Monthly Archives: October 2019

Sculling Series nears climax

After the completion of 4 of the 6 rounds of the 2019 Northern Rowing Autumn Series uptake for both the Long Distance Sculling Series (LDS) and associated Small Boats Heads (SBH) has been enthusiastic, with entries for the competitions at Tees, Tyne, Wansbeck and Durham being suspended early when safety limits were reached soon after opening. Interest has been well distributed and good support has come from the region’s clubs, schools, colleges and Universities.

Durham ARC has been represented at each event, with 23 entries at South Hylton LDS on October 5th, 6 for Tees LDS and 4 for Tees SBH on October 12th, 13 for Tyne LDS and 7 for Tyne United SBH on October 18th, and 2 at Berwick LDS on October 26th

There will be no Victor Ludorum award in the LDS Series this year but DARC has already enjoyed notable success for Juniors, Seniors and Masters, with wins coming at South Hylton for the J17 girls 4x- (Ella Sampson, Ella Metcalfe, Nathalie Einbeck and Madalyn Elmer), Jacob Windle in the J16 boys 1x, Jennifer Napora in the J15 girls 1x, Women’s 4x+ and Masters E 2x. Further wins went to the Women’s Masters D 4x- (Clare Woodward, Aisling Dutton, Gabrielle Moore and Susan Jackson) at Tees LDS and to the Women’s Masters G 4x- (Lynn Pain, Hazel Stainforth, Carolyn Edwards and Caroline Scholl) at Tees and Tyne LDS, while at Tyne LDS there were wins for Jacob Windle in the J16 boys 1x, Tilly Stoddart in the J15 girls 1x, and Paul Rutter and David Heppell in the Masters E 2x.

The Senior Men’s 4x- stroked by Nicholas Baird were winners at Tees LDS, 2nd at Tyne LDS and 3rd at South Hylton, while the Senior Women stroked by Emily Grant finished 2nd in the W4x- at Tees SBH and 2nd in band 1 of the W4x- at Tyne United SBH. There was also a 2nd place finish in band 2 of the W4x- and a 3rd place in the W4+ for the senior women at Tyne United SBH. 

The only victory at Tees SBH went to the Masters development 4+ (John Liddell, Tom Dower, Alastair Edge, Arthur Glasfeld and cox Clive Hole), Arthur Glasfeld’s first competitive outing for the club and a rare success in the coxes seat for 79 year-old Clive Hole.

After their win at Berwick the Masters E 2x of Paul Rutter and David Heppell (above) leads the way in terms of the series with 3 wins and a second place, followed by Lynn Pain, Hazel Stainforth, Carolyn Edwards and Caroline Scholl with 2 wins and a second in the Women’s Masters G 4x-, and Jacob Windle with 2 wins from 2 starts in the J16 1x.

Results from each round are accessible from the LDS web page.

The start order for Wansbeck LDS and SBH on November 2nd is now available and the 6-week series culminates with Durham LDS and Autumn Small Boats Head being contested over 1800 metres on the River Wear on Saturday November 9th.

Early suspension of entries is a recurring theme this autumn with the Fullers Head of the River Fours and Veteran Fours Head on the Tideway on November 23rd and 24th both becoming oversubscribed soon after opening, giving competition organisers food for thought. Conversely the Head of the Don, scheduled for October 5th, was cancelled because of insufficient entries.

Tickets for £2 are still available for the Bonfire, Fireworks and Boat Burning Party on Sunday, after which we look forward to good conditions and a full days racing on November 9th.

Sunday League season ends at TURC

The final round of the 2019 Sunday League took place in rather damp conditions at Tyne United RC on October 6th, with 13 teams taking part in a sculling splash & dash competition. Winners on the day with a maximum 4 wins each were It’s Chico Tyne from Tyne ARC in the open competition and Tynequila, also from Tyne ARC, in the women’s competition.

The 2 Tyne teams have led for most of the season and the wins on the final day consolidated their position. Prizes were presented to winners and runners-up in each league, Tyne ARC taking the 2 trophies donated by Stewart Allan of DARC, and Tynemouth RC finishing as runners-up in both leagues. DARC’s team, Close Encounters, finished in 5th place in the open league.

