Monthly Archives: July 2019

Record medal haul for GB at World U23 Championships

Great Britain topped the medal table at the Under-23 World Rowing Championships at Sarasota-Bradenton in Florida. Four gold medals for the squad on the final day on Sunday July 28th brought the total to 6 gold and 2 silver medals, their best ever medal haul at the Championships.

Durham ARC had an interest in two of the finals with Hope Cessford selected in the Women’s coxless four, an event added to the programme ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and James Snowball selected in the Men’s pair, both former DARC Junior squad members.

The GB Women’s four of Alex Rankin, Lauren Irwin, Hope Cessford and Lydia Currie took the gold medal in Sunday’s final after holding off a challenge from Ireland who took the silver medal, with USA in the bronze medal position (medal presentation photo by World Rowing).

Until leaving to study at Harvard University in 2017 and competing for Radcliffe in the USA, Hope had much success representing Durham ARC, winning a gold medal in the Women’s Junior 16 single sculls at the National Junior Championships at Strathclyde Park in 2015, before going on to form a partnership with Lauren Irwin, then of Chester-le-Street ARC, achieving success in the Women’s pair at the Metropolitan Regatta in 2016. Both were then selected to represent Great Britain in the pair at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Rotterdam, and Hope rowed in the GB women’s four at the Junior World Championships in Lithuania in 2017.

Having Hope and Lauren, now of Durham University Boat Club, winning the gold medal at U23 level is a huge achievement for the northern region, with the two joining Alex Rankin and Lydia Currie, both of Edinburgh University Boat Club, in the crew under coach John Higson also of Edinburgh University.

After qualifying through the repechage James Snowball, now of Oxford Brookes University, and Rufus Biggs of Molesey Boat Club finished 6th In the A final of the Men’s pair on Saturday.

James, who had also rowed in the Oxford Brookes eight that won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta 3 weeks previously, rowed as a Junior at Durham ARC and was a member of the DARC Junior 18 eight who won the gold medal at the National Junior Championships at Nottingham in 2014.

More than half of the 50 athletes selected for the GB U23 team represented clubs supported by British Rowing through its High Performance Programme in Clubs initiative, which covers the universities of Edinburgh, Durham, Newcastle, Oxford Brookes and London, as well as Leander Club and Molesey BC.

Lauren has also represented GB at the 2017 U23 World Championships in Bulgaria as well as coaching and mentoring young rowers at Durham University.

Also representing Durham University Boat Club at the 2019 Championships were George Bourne in the gold medal winning Men’s coxless quad and Oscar Lindsay who won silver with the Men’s coxed four.

British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “To come away from the U23 World Championships with six gold medals and two silver medals is incredible. As Chief Coach for the U23s, Pete Sheppard has brought these athletes and coaches together to deliver a truly outstanding team performance.

“Everyone has stepped up over the past six weeks and then delivered their best performances on race day. In every event we were extremely competitive and it’s fantastic to have so much strength and depth for the future. A lot of these athletes will step onto the senior world stage in the coming years and keep British Rowing at the forefront of world performance.”

Video coverage of each of the U23 finals is available on the World Rowing website here.

Medals for Juniors at Nottingham

Twenty five Durham ARC Juniors were among over 1600 14 to 18 year-olds from around the country at the biggest ever British Rowing Junior Championships at the National Watersports Centre at Nottingham over the weekend of July 19th to 21st. Along with coaches, parents and supporters DARC was represented in the J14 girls singles, double and quads, J15 and J16 boys and girls quads and J18 single sculls.

The J14 girls were the most successful, returning with two bronze medals from Friday’s events, the first won by the DARC/Chester-le-Street composite of Libby Morris, Jennifer Napora, Amy Snook (CLS), Orlagh Windle + cox Francesca Suggett in the J14 girls coxed quad (medal presentation above), and the second by Libby Morris and Tilly Stoddart in the J14 girls double sculls omnium.

