Monthly Archives: June 2017

Allcomers Regatta rescheduled for September 24th

As a result of problems with the river level the Allcomers Regatta  scheduled for 9th July has been postponed and will now take place on Sunday 24th September.

The Allcomers is for people who have never rowed before but who want to give it a try. All you need is a team of 4 people. All equipment is provided by the club. Full details and entry forms can be found on the Allcomers Regatta page.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday September 13th.

River Closed – Weir/Sluice gate has failed

Overnight on 27th/28th June the sluice gate at the old mill adjacent to Durham School Boat House appears to have failed. The river level has dropped around 20cm overnight.

As such no Durham ARC crews are allowed to go afloat until further notice. Once the river levels have stabilised we will be able to assess the river and determine which parts are still deep enough for use. More importantly we need to identify any submerged objects that are now likely to cause damage.

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York Summer Regatta 2017

The Juniors went to York on Sunday June 18th for York Summer Regatta, along with a crew from the Senior Women and one from the Masters Men, returning with wins in 6 events. Forty-seven events were contested overall in 3 divisions over a 1000 metre course on the River Ouse.

Both the J14 boys double sculls crews reached the final with Matthew Harrison’s crew finishing a length ahead of Tom Brumwell’s.

The J15 girls quad (Honor Cessford, Jess Cooper, Catherine Musgrave, Gabby Suggett and cox Lily Sanderson) won the Women’s coxed quad, overcoming Guy Fawkes and York before the same crew claimed a second victory in the WJ15 4x+ against York.

The J13 girls, Ruby Coe and Niamh Lang, won the WJ13 double then combined with Alice Davies, Lydia Kind and cox Thomas Woods to win the WJ13 4x+, against opposition from Leeds and York.

Two Durham crews entered the J14 girls double, with Elicia Baldwin and Hope Simpson winning against Freya Court and Maddy Elmer in the semi-final before losing against York in the final.

The Senior Women – Beth Holmes, Alison Danforth, Taya Parker and Liz Law (above) – won the coxless quad defeating York crews in both semi-final and final.

In the Masters D double Martyn Calkin and Rob Coe overcame York in the semi-final before losing out to Lancaster John O‘Gaunt in the final.

Full results here.

Intermediate Sculling Programme (Women’s and Men’s Masters)


To develop skills in fine single sculls aimed at:-

  • crew scullers who want to develop single sculling skills/enhance their ‘boat-moving’ ability
  • those who aspire to race in a single scull in the future

Minimum requirements:

  • to have sat in a fine single scull
  • you will need access to a single scull (some of the club’s fine sculls will be available)


10 x 3 hour sessions in 2 blocks with practice time in between

Dates: Block 1: 3 introductory sessions 27th June, 30th June and 4th July – PRACTICE BREAK –  Block 2: 7 sessions August  1st 4th 8th 11th 15th 18th 22nd including at least 1 full day session

6 to maximum of 8 places available; Priority for those who can commit to all or most sessions. There will be a small per session charge which will be used for future single sculling resources.

The programme will be run by Andy Jaggard, together with one or two other experienced single scullers.

To express your interest, and for more detailed information on the content of the programme and the approach please talk to me, or email:

Honour for Club stalwart

Durham Amateur Rowing Club Chairman Barry Hudson has been awarded the MBE for Services to the Community and Rowing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Barry is a long-standing member of the Club which he has served in many capacities for over 50 years.

Born in Sidegate in Durham City in 1945 Barry was educated at St Margaret’s C of E Infants and Juniors and Durham Johnston Boys Grammar School before training as a Chartered Surveyor as articled clerk to Geoffrey Wood at J.W.Wood and Son, Durham and was then employed in the Civil Service as a District Valuer for 40 years.

As a boy the banks of the River Wear were a “playground” and he soon found his way to the Durham Amateur Rowing Club where Rowing became a lifelong interest. On becoming a Member in 1959 he first tasted victory coxing a four stroked by future DARC President Bill Parker.

In 1967 he took on his first Committee role as Club Treasurer and soon afterwards became club representative on the Durham Regatta Committee, later becoming a Town Representative, a position he still holds.

As Treasurer he organised the first Wear Regatta, later renamed Durham City Regatta, and became the first Regatta Secretary. A major project at the time was the building of a new Boathouse on the Club’s move to its present site.

In 1971 he became Vice Captain and soon afterwards Club Captain.

After being elected a Life Member in 1974 he moved away to pursue a Civil Service career, joining Newark Rowing Club where he served as Regatta Secretary until 1976. He then moved to West Yorkshire and joined Bradford Amateur Rowing Club.

