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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  explorerowing@durham-arc.org.uk 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.

Touring rowers visit

On Monday, October 29th we welcomed John and Caroline Turnbull from Weyfarers Rowing Club and British Rowing’s Recreational Rowing Committee, who joined the daytime rowers for a paddle before retiring to the clubhouse for soup and bacon sandwiches prepared by Gene and helpers, where they addressed members about the virtues of rowing tours.

John and Caroline gave a report on this year’s touring activities including the 25th anniversary British Rowing UK Tour which took place on the River Thames in August and September. The 2019 UK tour will be to the Lake District, while the bi-annual European tour will be to Lithuania. Details will be available soon.

It has been an exciting year for recreational rowing, with British Rowing securing a sponsorship deal with Charles Stanley Wealth Management in March for the provision of a package of stable touring boats, trailers and equipment, which are being made available for events around the country. Durham ARC members have also taken part in tours to the Norfolk Broads and on the Canal du Midi in France.

The visit provided an opportunity for John to indulge in some reminiscing with Charly Curtis. The two were crewmates in 1967.

Pictured (top) are Charly Curtis, Caroline Scholl, John Turnbull, Caroline Turnbull and Colin Percy (Northern Rowing Council).

James in Henley Ladies Plate final

Former DARC junior James Snowball, now in his second year at Oxford Brookes University, followed up his success at BUCS last year by reaching the final of the Ladies’ Plate at Henley Royal Regatta in July.

James rowed at bow for the Oxford Brookes and Edinburgh University composite eight, beating Cantabrigian and Leander in the quarter-final and semi-final, before going down in the final against the Brookes first eight who retained the trophy for a seond year, setting a new course record in the process, the winners receiving their trophies from Olympic Gold Medallist and Oxford Brookes University Chancellor Katherine Grainger.

There is YouTube footage of the semi-final against Leander and of the Brookes v Brookes final.

Juniors at National Championships 2018

Durham ARC’s Juniors squad had a successful weekend at Nottingham’s National Watersports Centre for the 2018 British Rowing Junior Championships on July 20th to 22nd. The club entered for the omnium in the girls J14 single sculls and in the J14 girls coxed quad on Friday, and in the J16 and J18 boys’ single sculls on Saturday as well as in a composite crew with Tyne ARC in the J15 girls’ coxed quad.

Overall 1379 junior rowers from clubs across the UK took part over the three days, starting with 167 singles and 107 doubles in an omnium competition for J14 scullers on Friday, with skills exercises including hands off at the catch, 360 degree spin, standing rigger dips, sequencing, roll ups and back down stop, before finishing with a race over 500 metres. Saturday and Sunday were reserved for time trials, semi-finals and finals for the J15 to J18 competitors.

The best performance from DARC came from Adam Morris (above) who clinched 7th position in Saturday’s time trial with a time of 5.50.6 for the 1500 metres to go into Sunday’s semi-finals of the J16 single sculls. With an excellent scull Adam completed the 2km semi-final in 8.17.8, holding off his opponent from George Watson’s College to take second place and secure a place in the A final in which he went on to finish 6th overall.

The J14 girls coxed quad of Georgia Abbott, Ruby Coe, Niamh Lang and Amy Slater, coxed by Libby Morris, finished 28th out of 36 entries in Friday morning’s 1000 metre time trial, qualifying them for the E final. Much of the day was then devoted to the omnium in which each crew member took part individually in a single, before they combined again for the 4x+ finals in which a 2nd place finish in the E final ranked them 26th overall.

On Saturday Aidan Crilley finished 37th in the J18 1x time trial but failed to qualify for the finals. Ella Sampson and Madlyn Elmer competed in a DARC/Tyne ARC composite J15 girls’ coxed quad where 18th position in the time trial gave them a place in the C final in which they went on to finish 3rd (15th overall) with a time of 8.29.82 for the 2000 metre course.

A complete list of results and an event report can be found on the Junior Championships website.

Masters miss out at Henley

Durham ARC’s Masters entered 8 events at Henley Masters Regatta on July 13th and 14th but returned empty handed despite some close races.

The closest came in only the third race on Friday morning when the Women’s Masters C eight (Jacki Patrickson, Ray Dominy, Sarah Rutter, Gabrielle Moore, Kate Sowden, Heather Tosley, Helen Adair, Clare Woodward and cox Nigel van Zwanenberg), was drawn against Putney Town in their heat, but despite drafting in reinforcements from the senior squad the outcome over the 1000 metre course was victory for Putney by a margin of only 2 feet.

In the other Friday races the MasE quad lost in their heat against Norwich by 1.75 lengths, the MasF coxed four lost in the semi-final against Grosvenor RC from Chester by 2 lengths and David Muse went down by 2.5 lengths against a Leicester opponent in the heat of the MasB single sculls.

On Saturday Kim Forster was beaten by 3 lengths by her Milton Keynes opponent in the semi-final of the Women’s MasC single, while Andy Jaggard, having progressed through the heat of the MasG single sculls against Grosvenor, came up against an old adversary from Poplar in the final and went down by 1.25 lengths. In the very next race Joyce Collett, making her first appearance at Henley, went down by 1 length against strong opposition from Tideway Scullers in the final of the WMasG single. Lastly the MasG double was beaten in the final by 2 lengths by Dart Totnes.

The full list of results can be found on the Henley Masters website.

Learn to Row courses

Summer Learn to Row courses for adults and juniors are available on the following dates –

Adult courses
Tuesdays commencing 17th July 10.00am – 12.00pm

Fridays 27th July – 14th September 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Sundays 29th July – 16th September 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Courses are of 8 weeks duration and the cost of £95 includes a British Rowing handbook.

Junior course

A 5-day course for beginners aimed at young people aged 11 – 15 will take place from Monday 23rd July to  Friday 27th July, between 9.00am and 11.00am each day. The cost is £65.

Further details and application forms can be found on https://www.durham-arc.org.uk/thinking-of-rowing/explore-rowing/

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 http://www.sievents.co.uk/durham-small-boats-head-saturday-3rd-february-2018-main-menu/

or by viewing a facebook selection

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.