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Scottish Spring survives Storm Hannah

The sprint racing season stuttered into full swing at the weekend, the predicted effects of Storm Hannah putting paid to the Junior Inter Regional Regatta (JIRR) on Saturday, while further north Strathclyde Park was able to avoid the worst of the weather to enable the newly styled Scottish Rowing Spring Regatta to go ahead.

Fresh from their Easter training camp at the Barcelona Olympic lake in Banyoles, Spain, the Juniors will be disappointed at the cancellation of the JIRR, scheduled for the first time to take place on the 4 lane course at Peterborough. DARC crews had been selected to represent the Northern Region in 4 events, the J14 girls 4x+, J15 boys 4x+, J16 girls 4x- and J16 boys 4x- after coming through trials at Cambois Rowing Club in March.

The 2-day Scottish Spring Regatta (incorporating the Scottish Student Championships) attracted a strong field from Scotland, Ireland and the North of England to contest over 200 scheduled races, with the14 entries from DARC distributed evenly between Saturday and Sunday.

First in action on the 8-lane buoyed course on Saturday morning were Gabrielle Maxfield and Grace Stewart-Piercy coming 7th in the ‘Restricted 1’ 2x, and soon afterwards 5th in the Women’s Open 2x.

Next to race were Sam Taylor, Mark Humphries, David Dowsett and Adam Morris, finishing 6th in the J18 boys 4x- behind a strong Chester-le-Street quad.

Masters events got underway in the afternoon over a shorter 1000 metre course, Kim Forster and David Muse (top) putting in the performance of the day taking second place to Berwick in the Open Masters C double sculls. Shortly afterwards Kim took 4th place in the Women’s MasC 1x.

Adam Morris was in action again in a field of 20 scullers entered for the Open ‘Restricted 1’ 1x, finishing 4th in his heat and therefore failing to qualify for the final.

The senior men rounded off the day with a fifth place finish in the Open ‘Restricted 1’ coxed four for Nick Spong, David Rutter, Nicholas Baird, Reece Stockport and cox Kathryn Rogers.

Sunday morning started well for Adam Morris who came through heat 2 from a large field of 23 in the Open J18 single sculls to qualify for the semi-final, but a fourth place finish prevented him by just one place from qualifying for the final.

Success was to arrive thick and fast in the Masters events, David Muse finishing a close third behind Stirling in the MasAB 1x before John Appleby secured the first win of the weekend in the MasGH 1x.

Kim and David went one better than Saturday’s performance, holding off two Talkin Tarn crews to win the MasB ‘Restricted 2’ 2x. Race 379 included two DARC quads in the final of the MasFG 4x-, with the G crew of  Paul Rutter, David Walker, John Appleby and John Watkinson running out victors while the F crew of Gerry Sharpe, Michael Seed, David Oliver and George Adair finished a creditable 4th.

The day rounded off with 3rd place in the Open ‘Restricted 1’ 2x for David Rutter and Nicholas Baird, leaving DARC with a good haul of 3 first, 1 second and 2 third places over the weekend.

All the results can be found on the Rowresults website.

Strathclyde Park hosts the British Rowing Masters Championships this year on June 15th and 16th.

Success would not be possible without the efforts of an army of volunteers whose preparation and diligence enables events such as these to take place, and we should be most grateful for the time and effort they put in.

Congratulations go to former Junior squad members Harry Coe and Havana Tilly who have been a massive help to the J13 and J14 squads, and who recently completed their Level 2 Coaching qualifications. The development of new young coaches is a great asset to the Club.

As well as this six members have recently qualified as Level 2 Royal Yachting Association launch drivers, which will be another asset to the Club, so we extend thanks to David Oliver, David Beattie, David Hepple, Ray Dominy, Fiona Ashton and Martyn Calkin.

Thanks are also due to the growing band of trailer drivers who have helped to transport boats to recent events. The list now includes Vickie Jackson, Peter Robinson, Tom Richardson, George Adair, Helen Adair, Rob Beattie, Dan Lockey, Mark Bell, Alex Taylor, David Rutter, John Appleby, Paul Rutter and Ray Dominy.