Friday was devoted to the J14 competitions with competitors taking part in an omnium consisting of a series of skills tests in singles and doubles, including hands off at the catch, standing 360 degree turn in a boat, standing rigger dips, back down stop and 360 degree boat spinning, finishing off with a 500m sprint, slalom and emergency stop. As well as this there was a morning time trial over 1000 metres for coxed quads, with finals taking place after the completion of the omnium. Competitors in the 4x+ were required by the rules to also enter for the omnium in either 1x or 2x. The DARC/CLS quad was 4th fastest of 31 in the time trial, and placed 3rd in the A final.

DARC was also represented on Friday in a second WJ14 4x+ including Tilly Stoddart in a Tyne ARC composite who reached the B final finishing 6th, putting them in 12th place overall. Jennifer Napora, Alice Chilvers and  Orlagh Windle took part in the single sculls omnium, finishing in 24th, 54th and 85th places respectively, while Libby Morris and Tilly Stoddart finished 3rd out of 67 competitors in the WJ14 double sculls omnium to win the bronze medal for that event.

Omnium results can be found here.

Saturday consisted of time trials over 1500 metres and minor finals for J15, J16 and J18 rowers, while semi-finals and A and B finals for these age groups, contested over 2000 metres in 6 lanes, took place on Sunday.

Conditions on Saturday were made difficult by wet and windy weather, meaning that the racing schedule had to be revised, with E and F finals cancelled. Adam Morris was unable to repeat last year’s success in the J18 1x, settling for 55th place in a strong field.

The J15 girls coxed quad of Amy Slater, Ruby Coe, Niamh Lang, Georgia Powell and cox Libby Morris finished 18th out of 30 entries in the time trial, qualifying for the C final on Saturday, in which they placed 6th (18th overall).

The J15 boys coxed quad of Ellis Black, Thomas Crabtree, James Humphries, Jacob Windle and cox Thomas Woods finished 16th out of 21 entries in their time trial, also qualifying for the C final in which they placed 3rd (15th overall).

The J16 boys and J16 girls coxless quads placed in the fastest 12 in Saturday time trials, the boys taking 8th place out of 13 entries, and the girls 10th from 16, both qualifying for the semi-finals on Sunday. Both reached the B final of their respective events, the boys crew (Oliver Beattie, Dominic Crilley, Matthew Harrison and Thomas Taylor) finishing 3rd to take 9th position overall in the J16 4x-, while the girls crew (Natalie Einbeck, Madalyn Elmer, Ella Metcalfe and Ella Sampson) were 2nd for 8th place overall in the WJ16 4x-.

Summary of results

Friday

  • WJ14 1x Jennifer Napora 24th
  • WJ14 1x Alice Chilvers 54th
  • WJ14 1x Orlagh Windle 85th
  • WJ14 2x Libby Morris and Tilly Stoddart 3rd
  • WJ14 4x+ DARC/CLS composite – Libby Morris, Jennifer Napora, Amy Snook (CLS), Orlagh Windle + cox Francesca Suggett 3rd
  • WJ14 4x+ Tilly Stoddart + Tyne ARC composite 12th

Saturday

  • J18 1x Adam Morris 55th
  • J15 4x+ Ellis Black, Thomas Crabtree, James Humphries, Jacob Windle + cox Thomas Woods 15th
  • WJ15 4x+ Amy Slater, Ruby Coe, Niamh Lang, Georgia Powell + cox Libby Morris 18th

Sunday

  • WJ16 4x- Natalie Einbeck, Madalyn Elmer, Ella Metcalfe, Ella Sampson 8th
  • J16 4x- Oliver Beattie, Dominic Crilley, Matthew Harrison, Thomas Taylor 9th

All the coaches were delighted with the performance, providing an excellent conclusion to the season.

Full results are here.

Photos by British Rowing.

British Rowing’s summary of the Championships is here. and coverage of Saturday and Sunday finals is available on BR’s YouTube channel.

International selection for alumni

Two former Durham ARC Juniors are included in the 50-strong Under-23 squad selected by British Rowing to represent Great Britain at the World Rowing Under-23 Championships at Sarasota Bradenton, Florida on July 24th to 28th. James Snowball will row in the men’s pair and Hope Cessford in the women’s coxless four.

