Monthly Archives: November 2018

Durham hosts LDS and Autumn SBH

Rowers from across the north of England converged on the River Wear last Saturday for the exciting double header of the final round of the Long Distance Sculling Series (LDS) and Durham Autumn Small Boats Head (SBH), both time trials hosted by Durham Amateur Rowing Club.

The Sculling Series, which is organized by the Northern Rowing Council, includes six rounds over six consecutive weeks, previous rounds having taken place on the Rivers Tyne at Newburn, Tweed at Berwick and Wear at South Hylton, with weather cancellations on the Tees and Wansbeck. Although offering the shortest course Durham is one of the most challenging, with competitors having to negotiate the narrow arches of Elvet Bridge at the halfway point of the 1800 metres.

The morning sculling event, open to single, double and quadruple sculls, was followed by two divisions of the SBH, also accommodating sweep-oared boats, the 3 divisions of racing over a 6 hour period providing ample opportunity for competitors and coaches to try out different crew combinations within the safety limit of 300 entries.

The fastest times were posted earlier in the day when conditions were more favourable, before overnight rainfall had time to take its effect on the flow of the river. The overall winner in the LDS division, with a time of 6min.08.3sec, was Durham Amateur Rowing Club’s senior coxless quad of David Rutter, Nicholas Baird, Tom Richardson and Will Hamlyn, fresh from racing at the Tideway Fours Head in London the previous week. 

With some of the region’s top competitors away at GB trials in Boston the same day success was distributed between 14 different clubs, DARC faring best by winning 13 categories (9 at the LDS and 4 at the SBH), followed by Tyne ARC with 7 and Durham School with 6 overall.

Yarm School, St Leonard’s and Queen Elizabeth High School also had some success in the junior races.

A strong contingent from Durham University Boat Club took the open (7.13.3) and women’s (8.19.0) pairs, Kasey Jobling (8.56.7) won band 1 and Gabrielle Keblyte (9.40.0) band 2 in the women’s single sculls at the SBH, while in the LDS sixteen year-old Adam Morris from Durham ARC held off five opponents from Durham University to take the title of fastest sculler of the day, completing the course in 7.12.5.

Durham ARC also did well in Junior events in the LDS, winning the J18 girls (7.10.2) and J16 boys (6.44.3) coxless quads, while at the other end of the age scale there were wins in the Masters events for John Appleby and Micky Stevens in the Masters G (65-69) double sculls, finishing in 7.12.2, David Muse in the Masters B single sculls (7.35.5), Andy Jaggard in the Masters G single (7.55.5), and Joyce Collett in the Women’s Masters G single (9.10.6).

The traditional fierce rivalry between the colleges of Durham University was a feature of racing in the Small Boats Head, with eight colleges providing a total of 35 coxed fours over the two afternoon divisions. For most this was the first opportunity of the new academic year to compete. To ensure fair competition men’s and women’s crews were divided into 3 bands, Hatfield College Boat Club winning band 1 (6.26.6), Queen Elizabeth High School band 2 (7.12.7) and Grey College band 3 (6.58.9) in the men’s coxed fours, while Durham University BC won band 1 of the women’s coxed fours (7.30.1), with Collingwood College taking bands 2 (7.32.3) and 3 (8.35.3).  

In the double sculling events in the SBH Yarm School won at junior boys J18 (7.02.0), boys J15 (8.06.8), and girls J18 (8.04.5). A Durham School/Talkin Tarn RC composite crew won the boys J16 double (7.51.2), Cambois RC won the girls J16 (8.14.6), and Tyne United RC won the girls J15 (8.51.3). Tees RC won the Open 2x (7.28.7) and Durham School the Women’s 2x (7.51.9). Tees RC also won the Masters H (70+) double sculls (8.02.5).

In the SBH Durham ARC also won the senior Women’s coxless quad (7.05.5), Junior girls J15 (7.51.4) and girls J14 (8.37.1) coxed quads, and Grace Stewart-Piercy won the J18 girls single sculls (9.33.1).

For a full breakdown of times and results in pdf format follow the LDS and SBH links.

More photos can be found on facebook.

Points gained over the 6 weeks of the Long Distance Sculling Series contribute towards Victor Ludorum prizes for Juniors, Seniors and Masters rowers which will be presented to victorious clubs at the AGM of the Northern Rowing Council on November 26th.

The next Small Boats Head race on the River Wear is on February 2nd 2019.

Tideway Fours weekend

Following on from the Pairs Head in October the next weekend of major competition on the Tideway took place on November 3rd and 4th, the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours on the Saturday and the Veteran Fours Head on Sunday.

Both events are time trials for fours and quads and are raced over 6800 metres of the Championship course on the River Thames from Mortlake to Putney, although the course was shortened slightly this year due to tunnel works near Putney Pier.

The Head of the River Fours first took place in 1955, initially only for fours, and over a shorter distance, but, with various changes incorporated it has been raced each November since then. Sculls were introduced in 1973, women first competed in 1977, and Fuller Smith and Turner PLC began their sponsorship in 1979.

The Fuller’s Head is restricted to a maximum of 480 entries and offers Club, Academic, and School/Junior competition. Held since 2007 the Veterans’ event has a capacity of 260 crews and is for competitors over the age of 27 who are eligible for British Rowing Masters racing in age categories A to H. Unlike the Fuller’s Head it is also open to coxed quads, and in 2018, for the first time, double sculls were invited in an attempt to offer masters from smaller clubs the opportunity to race.

After DARC’s senior women’s squad sent two crews to the 2017 Fuller’s Head it was the turn of the men’s squad this year. The senior coxless quad of David Rutter, Nicholas Baird, Tom Richardson and Will Hamlyn raced in at times blustery conditions on Saturday in the Challenge division, finishing 14th out of 19 starters in their category in a time of 21.27.9s.

The overall winner was the Leander A Championship 4x- who completed the course in 18.26.3s.

Results by event and photos by Ben Rodford

As the club was preparing to celebrate Bonfire Night on Sunday Durham ARC was represented by Gill Prescott, racing for the second year in the Women’s Masters F composite coxless quad along with Eva Rankin of Loch Lomond, Jackie Darling of Barnes Bridge Ladies and Birgith Sims of Kingston RC. In calmer conditions the crew repeated their success of the previous year, completing the course in a time of 22.00.4s, defeating Tideway Scullers, Molesey and a Walbrook/Tideway Scullers composite to win their category, finishing 124th overall from a start position of 214.

Provisional Results and photos by Ben Rodford