Category Archives: Club News

Club News and Announcements

Chairman’s MBE Investiture

On November 21st Durham ARC Chairman Barry Hudson was presented with the MBE by the Duke of Cambridge in an investiture at Buckingham Palace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barry was awarded the MBE for services to the Community and to Rowing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June, having served on the DARC Committee for 50 years, taking on numerous roles including Secretary and Chairman, as well as carrying out coaching and umpiring duties.

Three River Serpents seeking new members

Dragon Boat Racing is Britain’s fastest growing water sport.  Three River Serpents, based at Durham ARC is the most northerly premier crew in the British Dragonboat Racing Association League and is looking to recruit new members, both male and female.

Club members meet for training at Durham Amateur Rowing Club on Sundays at 10am (all year round), or Wednesdays at 6.30pm (April to October). To take advantage of the offer of three free taster sessions send your details to Jane Kemp on 07932628007 or email JaneKemp@Gateshead.Gov.Uk

See the club poster and taster session leaflet for further details.

If you are interested and would like further information about the club please visit the website at http://www.threeriverserpents.co.uk/ or email Kendal Mayes at kenimayes@hotmail.com

Winning start for Hope at Harvard

Former Durham ARC Junior Hope Cessford who took up a place at Harvard University in the USA this autumn was selected for the Radcliffe Crew Women’s varsity first eight to compete at the Foot of the Charles Regatta on November 11th 2017.  

Raced this year in sub-zero temperatures the event is rowed over the same course as the Head of the Charles and marks the end of the autumn head season.

Radcliffe Crew is the rowing branch of the Harvard Department of Athletics, competing in varsity athletics at Harvard University, the women-only Radcliffe College having merged with the men-only Harvard College in 1976 continues to compete in its traditional black and white under the Radcliffe name.

The eight raced against opposition from other universities in Boston and was fastest of the 17 competing, finishing in 20.26.2, twenty two seconds ahead of Northwestern University.

The culmination of Hope’s time as a Junior at DARC, where she was coached by Gordon Beattie, was selection for the GB Women’s squad for the World Junior Championships in Lithuania in August, rowing in the coxless four that won the B final.

Bernard Robertson (1936-2017)

We are saddened to learn of the death of Bernard Robertson, who was Club Captain between 1983 and 1989.

The family has announced his passing, at the age of 81, on Monday 30th October, following a short illness.

Bernard attended Durham Johnston Grammar School before going on to St. Cuthbert’s Society in 1954 to read Chemistry at Durham University,

He had a lifelong passion for rowing, representing school and University with distinction before spending many years coaching at St. Cuthbert’s Society Boat Club, where he joined his old school coach Stan Turner who had become a tutor at the Society. He then went on to captain Durham Amateur Rowing Club and to chair Durham Regatta.

After a career with Proctor & Gamble he was to return to St. Cuthbert’s Society in 1999 to become Principal.

Read more about his career in St. Cuthbert’s Chronicle.

A true gentleman, his warmth, generosity and laughter will be sorely missed by all.

A service for family and friends is being held at 12pm on Thursday 9th November, Durham Crematorium, South Road, Durham. DH1 3TQ.  With light refreshments afterwards at the Duke Of Wellington, Neville Cross.

Bishop wins in Boston

The first medal in this year’s Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Massachusetts on October 21st went to GB’s Tom Bishop, competing for Quintin BC in the Veteran 70+ single sculls.

Tom has connections with DARC dating from the 1970s. Formerly of Durham University he competed for DARC at the 1972 National Championships at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, taking a silver medal in the double sculls along with Geoff Potts. In the same year he was a member of the DARC Eight that took part in the Head of the River Race, the first time for 14 years that the club had fielded an eight in the race.

In 1973 he married Durham University graduate Diana Preston, who he had coached the previous year when she became DARC’s first international, representing GB in a single scull at the European Women’s Championships in Brandenburg, East Germany. At this time women members of the club were classed as associates and had no voting rights. The club only agreed to full voting rights for women at the 1975 AGM.

Both Tom and Diana then went on to represent Great Britain at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. After starting a family Diana took a long break, only returning to rowing recently. Since moving to Quintin Tom has teamed up with DARC veterans many times, most recently in a composite Masters F quad at the 2017 World Masters Regatta in Bled.

Geoff Potts

Quintin Boat Club has announced the death of Geoff Potts on October 28th following a heart attack while coaching in a launch at Mortlake Anglian and Alpha BC. His association with Quintin began in the 1970s and lasted until around 2 years ago when he moved to MAA.

Geoff Potts started rowing at Durham School in the 1960s and, along with John Appleby, Gareth Powley, George Nicholson and Tony Bailes, was a member of the coxed four victorious in the Grand Challenge Cup at Durham Regatta in 1966.

The winning crew was to be reunited 50 years later as special guests at the 2016 Durham Regatta.