With a busy regatta season upon us additional help spreads the load and is always appreciated so don’t be afraid to come forward.

A congested racing calendar continues locally with York Spring Regatta on Saturday, followed by Durham City Regatta on May 11th and 12th and Tees Regatta on May 18th.

Thanks to Rob Eyton-Jones for the photos.

Boat Race weekend

Boat Race Day generally marks the end of the winter head racing season and the start of the summer sprint regatta season. This year’s races took place on Sunday April 7th, and while most media attention was focused on James Cracknell becoming the oldest competitor in the Boat Race’s 165 year history, Cambridge took the honours in both men’s and women’s races.

In recent years the event has also provided the club with an opportunity for celebration by staging a Boat Race Ball, and judging from comments passed by those who attended, this year’s Ball on the evening of Saturday April 6th was the usual enjoyable occasion.

Because of the late Easter and the need to find a scarce empty slot in the already packed racing calendar the regatta season got off to a flying start with the first of the Northern regattas brought forward to take place at Chester-le-Street the day before the Boat Race. Durham ARC’s Juniors and Masters were in action and came away with victories in four events, the J13 4x+, WJ15 4x+, WJ14 4x+ and WMas E 2x. Full results are here.

The trend for the Boat Race to occur on Sunday rather than Saturday presents a modicum of organisational difficulty in that the club celebration now takes place prior to the event itself, but this at least offers partygoers an excuse for extra recovery time.

There was added interest on Boat Race Day with the arrival of the Cricket World Cup trophy in Durham for its 3-day tour of the region prior to stumps being pitched in May, and after a brief stop at the Durham ARC landing stage it was rowed along the River Wear, pausing at the Riverwalk Centre and Market Place before going on display for the remainder of the day at Durham Cathedral.     

Next on the agenda was the second round of the Sunday League, Durham’s turn to host the sprint competition over a 300 metre course for novice and recreational rowers from clubs around the Northern region, who have been joined this year by a crew from Sheffield representing the Yorkshire region. Fourteen teams entered and some close and exciting racing ensued. Winners on the day were It’s Chico Tyne in the open league and Tynequila in the women’s league. Both now lead in their respective leagues, with Close Encounters from Durham ARC winning 3 of their 4 races to hold on to joint second place in the open league along with Tynemouth Buoys, despite having an average age of 70.

An early start and some efficient organization by the team of volunteers enabled racing to wind up in time for a curry lunch before members and visitors settled down in the bar to watch the Boat Race drama unfold on TV, a successful and very enjoyable day with around £450 raised for club funds through the Boat Race sweepstake, share of Sunday League entry fees and catering proceeds.

Round 3 of the Sunday League takes place at Berwick on May 5th.

Learn to Row in 2019

Dates of Learn to Row courses for Adults in 2019 have been published. Our first course starts on Sunday April 28th and will take place each Sunday thereafter for 8 weeks between 11.30am and 1.30pm. The course is for age 16+ beginners, and no experience of rowing is necessary. The cost is £95.

To apply please read the pre-course information and return the registration form together with the course fee of £95 payable to ‘Durham ARC’. Envelopes should be addressed to Learn to Row, Durham ARC, City Boathouse, Green Lane, Durham DH1 3JU.

There is also a course for Juniors (11 to 15) during the Easter holidays, taking place each day between  Monday April 8th and Friday April 12th from 9.30 to 11.30am. The cost is £65 and the registration form is here.

Please contact us by emailing for any further details about courses or to be added to the waiting list.

March comes in like a lion

It’s been a busy few weeks for squads as the Tideway season looms for some, while others concentrate on preparations for the coming regatta season in April.

