Sixteen year old Durham ARC sculler Hope Cessford took the first step in her quest for selection for the Great Britain Junior Squad, finishing 14th out of 87 contenders in the first assessment time trial of the 2015/16 season in a single scull over a 5km course on the River Witham at Boston on November 14th.
Each year British Rowing selects two squads of junior rowers to represent Great Britain. Candidates must be under 18 on 1st January of the year in question.
The selection process is long, arduous and very demanding. It starts in November with long distance trials in single sculls against the clock over a 5,000 metre course at Boston, Lincolnshire. Rowers with the best performances from this event and those with top ergo scores will be invited to a training camp in December. To be a realistic contender, athletes need to be within the top 40 in the time trial.
Then for two days in February there are more time trials, over the same course, but this time in coxless pairs/double sculls as well as in singles. Participants complete the course twice in the weekend. All junior trialists have to be supported by their coach during the process.
In addition to these water based trials candidates have to achieve minimum standards in a sequence of ergo tests. Taking the ergo and time trials performances together rowers are selected by the GB Junior Coach for a “Spring Assessment” which takes place over four days in March at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham, after which a squad is selected to represent Great Britain at a Junior International Regatta at the same venue in April.
Final trials, by invitation only, take place in July, after which candidates are assigned to either the A or B squad and attend training camps in preparation to represent GB at either the Junior World Championships in the Netherlands in August 2016 or at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Poland.
There was a great win in the Women’s Masters D category at the Veteran Fours Head of the River Race on Sunday November 8th for Durham ARC’s Gill Prescott and Helen McMillan in a coxless quad composite crew with Joy Skipper of Upper Thames and Lisa Kalal from Mortlake Anglian and Alpha Boat Club. The crew completed the course on the Tideway between Mortlake and Putney in a time of 21 min 55.3 sec.
The Fours Head is for Masters in all categories from A to I and is open to 4+, 4- and 4x- formats. This year’s race attracted over 200 entries from Open, Women’s and Mixed crews.
Photos have been provided by Ben Rodford Photography.
Further details are on the Fours Head website.
The sixth and final round of the 2015 Long Distance Sculling Series took place at South Hylton on November 7th and produced wins for DARC crews in the J16 coxless quad and women’s IM3 coxed quad. Two more wins saw Andy Jaggard take the Masters F single and John Lund the Masters G single sculls.
Points from all results in the series were then totalled to determine the outcome of the Victor Ludorum competitions, with the following results:
Juniors: 1. Tyne ARC 248 points 2. Chester-le-Street ARC 242 3. Talkin Tarn ARC 123
Masters: 1. Tees RC 152 2. Durham ARC 131 3. Tyne ARC 108
Seniors: 1. Chester-le-Street ARC 56 2= Cambois RC 49 2= City of Sunderland 49
All crews and scullers finishing a race in the series score points for their club, with the number of points scored being determined by the number of boats beaten within a boat class and category. Categories are grouped into Juniors, Seniors and Masters.
Results of each round are on the Northern Rowing website.
Trophies will be presented at the club development conference in January.
The indoor rowing championships season got underway with the first 2km event, the North East Indoor Rowing Championships, taking place at Durham University’s Graham Sports Centre at Maiden Castle on November 4th, a good opportunity to gauge how preparations for the British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC) in London on December 12th are going.
DARC had three Masters representatives, Joyce Collett, Joe Applegarth and Roger Stainforth. All three were happy with their times and Joyce and Roger, who have entered for BRIC, can build on their performances.
Times (and average 500m splits) were Joyce Collett 8:27.1 (2:06.8), Joe Applegarth 8:01.7 (2:00.4) and Roger Stainforth 7:14.9 (1:48.7).
Next year DUBC would like to encourage the participation of more club and non-university athletes. The format and timing of the event is under consideration so watch this space…..maybe next time we can see a larger contingent from DARC.
The Durham round of the Long Distance Sculling Series went ahead on Saturday October 31st after some initial concern about the river conditions. Several clubs in the Northern region also offer an Autumn Small Boats Head on the same day to make a double-header, with DARC’s first venture attracting 125 entries of all boat types. Numbers for the LDS were up on last year with around 150 entries.
Sculling in the north-east is evidently in a good state of health with entrants ranging in age from under 13 to over 80, including the masters I quad of Chris Rose, Ian Shepherd, Bill Parker and Barry Hudson. A fast stream after Friday’s heavy rain meant challenging conditions for some, with a few difficulties negotiating the arches at Elvet Bridge.
Ten wins in the LDS were shared between the Juniors and Masters, including coxless quads at J16, Masters F and women’s IM2, and wins in single sculls for Aidan Rushforth at J18, Andy Jaggard at Masters F, Clare Woodward at women’s Masters C and Joyce Collett at women’s Masters F.
In the SBH there was success in 7 categories including the women’s novice coxed four, Masters D coxed quad, Elite coxless quad and J18 double sculls. Aidan Rusforth won again at IM2 single sculls, as did the J16 coxless quad, and James Snowball won the novice single.
Results are available for the LDS and SBH. There is an updated list of recent wins, and photos of LDS division 1, division 2 and SBH can be found on Al Johnston’s facebook page.
Thanks are owed to the many volunteers who enabled the day to run smoothly.
The LDS Series concludes at South Hylton on Saturday.