Monthly Archives: April 2019

Scottish Spring survives Storm Hannah

The sprint racing season stuttered into full swing at the weekend, the predicted effects of Storm Hannah putting paid to the Junior Inter Regional Regatta (JIRR) on Saturday, while further north Strathclyde Park was able to avoid the worst of the weather to enable the newly styled Scottish Rowing Spring Regatta to go ahead.

Fresh from their Easter training camp at the Barcelona Olympic lake in Banyoles, Spain, the Juniors will be disappointed at the cancellation of the JIRR, scheduled for the first time to take place on the 4 lane course at Peterborough. DARC crews had been selected to represent the Northern Region in 4 events, the J14 girls 4x+, J15 boys 4x+, J16 girls 4x- and J16 boys 4x- after coming through trials at Cambois Rowing Club in March.

The 2-day Scottish Spring Regatta (incorporating the Scottish Student Championships) attracted a strong field from Scotland, Ireland and the North of England to contest over 200 scheduled races, with the14 entries from DARC distributed evenly between Saturday and Sunday.

First in action on the 8-lane buoyed course on Saturday morning were Gabrielle Maxfield and Grace Stewart-Piercy coming 7th in the ‘Restricted 1’ 2x, and soon afterwards 5th in the Women’s Open 2x.

Next to race were Sam Taylor, Mark Humphries, David Dowsett and Adam Morris, finishing 6th in the J18 boys 4x- behind a strong Chester-le-Street quad.

Masters events got underway in the afternoon over a shorter 1000 metre course, Kim Forster and David Muse (top) putting in the performance of the day taking second place to Berwick in the Open Masters C double sculls. Shortly afterwards Kim took 4th place in the Women’s MasC 1x.

Adam Morris was in action again in a field of 20 scullers entered for the Open ‘Restricted 1’ 1x, finishing 4th in his heat and therefore failing to qualify for the final.

The senior men rounded off the day with a fifth place finish in the Open ‘Restricted 1’ coxed four for Nick Spong, David Rutter, Nicholas Baird, Reece Stockport and cox Kathryn Rogers.

Sunday morning started well for Adam Morris who came through heat 2 from a large field of 23 in the Open J18 single sculls to qualify for the semi-final, but a fourth place finish prevented him by just one place from qualifying for the final.

Success was to arrive thick and fast in the Masters events, David Muse finishing a close third behind Stirling in the MasAB 1x before John Appleby secured the first win of the weekend in the MasGH 1x.

Kim and David went one better than Saturday’s performance, holding off two Talkin Tarn crews to win the MasB ‘Restricted 2’ 2x. Race 379 included two DARC quads in the final of the MasFG 4x-, with the G crew of  Paul Rutter, David Walker, John Appleby and John Watkinson running out victors while the F crew of Gerry Sharpe, Michael Seed, David Oliver and George Adair finished a creditable 4th.

The day rounded off with 3rd place in the Open ‘Restricted 1’ 2x for David Rutter and Nicholas Baird, leaving DARC with a good haul of 3 first, 1 second and 2 third places over the weekend.

All the results can be found on the Rowresults website.

Strathclyde Park hosts the British Rowing Masters Championships this year on June 15th and 16th.

Success would not be possible without the efforts of an army of volunteers whose preparation and diligence enables events such as these to take place, and we should be most grateful for the time and effort they put in.

Congratulations go to former Junior squad members Harry Coe and Havana Tilly who have been a massive help to the J13 and J14 squads, and who recently completed their Level 2 Coaching qualifications. The development of new young coaches is a great asset to the Club.

As well as this six members have recently qualified as Level 2 Royal Yachting Association launch drivers, which will be another asset to the Club, so we extend thanks to David Oliver, David Beattie, David Hepple, Ray Dominy, Fiona Ashton and Martyn Calkin.

Thanks are also due to the growing band of trailer drivers who have helped to transport boats to recent events. The list now includes Vickie Jackson, Peter Robinson, Tom Richardson, George Adair, Helen Adair, Rob Beattie, Dan Lockey, Mark Bell, Alex Taylor, David Rutter, John Appleby, Paul Rutter and Ray Dominy.

With a busy regatta season upon us additional help spreads the load and is always appreciated so don’t be afraid to come forward.

A congested racing calendar continues locally with York Spring Regatta on Saturday, followed by Durham City Regatta on May 11th and 12th and Tees Regatta on May 18th.

Thanks to Rob Eyton-Jones for the photos.

Boat Race weekend

Boat Race Day generally marks the end of the winter head racing season and the start of the summer sprint regatta season. This year’s races took place on Sunday April 7th, and while most media attention was focused on James Cracknell becoming the oldest competitor in the Boat Race’s 165 year history, Cambridge took the honours in both men’s and women’s races.

In recent years the event has also provided the club with an opportunity for celebration by staging a Boat Race Ball, and judging from comments passed by those who attended, this year’s Ball on the evening of Saturday April 6th was the usual enjoyable occasion.

Because of the late Easter and the need to find a scarce empty slot in the already packed racing calendar the regatta season got off to a flying start with the first of the Northern regattas brought forward to take place at Chester-le-Street the day before the Boat Race. Durham ARC’s Juniors and Masters were in action and came away with victories in four events, the J13 4x+, WJ15 4x+, WJ14 4x+ and WMas E 2x. Full results are here.

The trend for the Boat Race to occur on Sunday rather than Saturday presents a modicum of organisational difficulty in that the club celebration now takes place prior to the event itself, but this at least offers partygoers an excuse for extra recovery time.

There was added interest on Boat Race Day with the arrival of the Cricket World Cup trophy in Durham for its 3-day tour of the region prior to stumps being pitched in May, and after a brief stop at the Durham ARC landing stage it was rowed along the River Wear, pausing at the Riverwalk Centre and Market Place before going on display for the remainder of the day at Durham Cathedral.     

Next on the agenda was the second round of the Sunday League, Durham’s turn to host the sprint competition over a 300 metre course for novice and recreational rowers from clubs around the Northern region, who have been joined this year by a crew from Sheffield representing the Yorkshire region. Fourteen teams entered and some close and exciting racing ensued. Winners on the day were It’s Chico Tyne in the open league and Tynequila in the women’s league. Both now lead in their respective leagues, with Close Encounters from Durham ARC winning 3 of their 4 races to hold on to joint second place in the open league along with Tynemouth Buoys, despite having an average age of 70.

An early start and some efficient organization by the team of volunteers enabled racing to wind up in time for a curry lunch before members and visitors settled down in the bar to watch the Boat Race drama unfold on TV, a successful and very enjoyable day with around £450 raised for club funds through the Boat Race sweepstake, share of Sunday League entry fees and catering proceeds.

Round 3 of the Sunday League takes place at Berwick on May 5th.