The eighth season of the league started in March and has seen entries from Tyne ARC, Tyne United, Tynemouth, Talkin Tarn, Berwick, Sunderland, Chester-le-Street, Durham, Tees, Hexham and Sheffield taking part. In August there was a first ever visit to Ebchester where competitive rowing returned for the first time since 1973. The final league tables can be found here.

Tyne and Tynemouth have been loyal supporters this year but the Sunday League has been less popular with other clubs. The competition is aimed at novice, recreational, and returning rowers and retired racers, and it would like to encourage greater participation. 

An outline of the competition and summary of each round can be found on the Northern Rowing website.

Photos of prizewinners below.


Pairs Head 2019

The first of the Tideway Heads of the season was the Pairs Head on October 6th. Raced over 4.5km of the River Thames between Chiswick Bridge and Harrods Wall near Hammersmith Bridge the event for doubles and pairs reached capacity a week before the closing date at 450 entries.

A forecast of blustery winds and rain for the weekend caused a scare but the organising committee decided that conditions were within their parameters and the race went ahead.

DARC was represented by Gill Prescott in the Women’s Masters F/G double scull (for ages 60 to 69) with Eva Rankin of Loch Lomond, the pair drawn to lead off the 7 entries in their category sculled superbly to win, extending the margin of victory to 37 seconds, finishing 307th out of the 418 finishers. “They were flying along!” reported one eyewitness.

Ben Rodford has provided an image of the crew in action here.

The Pairs Head is organised annually by Barnes Bridge Ladies Rowing Club (BBLRC). Final results are on the BBLRC website.

The next Tideway Heads are the Fuller’s Fours Head on November 23rd and Veteran Fours Head on November 24th.

Junior Championship medals presented

Two months after the British Rowing Junior Championships the J14 girls have at last received the medals they won for the double sculls omnium.

The Chairman of the BR Junior Championships, Chris Callow, travelled up to Durham from Bedford last week to present Libby Morris and Tilly Stoddart with the bronze medals they won at Nottingham in July, one of two won by the squad coached by Cathy Rooney – a remarkable achievement for the J14s in winning 2 of the Northern region’s 5 medals at the Championships.

The competition took place on Friday July 19th when the J14 girls entered in two coxed quads, one a composite with Chester-le-Street ARC, consisting of Libby Morris, Jennifer Napora, Amy Snook (CLS), Orlagh Windle and cox Francesca Suggett, and the other a Tyne ARC/Durham composite including Tilly Stoddart.

The rules of the competition require competitors in the 4x+ to also enter for an omnium in either single or double sculls. A busy day therefore started with a time trial for the quads to determine who qualified for the finals, scheduled to take place after the omnium. The DARC/CLS quad was 4th fastest in the time trial and qualified for the A final, while the Tyne/DARC crew went into the B final.

After the time trial came skills tests, including hands off at the catch, standing 360 degree turn in a boat, standing rigger dips, back down stop and 360 degree boat spinning, followed by a 500m sprint, slalom and emergency stop to finish off the omnium. Libby and Tilly completed the omnium in a 2x while the other girls did it in singles.

The day rounded off with the finals of the coxed quads, in which the first of the bronze medals went to the DARC/CLS combination who took third place in the A final, while the Tyne/DARC composite finished 6th in the B final. Medals were presented to crews on the Friday night.

Medals were also at stake in the omnium where the Durham girls did tremendously well to finish 3rd out of 67 competitors from all over the country, scoring 940.2 out of a possible 1000 points. Because of the complexity of the scoring system the results weren’t available until the following day so competitors who had gone home were left waiting for their medals.

Omnium skills have been a feature of the Championship for J14s for the past 4 years. Presenting the medals to Libby and Tilly, Chris observed that “it’s important to master the skills first”. Although coach Cathy was unable to be there Elliot Kay was pleased to accept a medal on her behalf.

Former DARC Secretary Bill McInnes 1930 – 2019

Bill McInnes had done a little rowing at Bede College in the late 1940s but did not join the Club until the mid 1980s when he joined the veterans’ group led by Peter Burdess.

Bill was Club secretary from 1987 to 1991.

Bill died on Sunday 29 September aged 89. His funeral is at the Wear Valley Crematorium on Tuesday 8th of October at 1.30pm.

For further information please contact Bill’s son, Duncan at