Monthly Archives: June 2016

Juniors at Bradford Sprint Regatta

The younger juniors went to Bradford Sprint Regatta on Saturday June 25th. With 18 different combinations of girls in doubles and quads taking part in a total of 8 events Mark, Debbie and Ray had an extremely busy day getting crews on and off the water. The older girls worked well organising themselves in rigging, warming up and helping each other with boating.

The J12 girls (pictured top) were taking part in their first regatta and their coxed quad (Sophie Miller, Holly Robson, Niamh Lang, Ruby Coe and cox Charlotte Payne) beat 2 boys quads to win the J12 4x+.

Meanwhile the J13 girls (Charlotte Payne, Zara Gilbert, Freya Court, Hope Simpson and cox Millie McIntyre) won the WJ13 4x+

The J14 girls (Lottie Craven, Honor Cessford, Mollie Coe, Ellie Hall and cox Lily Sanderson) won rowing up an age group in WJ15 4x+.

The J15 girls (Abby Burke, Alannah Baldwin, Bethan Hall, Katie Strangward and cox Izzy Wilkinson), having spent most of the season taking part in sweep-oar events in which they had already de-noviced, were sculling this time, and also de-noviced in the Women’s Novice quadruple sculls.

There were some excellent performances from all of the other girls who were entered in different quad and double combinations.  Despite the lightning and torrential downpour, which suspended racing for a while, it was a great event on a beautiful stretch of river.

The Juniors have had a very successful season. Follow their progress by following Durham ARC on Instagram.

Pelaw Wood landslip update – summer 2016

Durham County Council has issued an update on progress with the Pelaw Wood landslip.

Works are progressing well to stabilise the original landslip, we have found a solution to repair the additional landslip and continue the challenging work to stabilise the bankside as soon as possible. The additional work means we are currently aiming to complete the work and re-open the footpath for autumn 2016.

We are working hard to ensure the riverside path can be re-opened as soon as possible. However, we do ask for the public to continue to be patient and avoid closed footpaths which are still inaccessible.

With good progress towards the stabilisation of the slope, it is estimated that the works will be finished in autumn 2016, however, the works can still be very weather sensitive and subject to the unknown ground conditions.

More information on

Henley Women’s Regatta

Durham ARC entered crews at Henley Women’s Regatta over the weekend of June 17th – 19th. The Regatta is the first of three to be staged on the Thames at Henley each summer, the others being Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Masters Regatta.

The DARC Senior Women’s squad entered the Senior Coxless Quads on Friday and progressed through a time trial before being eliminated in their race against Agecroft RC.

Hope Cessford joined forces with Lauren Irwin of Chester-le-Street ARC and crewmates from Durham University Boat Club in the Senior Coxed Fours, winning their race against Trentham BC on Saturday before losing in the semi-final against London University on Sunday, an excellent result as Hope and Lauren are Juniors competing against Seniors. London University went on to win the final against Molesey BC (see results tree). The race against Trentham is on YouTube (Race 170).

Henley Royal Regatta is well known, having taken place annually since 1839 (Durham Regatta pre-dates it by 5 years). Held over 5 days in early July on a course 2112 metres long it attracts entries from around the world and is organised by a self-electing body of Stewards.

Henley Women’s Regatta first took place in 1988 in response to the absence at the time of events for women at Henley Royal Regatta. It continues to gain in popularity, attracting entries from all over the UK and overseas, challenging the organisers’ ability to satisfy demand. The Women’s Regatta course is 1500 metres long.

Henley Masters Regatta, held over 2 days later in July over a distance of 1000 metres, commenced in 1994 and is subject to similar demands with increasing numbers of Masters rowers (ages 27 upwards) seeking competition. The event is an annual fixture on the calendar for the DARC Masters squads and has been a source of regular success. Victory by the DARC Masters F 8+ (age 60-64) in a 2011 heat was captured on video from the umpire’s launch and is on YouTube. The crew of Derek Gordon, Paul Rutter, John Watkinson, John Appleby, Dave Walker, Martin Judson, Kim Metcalfe and Paul Stanley with Emma Watcham as cox went on to win the final. The 2016 Regatta is on July 8th and 9th.

Explore Series visits Berwick

The Northern Explore Series, now in its fifth year, broke new ground on June 5th, visiting England’s northernmost rowing club at Berwick-on-Tweed for the first time. Berwick acquired 2 stable boats last year, aptly named Royal Tweed and Royal Border, enabling them to host an event.

One of the features of the competition, for novice and recreational rowers, is the opportunity to visit new locations, particularly attractive to new recruits to the club and Learn to Row graduates. Berwick’s clubhouse, featured on the cover of the June edition of Rowing & Regatta magazine, is pleasantly situated on the tidal estuary of the River Tweed in the shadow of the Royal Border Bridge. Sixteen teams took part with DARC providing two Open and two Women’s crews, already well positioned on the leader board after the third of the 8 monthly rounds at Tees in May.

