowing YouTube channel, a superb promotional one for the Sunday League and one of Darc’n’Dandy showing how it’s done!

An outstanding day, enjoyed by all!

Memories of ‘The Grand’ – 160 years on … and how Phil Metcalfe won ‘The Grand’

Breaking news: –

For those of you who have read Messrs Rutter and Ringer’s account of their 1980 Grand win, it is now time to reveal the real secret of their victory. DARC rowing guru, Clive Hole tells all..

“This crew won the event because they did what they were told.

Firstly, because instead of scratching at Tyne regatta, they rowed the only available substitute, Phil Metcalfe, and drawn against D.U. in the first round … lost handsomely .. D.U. were on a roll ….!

Secondly, because they followed the parting instruction of their coach, ‘DON’T STRIDE!’ “

So we can now reveal the real winner of The 1980 Grand …

PHIL METCALFE

With this year’s Durham Regatta fast approaching it’s time to remember some remarkable stories linked to the 160th year of The Grand Challenge Cup first contested in 1854.

Race stories, ‘All that was left’ in the 1st World War, and this year’s innovations

Durham Regatta originated from the 1815 celebration of the victory at Waterloo. The annual procession of boats became a regular feature with the boats carrying bands up and down the river, playing “Rule Brittania” and music of the day. As the day wore on the music became “more spirited … but less harmonious”.

The first Durham regatta in 1834 saw 2 days of racing. But what was the format, and what were the rules? Well – there were no rules! Fouling was allowed as there were no heats, and as many as nine boats used to start abreast at PrebendsBridge, as the cannon fired, race through the narrow arches of Elvet bridge, turn around a buoy at Pelaw wood and return to Prebends. That must have been quite a sight.

This year marks 160 years of The Grand Challenge Cup, which dates from 1854 and has always been the most coveted prize at any regatta in the North of England.

An extract from “Sport Ancient and Modern” from the early part of the 20th Century describes the unique course:-

“The Course was not quite a mile and a quarter between ‘Ash Tree’ and ‘Counts Corner’ … despite many gallant contests, it cannot be described as an ideal course for racing. The river at Durham is torturous, and except when swollen by floods, shallow and sluggish … there are two long corners, and about half way the course is spanned and well-nigh barred by Elvet Bridge.The quaint narrow arches of this beautiful and historic structure barely leave room for the oars of a racing boat.” elvet and beyond

There has always been a ‘healthy rivalry’ between the 3 home crews from Durham – Durham School, Durham University, and ‘the City’ (D.A.R.C.), with each winning the Grand on many occasions. Durham University has the most wins. This 1st 4 from 1860 bolstered the fortunes of the university as numbers had dwindled. DUBC first four 1860

In 1863 Durham Amateur Rowing club won The Grand at Durham regatta for the first time: Crew – Bow W. Brignall, W. H. Hedley, C. Rowlandson, Stroke P. Forster, E. Dykes  cox. First Grand Win 1863

By 1880 the Grand was renowned as “the big event of the day, a four-oared race for gentlemen amateurs over one and a quarter miles”, and Durham Amateur Rowing Club won the 32 guineas prize (about £3400 in today’s money)

A wonderful print from that year (with thanks to the Peter Jefferies collection) shows the racing and some boating chaos on the Wear – not much different then!

1880 print

 

 

 

 

 

“All that was left”

A far more poignant memory of the Grand concerns a crew from Bede who had won the Grand in 1910. This excellent crew (R.Wheldon bow, R. H. Robson 2, J. O. Wilson 3, C.E. Walker stroke and cox A.W.Bramwell), won the cup by three-quarters of a length, after fouling an arch. and went on to form part of the contingent of Bede men during the First World War …

The 8th battalion of the Durham Light Infantry joined the British forces in France in April 1915. “A” Company of 8 DLI was known as the Bede Contingent, comprising over 100 past and present students of the college. They were soon thrown into the front line trenches on Gravenstafel Ridge during the second battle of Ypres.

