Category Archives: Racing News

Club Racing Successes

Senior Women inspire at Henley

After victory at Durham Regatta two weeks ago the Senior Women’s squad went to Henley Women’s Regatta this weekend (June 22nd and 23rd), representing the club proudly and inspiring others in the Aspirational coxless quad, with Chloe Readman-Bell, Gabrielle Maxfield, Rachael O’Connor and Beth Holmes putting in a strong performance over the 1500 metre course to qualify from Friday’s time trial and progress to the next round the following day, where they were drawn against strong opposition from Molesey Boat Club who completed the course in 5m 28.47s, and despite performing well were unable to make further progress in the competition.

Footage of the race is at 16.36 on the HWR YouTube channel . The Regatta is the first of three to be staged on the Thames at Henley each summer, the others being Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Masters Regatta.

Henley Women’s Regatta first took place in 1988 in response to the absence at the time of events for women at Henley Royal Regatta. It continues to gain in popularity, attracting entries from all over the UK and overseas.

Coached by Phill Tully the squad plans to return next year. If you are interested in joining them please get in touch with the club captain by emailing

Medals for Masters in Nottingham

Durham ARC had some success at the British Rowing Masters Championships last weekend, winning 1 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals in Championship events, with a further victory in a non-Championship event, and with all 18 entries reaching finals.

The Masters Championships attracts the best rowers from clubs across the UK to the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham to race against each over a 1000 metre course at Holme Pierrepont. Masters are categorised by age with all entrants being over 27.

On Saturday there was a gold medal for Durham’s Gill Prescott and Eva Rankin of Loch Lomond in the Women’s Masters F double sculls (for average ages 60 to 64), while in the same final Ray Dominy and Joyce Collett took the bronze medal, both crews having previously won their respective heats to qualify for the final.

Gill and Eva went on to win a silver medal with a composite crew from Upper Thames Rowing Club and Wycliffe College in the final of the Women’s Masters F coxless quad.

There were further medals for Durham with John Appleby and Micky Stevens taking silver in the Masters G (65 to 69) double sculls, after the two had  joined John Watkinson and David Walker to also take silver in the Masters G coxless quad.

The final medal on Saturday was a bronze for John Lyons, Paul Rutter, John Watkinson and Richard Court in the Masters E (55 to 59) coxless quad, while on Sunday there was a silver for the Women’s Masters E eight of Sarah Rutter, June Davison, Ray Dominy, Gabrielle Moore, Susan Jackson, Christine Heppell, Sam English, Angela Lund and cox Nigel van Zwanenberg.

In Sunday’s non-Championship events for those who haven’t previously won at Championship level there was a win for Sam English, Aisling Dutton, Gabrielle Moore and Christine Heppell (pictured top) in the Women’s Masters E coxless quad.

Results from Saturday and Sunday are on the Masters Championships website.

Durham finished in 15th place out of 90 clubs in the Victor Ludorum competition for the best club at the Championships and was the highest placed northern club.

DARC on winning form at Durham Regatta 2018

Honours were divided equally between juniors, seniors and masters as Durham ARC secured 9 wins from 42 entries at the 2018 Durham Regatta, the premier regatta in the north of England.

Three of the wins came on Saturday and six on Sunday, two of these coming on the 1800-metre long course.

The first win on Saturday went to the women’s masters E eight of Sarah Rutter, June Davison, Helen Adair, Gabrielle Moore, Susan Jackson, Christine Heppell, Sam English, Angela Lund and cox Nigel van Zwanenberg, who overcame the Tyne ARC masters C eight in a straight final to take the British Heart Foundation trophy.

Next was a win for the women’s elite coxless quad of Chloe Readman-Bell, Gabrielle Maxfield, Rachael O’Connor and Beth Holmes who overcame Leeds University before winning by 2 lengths against Talkin Tarn in the final.

The final victory on Saturday went to Adam Morris who won easily against Cambois to take the J16 single sculls, winning the North of England Sculling Championship.

