Monthly Archives: November 2017

Winning start for Hope at Harvard

Former Durham ARC Junior Hope Cessford who took up a place at Harvard University in the USA this autumn was selected for the Radcliffe Crew Women’s varsity first eight to compete at the Foot of the Charles Regatta on November 11th 2017.  

Raced this year in sub-zero temperatures the event is rowed over the same course as the Head of the Charles and marks the end of the autumn head season.

Radcliffe Crew is the rowing branch of the Harvard Department of Athletics, competing in varsity athletics at Harvard University, the women-only Radcliffe College having merged with the men-only Harvard College in 1976 continues to compete in its traditional black and white under the Radcliffe name.

The eight raced against opposition from other universities in Boston and was fastest of the 17 competing, finishing in 20.26.2, twenty two seconds ahead of Northwestern University.

The culmination of Hope’s time as a Junior at DARC, where she was coached by Gordon Beattie, was selection for the GB Women’s squad for the World Junior Championships in Lithuania in August, rowing in the coxless four that won the B final.

Rutherford Head 2017

Durham ARC entered 13 crews for Rutherford Head, raced over two divisions on November 25th, and came away with successes for the Women’s Masters E eight and the Masters C coxless quad, both winning in division 1 in entries of five and three respectively.

Rutherford Head traditionally marks the finish of the autumn season before crews regather in the New Year for the build-up to the Tideway Heads in March.

As a consequence of the BUCS Head being relocated to the Tyne for an initial 3-year period recent Heads have seen vastly increased interest from further afield. This year London University was the most successful club with wins in 9 events over the two divisions.

Founded in 1966 by the then Rutherford College (later to become Newcastle Polytechnic and later still Northumbria University), Rutherford Head is rowed over 4500 metres from Scotswood to Newburn and is the largest rowing event on the River Tyne with 250 entries this year, including 96 eights. Since 1977 it has been organised by Tyne ARC.

DARC’s Masters C 4x- of John Lyons, Paul Rutter, Brad Knights and Richard Court was the best placed of the club’s entries, finishing 33rd overall in division 1 in 19.25.1, defeating Tyne United and Talkin Tarn, while the Women’s Masters E 8+ of Sarah Rutter, Ray Dominy, Hazel Stainforth, Gabrielle Moore, Susan Jackson, June Davison, Helen Adair and Christine Heppell, coxed by Nigel van Zwanenberg completed the course in 23.08.4 beating Cambois, Tyne ARC, a Tyne United composite and Auriol Kensington RC.

The J18 8+ finished 37th, placing them third of the J18s behind Queen Elizabeth High School and Yarm School, in 19.46.4, while the Women’s 4x- was second in band 2 to Edinburgh University, finishing 61st in 22.07.8, one place ahead of DARC’s mainly junior open 8+ who finished in 22.13.8. The women’s coxed quad completed the course in 27.23.0.

The J18s entered a 4x- In division 2, this time finishing as the club’s highest placed crew, 38th in 18.40.2. Two open coxless quads entered in band 3 and finished in 18.47.5 and 20.58.1, while the coxed quad finished in 20.02.5. The J18 girls 8+ was second of four entries in 21.43.3, just ahead of the Masters D 8+ in 21.48.0. The band 3 Women’s 8+ raced against strong University opposition and completed the course in 22.26.6.

Final results with masters adjustments can be found on the Tyne ARC website.

Head of the River Fours weekend

November 11th and 12th was a weekend to remember on the Tideway with competitors returning to action after the cancellation of the British Rowing Senior Championships in October. The Veteran Fours Head for Masters took place on November 11th and the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours for Senior crews took place on November 12th.

The Veterans Head was rowed over a shorter course from Chiswick to Putney and attracted 235 entries in all Masters categories. It was the second outing on the Tideway in a month for Gill Prescott, having completed the Pairs Head in a DARC Masters E double with Helen McMillan on October 14th.

On Saturday Gill and another of her doubles partners Eva Rankin from Loch Lomond joined Jackie Darling of Barnes Bridge Ladies and Birgith Sims of Kingston RC to form a coxless quad rowing out of Thames Rowing Club. It was the first time that the combination had taken to the water so they were very pleased to have the 5-6km row up to the start. Gill stroked the boat and, with Birgith steering an exceptional course, they started in the middle of the Women’s Masters F 4x- with Tideway Scullers and Molesey ahead, and Walbrook and Marlow behind. The crew had a really good row, passing both of those ahead of them and won their event by more than a minute, finishing 115th overall in 21.22.7. As Gill remarked afterwards ‘A win on the Tideway is always special!’.

Veteran fours results.

Photo by Ben Rodford.

Accompanied by coach Phill Tully the DARC Senior Women travelled to London with two crews boating from Cygnet RC in the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours on Sunday, a coxless quad of Taya Parker, Alison Danforth, Rachael O’Connor and Beth Holmes and a coxed four comprising Kate Sowden, Rebecca Ward, Heather Tosley and Becky Chilcott, coxed by Katie Warburton.

Rowed over 6.8km on the Tideway course from Mortlake to Putney the event attracts nearly 500 entries from around the UK and this year was run for the first time under BR’s new Competition Framework.

Taking on some of the best crews in the country the 4x- finished 15th of 16 entries in band 1 in 22.34.2 (the winners being the Leander quad of Beth Bryan, Holly Nixon, Victoria Thornley and Katherine Copeland) and the 4x+ was 13th of 17 entered in band 3 in 24.13.6. As Kate pointed out ‘the two DARC boats did themselves so proud and when you race against the UK’s best rowers it’s just lovely not being last!’