A series of side by side races took place over a short course against the incoming tide. The two Durham ARC women’s crews were drawn against each other in their first race of the day, with DARC Green taking the honours against Wear Here to move into a single point lead in the overall league table with both teams winning the remainder of their races.

Wear Past It were one of 3 teams to secure 3 victories in the Open category, holding on to 3rd place in the overall table 2 points behind Chester-le-Street. DARC Jags picked up 2 points.

So far this year 31 teams from 11 different clubs have entered the competition with new teams and new competitors joining in each round. The next round takes place at Tynemouth on July 3rd. Photos from Northern Rowing demonstrate the sport’s diverse appeal.

The league table and general information about the Explore Series can be found on the Northern Rowing website.

Success at Durham Regatta 2016

Durham ARC’s Juniors squad had a successful weekend at Durham Regatta on June 11th and 12th, with wins in 4 events at the prestigious annual event.

On Saturday Aidan Rushforth continued his outstanding form, winning through 3 rounds to take victory in the J18 single sculls.

After their win the previous week at the Metropolitan Regatta at Eton Dorney Hope Cessford of Durham ARC and Lauren Irwin of Chester-le-Street ARC combined once more to take victory by a large margin against opposition from Durham University in the Women’s Elite Pair, securing the Archibald Trophy.

The under-16 boys, Harry Coe, Josh Stephenson, Matthew Skinner and Matthew Edge, won the IM3 coxless quad sculls for the Wardman Yates Cup.

Two Durham ARC crews raced against one another in the final of the Women’s J14 coxed quad sculls for the Arthur Stainsby Trophy, the victors being Lottie Craven, Honor Cessford, Mollie Coe and Ellie Hall, coxed by Lily Sanderson.

There was another victory for the Senior Women’s crew of Fi Ashton, Heather Tosley, Claire Adams, Rebecca Thorne and cox Meghan McCarthy in the IM3 coxed quad on Sunday.

On Saturday John Appleby joined team mates from the 1966 Grand Challenge Cup winning crew for a 50th anniversary row over the course before departing for Nottingham to join the DARC Masters eight racing at the British Rowing Masters Championships.

With many of the club’s Masters competitors away in Nottingham over the weekend there were no Masters races scheduled at Durham, meaning that the remaining masters were up against stiff competition from much younger athletes.

Lists of trophy winners are on the Durham Regatta website

The weekend is organised entirely on a voluntary basis and with resources depleted this year the success of the regatta is testament to the outstanding efforts of the many volunteers.

British Rowing Masters Championships 2016

Durham ARC achieved notable success at this year’s British Rowing Masters Championships Regatta last weekend. The Regatta takes place at the National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham and is for competitors in the older age ranges with events categorised according to age bands to ensure fair competition. Around 1500 competitors with ages ranging from 27 to 88, representing over 100 rowing clubs from around the UK, contributed to a record entry this year in an event that continues to gain in popularity.

DARC crews picked up 3 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medal over the 2 days of competition in categories ranging from C (for ages 45 to 49) to G (ages 65 to 69). Gill Prescott collected a medal of each colour, taking first place in the Women’s Masters E coxless quad (in a composite crew also including Joy Skipper, Eva Rankin and Sarah Payne), 2nd place in the Masters E double sculls (with Eva Rankin), and 3rd place in the Masters D quad (with Helen McMillan, Joy Skipper and Lisa Kallal). As well as the bronze medal Helen McMillan also won a silver in the Women’s Masters C quad (with Alison Inglis and Hilary Cairns of Berwick ARC and Lisa Kallal of Mortlake, Anglian and Alpha Boat Club). Winning medals in every event they entered is quite an achievement and Helen and Gill were quick to praise their long serving coach Geoff Graham.

After celebrating the 50th anniversary of his crew’s win in the Grand Challenge Cup at Durham Regatta the previous day there was a silver medal at the Championships on Sunday for John Appleby, with the men’s Masters F eight of John Appleby, Tim Baker, Martin Judson, David Walker, John Watkinson, Paul Rutter, John Lund, Paul Stanley and cox Emma Hocking.

Although the club has a wealth of experience at this level of competition, each year offers opportunities for newcomers to establish themselves. There was outstanding success for Joyce Collett in her first National Championships on the water, winning the IM3 Women’s Masters G single sculls. Joyce only took up rowing 5 years ago after coming through DARC’s Learn to Row course, moving quickly through the ranks to win a gold medal at last year’s British Rowing Indoor Championships.