On Sunday the women’s masters E crew of Nicola Field, Vickie Jackson, Carole McCarthy and Julie Kitson followed up their victory over the Doncaster masters C quad at Durham City Regatta by beating the same opposition more convincingly to win by 2 and a half lengths.

In the first of the long course finals the J18 coxless quad of Matthew Edge, Josh Stephenson, Adam Morris and Harry Coe overcame Yarm School to win in a time of 5.48.4 sec.

The next win for the juniors was for the J14 girls coxed quad, with Miriam Stewart, Niamh Lang, Alice Davies and Georgia Abbot, coxed by Thomas Woods, beating Hexham on the short course in the semi-final before winning against St Leonard’s School to take the Arthur Stainsby Memoria Trophy.

Next was another win against Yarm School, this time for the senior women’s non-championship coxed four, with Kate Sowden, Becky Chilcott, Heather Tosley, Alison Danforth and cox Emily West winning easily to take the Danny Webster Memorial Cup.

The senior men’s crew of Will Hamlyn, Reece Stockport, Nicolas Baird and David Rutter overcame Newcastle University in the semi-final of the open championship coxless quad, before rowing over on the long course in the final in a time of 5.49.5 sec after their opposition from Durham University scratched.

The final success of the day went to the masters E coxless quad, with Richard Court, John Watkinson, Paul Rutter and John Lyons overcoming two Hexham crews to win the masters DEF handicap, winning by half a length in the final in 2.12.8 sec.

There were many more creditable performances in a very successful regatta. Full results are available on the Durham Regatta website.

If you are interested in joining the senior men’s or women’s squad please get in touch with the club captain by email to

National Schools Regatta 2018

DARC’s Juniors squad sent two entries to the National Schools’ Regatta over the weekend of May 25th to 27th 2018. Taking place for the second year at Eton Dorney it is the largest junior rowing regatta in the United Kingdom, offering 6-lane racing to competitors from 14 to 18 years of age. 

The event was established in 1947 and attracts over 5000 competitors each year over the 3 days of racing. With numbers increasing annually J14 and J15 events take place on Friday, followed by Championship events on Saturday and Sunday.

The J15 boys’ coxed quad of Matthew Harrison, Dominic Crilley, Ben Brown and Thomas Taylor, coxed by Ellen Eames (pictured left), was one of 61 entries in their event and finished 30th in the time trial, completing the 1000 metre course in 3m 35.06s.

From an entry of 26 the J14 girls octuple then secured a 12th place finish in their time trial, completing the 1000 metres in 3m 47.53s. This put them into the B final later the same day, where the crew of Georgia Abbott, Alice Davies, Miriam Stewart, Ruby Coe, Lydia Kind, Niamh Lang, Ellie Goad, Amy Slater + cox Libby Morris (top) took 4th place (10th place overall) in a time of 3m 40.46s.

Results and video footage of the WJ14 8x+ final can be found here, while the J15 4x+ time trial results and video are here.


Durham City Regatta 2018

An entry of over 450 meant a busy weekend for the Club at Durham City Regatta on May 12th and 13th. Conditions were ideal and a healthy turnout of spectators drawn by the Spring sunshine was able to witness some exciting racing.

Durham ARC had an excellent return of 17 wins from 59 entries, with 10 on Saturday and 7 on Sunday, ranging in age from WJ13 to Masters G and covering every boat size.

As well as a strong contingent from the host club and schools and clubs across the northern region there was the usual fierce competition between the Durham colleges, with Collingwood College winning both the senior eight and senior coxed four, and also good representation from Yorkshire clubs with Doncaster, York and Bradford to the fore.

The J13 girls (Libby Morris, Tilly Stoddard, Violet Elliiott, Alice Chilvers + cox Francesca Suggett) won their coxed quad on Saturday and then Libby Morris and Tilly Stoddard also won the WJ13 double on Sunday.

The J15 boys double and J14 girls double both won on Sunday, while the J18 boys double won on Saturday.  