The Bede spirit was not quenched by their first experience of gunfire. The official regimental history records that ‘through the darkness came the voice of some irrepressible BedeCollege member of “A” Company as a shell passed over’: “Aye it reminds yer of Durham regatta. Now lads, up goes another! All together! Bang! Mind the stick!”  Then someone called “Who’s won the Grand?” And there were rival cries of “City!” and “Bede!”

In the fighting which followed on April 25th, the Bede men helped save Ypres, but they suffered grievous losses with 17 killed, 10 wounded, and 31 taken prisoner. The group photograph with the poignant message, “All that was left” is arranged rather like the sports photographs of the day and has become part of the folklore of the college and the regiment.

all that was left

The Bede men had good reason to wonder about the Grand at Durham. The regatta would have been due within a week or two. It would not have been forgotten that Bede had won the Grand Challenge Cup for the first time in 1910, and some of that crew were undoubtedly in the contingent. BedeCollege had also won events at the regattas in 1913 (The Lady Herschell Plate) and 1914 (The Mayor’s Plate), so their prospects were good..

Of the Bede crew who had won the Grand in 1910, R.H.Robson was killed, R.Wheldon lost an eye, and the cox A.W.Bramwell became a prisoner of war. R.Wheldon is in the photograph.

There was no Durham Regatta in 1915 because of the war.

With thanks to Gerald Blake – “175 years of Durham University Rowing” – The River and Rowing Museum.

John Appleby won 3 Grands (1966 Durham School, 1969 D.A.R.C. , 1971 D.U.B.C)

Which of your 3 Grands was most memorable?

I think it’s always the first … and that was with Durham School in 66 (Tony Bailes cox, John Appleby stroke, Gareth Powley, George Nicholson, Geoff Potts bow). There was a Continental crew that came over – Swedish – “Svenska”, there were around a few days before the regatta practising … and that was quite scary .. they had a short, high rating stroke, very much in the “Ratsberg” style of the day. The two weeks before the race, Bickmore (the pre-war Durham coach) wouldn’t let us row anything under 36. (rating) Bickmore was standing in for the coach of the time – De Winton, who had scarlet fever and wasn’t allowed anywhere near. There were very few new boats at that time, and we were in a 1934 ‘Bowyers and Phelps’.

Anyway, we beat Svesnka in the first round, we had 2 ½ lengths by Bede. Then we had Tyne in the final. The Head of House – McCall- had the whole school – probably at least 200 boys running the towpath. It hadn’t been done in a long time, and has never been done again. It was like a stampede, there were dogs and old ladies flying in all directions. We were on easy arch and won by 2 ½ lengths in a time of 6.02, but we weren’t pressed (the bogey time was always 6 minutes). 

1969 With DARC . We knew we were going fast. We had won everything in the North-East and it was ours to lose. We had worked hard with weights and circuit training, back in 66 our idea of land training was running up the Chapel steps. We won comfortably.

1971 With Durham University. The same again. We had done the work – land training, weights, circuits, had truly arrived. We beat Tyne comfortably.

John Appleby and Kim Metcalfe from the 69 and 71 crews (note the post training cigarette)

 

 

 

 

1980 D.A.R.C. won The Grand again, crew Andrew Duncan, Paul Rutter, Julian Ringer, David Turnbull, cox Tommy Maddison

Paul RutterI was only 19 and the rest of the crew were in their mid twenties, and here I was in the City 1st crew. We were in a plastic boat and had won everything that season – Senior A and Elite. We trained 3 nights a week, weights, running, and no alcohol. 