James Snowball is selected for the men’s pair along with Rufus Biggs of Molesey Boat Club. James is currently studying at Oxford Brookes University and has been competing in the Oxford Brookes eight for the past 3 years. He was a member of the Oxford Brookes 8+ (above) that won the Temple Challenge Cup for University eights at Henley Royal Regatta, defeating Northeastern University from the USA in the final on July 7th. James rowed as a Junior at Durham ARC and in 2014 was a member of the  J18 eight that was victorious at the National Junior Championships at Nottingham, the first occasion the club had won an eights event at the Championships. The crew was coached by Alan Granlund and Bill Parker.

Hope Cessford is selected for the women’s coxless four where she will again partner Lauren Irwin of Durham University and formerly of Chester-le-Street ARC, with whom she also rowed for GB at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Rotterdam. The two are joined in the U23 crew by Lydia Currie and Alex Rankin, both of Edinburgh University.

For the past 2 years Hope has been studying at Harvard University in the USA, where she competes in the Radcliffe Heavyweight eight. Whilst a Junior at Durham ARC Hope was coached by Gordon Beattie and won a gold medal in the single sculls event at J16 level at the National Junior Championships at Strathclyde Park in 2015.

More than half of the athletes selected represent clubs supported by British Rowing in the High Performance Programme in Clubs initiative, which covers the universities of Edinburgh, Durham, Newcastle, Oxford Brookes and London, as well as Leander Club and Molesey BC.

The Championships has attracted nearly 700 rowers from 53 nations, Great Britain accounting for the third greatest number of entries after the USA and Germany.

Also announced this week is the squad of 72 to represent England at the Home International Regatta at Strathclyde Park on July 27th, and included in the Lightweight 2x is another former DARC Junior Richard Mathewson who now represents Agecroft RC. Richard was a member of the Championship winning DARC J18 eight in 2014.

Congratulations from everyone at DARC.

DARC is sending a contingent of 22 to the British Rowing Junior Championships at Nottingham over the weekend of July 19th to 21st.

 

Record entry for Allcomers

The 40th anniversary Allcomers Regatta on July 14th attracted the largest entry in recent years as interest in taking part in rowing in Durham continues. After four coached sessions crews from the local community who had never raced before lined up in stable coxed fours to race against each other in a series of round robin races over a 200 metre course, Twenty crews contested 40 races in the event sponsored by Workwear Express with medals being presented to winners and runners-up in men’s, women’s and mixed divisions. 

After 4 races per crew and 5 hours of exciting competition the men’s division finished with The Chicken Skins tied on 4 wins apiece with Row Hard or Row Home. A race-off between the two resulted in a win for The Chicken Skins.

Winners in the women’s division were Crazy Ladies, expertly coached by Clive Hole, with a maximum 4 wins. Team Ginspiration were runners-up with 3 wins.

In the mixed division Oarsome Coresome  won all their races to hold off Team Fausto.

As well as competitors a busy day was enjoyed by the healthy gathering of supporters, with the bar, BBQ and bankside activities doing a roaring trade.

“A brilliant day all round!” declared Sean Barry of IN-SINK.

Team scores were as follows

Women’s teams

  • Crazy Ladies 4
  • Team Ginspiration 3
  • Meddlesome Milly 2
  • Slummy Mummies 2
  • Teaky Blinders 2
  • Aboat Time 2
  • Striders and Gliders 0

Men’s teams

  • The Chicken Skins 5
  • Row Hard or Row Home 4
  • The Deciboat 3
  • The Oarsome Foursome 2
  • Guns and Rowses 2
  • Control Heads 2
  • Crossfit DHM Blue 1
  • Design Nerds 0

Mixed teams

  • Oarsome Coresome 4
  • Team Fausto 3
  • IN-SINK 2
  • The Waders 1
  • Private Pike’s Pirates 0

Many thanks to the coaches and coxes, staff and volunteers whose efforts were key to the success of the day.

More photos here.