Conditions were good for Tyne Head of the River race on February 16th with 10 crews from DARC among the 150 entries joining crews from Lancaster, York and Glasgow, as well as local clubs and Durham University colleges, to contest two divisions over 5km from Scotswood to Newburn. George Adair’s Masters F 4x- ran out winners in their category and the senior men’s 8+ were second to York in band 3 of the open 8+. All the results can be found on the Tyne Head website.

The following weekend saw the Juniors off to Nottingham for the Head of the Trent on Sunday February 24th. An excellent day it proved to be with good conditions after a misty start, and a 100% success rate for the DARC crews, the J15 girls 8+, J15 boys coxed quad and J14 girls coxed quad, racing over 3.8km in division 2, all winning their events, overcoming opposition from Nottingham, Bedford, Birmingham and Leicester, while Gill Prescott’s composite women’s Masters F coxless quad also won over 5.7km in division 3. Results and other information are on the Head of the Trent website.

Next was the Yorkshire Head on Saturday March 2nd, organised by the Yorkshire Rowing Council, again with 10 crews from DARC entered amongst 175 in the two division time-trial over 5.1km of the River Ouse in York, this time with victories for the Masters F 8+, Andy Jaggard in Masters G 1x, Adam Morris in J18 1x and Gill Prescott in a women’s Masters F 4x- composite with Loch Lomond, Mortlake, Anglian & Alpha and Barnes Bridge Ladies RC. DARC’s senior men’s 8+ finished second to Leeds in band 2 of the open 8+. Full results can be found on the Yorkshire Rowing website.

Trials for the Junior Inter Regional Regatta, postponed from February, also took place at Cambois on March 2nd  and it proved to be a successful day for the DARC competitors. There were event wins for the J16 4x-, J16 8+ (DARC/Durham School composite), WJ16 4x-, J15 4x+, WJ14 4x+ and WJ14 2x, who go forward to be considered for selection for the squad to represent the Northern region at the Junior Inter Regional Regatta at Peterborough on April 27th, subject to satisfying rules relating to doubling up. Results of the trials are here.

On Sunday March 3rd Roger Stainforth organized a group ranging in age from 7 to 74 to take part in The Big Pink Ergo 100km challenge, with 27 members of various squads raising funds for breast cancer charities. The first round of the Sunday League  took place at Tyne ARC on the same day with the team from DARC getting off to a good start winning 3 races out of 4.   Round 2 is a sweep-oar splash & dash event at Durham on April 7th, the same day as the University Boat Races.

The first Tideway heads of the season take place next weekend with the Schools’ Head on Friday March 15th and the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race on Saturday March 16th. Good luck to the J15 girls eight and J16 boys quad in the Schools’ Head. The Head of the River Race is 2 weeks later on March 30th and the Vesta Veterans’ Head takes place on March 31st. Also on March 16th is the Ponteland Junior Head on the River Tyne.

The first regatta of the new season In the Northern region takes place at Chester-le-Street on April 6th, and DARC’s Boat Race Ball takes place the same evening at 7pm.

The Big Pink Ergo 100km challenge

There’s been no time for resting on his laurels for DARC’s Roger Stainforth since celebrating a fifth success at the British Rowing Indoor Championships in December. Never one to forego a challenge Roger’s latest endeavour stemmed from a chance conversation at the Burns Night supper which led to him gathering together a team for the Big Pink Ergo 100km Challenge.

Roger explains

“Here’s a question that might test even the teams in ‘Brain of Britain’. What connects Burns Night, 27 people aged 7 to 74, 100km on the ergo, breast cancer and Harry Potter?

The answer begins at Durham ARC’s Burns Night supper. A day or two earlier a notice appeared on the club’s notice board announcing that a Durham University student, Alexandra Nicholas, was organising a BIG PINK ERGO 100km challenge for teams to raise money for breast cancer charities on 24 February 2019. The event was to be held at DARC where we have a fleet of new ergos and the club is always happy to be involved in this admirable enterprise. It was very poignant for me because my wife, Hazel, had surgery and radiotherapy treatment from September to December 2018 for breast cancer.

