Monthly Archives: May 2019

Juniors shine at National Schools’ Regatta

Durham ARC had 4 entries in the National Schools’ Regatta (NSR) at Eton Dorney over the weekend of May 24th to 26th. The event is the biggest of the season for parents, coaches and Junior squads representing schools and clubs around the United Kingdom who have been training hard all year.

Established in 1947 it now takes place at the 2012 Olympic Rowing venue and attracts around 5000 competitors aged 14 to 18 each year. National Schools’ Regatta is a charitable trust run by a committee of volunteers and is a not for profit event.

Chairman, George Hammond and his committee are supported by over 100 NSR volunteers.  The team come from within the sport of rowing and the local community of Windsor and Slough. “NSR could not operate without the time and energy given so generously by every single volunteer” he pointed out.

As well as the racing, the NSR is all about parents, coaches and volunteers working together with their athletes in a supportive environment. There was even a Best Marquee Competition this year!

Competition takes place over 1000 metres for J14 and some J15 races on Friday, while J16 to J18s race over 2000 metres on Saturday and Sunday. Where numbers are appropriate time trials precede semi-finals and finals on the 8 lane course.  

First to go for DARC was the youngest crew, the J14 girls coxed quad of Jennifer Napora, Tilly Stoddart, Libby Morris, Orlagh Windle and cox Francesca Suggett, who finished 6th fastest out of 50 entries in the time trial on Friday morning and qualified for the A final on Friday evening where they were also 6th, the highest placed DARC crew of the weekend.

Next was the J15 boys coxed quad (in photo above by Ian Suggett) of Lewis Davison, Thomas Crabtree, Jacob Windle, Ellis Black and cox Thomas Woods who were 5th fastest in their time trial and went into the A/B semi-final on Friday afternoon, where they finished in 4th place, qualifying for the B final where they were placed 5th.

On Saturday the J15 girls 8+ of Amy Slater, Lydia Kind, Niamh Lang, Ruby Coe, Anna Airey, Georgia Powell, Miriam Stewart, Alice Davies and cox Eve Rich, who have had recent success in their first season of sweeping, placed 16th in the time trial for J15 girls 1st and 2nd 8+s.

On Sunday Adam Morris was one of 66 entries in the Championship single sculls contested over 2000 metres for the Sculls Cup, finishing 43rd in a very strong field in the time trial.

Everyone performed to the best of their ability and did themselves and the club proud.

Results for DARC are on the Time Team website, where results from all races can also be found.

Tees Regatta 2019

DARC had an excellent return of 9 wins from Tees Regatta on May 18th, plus 3 second place finishes on the 4-lane 850 metre  buoyed course, while other crews performed well in battling through semi-finals.

The Juniors did very well as they build up towards the National Schools’ Regatta at Eton Dorney next weekend. For the second week running the J15 girls won the Women’s 8+, this time against senior opposition from Leeds University, Teesside University and the host club Tees RC. Adam Morris had a successful day winning his semi-final in the J18 single sculls then holding off the Tees RC sculler to win the final by 2 lengths. A further win came from the J16 girls in the coxless quad.

There was a good win for the senior men in the Open 4+, and  John Roxborough and Dan Pearson repeated their success of last year in the Open pair, while the senior women’s coxed quad of Emily Hanscam, Hannah Gravatt, Clarissa Cahill, Vickie Sincock and cox Millie McIntyre recorded their first success of the season.

Gabrielle Maxfield and Grace Stewart-Piercy won their semi-final in band 1 of the Women’s double but had to settle for second place behind Tees RC in the final, while Nicholas Baird and David Rutter won through to the final of the Open 2x but lost out in a close finish between all four crews in the final.

Rob Coe and Martyn Calkin won the MasE 2x. Clare Woodward, Gabrielle Moore, Aisling Dutton and Susan Jackson won the WMasD 4x-, and the Women’s Masters E 8+ won their race against Tees RC.

Full results are on the Tees Regatta page.

DARC has four entries in the National Schools’ Regatta on May 24th to 26th.

The J15 boys 4x+ (Lewis Davison, Thomas Crabtree, Jacob Windle, Ellis Black and cox Thomas Woods) is one of 60 in time trial for the Creber Cup at 10am on Friday. The fastest 18 qualify for the semi-finals on Friday afternoon.

The J14 girls 4x+ (Jennifer Napora, Tilly Stoddart, Libby Morris, Orlagh Windle and cox Francesca Suggett) is one of 50 in the time trial for the Hunter Cup at 12.30pm on Friday.