The Allcomers Regatta developed from an informal regatta organised as a special event for Durham sports clubs in 1979 as part of the Durham City 800 celebrations. It has continued to take place annually since then.

Durham ARC wins again

A long serving Club boat has been brought out of semi-retirement to enjoy renewed success. In March 1983 a new carbon fibre coxed four named “Durham ARC” was bought by the club from Janousek Racing Boats. This was at a time when most racing boats were wooden in construction, with many of those used in Durham being built to order by Erik Whiteley at Browns Boathouse.

Janousek Racing Boats is a British-based manufacturer established in 1981 by Bob Janousek who competed in rowing events for Czechoslovakia at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics before moving to the UK as a coach and later boat-builder. Janousek boats are constructed of glass fibre with a honeycomb core which creates a balanced blend of stiffness, weight, durability and cost. The company was one of the first to offer boats of this construction for sale in 1982 and continues to be noted for the longevity of their boats.

The newly acquired boat was quickly put into service, being used by the Durham ARC senior women’s crew of Angela Lund, A.Page, C.Fraser and A.Dawson, coxed by Tommy Maddison and coached by Geoff Graham, to win a silver medal at the National Championships in 1983.

It was to enjoy much good service over the years, but as a succession of new racing boats were purchased the status of “Durham ARC” became that of a general purpose workhorse and its use for racing declined.

However after undergoing refurbishment around five years ago the boat was subsequently adopted by the growing band of daytime masters who had joined the club from Learn to Row courses, and started to enter regattas for the first time, with the MasF/G squad this year racing it as a coxed quad at Tees and Hexham Regattas.

Their first success came at Talkin Tarn Regatta in July, a win being achieved in the MasF 4x+ against Windermere and St Andrew by a crew averaging 67 years of age racing in a 36 year-old boat, the crew comprising Dave Green, Steve Auster, Vaughan Gordon and Colin Lawson, coxed by Helen Adair (who had also won her first race as a novice in the same boat some 8 years previously).

“Durham ARC” is reportedly the oldest Janousek boat still in use.

As the old adage goes, “There’s many a good tune played on an old fiddle!”

Henley success for James Snowball

Former Durham ARC Junior James Snowball achieved success on finals day at Henley Royal Regatta on July 7th rowing in the Oxford Brookes University eight that defeated Northeastern University from the USA by three-quarters of a length to win the Temple Challenge Cup for academic eights.

The photo shows James with presentation medal and Henley cap, and Elise Sanderson, also of DARC, who raced with another Oxford Brookes crew in the Remenham Challenge Cup but was pipped to the post on Friday by the GB U23 eight, wearing Oxford Brookes blazers.

Coverage of the Temple Challenge Cup final is on YouTube.

James’ very proud mother Steph, who is the Club Welfare Officer was first to congratulate him after the success.

Congratulations go to James on his achievement from everyone at DARC!

Other former DARC Juniors competing at Henley included Thomas Jackson and Richard Mathewson. Thomas was a member of the Tyne ARC B eight that came through the qualifying stage to compete in the Thames Challenge Cup, winning their first race against Curlew RC before going out against Munich on Thursday. Thomas’ mother Vickie is DARC’s Junior Co-ordinator.

Richard raced with the Agecroft RC coxless quad in the Prince of Wales Cup, losing their heat against Bayer Leverkusen by 3 lengths on Thursday.

In 2014 James, Thomas, Richard and Elise were members of DARC’s J18 eight, coached by the club’s then Junior Co-ordinator Alan Granlund and Bill Parker, that took the gold medal at the National Junior Championships, the first time the club had won an eights event at the Championships.

This year’s British Rowing Junior Championships take place at Nottingham between July 19th to 21st.

Classic cars a big hit

On Monday July 1st DARC hosted the first Classics by the River, a classic car show for vehicles registered before 2000. Arranged in conjunction with Classic and Retro Events it proved a great success with the club car park taken over for the evening by 92 classic cars and motorcycles. With a bar and BBQ provided for visitors event organiser Elliot Kay was delighted with the outcome which raised around £700 for club funds and there are plans for it to become a regular occasion.