After the haggis, neeps and tatties I started sounding out people about getting a DARC team together to enter and was pleasantly surprised by the positive responses.

As it turned out 24 February was not a good day for many DARC people, Alexandra was happy we wanted to join in so we fixed on Sunday 3 March. Having had experience of being a member of two 100km world record setting 70+ relay teams – small team 2016 and large team 2017 – I didn’t think the frenetic race format would work for a charity event, and in the end we decided on four squads of four ‘core’ rowers rowing 500m each in relays for two hours, and others joining in when convenient for them. It worked out really well, a total of 27 people participated; many stayed all day and did their bit in each of the four squads. Appropriately kitted out all in pink, Hazel set the event going at 0930 with the first 500m, did more 500m during the course of the day and took us through the final moments as the meter counted down to zero.

What about the statistics of the day? The 100km was achieved by 27 rowers in 7h 03m 6.6s at an average split of 2.06.9 and stroke rate of 26. I’d thought 7½-8 hours would be achievable but what happens when you have competitive people taking turns on ergos? They compete! We all enjoyed the assertive 500m pieces by former GB rower Tom Edwards powering to split times of which the rest of us can only dream. There were some notable 500m by the women and as the metres ticked down so did the projected time.

What about the final clue and Harry Potter? No, he wasn’t in the team but he was in the mind of our youngest and most determined rower, 7 years old Sophia, who asked me, the oldest in the team, ‘Do you know about Harry Potter?’ I had to confess that I didn’t know much. Thereafter, between my 500m pieces I was treated to picture cards and stories about Mr Potter. Perhaps British Rowing could introduce something similar at BRIC 2019!

So far the money raised for breast cancer charities is £770 and there’s more to come.

Thank you everyone for the wonderful effort, generosity and the cakes and flapjack that sustained us through the seven hours. Together we can beat the Big C and a little useful wave of the wand from Harry Potter wouldn’t go amiss as well.”

Roger’s first indoor rowing competition at the age of 60 was at the 2004 BIRC in Birmingham. When the event became BRIC in February 2015 and moved to the Lee Valley Velodrome he set the British record for 70+ Hwt of 7.08.7 and has won the gold medal in the four subsequent BRICs.


Durham Small Boats Head 2019

Snow and freezing conditions greeted rowers from around the northern region who converged on the River Wear for Durham Small Boats Head on Saturday February 2nd. They were joined by competitors from Bradford, Lancaster and George Watson’s College in Edinburgh who had also made the journey.

The time trial over 1800 metres, passing through the arches of Elvet Bridge, is a highlight of the winter racing season in Durham, and provides an excellent opportunity for crews to compete in smaller boats as they build up their training in preparation for racing on the River Tyne, in Yorkshire and on the Tideway in London in March.

The head always attracts a good spread of competitors of all ages from local clubs, schools, colleges and Universities who come together to gauge their performance and to enjoy the sport they love, and this year was no exception, with capacity reached in record time once entries opened in January.

The temperature rose and spirits lifted as the four divisions progressed, while river conditions remained good throughout, allowing excellent racing despite some of the original 400 entrants opting to stay away because of the wintry conditions.

The overall winner was the Open Senior coxless quad from Durham School who completed the course in a time of 6 mins 16.4 secs. The fastest women’s crew was Talkin Tarn’s coxless quad in 7.14.4.

The host club was the most successful with victories in 16 categories, followed by George Watson’s College with 10 and Durham School and Talkin Tarn ARC with 6 each.

George Watson’s College had the fastest open single sculler and their J16 open and women’s double scullers were also faster than senior opposition, while Talkin Tarn’s J18 single sculler was the fastest of the women’s singles.

As usual there was keen competition between the Durham University colleges in the coxed fours. St Aidan’s College won the open four in 6.23.8 and Collingwood College won the Women’s coxed four in 7.24.5. Events with larger numbers of entries were divided into bands as permitted by the British Rowing rules of racing. Durham ARC won band 2 of the Open fours while Butler College took band 3. In the Women’s coxed fours Durham School won band 2 and St Leonard’s School band 3. There was also a junior women’s J18 coxless fours race won by St Leonard’s School in 7.30.2.