Roger Stainforth, an established and very successful exponent of indoor rowing, was taking part in his first ever competitive race on water at the Championships, having been invited only in recent weeks by Martyn Calkin to form a Masters F double, so it was a great achievement for the pair to come away with gold medals.

There were many other fine performances from Masters crews in a range of other events where reaching a final at this level is a great achievement.

Places for DARC crews are on the Results page.

Full results can be found on the British Masters website


North-East Rowers set for last international test ahead of Rio 2016

North-East quartet Kat Copeland, Jess Eddie, Will Fletcher and Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell will continue their preparations for Rio 2016 this weekend by representing the GB Rowing Team at the World Cup in Poznan, Poland – the last big international test before the Olympic Games.

It is a massive competition for Reilly-O’Donnell, who has been selected in Team GB’s 47-strong squad for this summer’s Games but has yet to nail down his place on the starting line.

He has been included in a group of 12 athletes that will make up the men’s eight and men’s pair, plus spares, with the final decision being influenced by this weekend’s performances in Poznan.

Reilly-O’Donnell and Mat Tarrant – who have won World Cup gold and bronze this year in Varese and Lucerne respectively – will race in the men’s pair against fellow Brits Alan Sinclair and Stewart Innes, who won silver at the European Championships.

Returning to the water in Poznan is Ingleby Barwick’s Copeland, whose selection in the Team GB squad means she will have the chance to defend the Olympic lightweight women’s double scull title she won so memorably at London 2012 with Sophie Hosking.

Joining her in the boat this time is Charlotte Taylor. They were rested for last month’s Lucerne World Cup in Switzerland and are looking forward to getting back on the water this weekend.

Fletcher – who started his career at Tyne RC – is all set to make his Olympic debut after being named in the lightweight men’s double scull with Richard Chambers.

Like Copeland and Taylor, Fletcher and Chambers won silver at last year’s World Championships but have raced just once this season, finishing fifth at the Lucerne World Cup, and will be looking to push on from that this weekend.

“We’ve got a race in Poznan and then it will be into some good training up to the Games,” said Fletcher.

“It’s pretty exciting to be part of a big team going away to Rio. This is what we have trained and worked towards for the past four years, well since 2009 actually in my case.”

It’s been an excellent season so far for Durham’s Jess Eddie, who has helped the women’s eight to European Championships gold in Brandenburg, Germany and silver in Lucerne, giving the United States an almighty scare in the process.

The eight has been named unchanged for Rio 2016, where Eddie – who went to the same school as Reilly-O’Donnell, St Leonard’s in Durham – will make her third Olympic appearance. Louisa Reeve will sub in for the unwell Polly Swann in Poznan.

The GB Rowing Team selection for both the Poznan World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic Games can be found at

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

40 years of commentary for Keith

At this year’s Durham Regatta on June 11th and 12th Keith Yates celebrates 40 years as the event commentator and 60 years since he joined Durham ARC as a cox.

Originally from Langley Moor Keith first took part in Durham Regatta as a schoolboy in 1951 and has been a fantastic supporter of the event ever since. He left the area and moved to Nottingham in 1962 but continued to return each year for the Regatta, doing his first commentary in 1976 and becoming an annual fixture ever since.

Recently returned from holiday in Rhodes Keith is really looking forward to his 63rd consecutive Durham Regatta and once more taking up his position in the commentary box.

Durham Regatta is run by a committee representing all the rowing clubs in Durham and also representing the local community.

Our Club plays its part by providing volunteers to work some of the jobs at the regatta – particularly start marshalling, assisting on the start platform, helping the commentator and crewing the safety boats. The Club also runs catering, bar, barbecue etc. at the Clubhouse throughout the regatta. Members and friends are urged to sign up for a role on the noticeboard in the foyer.

The draw/timetable for the Regatta will be published no later than Wednesday 8th June

Barry marks 25 years in office

Barry Hudson initially joined Durham ARC in 1959.  In 1967 when the club had a membership of only 35 (all men) he began his voluntary career. He was appointed Captain in 1972 and since then has held virtually every committee post at the club, including Treasurer, Vice-Captain, Regatta Secretary, Umpire, Press Officer and Trustee in his portfolio. He was appointed Club Secretary in 1991, a post he continues to hold. All of these positions are voluntary and unpaid and, until his retirement in 2008, were in addition to his full-time job.  Since Barry took office the club has expanded dramatically and now has around 400 members including very successful juniors.

So far, Barry has been the DARC Club Secretary for 25 consecutive years, a longer term in office than any predecessor in the club’s history, and it was decided to mark this auspicious occasion with a Friendship Lunch on Thursday June 2nd.  A splendid buffet was provided by an excellent turnout of members. Barry was presented with a card, a bottle of champagne and a celebratory cake to thank him for his long and dedicated service.

Congratulations Barry, and thank you from all DARC members!