The Masters squad had a successful time with Andy Jaggard winning the MasG single on both days, and the WMasE coxless quad of Nicola Field, Linda Forwood, Vickie Jackson and Julie Kitson winning on both days.

There were more wins for the Masters Women on Saturday in single sculls with Kim Forster winning at WMasC and Joyce Collett at WMasF.

The MasD 8+ won on Saturday and another Masters G win went to John Appleby and Micky Stevens in the double sculls.

There was a first regatta win for the WMasF quad of Alison Shepherd, Sue Lyons, Jane Auster and Kalpana Ganatra, with John Lyons winning his first medal as a cox. Another Sunday win went to Rob Coe and Martyn Calkin in the MasD double.

The Senior men’s Intermediate coxless quad of Joe Owen, Nick Spong, Nicholas Baird and David Rutter won on Saturday, as did the Intermediate double of Nicholas Baird and David Rutter.

The performance across the board bodes well for the coming season as crews prepare for Tees, Wansbeck and Hexham Regattas in the coming weeks before focusing on Durham Regatta on June 9th and 10th.

All the results from Saturday and Sunday are available. Also see website for latest list of  results.

The senior squad is keen to recruit new members both male and female. If you are interested please email the Captain at

We are also offering Learn to Row courses over the summer. To express an interest please email

Strathclyde Park Regatta 2018

Durham ARC sent a sizeable contingent to Strathclyde Park Regatta over the weekend of April 28th and 29th and returned with a good haul of medals.

Following the postponement of Chester-le-Street Regatta this was the first event of the season for many, a multi-lane regatta (2000 metres for juniors and seniors and 1000 metres for masters), which also incorporated the Scottish Student Rowing Championships. The venue has added significance this year as the rowing events at the inaugural European Championships in Glasgow will be staged there on August 2nd to 5th.

From 12 entries on Saturday there were two wins, two second places and 3 third places. The first places went to the J15 coxed quad (Thomas Taylor, Ben Brown, Dom Crilley and Matthew Harrison, coxed by Emily Shaw from St Leonard’s), and the WJ13 double of Libby Morris and Tilly Stoddard (left). DARC finished 2nd and 3rd in the Masters D/E double sculls, and there were also third place finishes for the J18 coxless quad and the WJ14 coxed quad.

Sunday produced one win and three second places from five entries, the win going to Kim Forster and David Muse (above) in the Open Masters B Restricted2 double sculls, and following Kim’s 2nd place in the Women’s Masters C single on Saturday and David’s 2nd in the Masters B single on Sunday rounded off a particularly successful weekend. Other 2nd places went to George Adair, Gerry Sharpe, Michael Seed and David Oliver in the Masters F coxless quad, and to the Open Restricted1 coxless quad (Can Evirgen, Mert Evirgen, Will Hamlyn and Reece Stockport).

Summary of Saturday results –

  • J18 2x 2nd in heat, 5th in final
  • J18 4x- 3rd
  • J15 4x+ 1st
  • WJ14 4x+ (A) 2nd in heat, 3rd in final
  • WJ14 4x+ (B) 4th in heat
  • WJ13 2x 1st
  • Open 4x- 5th
  • WRes1 4x- 6th
  • WMasC 1x 2nd
  • MasD 2x 2nd
  • MasE 2x 3rd
  • MasF 4+ 4th

Summary of Sunday results –

  • MasB 1x 2nd
  • Open MasB Res2 2x 1st
  • Open MasF 4x- 2nd
  • Open Res1 4x- 2nd
  • WJ18 2- 7th

Full results are available in a spreadsheet


Grand Slam for Roger in Germany

Roger Stainforth concluded an excellent season on the indoor rowing circuit, winning last weekend in the 70-74 age category at the German Indoor Championships in Kettwig-Essen.

This sixth victory rounds off a highly successful season in which he has won medals at the North-Eastern, Scottish, Welsh, British, Irish and German Indoor Rowing Championships.