He qualified as an Amateur Rowing Association Bronze Level coach in 1978 and in 1983 became an ARA Umpire (a role he continues to carry out), moving back to Durham in 1984 and continuing his membership of Durham ARC and the Durham Regatta Committee. His next roles were as Press Officer from 1987 to 1989, and in 1990 Assistant Secretary. In 1991 he became Club Secretary, a position he was to hold for 25 years until 2016.

During his term as Secretary he acted as Project Manager of Durham ARC Building Project (1997-2007), culminating in the opening of the new £1 million Boathouse in September 2007. Responsible for overseeing the funding and development of the new premises he established partnerships with local schools and encouraged the expansion of the Club to all ages and abilities, and the use of the premises by other community organisations.

In 2010 he produced a History Timeline for Durham ARC to mark its 150th year. In 2011 he was appointed a Director of Durham Regatta when it registered as a limited company.

Also in 2011 he received the Durham City and Chester-le-Street Award for Contribution to Sport, the Durham  County Award for Contribution to Sport and the BBC North East and Cumbria Award for “Sporting Inspiration”.

In 2012 he was appointed Trustee of a new charity the “Wear Education and Water Sports Centre” based at Durham ARC, as well as being awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by British Rowing (one of 60).

Barry took on his current role as Chairman of Durham ARC in 2016, remaining actively involved as administrator, rower, umpire, and coach.

He is married and has two sons and two granddaughters.

Durham Regatta 2017

Weather conditions didn’t detract from the usual high standard of racing at the region’s premier event of the year on June 10th and 11th. For the second time Durham Regatta fell on the same weekend as the National Masters Championships in Nottingham, meaning no masters events at Durham with so many masters away racing. A damp start to Saturday was followed by a troublesome wind later in the day on Sunday, but despite this the packed schedule involving around 600 crews in 450 races was maintained almost to the minute on both days, testament to the magnificent efforts of the many volunteers.

Full use was made of the Club’s recently extended landing stage, the extension funded in part by Durham Regatta, with all crews including schools and colleges boating from DARC. Revised car parking, boat storage and crew circulation arrangements contributed to the improved efficiency.

The decision to adopt the old British Rowing points system on Saturday and the new one on Sunday worked well, with some close races particularly on Sunday.

There were 3 wins for the Juniors on Saturday and 2 wins on Sunday, one for the J13 girls coxed quad (Ruby Coe, Alice Davies, Niamh Lang and Ellie Goad, coxed by Thomas Woods) who battled through 3 rounds to beat the Chorister School in the final, and the other in the non-championship Women’s coxed quad, the third win this season for Michelle Joubert, Emily Hanscam, Ruth Hodges, Emma Lyons and cox Christie Lau, sculling to victory over Doncaster Schools and a Hexham/Durham School composite in Peter Burdess, the boat now restored after the incident in March when it was badly damaged by a heavy object dropped from Baths Bridge.

Saturday wins came from the J14 girls double scull (Hope Simpson and Elicia Baldwin), overcoming Durham School in the final, the Women’s Novice four (Catherine Musgrave, Jess Cooper, Mollie Coe, Honor Cessford and cox Lily Sanderson) who defeated Yarm School in the final, and the J18 DARC/St Leonard’s composite eight who beat the Yarm School eight in their race.

The Senior Women entered two Championship coxless quads but lost out to Tyne ARC and Newcastle University.

Crews received their prizes from special guests Jess Eddie and Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell at the presentation held at the Gala Theatre on Sunday evening.

Full results can be found here.

British Rowing Masters Championships 2017

DARC Masters were out in force at the British Rowing Masters Championships held at the National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont on June 10th and 11th, the same weekend as Durham Regatta, returning from Nottingham with a good haul of medals.

This year’s Championships was the biggest ever, with 940 entries from 140 clubs, showing the strength and depth of Masters rowing across the country. The new British Rowing competition framework meant that instead of the Novice and Intermediate levels used in previous years, non-championship events were categorised into bands according to ranking index to ensure closer racing.

DARC entered 31 events in all. There were 3 gold medals in Championship events on Saturday as well as 2 silvers and 1 bronze medal and another win at non-championship level. In difficult conditions on Sunday there was a silver medal and a further non-championship win.

The first win on Saturday came from the Open Championship Masters D quad (above) of John Lyons, Richard Court, David Muse and Paul Freeman (Cambois RC).

With Gill Prescott unavoidably away there was a win in the Women’s Masters E coxless quad for a reorganised crew including Eva Rankin with a composite from Exeter, Wycliffe College and Upper Thames Rowing Clubs.

