Monthly Archives: April 2017

Strathclyde Park Regatta

The Regatta season got off to a flying start on April 22nd with the DARC Juniors going to the Junior Inter Regional Regatta at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham on Saturday while the Masters attended the 2-day Strathclyde Park Regatta, both multi-lane events.

Strathclyde Park Regatta is organised by Scottish Rowing and incorporates the Scottish Universities Rowing Championships. Among Durham ARC’s 15 entries were Women’s Masters E 1x, Masters F 8+, Women’s Masters C 4x, Women’s Masters 2x, Masters D 2x, Masters G 2x on Saturday, and Women’s Masters D 4+, Masters F 4x, Masters G 4x, Women’s 1x, Masters H 1x, Masters 2x, Women’s Masters C 2x, Women’s Masters D 2x and Masters B 1x on Sunday.

There were wins for Kim Forster and Gabrielle Moore (pictured) in the Women’s Masters D 2x and for John Watkinson, John Appleby, David Walker and Paul Stanley in Masters G 4x- and Masters G 2x, and 2nd places for Kim Forster and David Muse in Masters D 2x, Kim Forster and Gabrielle Moore in the Women’s Masters Res 2x, David Muse and Andy Jaggard in Masters B 2x, David Muse in Masters B 1x, John Appleby in Masters H 1x, June Davison in the Women’s Masters E 1x, and for the Masters F 4+, Masters F 8+, Women’s Masters B 2x and Women’s Masters C 2x.

Several other good performances included Joyce Collett racing in a single against strong university opposition and Andy Jaggard in a single, both at Masters G. 

Full results are available in a spreadsheet.

Photos can be found on the Not Just Rowing facebook page.

Junior Inter-Regionals 2017

4 crews represented DARC at Junior Inter-Regionals 2017, with all of them performing very well in the first national regatta of the year. Even after a fairly eventful journey, and unusual conditions at Holme Pierrepoint (Sun? No wind?), the standard set by DARC crews was high, and bodes well for the upcoming regattas.

First in their final was the Girls J15 4+, consisting of Gabby Suggett, Pardis Farahi, Millie McIntyre, Kate Henderson, and cox Katie Warburton, putting in a gutsy performance to finish 9th overall, with a time of 6:39.1. They were closely followed by the J15 Girls 4x+, Honor Cessford, Mollie Coe, Jess Cooper, Catherine Musgrave, and cox Lily Sanderson who came 8th in the time trial, and were beaten to winning the B final by just 0.35 of a second, making for a nail-biting finish for all involved.

Also racing were the Girls J14 4x+, consisting of Hope Simpson, Elicia Baldwin, Freya Court, Madeline Elmer, and cox Zara Gilbert, who managed to come 10th, a good performance for a crew just starting in their racing career. The WJ16 8+, consisting of Alex Roberts, Abby Burke, Alannah Baldwin, Georgia Murphy, Elise Goddard, Bethan Hall, Izzy Wilkinson, Katie Strangward, and cox Becky Jackson, although completely overshadowed by Fred’s shirt (just ask him to show you), performed extremely well, winning the B final by almost a length, and only 20 seconds off the winning time for the A final.

Last and certainly not least, our resident Big Lad, Sam Taylor, was invited to row in a composite 8+, featuring rowers from such far-flung climes as Durham School and Chester-le-Street. Despite having only had a few sessions together, they were still able to come 10th, with Sam showing himself as a more than competent oarsman.

Overall, the results of the weekend show the strength of the DARC Junior Section, and especially that of the Junior Girls, setting a good precedent for local regattas in the next few weeks.

Written by Harry Coe

Photos by Ian Suggett and Rob Coe

Three Eights to Veterans’ Head

Durham ARC had 3 entries in the Vesta Veterans’ Head of the River Race on the Thames on Sunday March 26th, the annual Eights race for Masters which traditionally falls the day after the Head of the River Race (HoRR). The lack of DARC entries in either the Women’s Head or the HoRR and late cancellation of the HoRR this year because of windy conditions provided extra incentive. The DARC entries included a Masters F composite with Upper Thames, a Women’s Masters E 8+ and a Women’s Masters Novice E 8+.

Raced over the Championship course from Putney to Mortlake the Veterans’ Head was first staged in 1983 when the main Head of the River Race became too popular to accommodate both senior and veteran rowers. This year’s event attracted 235 entries including 32 from overseas. The three DARC Eights boated from Cygnet RC near Barnes Bridge ready for the 11am start.

For the more experienced crews it was familiar territory but for the novices it was their first outing on the Tideway. In good conditions the Masters F Eight posted a time of 14.33.9 (adjusted to 13.12.9), finishing 44th overall and 3rd in their age category. The Women’s Masters E Eight (pictured below) finished 190th overall and 6th in their category in 16.08.33 (adjusted to 15.05.33).

