Cold wet conditions failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the record entry for the Bonfire Night double header of the Northern Rowing Council’s Durham Long Distance Sculls (LDS) and Durham Autumn Small Boats Head (SBH) organised by Durham Amateur Rowing Club. With a field of 124 entries for the morning sculling race and 108 for the afternoon head organisers had their work cut out to keep to the schedule. As always at Durham crews have to negotiate the arches of Elvet Bridge halfway along the 1800 metre time trial. Racing is keenly anticipated, and quads, doubles, singles, fours and pairs representing clubs, schools and colleges from across the northern region duly rose to the challenge.
St Leonards School ruled the roost this year with the J18 quad winning both events, holding the Durham ARC J17 boys at bay in the morning then outpacing Stephenson College in the afternoon, while Aidan Rushforth was the fastest single sculler of the day.
It was a successful day in the two events for DARC’s Juniors, Seniors and Masters with 12 wins in all.
The J17 boys didn’t have any competition in their own age category but were the second fastest crew over the course in the LDS in a time of 6 minutes and 18 seconds.
The J15 girls quad won their category in both LDS and SBH, while the J14 and J13 girls quads also won in the LDS and the J14 boys quad won in the SBH, a great achievement considering several of the juniors were taking part in their first competitive race.
Winning junior crews –
- WJ15 (LDS) – Mollie Coe, Ellie Hall, Lottie Craven, Honor Cessford, cox Lily Sanderson
- WJ15 (SBH) – Catherine Musgrave, Pardis Farahi, Hope Simpson, Honor Cessford, cox Ellie Hall
- WJ14 (LDS) – Madeline Elmer, Charlotte Payne, Elicia Baldwin, Hope Simpson, cox Catherine Musgrave
- J14 (SBH) – Sam Dower, Tom Brumwell, Matthew Harrison, Thomas Taylor, cox Millie McIntyre
- WJ13 (LDS) – Niamh Lang, Lydia Kind, Ruby Coe, Alice Davies, cox Ellie Goad
In the Seniors Kim Forster and David Muse won the Mixed IM3 double sculls and there was a win for the Women’s Novice coxed quad in the LDS while Elliot Kay and Brad Knights won the Elite pair in the SBH.
The Masters consolidated wins from the 5 previous rounds of the LDS with Andy Jaggard and Joyce Collett again winning the Masters F 1x and Women’s Masters G 1x respectively, and Angela Lund and Gabrielle Moore won the Women’s Masters E 2x, while the DARC Masters D crew was the fastest Masters coxless quad in the SBH.
Joyce has been the most consistent of the Masters winning 4 rounds of the LDS series, sometimes being the fastest masters sculler of the day in any age group and only missing out on a 5th victory through lack of opposition.
Archive of DARC wins at events.
Points accumulated over the 6 rounds of the Long Distance Sculling Series count towards Victor Ludorum awards where scullers win points for their club in Junior, Senior and Masters categories. Durham finished on the leader board in two of the categories, taking 2nd place in the Senior events and 3rd in the Masters. Points are scored according to the number of opponents beaten by boat class within category.
Series totals are as follows –
- Chester-le-Street ARC 313.5 points
- Queen Elizabeth High School RC 127.5
- Tyne United RC 108
- Tees RC 31
- Durham ARC 28
- Tyne United RC and Chester-le-Street ARC 27
- Tyne ARC 189.5
- Tees RC 188
- Durham ARC 119.5
The Victor Ludorum trophies will be presented at the Northern Rowing Council AGM in December.