On May 10th the Government confirmed that the planned further easing of Covid restrictions will go ahead on May 17th 2021, allowing the majority of the indoor economy to reopen.
The beer garden and caravan site have been trading well and bringing in funds over the past 5 weeks, and adult Learn to Row courses and improver sessions have restarted, bringing further income and increasing membership.
The Club will again be hosting a series of events on the River Wear for Seaham Activity Centre which will offer activities for disadvantaged children. The partnership has moved on to a firmer footing which will help to generate income and support future applications for funding. Developments are underway to prepare the site to receive equipment.
Details about Durham City paddling activities and how to book places can be found on the Adventure Access website.
British Rowing affiliated competitions in the Northern region have started to get underway. Entries for Wansbeck Regatta on May 22nd and Hexham Regatta on June 5th filled quickly and were suspended within a week of opening.
The entries prospectus for Durham Regatta is due for publication on May 18th and entries will open shortly afterwards, with an official closing date of June 3rd. Because of Covid restrictions the usual bankside entertainment will be absent and spectators are strongly discouraged. Among other changes winners will be asked to collect their prizes at the conclusion of their event. There will be no evening prizegiving.
Full details of the regatta are yet to be finalised, with uncertainty surrounding, amongst other issues, the status of repairs to New Elvet Bridge, communication difficulties during the period of local elections and revised procedures relating to the release of lockdown measures. Entry fees are expected to be similar to those for the cancelled 2019 Regatta.
Tyne ARC has promised the to publish the poster for Tyne Regatta by May 17th. An additional celebration event is planned for August 1st to mark 200 years since the first rowing race on the River Tyne. Because of the absence of the safety providers, Red Seal Rescue, the Great Tyne Row will be unable to take place this year but details of the other events set to take place on August 1st will be announced in due course.
Step 4 of the easing of Covid restrictions is expected to take place no earlier than June 21st.
As regards national competitions entries for the British Rowing Masters Championships at Nottingham on June 12th have opened, and will close on June 3rd.
Entries for part 1 of the National Schools Regatta at Dorney Lake on May 29th and 30th have closed, and the draw is expected on May 20th.
The British Rowing Junior Championships will take place between July 16th and 18th.
National competitions have had to increase their entry fees substantially this year because of the additional overheads involved in managing Covid compliance. Entry to Henley Women’s Regatta is set at £45 per seat.
After some delay the changes to the Club’s governance have been progressed.
Articles of Association were drawn up by the Club’s solicitors and the transition of the club into a Limited Company commenced during the 2019/20 financial year. Members were to have had the opportunity to vote on the proposed change at a Special General Meeting in March 2020, but while the Covid lockdown resulted in the closure of the clubhouse and cancellation of the meeting it was considered expedient to move the process forward without delay. Members were given the opportunity to comment on the proposals by email and no adverse comment was received. For reference the advantages and disadvantages of the change are summarised here.
Durham Amateur Rowing Club 1860 Limited was therefore incorporated on March 24th 2020. The Club Rules and Bye Laws have been revised accordingly, and the new version can be found on the Downloads page of the website. At that time it was not possible to complete the full transfer of the club’s assets etc. due to Covid, primarily because banks were unwilling to open new accounts whilst lockdowns were ongoing.
With the lifting of restrictions the new company, DARC 1860, was able to start trading officially on April 1st 2021. Changing to a Company means that the Company, not the members, own the Club together with all liabilities and any debts that may occur. Club Members become members of the Company with their individual liability limited to £1 each. Thus the personal finances of members are protected.
The Board of Directors will be appointed each year at the Annual General Meeting and will include the President, Chairman, Captain, two Vice Captains, Treasurer and Secretary.
Durham ARC’s Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday, July 15th 2021. As many members as possible are encouraged to attend the AGM to receive reports on important matters and to appoint club officials for the coming year. Several Executive Committee posts are currently vacant or will become vacant and will need to be filled. Members may wish to give some thought with regard to suitable candidates for vacancies or may like to consider standing for election themselves.
Directors will also be appointed to the board of DARC 1860 Ltd at the AGM.
Dredging the river
Durham Regatta has reached agreement with the Environment Agency (EA) and has obtained a permit that allows dredging of the shallow areas of the river. The permit stipulates that, for ecological reasons, work can only take place between June and September. The Regatta will seek suitable contractors able to carry out the work using methods approved by the EA, and will obtain costings. Payment for dredging will need to be shared between river users.