Although without opposition on this occasion he recorded a time of 3min 28.1 sec for the 1000 metre distance. The real excitement was the race against the German national champion Christian Sommer who moved up an age group this year and was on the machine next to Roger. A really close race ensued, stroke for stroke, every metre of the way. At 500m the splits were 1.43.6 and 1.44.7, with Roger down by 1.1sec but having raced Herr Sommer many times before he knew he was better in the first half than the second. The second 500m splits were 1.44.8 and 1.43.4, making Roger the winner overall by 0.3 seconds!

There is footage on YouTube with the race at 4hr 37.0 while at 5.49.35 Roger is joined on the podium by his grandson Maximilian after receiving his medal.

Durham Small Boats Head 2018

Rowers from across the north of England and Scotland converged on Durham City on Saturday February 3rd for the annual Durham Small Boats Head, a time trial over 1800 metres of the River Wear with nearly 400 crews taking on the course, starting at Count’s House and rowing through the arches of Elvet Bridge to finish near Durham Amateur Rowing Club.

The event proved as popular as ever with entries reaching capacity two weeks early. In calm but drizzly conditions competitors in quad, double and single sculls, fours and pairs from as far afield as Bradford, Lakeland and Edinburgh joined those from the north-east clubs, schools and universities to take up the challenge, with entries spread across the junior, senior and masters age spectrum.

Times achieved over the four divisions were compared to determine the overall winners in 60 contested events, with a prize awarded to each winner. The fastest crew overall was Durham ARC’s J18 junior boys’ coxless quad of Harry Coe, Josh Stephenson, Matthew Skinner and Matthew Edge in a time of 6min 16.7sec, one of 18 wins for the club, the most successful club of the day, followed closely by Chester-le-Street ARC with wins in 14 events. Wins were shared between 15 different clubs. 

Durham ARC performed well in the sculling events with wins for the senior men’s squad in the Open coxless quads for Reece Stockport, Can Evirgen, Mert Evirgen and Will Hamlyn in band 1 (6.37.9) and for David Rutter, Nicholas Baird, Nick Spong and Brad Knights in band 2 (6.35.4). Another victory came for Beth Holmes, Rachael O’Connor, Alison Danforth and Taya Parker in the senior Women’s coxless quad (7.19.9). Further wins came in the Open double and the J14 girls coxed quad sculls.

Durham’s Masters squad won ten events covering an age span from 27 to 70, including the Masters BCDE coxless quad with the overall 5th fastest time of the day, 6.36.7, coming from Richard Court, Brad Knights, Paul Rutter and John Lyons. Christine Heppell, Gabrielle Moore, Susan Jackson and Angela Lund won the Women’s Masters D coxless quad, Nicola Field, Linda Forwood, Vickie Jackson and Julie Kitson, coxed by Andy Jaggard, took the Women’s Masters DE coxed quad, and there was a win in the Masters EFG coxed quad for David Green, Steve Auster, Vaughan Gordon and Colin Lawson, coxed by Helen Adair.

In the smaller boat categories success went to Durham’s John Appleby and Micky Stevens in the Masters EG double sculls, and to Gill Prescott and Helen McMillan in the Women’s Masters EG double. David Muse won the Masters ABC single sculls, Andy Jaggard the Masters F single and John Appleby the Masters GH single, while Kim Forster took the Women’s Masters BC single.

Wins for Durham ARC in the sweep-oar discipline went to Becky Chilcott and Kate Sowden in the Women’s pair, and to the Women’s coxed four in a composite crew with St Leonard’s and Durham School.

Full results can be found in PDF and XLSX formats along with Results by Boat Class (PDF).

Another team facing a challenge in 2018 is the one from Tyne Amateur Rowing Club preparing to row across the Atlantic in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, due to set off in December. Seeking sponsorship the team brought their boat to Durham on Saturday. To find out more go to the Team Tyne Innovation website.