The J15 girls 8+ (Amy Slater, Lydia Kind, Niamh Lang, Ruby Coe, Anna Airey, Georgia Powell, Miriam Stewart, Alice Davies and cox Eve Rich) go in the King and Picton Goblet at 8.20am on Saturday, and Adam Morris is one of 66 scullers in the Championship 1x for the Sculls Cup at 9.30am on Sunday.

A full list of entries and results can be found on the Time Team website.

The next regatta in the northern region is Wansbeck on May 25th.

Glorious weekend for Durham City Regatta 2019

The month between Durham City Regatta and Durham Regatta marks one of the busiest periods of the year for Durham ARC.

Durham City Regatta on May 11th and 12th attracted entries from schools, colleges and clubs around the northern region and from Yorkshire to the River Wear for the club’s annual home event, with Durham University colleges well represented. Over 400 races were contested by boats of all sizes over 700 metres on Saturday and 500 metres on Sunday.

DARC achieved a good haul of victories, winning 10 events on Saturday and 6 on Sunday.

Saturday produced some success in the double sculling events, including Jacob Windle and Thomas Crabtree in the J15 double, and in the senior races Grace Stewart-Piercy and Gabrielle Maxfield combined to take victory in the women’s band 2 double. The final of the Masters E double sculls was contested between two DARC crews, with Paul Rutter and David Heppell getting the verdict by three quarters of a length against Rob Coe and Martyn Calkin.

There were two wins for John Appleby, the first coming in combination with Micky Stevens, racing as Masters G against an old adversary in the form of the Tees RC Masters H double of Bob Bainbridge and Ralph Pickles, the DARC pair taking victory by a length. The second race in the single sculls was even closer with Appleby and Bainbridge racing one another from a level start as Masters H, the DARC veteran getting to the finish quarter of a length ahead.

The Women’s Masters DE coxless quad final also involved two DARC crews, with the D crew of Clare Woodward, Gabrielle Moore, Aisling Dutton and Susan Jackson overturning the masters time handicap to take the verdict by 2 lengths.

The senior men (Joe Owen, Brad Knights, Tom Richardson, Reece Stockport, Aidan Rome,  Tom Southworth, Nicholas Baird, David Rutter + cox Millie McIntyre) won the Open Senior 8+ band 2 after winning their semi-final against Collingwood College by three quarters of a length when opponents from University College then scratched from the final. The squad has been training hard for the regatta season in the eight and coxed fours and would welcome contact from anyone interested in joining them.

Two more wins for DARC came in senior women’s eights finals, the first going to the J15 girls (Georgia Powell, Anna Airey, Miriam Stewart, Amy Slater, Ruby Coe, Niamh Lang, Eve Rich, Aimee Liddy + cox Lucy Bisson), racing in the Women’s Novice 8+ and overcoming two college crews to gain their first sweep-oar victory, and the other going to the Women’s Masters E 8+ (Helen Adair, Clare Woodward, Susan Jackson, Gabrielle Moore, Sarah Rutter, Christine Heppell, Sam English, Angela Lund + cox Nigel van Zwanenberg) who, with no masters opposition, took victory against much younger opponents from Grey College in the Women’s Senior 8+ final on Saturday evening.

The Juniors enjoyed a better return on Sunday, claiming five of DARC’s six victories, including the J13 boys double and J13 coxed quad, and both the boys and girls J15 coxed quads. Jennifer Napora and Tilly Stoddart also won the J14 girls double sculls, while the Women’s Masters E double sculls was contested between 3 DARC crews with the victory going to Clare Woodward and Gabrielle Moore.

There was a notable double success over the weekend for Gill Prescott, along with Eva Rankin of Loch Lomond RC, who overcame York and Talkin Tarn over 700 metres to win the Women’s Masters F double sculls at Durham City on Saturday, before heading to Nottingham to race again over the 1000 metre course at an unusually placid Holme Pierrepont on Sunday in the Nottingham City and Masters Regatta, beating Henley Rowing Club to win the band 1 WMasF 2x and then teaming up with Birgith Sims and Caroline Willet from Kingston RC to win the band 1 WMasE 4x-, this time beating Eton Excelsior and Henley.

Full results from Durham City are available in pdf format for Saturday and Sunday races. Recent wins for Durham ARC are listed on the results page.

It was pleasing to receive much positive feedback from visiting clubs about their experience of Durham City Regatta which continues its popularity while providing the club with one of the its main sources of income each year.

The smooth and efficient running of the weekend is testament to the efforts of the many volunteers who played their part in making it happen, and the timely arrival of glorious spring weather certainly helped!