Durham ARC achieved victories over an age range from J13 juniors to Masters G (65-69), including both open and women’s senior crews. The J13 quad finished in 8.04.7 for their first racing success, David Dowsett and Mark Humphries won the J18 double in 7.10.2, while, with no Masters opposition, Gill Prescott and Eva Rankin from Loch Lomond RC combined to win the senior Women’s double sculls in 7.49.9. DARC’s boys and girls J16 coxless quads also both recorded wins.

There was a double success for DARC’s David Rutter and Nicholas Baird, winning the Open double sculls in 7.04.4, then combining with Will Hamlyn, Brad Knights and cox Millie McIntyre to win band 2 of the Open coxed four in 6.50.6. John Watkinson, John Appleby, Paul Rutter and Micky Stevens won the Masters G coxless quad in 6.42.2 before John Appleby and Micky Stevens combined again to win the Masters G double sculls in 7.12.5, and Andy Jaggard won both the Masters F and Masters G single sculls, achieving the better time of 7.58.4 in division 1.

St Leonard’s School won 3 events as did Tyne ARC, while Tyne United won one. Smaller clubs had some success. Sunderland City won 3 events and Cambois and Hexham won one each. Berwick ARC achieved a 100% success rate from their only entry, Andrew Cairns and Chris Eke winning the Open pair in 7.11.6.

Fifty four categories were contested, with trophies awarded to winners of those with sufficient opposition. Winners are listed below in order of their finishing time.