After leaving school Geoff went on to Durham University and rowed, along with Bill Grant, for DUBC at Henley Royal Regatta between 1968 and 1970 before initially joining Tees Rowing Club where he started his sculling career.

Greater success was to follow however after he moved to DARC

In 1972 a DARC eight competed in the Head of the River Race for the first time since 1958, starting 255 and finishing 35th. The crew comprised Kim Metcalfe, Tom Bishop, Mike Matthews, Fred Snowdon, Ian Shepherd, Bill Grant, Geoff Potts, John Appleby and cox Andy Jaggard.

Later the same year when the first National Championships was held at the new 2000 metre course at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, Geoff Potts and Tom Bishop took the silver medal in the double sculls.

Then in 1974 Geoff was selected as Great Britain Lightweight Single Sculler at the World Rowing Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland, the first time that the Championships included events for lightweights. Becoming DARC’s first male international Geoff won the first ever WRC lightweight race and went on to finish 4th overall.

After relocating to London he continued to be acknowledged as a very accomplished veteran sculler at Quintin as well as being highly regarded as a coach. 

Coaching Award for Gordon

Plaudits have been flowing in for Gordon Beattie after he was given the accolade of Coach of the Year for the Durham and Chester-le-Street area in the annual County Durham Sport Awards on October 27th.

Gordon has been coaching for over 40 years as well as carrying out many other duties around the Club on a voluntary basis, and had been looking forward to a well-deserved rest until being persuaded to cycle up and down the riverbanks of the Wear for one more year, helping Hope Cessford achieve her aim of selection for the GB Junior squad for the second successive year.

Hope was selected for the GB coxless four that won the B final at the World Junior Championships in Lithuania in August. She spoke of Gordon as the most influential person in her life. ‘He has taught me the meaning of hard work, dedication and what it takes to be a successful athlete whilst also being a shoulder to cry on’.

Award winners from each of the 4 geographical areas go forward to the County final at the Gala Theatre on January 26th 2018.

Great Tyne Rowers raise funds for the Stroke Association

Jo Beverley of the Stroke Association visited Durham ARC on Monday to join members of the club’s daytime rowing group for coffee and to receive funds donated. The group took part recently in the Great Tyne Row in aid of the Stroke Association, raising £1572 for the charity.

The Club entered 3 stable coxed quads in the event on September 2nd, a 25km challenge on the River Tyne starting from Newburn and finishing on the beach at Tynemouth.

The 15 crew members chose to support the Stroke Association as two of the participants had previously had strokes and rowing has helped with their recovery.

To further raise awareness the 3 teams adopted names with stroke connotations, ‘30 strokes a minute’ and ‘The F.A.S.T crew’ completing the 25km in an identical time of 2 hours 13 minutes, and ‘Stroke ‘n’ Recovery’ finishing in 2 hours 51 minutes.

Crew members are pictured above with one of the boats preparing for the event and with Jo Beverley on her visit to the club.  

 

World 100km indoor record

On Saturday 23 September 2017 Roger Stainforth of Durham ARC participated as captain, along with 16 others from around the UK, in a team of indoor rowers aged 70+ years who gathered in Newquay, Cornwall and set a world record in the large team (9 or more members) category, rowing in relay over a distance of 100km.

Each team member rowed 37 rotations, with Roger having the privilege of rowing the first and last rotations making a total of 39. The record took place on a Concept 2 Model E machine with each member rowing in turn for 20 strokes flat out, achieving an average of 161m per rotation.

The World Record time achieved was 5 hours 45 mins 8.1 secs, with a split time of 1.43.5sec per 500 metres and a rate of 36 strokes per minute.

As Roger (73) observed afterwards ‘It was no surprise that the time was 4m 42.1s faster than that achieved by the 8-man team who set the small team record of 5h 49m 50.2s at the same venue last year. Perhaps it could have been quicker but the noble endeavours of sport played their part with two 80+year olds in the team and one taking part only 11 weeks after a hip replacement.

Why Newquay? Tommy Gee who organises the event runs the Newquay Indoor Rowing Club, without his machines and organisational skills there would probably be no record’.

Senior Women’s Squad looking to expand

The DARC Senior Women’s Squad is looking to expand after a successful 2016-17 racing season, and we are happy to accept novice and experienced rowers- get in touch via email (women’s captain Alison Danforth – womens-vc@durham-arc.org.uk) if you are interested in joining us for the 2017-18 season. We accept rowers throughout the year, and people new to the sport (those who completed a Learn to Row Course) in July through to September. We ask all rowers to commit to four training sessions a week, which may increase during regatta season. DARC is lucky to train all year on the River Wear, with additional strength and conditioning sessions in our indoor gym; a typical week’s training consists of four coached water sessions and two additional gym sessions. Occasionally we take our boats to the River Tyne where we have a bigger stretch of water to put some hard training to get ready for the long Head races.

See the Women’s Squad page for further details.