HoR Fours results.

Durham LDS and Autumn SBH 2017

Rowers from across the north of England converged on the River Wear last Saturday for the Durham round of the Northern Rowing Council’s Long Distance Sculling (LDS) Series, a time trial over 1800 metres with competitors taking on the course from Count’s House to the Bandstand in single, double and quadruple sculls, the key element being successful negotiation of the narrow arches of Elvet Bridge at the midway point.

The latest round, hosted by Durham Amateur Rowing Club, was the fifth of six scheduled over the autumn at different locations across the north-east and with weather and water conditions ideal there was great enthusiasm among the 100 crews assembled, after the disappointment of seeing earlier rounds at Berwick and on the River Tyne cancelled because of high winds.

As in recent years the morning event was the first part of a double header, coinciding with Durham ARC’s Autumn Small Boats Head (SBH) in the afternoon. Such is its popularity that for the first time a second division of the SBH was added, thus allowing 3 opportunities to race in different categories throughout the day.

The Small Boats Head also provides an opportunity for competition in sweep-oared boats (pairs and fours), the format preferred by the colleges of Durham University. After the Tyne cancellation last week this was their first chance of the new academic year to race.  

The day is a showpiece for the sport, attracting the best of the region’s rowers of all ages, as well as enabling those new to the sport to take part, and brings together clubs, schools and colleges.

The fine conditions permitted some of the fastest times for many years, with the Durham ARC J18 junior coxless quad fastest of the 300 entries, Harry Coe, Josh Stephenson, Matthew Skinner and Matthew Edge posting a time of 6min 01.2 sec and maintaining their unbeaten record for the year in the LDS Series. In the LDS Durham ARC also took victory in the Open double sculls, Andy Jaggard won the Masters G single and there were wins in the Women’s coxless quad, Women’s Masters C double, with Clare Woodward and Susan Jackson also taking the prize for the fastest Senior Women’s double, and Joyce Collett in the Women’s Masters G single scull, while in the SBH there were wins for the club in 11 categories including the Open coxless quad, Open pair, Women’s coxed four, J16 girls coxless quad, J14 girls coxed quad, Alannah Baldwin and Katie Strangward in the J18 girls double, Open Masters D coxed quad, John Lyons in the Open Masters E single scull, and the Women’s Masters E double, with Gill Prescott and Helen McMillan also winning the prize for fastest Women’s double of the day. The Women’s Masters F coxed quad gained their first victory in a head race and Gabrielle Moore won for the first time in a single in the Women’s Masters E 1x.

Success was well distributed among other clubs with Chester-le-Street, Hexham, Tyne ARC, Tyne United, Talkin Tarn, Tees RC, Cambois, Sunderland City and Lakeland RC all claiming victories. Queen Elizabeth High School was the most successful school, while Hatfield College was the most successful of the Durham University clubs, setting the fastest times in both men’s and women’s categories from a total of 35 college coxed fours entered.  

Points accumulated in each round of the LDS Series go towards a Victor Ludorum prize presented to the winning club at Junior, Senior and Masters levels after the final round at Tees RC on Saturday.

LDS results

Wins in 6 events –

  • Open J18 4x- – Matthew Edge, Matthew Skinner, Josh Stephenson, Harry Coe
  • Open 2x – Joe Owen, Nicholas Baird
  • Women’s 4x- – Becky Chilcott, Alison Danforth, Rachael O’Connor, Beth Holmes
  • Open MasG 1x – Andy Jaggard
  • WMasC 2x – Clare Woodward, Susan Jackson – Fastest Senior Women’s 2x
  • WMasG 1x – Joyce Collett

SBH results

Wins in 11 events –

  • Open 4x- – Reece Stockport, Mert Evirgen, Can Evirgen, Brad Knights
  • Open 2- – Dan Pearson, John Roxborough
  • Women’s 4+ band 1 – Kate Sowden, Caroline Kirk, Heather Tosley, Becky Chilcott
  • WJ18 2x – Katie Strangward, Alannah Baldwin
  • WJ16 4x- – Gabby Suggett, Pardis Farahi, Millie McIntyre, Kirsty White
  • WJ14 4x+ – Georgia Abbott, Niamh Lang, Ruby Coe, Ellie Goad + cox Libby Morris
  • Open MasD 4x+ – Gary McCarthy, George Peattie, Dave Murray, Peter Robinson
  • Open Mas CDFG 1x – John Lyons
  • WMasE 2x – Gill Prescott, Helen McMillan – Fastest Women’s 2x
  • WMas CDF 4x+ – Kalpana Ganatra, Jane Auster, Sue Lyons, Alison Shepherd + cox Caroline Scholl
  • WMas DE 1x – Gabrielle Moore

Bernard Robertson

We are saddened to learn of the death of Bernard Robertson who was Club Captain between 1983 and 1989.

The family has announced his passing, on Monday 30th October, following a short illness.

Bernard had a lifelong passion for rowing, representing school and University with distinction before going on to coach, Captain and Chair St. Cuthbert’s, Durham Amateur Rowing Club and Durham Regatta. A true gentleman, his warmth, generosity and laughter will be sorely missed by all.

A service for family and friends is being held at 12pm on Thursday 9th November, Durham Crematorium, South Road, Durham. DH1 3TQ.  With light refreshments afterwards at the Duke Of Wellington, Neville Cross.