Open 4x- band 1 Durham School 6.16.4

J18 4x- George Watson’s College 6.17.4

Open 4+ band 1 St Aidan’s College 6.23.8

Open 4x- band 2 Tyne ARC 6.32.9

J16 4x- Durham ARC 6.35.8

Masters G 4x- Durham ARC 6.42.2

Open 4+ band 2 Durham ARC 6.50.6

J16 4+ Durham School/Takin Tarn ARC composite 6.51.4

Open 4x+ Durham School 6.51.7

J16 2x George Watson’s College 6.53.4

J15 4x+ Hexham RC 6.54.9

J15 2x George Watson’s College 6.56.3

Open 2x Durham ARC 7.04.4

Open 1x band 2 George Watson’s College 7.08.9

J18 2x Durham ARC 7.10.2

Open 2- Berwick ARC 7.11.6

Masters G 2x Durham ARC 7.12.5

Women’s 4x- band 1 Talkin Tarn ARC 7.14.4

J18 1x George Watson’s College 7.14.9

Women’s J18 4x- Cambois RC 7.15.6

WJ16 4x- Durham ARC 7.23.0

Open 1x band 1 George Watson’s College 7.23.6

Women’s 4+ band 1 Collingwood College 7.24.5

Masters C 2x Talkin Tarn 7.26.3

Open 4+ band 3 Butler College 7.27.4

WJ18 4- St Leonard’s School 7.30.2

J16 1x Talkin Tarn 7.32.2

WJ15 4x+ Durham ARC 7.41.2

WJ16 2x George Watson’s College 7.41.3

WJ18 2x George Watson’s College 7.43.1

Women’s 4x- band 2 Sunderland City RC 7.45.2

WMas E 4x- Durham ARC 7.45.3

WJ14 4x+ Durham ARC 7.49.5

Women’s 2x band 1 Durham ARC/Loch Lomond RC composite 7.49.9

J15 1x George Watson’s College 7.55.4

Masters G 1x Durham ARC 7.58.4

Masters F 4x+ Durham ARC 7.58.6

Women’s 4+ band 2 Durham School 7.59.9

WJ15 2x St Leonard’s School 8.04.1

J14 4x+ Sunderland City RC 8.04.2

J13 4x+ Durham ARC 8.04.7

WJ16/18 4+ Durham School 8.06.3

Women’s 4x+ Durham School 8.09.9

Masters F 1x Durham ARC 8.11.8

J14 2x Sunderland City RC 8.13.9

WJ18 2- Durham School 8.17.9

Women’s 2x band 2 Tyne United RC 8.24.1

WJ18 1x Talkin Tarn ARC 8.24.5

WMas C 4x+ Talkin Tarn 8.26.2

WJ14 2x Tyne ARC 8.30.5

Women’s 4+ band 3 St Leonard’s School 8.30.8

WJ16 1x George Watson’s College 8.31.5

WJ15 1x Tyne ARC 8.35.5

WMas C 1x Durham ARC 8.43.1

The complete list of results combined over the 4 divisions can be found here and there is a list sorted by gender and boat class.

Winning DARC crews are on the results page.

SI Event Photography has provided a set of images of crews.

Keith Yates

Durham Regatta has lost one of its most loyal servants following the death of long time commentator Keith Yates at the age of 79.

Many will remember Keith as the voice of the Regatta for over 40 years.

Although originally from Langley Moor he spent much of his life in the Midlands, returning to Durham each year in his role as the Regatta’s chief commentator.  His links with the Regatta and with rowing in Durham go back a long way.

Keith was educated at Durham’s Johnston Grammar School where he became involved with rowing as a cox in 1951. Later he coxed for Durham Constabulary and the Durham County Eight. He joined Durham Amateur Rowing Club in 1956 and first competed for the club at Durham Regatta in the Mayors Plate in 1957, before going on to become the first crew cox.

Durham ARC Chairman Barry Hudson explained “Older members remember Keith as the cox of the all-conquering Durham ARC senior coxed four of the late 1950s and early 1960s which regularly won the Grand Challenge Cup and other senior trophies. The crew included Bill Parker and Ian Shepherd, still active members at Durham ARC.”

With a regular line-up of F.Weatherley, W.T.Parker, I.C.Shepherd, H.Smith, and  cox K.J.Yates, the senior four won the Grand Challenge Cup 5 times in succession between 1958 and 1962, also winning the Wharton Challenge Cup 4 times during the same period, and attended GB Trials at Henley in 1959.

In 1962 Keith moved from Durham to Nottingham, and lived for many years in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

He was an honorary Vice President of the Regatta, and participated in every Regatta since 1953, as a cox, volunteer marshal, and, since 1976, as a commentator. His final commentary was in 2018.

“Keith’s beloved Durham Regatta will continue, but without his lovely voice and the information that he so loved to share with members of the public,” said his widow Anne.

Keith died suddenly in the early hours of January 1st. His funeral will take place at 11.30am on Wednesday 16th January at Sage Cross Church, Melton Mowbray.

(Photo by The Northern Echo)

Fifth title for Roger at BRIC

Durham ARC’s Roger Stainforth recorded a fifth consecutive victory in the Masters 70-74 category at the Mizuno British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC) held at the Lee Valley Velopark in London on December 8th 2018.

This year’s Championships was the biggest ever, attracting over 1800 competitors of all ages from across the UK and overseas, including many members of the GB Rowing Team, competing for honours in 82 races using 160 Concept2 machines.

Although DARC’s only entrant, Roger emerged as the clear winner from a field of six, which included veterans of the 1968 GB Olympic rowing squad,  completing the 2km in a season’s best of 7m 21.6s, over 30 seconds ahead of second placed Colin Slade of Fitness Matters Indoor Rowing Team.

The closest challenge to Roger’s time came from 83 year-old Michael Hurley of Willpower Fitness, who won the 80-84 age category in 7.38.2.

Roger holds the British record time for the 70-74 age range with the 7m 08.7s he set in winning the same Championships in February 2015. He will move up an age category before the 2019 Championships.

After a very successful season last year he is continuing in similar vein, and in November took first place in the Scottish Indoor Championships in Motherwell, with a time of 3m 29.7 for 1km (the standard race distance for masters in Scotland). He also still holds the 70-74 British record for the 1km distance with the 3.23.5 he set at the 2015 Scottish Championships.