Angela Lund joined the Mixed Masters E/F quad with Helen McMillan, John Appleby and Micky Stevens to secure another gold. John Appleby and Micky Stevens then combined again to take a silver medal in the Masters G double sculls. Andy Jaggard and John Lund also reached the final, finishing 5th.

A more unexpected win came in the Women’s non-championship Masters D-F coxed four, the crew of Jacki Patrickson, Clare Woodward, June Davison and Susan Jackson, coxed superbly by Helen Adair, coming from behind to overtake 2 opponents in the last 250 metres in a very exciting race. The same squad entered a Masters A-C 4+ combination, this time Aisling Dutton replacing June Davison, and did well to take 2nd place behind a much younger crew from Lea RC.

Joyce Collett competed in Championship F single sculls as there was no competition in G 1x. She had an excellent scull winning a bronze medal, only a couple of lengths behind the winner. Had she been competing as F/G 1x with several seconds start she would certainly have won gold.

There was also a silver medal in difficult conditions against a strong headwind for Andy Jaggard in Masters G single sculls.

Paul and Sarah Rutter won a heat of the Mixed Masters E double sculls, and Kim Forster and David Muse finished second in the final of the Mixed Masters B 2x.

On Sunday crews faced horrendous conditions. The Women’s Masters E eight (Sarah Rutter, Kim Forster, Hazel Stainforth, Christine Heppell, Helen Adair, Gabrielle Moore, Sam English, Angela Lund and cox Andy Jaggard) had to wait at the start as their opponents from Marlow spent several minutes broadside on while attached to the stake-boat. When they finally got straight the DARC eight had the better start taking half a length lead. The bigger Marlow crew then rowed through taking a 1 length lead, but with a push at 500 metres and another at 250 metres the DARC eight battled back, taking the silver medal, only losing by around 1/3 length in a gutsy performance.

The final win came from Ray Dominy making her first appearance at the national championships, winning in the Women’s non-championship Masters D-F single sculls.

Soon afterwards, at around 2pm on Sunday, racing was abandoned because of worsening wind and water conditions, which meant the remaining DARC entrants, including the men’s and mixed eights, were unable to race.

Because insufficient races were completed there was no Victor Ludorum Award for the most successful club overall, but DARC was given the accolade of ‘Club of the Day’ by British Rowing after the performances on day 1.

All the results from the weekend can be found here.

Clean sweep at Tees Explore Series

Round 4 of the Northern Explore Series took place at Tees Rowing club on June 4th. This was the annual sculling skills round, where competitors race against the clock on a circular course over 1km between the Princess of Wales Bridge and the Infinity Bridge, carrying out a series of tests along the way, including square blade rowing, cornering, spinning on the spot through 360 degrees, backing on to a buoy, swapping blades between bow and stroke, emergency stop and blade slaps. Thirteen teams took part, each having two attempts at the course, the combined time deciding the outcome.

Blustery conditions made the first round a learning exercise as crews and coxes attempted to master the conditions with varying degrees of success, some becoming more acquainted with the riverbank than strictly necessary! DARC’s 3 entries had mixed fortunes in the first round, occupying 3rd spot in the open placings and 2nd and 5th in the women’s, leaving room for improvement in the second round.

Not to be outdone by the opposition from Hexham, Tyne and Berwick Steve Auster, coxing both Wear Well Away (above) and A Shot in the Darc (below), devised a plan to use the conditions to best advantage, putting it into effect to devastating effect with Wear Well Away (Chris Merchant, Vaughan Gordon, Colin Lawson and Dave Green) posting a time of 6m 34s in the second round, 45 seconds ahead of the field to take the lead in the open competition. Next came A Shot in the Darc (Kalpana Ganatra, Sue Lyons, Jane Auster and Margaret Richardson) whose time of 6m 52s moved them into the lead in the women’s league on combined times, their time almost a minute ahead of the opposition, both times marking the first occasion either team had broken 7 minutes for the course.

Sadly this year’s new women’s team Green Shoots (Paddy Deans, Linda James, Zuzanna Swirad, Maureen Millar and Kate Wicks, coxed by Dave Green and Kate Wicks was unable to capitalise and slipped into 6th place. 

Excellent performances and the first time in six years that DARC has had the top open and women’s team in the same round, two course records giving added cause for celebration.

Tynemouth Rowing Club kindly provided 2 stable boats for the event and Tees Rowing Club as usual provided excellent organisation and hospitality.

The result sees Wear Well Away take up 2nd place and A Shot in the Darc overall joint top in their respective league tables, with the next round a sweep-oar one at Tyne ARC on July 2nd.