The rescheduling of the British Rowing Senior Championships at Nottingham so that it now falls on the same weekend as the National Masters Regatta only adds to the calendar congestion and creates difficult choices for competitors, as does a new event for Juniors, the Brandon-Bravo Regatta at Nottingham, plus the Scottish Rowing Championships at Strathclyde Park both scheduled for the same weekend as Durham Regatta.

The next competition in the northern region is Tees Regatta on May 18th, while, fresh from their Easter training camp at Banyoles, the J14 girls 4x+, J15 boys 4x+ and J15 girls 8+ will be looking to impress at the National Schools’ Regatta (NSR) at Eton Dorney on May 24th to 26th, where they will be joined by Adam Morris who will contest the Championship single sculls at the NSR.

Meanwhile Masters will be preparing for the National Masters Regatta, held this year at Strathclyde Park on June 15th and 16th.

With entries now open competitors of all ages will be looking in eager anticipation towards Durham Regatta on June 8th and 9th, when we hope for a repeat of last weekend’s fine weather.

Junior training camp to Banyoles 2019

In April this year 17 rowers and 4 coaches flew to Catalonia for a week of hardcore training and a lot of fun. There was plenty of work but lots of fun too and just enough drama to keep everyone on their toes.

Each day we had access to 2 coxless quads, a brand-new coxless 4 and 3 doubles (RIP Anna’s Leg!). We also had access to a coaches launch AKA the banter boat! Seeing as it was the first try at foot steering for nearly everyone there were some interesting lines but by the end we all got the hang of it – nearly. Except in the four where even David struggled to keep a straight course.

The lake was beautiful with a 6 lane, 2-kilometer course surrounded by tall mountains.  With an average of 4 trips per session and 2 sessions a day a large distance was covered which lead to many sore muscles and even more blisters (thank you coaches for all the plasters and tape that we used!) but nevertheless we took all our comments with us and I think everyone massively improved on technique and overall strength.

But rowing wasn’t the only thing that we got up to, there were countless games of rounders featuring: Ruby’s deadly bat-throwing; deafening screams of LEFTY and BIG HITTER and not to forget rapid Ray’s full rounder!  Thank you to Beth for attempting to keep the peace – who knew rowers were so competitive at rounders?  During our breaks we went lake swimming twice – pulling David in off the kayak the first time and jumping in off a huge diving board on the second although that wasn’t needed to throw Elliot in the lake!

The evenings were spent at our favorite Spanish supermarket or the table tennis area with some Spanish rollerblading girls. Well-done Jude for getting those girls to talk to us! One night featured a rowing related quiz where the competition was obliterated by the coaches. And who could forget the discovery of sunny D and Lewis’ incident with the fish…

The wonderful hostel workers kept us fed up with two plates of food at every meal time – some of it was rather ‘interesting’ and occasionally we didn’t know what we were eating but the jelly tasted wonderful! We can never forget the hundreds of biscuits that were consumed from the shop – I don’t think anyone would have survived without them.

On the final day we spent the morning working in the gym and perfecting our technique with the weights before a long evening session on the water with all the coaches having a go in the boats. This session also featured the famous Scottish four where 4 J15 girls spent the entire session talking down the radios in a Scottish accent. The coaches couldn’t reply because they were laughing so much!

After a fantastic week it was time to go home and with one final game of rounders and a last walk around the lake for photos we headed to the airport, picked up our new unicorn friends Gary and Larry and arrived home safely (Including Niamh thanks to David searching through the bin for her boarding pass after she left it in the Burger King!)

Overall everyone returned more tanned more tired but a much better rower than when we left so I think the club’s first junior training camp to Lake Banyoles was a great success.

Thanks to Miriam Stewart for the article.

Sunday League goes to Berwick

On May 5th the third round of the Sunday League visited British Rowing’s northern outpost at Berwick-on-Tweed, taking in the small clubhouse with its particularly scenic location overlooking the Tweed estuary and the Royal Border Bridge.

Eleven teams from the northern region joined one from Sheffield RC for a series of races in stable quads over a 200m course. DARC was represented by Close Encounters, a mixed crew taking part in the open league. Margaret, Maureen, Colin, Andrew and cox Caroline won 2 of their races to retain third place in the league.

The competition, now in its 8th season, is aimed at novice and recreational rowers and retired racers. Entry fees are very reasonable and boats are provided by the host club. All those taking part enjoy the challenge of racing but the main focus is on the camaraderie and social side of the event and the opportunity it provides to go to places that it would otherwise not be possible to visit.

The fourth round on June 2nd is the most exciting of the year with boating from the beach at Tynemouth. New teams are always welcome. Details of how to enter are on the Northern Rowing website.