Archived results from BRIC can be found here. British records for Concept2 are here.

Explanatory note – a rebranding and change of date and venue meant that the BR Indoor Championships took place in February 2015  and again in December 2015. Since then the date has become settled on December.

Five wins at Rutherford Head 2018

Arguably the biggest event in the British Rowing head racing calendar outside London Rutherford Head provided the last chance for the region’s rowers to race before the festive break. Traditionally associated with bad weather this year’s event on December 1st was no exception, with rain and low temperatures greeting the large turnout of nearly 260 crews racing in the larger boat classes over two divisions on the River Tyne. Competitors were drawn from all corners of the UK, and, with little wind and water conditions generally good, some excellent times were recorded for the 4.5 km course from Scotswood to Newburn. For others it was an opportunity to compete in the same race as some of the nation’s best rowers.

Great anticipation had preceded the event with entries opening at 6pm on November 1st only to be suspended little over an hour later as capacity was reached. As usual eights were the most popular boat type, accounting for nearly 90 of the entries, the senior Open and Women’s eights being sub-divided into 4 bands each. Strong competition saw Newcastle University claim overall victory in Open Division 1 in 14.08.3, closely followed by Edinburgh University and Tyne ARC, while in the senior Women’s eights London University held off the challenge of Edinburgh University and Thames RC to win band 1 in a time of 16.10.5.

Edinburgh University led the way in the quad sculling events, taking first and second places in the Open with a winning time of 14.38.3, and narrowly losing out to Newcastle University in the Women’s quad, the winning time being 17.20.8.

Outside the senior events Chester-le-Street ARC won the Junior J18 eights race in 16.24.3 and the Women’s J18 eight in 20.06.9, while the fastest Masters crew of the day was the Tyne ARC Masters E 8+ who finished on their home course in 16.41.9. The fastest Women’s Masters accolade went to the Durham ARC Women’s Masters E 8+, repeating the success of last year and winning their event in 19.50.2.

Durham ARC entered in 13 boat categories and achieved an excellent return of 5 victories, other wins going to the senior men’s squad, the fastest of six in band 4 of the Open 8+ in 16.42.3, the Women’s J18 4x-, fastest of five in band 2 in 19.54.9 and the Masters F 4x+ in 21.53.8.

After recent success on the Tideway in the Veteran Fours Head Gill Prescott again formed a composite quad with Barnes Bridge Ladies and Kingston RC, winning the Women’s Masters F 4x- in 19.50.9, two minutes ahead of the DARC Women’s Masters E 4x- who were  placed 2nd of the four entries in 21.50.1.

There were some fine performances from other crews. As junior events were only offered for J16 and J18 age levels the DARC J15 girls (thanks to Claire Airey for the above photo from Newburn Bridge) entered in band 4 of the senior Women’s 8+ and finished 3rd in 20.28.1, only 10 seconds behind the winners from Edinburgh University.

The J18 4x- came 3rd in 18.28.6, the Women’s 4x- band 2 finished in 21.41.2, and the J16 4+ recorded 22.42.7

The Masters F 4x- lost to Lakeland RC despite posting 19.57.8, while the Masters D 4x- lost to Hexham in 20.25.9.

Results from Division 1 and Division 2 are among other information to be found on the Tyne ARC website. Winning crew lists are on the Durham ARC Results page.

Al Johnston has provided photos on facebook from Division 1 and Division 2.

Much credit goes to the many volunteers involved in the organisation of such a successful event.

Next year’s race takes place on December 7th 2019.

Durham hosts LDS and Autumn SBH

Rowers from across the north of England converged on the River Wear last Saturday for the exciting double header of the final round of the Long Distance Sculling Series (LDS) and Durham Autumn Small Boats Head (SBH), both time trials hosted by Durham Amateur Rowing Club.