There was a lot of banter at the start with the “pretty” DUBC crew, we were pulling their legs, and trying to psych them out. We had a lightning fast start and had clear water on the racecourse, maybe 3 lengths, it’s hard to know. I always remember passing the hot dog stall and how it took your breath away. We had great support down the first part of the course and then coming into hard arch, we maybe still had 1 ½  lengths. Tommy Madisson, the cox did a cracking job through hard arch maybe clearing the stroke side blades by 1 inch through the arch. And then supposedly we would pick up the advantage, from the rest of the course, with the bend in our favour. Perhaps, fitness came into it. At Kingsgate bridge, it was only a length, with the DUBC crew coming back at us around the outside of the bend, and down ‘Minute tree’ they seemed to be taking a foot every stroke.

The ‘minute tree’

Julian Ringer My memory of the race is that we shot off the start, took a significant lead by Browns where we were inspired by a huge cheer from Clive’s mates. The much fancied DUBC crew, who I believe went on to race in the semi-finals of the Wyfolds at Henley, suddenly picked up the pace having the benefit of the stream under Kingsgate bridge and came back like a train down ‘Minute tree.’

Tommy Maddison, taking no prisoners, hurled a significant amount of abuse/encouragement at both crews and took us over the line to win by no more than 2 or 3 feet.

I don’t remember much afterwards as we went straight to the bar with Messrs Duncan and Rutter and emerged only just in time, but in no fit condition, for the prize giving at the Town Hall.

 

1992 D.A.R.C.s last win. The crew was coxed by Toni Spoor, stroked by Mick Terry, with Richard Bodsworth at 3, Kevin Oates at 2, and Graham Wilson at bow.

Kevin Oates describes how the victory would go down in ‘the annals’ of club history.

The bow three were all home grown talents through the club’s links with Belmont school. As ever it was D.U.B.C. in the final and us Durham boys were surely not serious contenders to overcome ‘the polished palatinates’. As we left the landing stage I will always remember Angie Lund (club captain) telling us:

‘If you can win this one boys, you will go down in the annals of club history.’

Now Angie also happened to be English teacher for myself and Toni and Richard, so we knew all about the significance of the annals.

The crew was one of a handful I have rowed in that clicked from the off. There was nothing complex involved, just drop the blade in and push. Our strategy was simple, go off as hard as possible, push at the bridges and corners, and maybe the odd landing if required (that has the course covered). To our surprise, it worked and we led off the start, by Baths we were still ahead, and with Easy arch looming we squeezed on around the corner, knowing that DUBC had the course advantage in the second half of the race. As we shot Elvet with clear water, my mind recalled being in the same position, in a Newcsatle University four a couple of years earlier and watching DUBC  row through us. This time we didn’t falter, the crew just pressed on. Toni was screaming as we came down minute tree that we were going to do it. Maybe it meant more to us than DUBC but they failed to come back at us, and we won by clear water.

Amongst the celebratory expletives was a misquoted Captain’s comment that ‘our annals were going down in history!’

Innovations for this year

It may upset the traditionalists but this year’s regatta sees some exciting innovations to the racing format:-

I spoke to Richard Mortimer, the Entries Secretary.

Which events are involved, Richard, in the new style races?

Basically, it’s all the higher status events for Elite Performance competitors, and that includes Open Elite Eights, Womens Elite Fours, Elite Scullers, both Mens and Womens and, of course, the Grand Challenge Cup.

How will it be different?

Instead of a pure knock-out event, we time-trial the crews over the course, then use the results of the time-trial to seed competitors into 4 boat knockout events.

And how will that be better?

It ensures that the fastest crews are in the top events and like-speed crews are racing each other, which will mean some tight and exciting racing

Are there any potential downsides?

Maybe some confusion because crews won’t know who they are racing ahead of race day, but we expect that competitors will soon get the hang of the new format.

And this will also apply to The Grand?

Absolutely – Elite crews will have the opportunity to qualify for The Grand, which means that only the fastest crews will have the honour of racing for The Grand Challenge Cup.

 

This entry was posted in News, Racing News on May 17, 2014 by Andy Jaggard.