Monthly Archives: July 2016

Going Dutch

On July 29th we welcomed a group of 8 touring Dutch rowers from Leiden and Hemus Rowing Clubs who had asked to visit the club. Due to connections with Durham University they are no strangers to the area and have visited the club on two previous occasions. During their 2 weeks in the UK they will spend time at a number of locations around northern England and Scotland.

The tourists joined a group of 8 daytime rowers for a paddle in an octuple and 2 quad sculls, with Clive, Clare Staines and Steve Farrow providing the coxing and Clive providing historical commentary along the course, before all retired to the clubhouse where the Dutch contingent was introduced to the customary DARC hospitality and the delights of English afternoon tea prepared by the members.

They thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have invited us to join them for a row in Holland in future. More photos can be found here.  Thanks to all who contributed to making the occasion such a success.


GB call up for Hope

Congratulations to Hope Cessford of Durham ARC on being selected for the Great Britain Junior squad to take part in the World Rowing Junior Championships in Rotterdam in August. Hope will be rowing in the Women’s Pair with Lauren Irwin of Chester-le-Street ARC, one of 9 Junior crews selected for the Championships. The 36 Junior rowers will form part of a 113-strong GB contingent competing on the Willem-Alexander Baan course over the week of August 21st to 28th, with the World Senior and World U23 Championships taking place at the same time.

British Rowing Performance Director Sir David Tanner, who will be Overall Team Manager in Rotterdam, said: “Early signs are that we have a promising team this year and I am looking forward to seeing our Juniors in action in Rotterdam under their new Lead Coach, Robin Dowell, who coached the gold medal Junior men’s quad in Rio last year.”

Today’s selection is the culmination of a series of gruelling GB selection trials which began in November. Hope has also represented DARC this year in the Women’s Eights Head of the River race in March and at Henley Women’s Regatta in June. Also in June Hope and Lauren  enjoyed notable wins in the Senior Women’s pair at the Metropolitan Regatta at Eton Dorney and in the Elite Women’s pair at Durham Regatta.

Allcomers Regatta 2016 entries open

If you’ve never rowed before but want to give it a try then Durham ARC’s annual Allcomers Regatta is the ideal opportunity. This year’s Allcomers is on Sunday September 18th. All you need is a team of 4 people. Full details and entry form can be found on the Allcomers Regatta page.

Boats will be provided by the club, along with a cox and coach who will give you guidance and get you ready for the regatta where you will race against other ‘allcomers’ in a friendly competition.

Entries by September 7th please. Don’t delay, enter today!

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.

National Citizen Service

For the past few weeks Durham ARC has been hosting an event for the National Citizen Service (NCS) on Wednesday afternoons. The NCS is arranged by the University of the First Age (UFA )  and aims to provide activity challenges for teenagers looking to build skills for work and life.

With around 60 teenagers taking part each week some strain on the club’s boating and volunteering resources was inevitable but all rose to the challenge with the two recently acquired octuples, 2 eights, 3 quads, 1 four, 2 doubles, 2 tub pairs and 2 stable singles all taking to the water together to allow everyone to have a go at rowing or coxing.


British Rowing Junior Regatta 2016

The Juniors rounded off the season by taking part in the British Rowing Junior Regatta staged at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham on July 15th to 17th.

This year’s event was extended to three days rather than the usual two to allow J14s to enhance their competition experience by taking part in a fun and dynamic omnium event on Friday afternoon. To focus on skills as well as performance the omnium for J14 Single and Double Sculls consisted of a mixture of skills tests and manoeuvrability exercises as well as a race over 500m. The aim was to complete each event against the clock or try to achieve the highest number of repetitions, with the winner being declared taking into account all of the accumulated events. Skills included standing rigger dips and a 360 degree spin. The day rounded off with a fun scratch Quad Sculls race over 750m.

Saturday and Sunday racing was the conventional side by side regatta format.

Durham ARC entries included the Women’s J14 single sculls, Women’s J14 double sculls, Women’s J14 4x+, Women’s J15 4x+, Open J16 4x- and Women’s J18 eight (composite with Tyne ARC).

The DARC J14 scullers were placed well in the singles in the Friday omnium with Ellie Hall 15th and Mollie Coe 19th, while Honor Cessford and Lottie Craven came 11th in the doubles.

Due to high winds on Saturday racing had to be curtailed, as a result of which the organisers decided to draw up a revised schedule. This meant that although the J14 and J15 girls quads had both qualified from their respective time trials to go into the D finals these finals were among those that it was decided should be cancelled.

The J16 boys (Harry Coe, Josh Stephenson, Mathew Skinner and Mathew Edge) qualified from their time trial and were drawn in Sunday’s A final of the quad sculls, finishing 6th. The Durham/Tyne composite J18 girls 8+ finished 6th in their final.

Full results can be found here.

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

Henley Masters Regatta 2016

Durham ARC returned from the 2016 Henley Masters Regatta last weekend with 2 gold medals.

Held over a 1000 metre course at Henley-on-Thames on July 8th and 9th the regatta has taken place annually since 1994 on the week following Henley Royal Regatta. Eagerly anticipated by the Masters rowing community (those aged over 27) it attracts entries from across the UK and overseas and can accommodate up to 360 races per day.

DARC’s Women’s Masters D composite coxless quad won their heat against Lea Rowing Club but went out on Friday in the semi-final against Wallingford RC.

Following a dead heat in the quarter final the men’s Masters F coxed four lost out by three quarters of a length in the re-row against a German composite from RV Saarbruecken, Leipzig.

After overcoming Crabtree BC in their semi-final the men’s F eight went on to win in Saturday’s final against host club Upper Thames RC.

The second success on Saturday was for Gill Prescott’s composite Women’s Masters F coxless quad against Weybridge RC.