The 2023 Sunday League season reached its conclusion with the final round surviving a late weather scare to go ahead at Hexham on Sunday, October 1st. In a curtailed season of six scheduled rounds rather than the usual eight this was to be the only skills round.
The League got off to a tentative start at Tyne ARC in May after which the number of participating crews gradually increased to reach 13 by the Tynemouth round scheduled for July. At this point Durham ARC was to be represented in the Open division by DARC Morris Miners from the club’s Improvers group. However, following a weather cancellation of the Tynemouth event their entry into the competition had to be put on hold until September at Talkin Tarn which was the first sweep-oar round of the season.
The Sunday Legue takes place in stable coxed boats and is a fun but competitive event aimed at novice, recreational and returning rowers, and as such Talkin Tarn proved particularly challenging for many who had little prior experience of sweep rowing. With entries increasing again to 14 each crew was able to have 4 side by side races. The Tarn was bathed in glorious sunshine and an enjoyable time was had by all.
The crew, again coxed by Dave, was able to return for the October round at Hexham, although team changes meant competing in the Open division with an all female crew.
Skills exercises to be carried out included –
- Square blading: from the start to buoy on north side of the river
- Rigger dips: 10 rigger dips at the buoy (1 rigger dip = both sides being dipped)
- After rigger dips, race to the cottage (feathered blades)
- 450 degree turn at the cottage (360 turn plus another 90 degrees to row across the river)
- Row across the river to be 1 boat length beyond the buoy then back down to touch the buoy
- Row on to the south side of river, stop and do blade swap (bow and stroke to swap one blade)
- Turn if not done so already and row on to next marshall station
- 10 x Roll-ups, i.e. start each one with blades squared and buried at back stops, tap down, feather, up the slide as normal with a square at some point till at front stops (or pretty close to it), drop the blade right in the water as in a normal catch but don’t take the stroke, return to backstops with blades off the water and repeat (10 times in all) *
- Race to finish
- At finish, emergency stop at sound of the air horn (timing will continue until boat comes to a halt).
Prizes were presented to the season winners following the event. Congratulations to the Open division winners from Berwick ARC and the Women’s division winners from Talkin Tarn ARC.