Durham SBH was covered by SI Event Photography whose images can be accessed by visiting

or by viewing a facebook selection

British Rowing Indoor Championships 2017

Durham ARCs Roger Stainforth returned with a gold medal from the British Rowing Indoor Championships after winning the Masters 70-74 Men’s 2000 metres race at the Lea Valley VeloPark on Saturday December 9th, his fourth victory in that age group since the Championships moved to the London Olympic Velodrome in February 2015.

Although 10 seconds shy of the British record of 7.08.7 which he set at the 2015 Championships and still holds, Roger’s winning time of 7min 18.7sec was his fastest of the season so far, building on his successes in the North East Indoor Championships (7.21.5) and Welsh Indoor Championships (7.23.7) during November.

After a brief sortie into rowing on water last year, when he teamed up with Martyn Calkin to win the Masters F double sculls at the British Rowing Masters Regatta at Holme Pierrepont, Roger is again concentrating on the indoor discipline at which he specialises. Through his achievements at indoor rowing he is an inspiration to many, with a further success coming in September this year as a member of the team who set a World Record for the 100km relay for rowers aged over 70.   

With British Rowing promoting greater participation in indoor rowing the sell-out Championships at the Velodrome on Saturday was the biggest yet, with 2100 competitors taking part in 72 different races over the day, using 80 Concept2 ergometers, and GB athletes competing alongside rowing club and gym members from around the country.

The focus of media attention was a first appearance by 5-times Olympic Cycling gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins, taking part in the Men’s Open 2km race with a view to winning a place with the GB Rowing squad in time for the Tokyo Olympics, but after a slight hesitation at the start his time of 6.22.5 fell short of expectations and leaves him with work to do if he is to achieve his ambition.

Results from all races

Rutherford Head 2017

Durham ARC entered 13 crews for Rutherford Head, raced over two divisions on November 25th, and came away with successes for the Women’s Masters E eight and the Masters C coxless quad, both winning in division 1 in entries of five and three respectively.

Rutherford Head traditionally marks the finish of the autumn season before crews regather in the New Year for the build-up to the Tideway Heads in March.

As a consequence of the BUCS Head being relocated to the Tyne for an initial 3-year period recent Heads have seen vastly increased interest from further afield. This year London University was the most successful club with wins in 9 events over the two divisions.

Founded in 1966 by the then Rutherford College (later to become Newcastle Polytechnic and later still Northumbria University), Rutherford Head is rowed over 4500 metres from Scotswood to Newburn and is the largest rowing event on the River Tyne with 250 entries this year, including 96 eights. Since 1977 it has been organised by Tyne ARC.

DARC’s Masters C 4x- of John Lyons, Paul Rutter, Brad Knights and Richard Court was the best placed of the club’s entries, finishing 33rd overall in division 1 in 19.25.1, defeating Tyne United and Talkin Tarn, while the Women’s Masters E 8+ of Sarah Rutter, Ray Dominy, Hazel Stainforth, Gabrielle Moore, Susan Jackson, June Davison, Helen Adair and Christine Heppell, coxed by Nigel van Zwanenberg completed the course in 23.08.4 beating Cambois, Tyne ARC, a Tyne United composite and Auriol Kensington RC.

The J18 8+ finished 37th, placing them third of the J18s behind Queen Elizabeth High School and Yarm School, in 19.46.4, while the Women’s 4x- was second in band 2 to Edinburgh University, finishing 61st in 22.07.8, one place ahead of DARC’s mainly junior open 8+ who finished in 22.13.8. The women’s coxed quad completed the course in 27.23.0.

The J18s entered a 4x- In division 2, this time finishing as the club’s highest placed crew, 38th in 18.40.2. Two open coxless quads entered in band 3 and finished in 18.47.5 and 20.58.1, while the coxed quad finished in 20.02.5. The J18 girls 8+ was second of four entries in 21.43.3, just ahead of the Masters D 8+ in 21.48.0. The band 3 Women’s 8+ raced against strong University opposition and completed the course in 22.26.6.

Final results with masters adjustments can be found on the Tyne ARC website.