The Sculling Series, which is organized by the Northern Rowing Council, includes six rounds over six consecutive weeks, previous rounds having taken place on the Rivers Tyne at Newburn, Tweed at Berwick and Wear at South Hylton, with weather cancellations on the Tees and Wansbeck. Although offering the shortest course Durham is one of the most challenging, with competitors having to negotiate the narrow arches of Elvet Bridge at the halfway point of the 1800 metres.

The morning sculling event, open to single, double and quadruple sculls, was followed by two divisions of the SBH, also accommodating sweep-oared boats, the 3 divisions of racing over a 6 hour period providing ample opportunity for competitors and coaches to try out different crew combinations within the safety limit of 300 entries.

The fastest times were posted earlier in the day when conditions were more favourable, before overnight rainfall had time to take its effect on the flow of the river. The overall winner in the LDS division, with a time of 6min.08.3sec, was Durham Amateur Rowing Club’s senior coxless quad of David Rutter, Nicholas Baird, Tom Richardson and Will Hamlyn, fresh from racing at the Tideway Fours Head in London the previous week. 

With some of the region’s top competitors away at GB trials in Boston the same day success was distributed between 14 different clubs, DARC faring best by winning 13 categories (9 at the LDS and 4 at the SBH), followed by Tyne ARC with 7 and Durham School with 6 overall.

Yarm School, St Leonard’s and Queen Elizabeth High School also had some success in the junior races.

A strong contingent from Durham University Boat Club took the open (7.13.3) and women’s (8.19.0) pairs, Kasey Jobling (8.56.7) won band 1 and Gabrielle Keblyte (9.40.0) band 2 in the women’s single sculls at the SBH, while in the LDS sixteen year-old Adam Morris from Durham ARC held off five opponents from Durham University to take the title of fastest sculler of the day, completing the course in 7.12.5.

Durham ARC also did well in Junior events in the LDS, winning the J18 girls (7.10.2) and J16 boys (6.44.3) coxless quads, while at the other end of the age scale there were wins in the Masters events for John Appleby and Micky Stevens in the Masters G (65-69) double sculls, finishing in 7.12.2, David Muse in the Masters B single sculls (7.35.5), Andy Jaggard in the Masters G single (7.55.5), and Joyce Collett in the Women’s Masters G single (9.10.6).

The traditional fierce rivalry between the colleges of Durham University was a feature of racing in the Small Boats Head, with eight colleges providing a total of 35 coxed fours over the two afternoon divisions. For most this was the first opportunity of the new academic year to compete. To ensure fair competition men’s and women’s crews were divided into 3 bands, Hatfield College Boat Club winning band 1 (6.26.6), Queen Elizabeth High School band 2 (7.12.7) and Grey College band 3 (6.58.9) in the men’s coxed fours, while Durham University BC won band 1 of the women’s coxed fours (7.30.1), with Collingwood College taking bands 2 (7.32.3) and 3 (8.35.3).  

In the double sculling events in the SBH Yarm School won at junior boys J18 (7.02.0), boys J15 (8.06.8), and girls J18 (8.04.5). A Durham School/Talkin Tarn RC composite crew won the boys J16 double (7.51.2), Cambois RC won the girls J16 (8.14.6), and Tyne United RC won the girls J15 (8.51.3). Tees RC won the Open 2x (7.28.7) and Durham School the Women’s 2x (7.51.9). Tees RC also won the Masters H (70+) double sculls (8.02.5).

In the SBH Durham ARC also won the senior Women’s coxless quad (7.05.5), Junior girls J15 (7.51.4) and girls J14 (8.37.1) coxed quads, and Grace Stewart-Piercy won the J18 girls single sculls (9.33.1).

For a full breakdown of times and results in pdf format follow the LDS and SBH links.

More photos can be found on facebook.

Points gained over the 6 weeks of the Long Distance Sculling Series contribute towards Victor Ludorum prizes for Juniors, Seniors and Masters rowers which will be presented to victorious clubs at the AGM of the Northern Rowing Council on November 26th.

The next Small Boats Head race on the River Wear is on February 2nd 2019.