Monthly Archives: August 2016

River Wear Tour 2016

The second River Wear Tour, hosted by City of Sunderland Rowing Club, took place on Saturday August 13th. Thirteen rowers from Durham ARC joined crews form Tynemouth, Gateshead and Sunderland Rowing Clubs for a 20km paddle along the tidal stretch of the Wear in stable quads, a double and a skiff.

Armed with a tour map and informative documents about local landmarks crews departed upriver from South Hylton, passing the Shipwrights pub at North Hylton, Washington Wetlands Centre, the Nissan factory, Penshaw Monument and Cox Green before turning beyond the Victoria Railway Bridge, with the outgoing tide easing the return to South Hylton. A brief stop to change cox offered some respite before crews departed downstream again towards the historic Sunderland shipyards, passing the construction site of the new Wear bridge, Queen Alexandra Bridge, the Stadium of Light and Wearmouth Bridge along the way.

Turning back against a stiff westerly breeze combined with the outgoing tide made for difficult conditions on the final leg back to South Hylton before all tucked into the BBQ provided by the host club, celebrating the achievements of Team GB at the Rio Olympics.

Photo by Al Johnston shows Kalpana Ganatra, Lesley Wilkinson, Colin Lawson, Helen Adair, Steve Auster, Jane Auster, Sue Lyons, Margaret Richardson, Dorothy Featherstone, Vaughan Gordon, Chris Merchant and Arjun Badyal.

Silver for Jess in Rio

Members nearly raised the roof as the Great Britain Women’s eight including Durham ARC life member Jess Eddie crossed the finishing line in the Olympic final at Lagoa de Freitas in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday August 13th.

For the first time ever a GB Women’s eight achieved the distinction of winning an Olympic medal, taking the silver in a photo finish with Romania, only headed by the defending champions from the USA. The club opened the bar for the occasion and welcomed a good turnout of members for a BBQ as the drama unfolded on the big screen, the women’s success being followed up by a gold medal for the GB men’s eight 20 minutes later.

Summing up the achievement DARC general manager Mark Bell said “DARC is so proud of you, enjoy every minute of it”

Speaking to the BBC after the success Jess expressed her delight and praised the support the crew has received from her home city and the club where she learnt to row and where she first competed as a junior.

“It makes me really proud to be able to come here and do that for everyone back there” she said.

Jess was taking part in her third Olympic Games. Now 31 she went to St Leonard’s School in Durham and took up rowing at the age of eight, achieving success with Durham ARC Juniors and representing Great Britain In the World Junior Championships in 2001 while a member of the Club. She now represents London Rowing Club.

The silver medal winning crew comprised Katie Greves, Melanie Wilson, Frances Houghton, Polly Swann, Jess Eddie, Olivia Carnegie Brown, Karen Bennett, Zoe Lee and cox Zoe de Toledo.

Eddie Ready for Rio

Durham ARC members gathered last week to send their best wishes to the GB Women’s Eight ahead of their departure for the Rio Olympics which get underway on August 5th. Included in the 8 is one of our home grown athletes Jess Eddie. Now 31 and from Durham Jess will be taking part in her third Olympics.

She went to St Leonard’s School in Durham and took up rowing at the age of eight, also playing netball and rugby as a youngster. Her first competitive win came in the 1995 Durham Vets and Juniors Regatta.

After joining the DARC Juniors wins at Durham Regatta followed, firstly in 1998 in a double with her sister Alexandra. Jess soon became established in the GB Junior squad, representing Great Britain in the GB v France match in 2000 and at the World Junior Championships in 2001.

She was a bronze medallist in the women’s pair in the 2003 Under-23 World Championships before joining the Senior eight, rowing at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, finishing 5th on each occasion.

In 2013 DARC named a lightweight eight ‘Jessica Eddie’ in her honour, which she officially launched in October of that year.

Earlier this year Jess helped to secure an eye-catching gold for the GB eight at the European Championships in Brandenburg, with GB surging through to take victory in a perfectly-judged race. Another thrilling finish at the Lucerne World Cup saw the eight narrowly losing out to the World and Olympic Champions from the United States.

Members of DARC’s women’s squad joined Jess’s parents Stewart and Nora and her former coach Gordon Beattie for a press conference, holding up a banner in support of their ‘Northern Star’ before launching Jessica Eddie on the water.

Ladies captain Gabrielle Moore said “Jess is a home-grown Durham girl who went through DARC as a junior and is off to her third Olympics so we want to wish her well. She’s been a long-time supporter of the club and we’re all very proud of her.”

Jess continues to support the club and helps with fundraising for new equipment.

We wish every success to the GB squad in their quest for glory in Rio.