The Novice crew (above) comprising Aisling Dutton, Nicola Field, Julie Kitson, Clare Staines, Ray Dominy, Steph Snowball, Vickie Jackson and Linda Forwood, and coxed by Caroline Scholl, was last to start as number 234 and improved their position to finish 227th in 17.12.74. Julie decided to use the occasion to raise money for the Myotubular Trust charity that her employer is supporting this year.  Funds raised have risen to over £1,000.

See Vesta website for full results.


Durham Explore Series falls on Boat Race day

By fortunate coincidence round 2 of the Explore Series fell this year on the same day as the Boat Races. April 2nd dawned sunny and warm, the day after DARC’s Boat Race Ball. The discovery of an unexploded World War 2 bomb near Putney Bridge cast doubt over whether the Boat Races could go ahead, cancellation would have put paid to the planned party and screening of the races, but fears proved unfounded and all went according to plan.

This was the first sweep-oared round of the season, the format alternating between sweep-oar and sculling each month. An early start at 11am and a buoyed 250m course, modified from that of previous years to finish nearer the landing stage, along with some expert organisation, enabled the 38 scheduled races to be completed within a 4-hour window. Boating 4 crews at a time from the extended landing stage speeded up circulation and kept the volunteers and near record entry of 19 crews busy.

The Explore Series is a simple and exciting format where relative newcomers can experience some safe and close racing in stable coxed fours or quads, with an opportunity for visiting crews to enjoy different surroundings, meet old friends and make new ones. With Berwick and Gateshead making their first visit to the competition in Durham the standard of racing continues to impress. Honours in the Open league were shared between Hextraordinary representing Hexham and Barcing Mad from Berwick with 4 wins each, while in the Women’s competition there were 4 wins for A Shot in the Darc from Durham as well as for Wine on the Tyne from Tyne ARC and Gateshead Goldstars from Gateshead CRC.

A Shot in the Darc (Sue Lyons, Sonny Shepherd, Jane Auster, Kalpana Ganatra and Margaret Richardson, coxed by John Lyons) were delighted with their second successive maximum points haul enabling them to retain overall leadership of their league with 14 points. DARC’s Open crew Wear Well Away (Colin Lawson, Vaughan Gordon, Steve Auster, Chris Merchant and Dave Green) picked up 3 wins and there was a win apiece for Green Shoots (Zuzanna Zwirad, Paddy Deans, Linda James and Maureen Miller, coxed by Ken Gardner) and Out of Darcness (Louise Forster, Geoff Raw, Andrew Fisk and Stewart Allan, coxed by Gerry King and Dave Green). Hexham lead the Open competition also with a maximum 14 points after 2 rounds.

A tea of pork sandwiches and refreshments from the bar whet the appetite for those who hadn’t seen enough racing for the day who stayed to watch the screening of the Boat Races in the clubhouse, the Cambridge women and Oxford men taking victory.

Round 3 of the Explore Series is at Berwick on May 7th.

Schools Head of the River

Schools Head 2017 was certainly eventful, if nothing else; extreme winds and choppy conditions meant the race was shortened to about 1700m, finishing at the bandstand after Barnes Bridge. 3 crews were sent, and considering the conditions, coming back with 3 was a fairly impressive achievement. All crews performed extremely well in what was definitely the most challenging row that most of us can remember.

First to appear was the J17 quad, consisting of Harry Coe, Josh Stephenson, Matthew Skinner, and Matthew Edge, in their first outing on the Thames. Racing against mostly J18 crews, they were able to come 24th out of 42 entries, and setting a time of 5:47.0, which they’ll be happy to tell you is over 10 minutes faster than the previous course record, even though that record is for the full course (don’t remind them). Racing through some “absolutely massive” waves, some of which managed to make their way into the boat, made for good photos though.

Next was the J16 Girls Eight, consisting of Alex Roberts, Abby Burke, Alannah Baldwin, Georgia Murphy, Elise Goddard, Bethan Hall, Izzy Wilkinson, Katie Strangward, and cox Becky Jackson. With “veteran” Tideway cox Becky at the wheel, the J16s were able to set a good time of 6:32.6, only 30 seconds behind National Schools winners Latymer Upper School.

Finally, the J15s, consisting of Kate Henderson, Catherine Musgrave, Pardis Farakis, Millie McIntyre, Jess Cooper, Gabby Suggett, Mollie Coe, Honor Cessford, and cox Lily Sanderson. In their first race on the Thames, the J15s set a time of 6:38.7, only 1 second behind local-ish rivals Yarm School, and coming 17th in their event. Congratulations to all crews that went (for surviving, amongst other things) and hopefully next year we should see even better results, and get to row the full course!

(with thanks to Harry Coe for the report)