A Tribute to Bill Burdus

Dear President,
I was very sorry to learn of the death of Bill Burdus in January. Bill
was DUBC First Eight coach in the early 1960s, at a time when Newcastle
was one of the Durham Colleges, so we had a crew made up jointly from
Newcastle and Durham. I coxed the eight in 1962 and 1963 and got to know
Bill very well. I recall regular trips to the (old) boathouse at Newburn
from Durham in Bill’s 2.8 litre Jaguar (a “Morse”-type car), which was
more comfortable than some of the student vehicles! Club records will
show that we won the Ortner Shield at the Tideway Head in 1963 thanks to
Bill’s dedication and inspired coaching. What is probably lost in the mists
about our 1963 travel to London is that, in addition to his Jaguar Bill had
a “blown” VW Beetle which was very quick and very interesting to drive round
bends. For some unknown reason, Bill asked me to drive this down to
London for him, and we managed to complete the journey safely although
the crew travelling with me perhaps preferred my steering of the eight
to the car (there was no speed limit on the M1 in those days).
Anyway, I remember Bill with great fondness and would be grateful if you
would pass on my belated condolences to his family.
With all good wishes,
Peter Clare

The Passing of a Fine Oarsman: Peter Brett – A tribute by Anthony Wells

Peter Brett, always known as Pete, was the most distinguished oarsman of his generation in the nineteen sixties at Durham University. He went up to St. Cuthbert’s Society (Cuth’s) in 1964 from the Strode’s School. Pete won every major university rowing championship, winning his Senate Colors at St. Cuthbert’s  and a full Palatinate for his key position in the Durham University first eight and first four, representing Durham at Henley and other premier regattas over a three year period. In addition, he was the university sculling champion. He succeeded A. R. Wells in 1965 as Captain of Boats at Cuth’s and followed Wells in making Cuth’s the preeminent rowing college during his year as Captain, filling the Junior Common Room trophy cabinet with an enviable collection. In subsequent decades Cuth’s followed the tradition that Wells and Brett created. To this day St. Cuthbert’s Society Boat Club is a premier college Boat Club at Durham, with Durham University Boat Club having won the British universities rowing championship title in ten successive years through 2013.

Pete Brett had many memorable wins at Durham, and one of the most remarkable was winning in 1965 the university Lowe’s Pairs Championship, with A.R. Wells, with Pete in the Bow/steers position behind Wells at stroke. In the final their victory distance over the President of the University Boat Club and his partner was such that Brett and Wells had turned their boat around and were heading back up stream on the Wear when the defeated pair crossed the finishing line. Pete lead by great example, good humour, and tremendous drive and energy, and created the highest standards for training and rowing skill for Cuth’s and the University in the 1960s. Durham’s new university rowing coach, Eric Halliday, fresh from coaching and teaching at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, instantly recognized the enormous talent that Pete possessed. When he graduated in Applied Physics and went to work for Rolls Royce in Derby, Pete left a tremendous legacy at Cuth’s and in Durham University Boat Club.

Pete had a most distinguished rowing year after Durham at Derby Rowing Club, and he maintained his extraordinary fitness level after going to South Island, New Zealand, to farm with his wife Rosemary and later returning to the UK for their daughters’ education. Pete and his wife Rosemary were so proud of daughters Kitty and Susie in winning places at Cuth’s and rowing while at Durham. Right up until Pete became ill in early 2014 he maintained a fitness routine. He came to the Cuth’s 125th anniversary dinner in November, 2013. He was so pleased to see fellow oarsmen Phil Wardle and Tony Wells at his dinner table – a memorable evening of wonderful reminiscences. St. Cuthbert’s Society Boat Club, Durham University Boat Club, and his many fellow oarsmen friends, send their heartfelt condolences to Pete’s wife and two daughters. Pete was the very best. We miss him greatly. His crews’ spirit will endure.

Bill Burdus

Bill recently passed away and our thoughts go out to his family and friends. Bill coached DUBC before Eric Halliday in the 60s. Then in the early 90s he coached the early freshman crews alongside Gerald Blake, Rob Morgan and Jed Gargan. We should invite recollections of his style.

***Durham University Boat Club Ball***

Date: Saturday 1st February 2014
Time: 7:00pm – late
Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham
Price: £45.00 per head
Durham University Boat Club will be hosting its annual ball this February, our athletes, coaching team and alumni are warmly invited to this black-tie dinner dance to celebrate rowing in Durham and to raise money for the club.
Should you wish to attend, please sign up in tables of up to 10 guests, smaller groups will be seated together.
Please see the menu below and select either red or white wine to accompany your meal and list any dietary requirements (vegetarian option available on request).
Email e.r.williams@durham.ac.uk no later than Saturday 14th December, payment can be made via online transfer (DUBC account number: 53697401; sort code: 20-27-41) or cheque given to Ellie Williams or Mimi Carlton (payable to Durham University Boat Club).


Our festive fundraiser is taking place over the 6th, 7th and 8th of December.

DUBC has paired up with Integrating Children, a charity that works with getting disabled children into sport. DUBC volunteers coach the children during rowing sessions and we will now be fundraising for them, and DUBC, by attempting to row the distance from DURHAM to BETHLEHEM over the period of the Durham Christmas Market. That’s 3859km in 54.5 hours from the opening of the market until it closes, 24 hours a day!

You can donate here to all the guys and girls erging round the clock. No matter how much, every little bit helps!


NEIRC 2013 Results

Results from this years NEIRC can be downloaded from here, NEIRC Results 2013 and ‘Our Events’ page.

Well done to everyone who raced today, it was fantastic to have so many athletes from different clubs competing.

A full write up will follow shortly.

NEIRC 2013 Draw *Updated Final Version*

Final Draw and Entry List now available under ‘Our Events’.

Please note that some races have been moved 15 minutes earlier than originally stated. Please check the time of your race carefully.

Fantastic to see over 200 people entered to this years NEIRC with lots of competition in all categories.

For the second year in a row, we are proud to announce we have adaptive athletes entered.

Lightweight athletes must weigh in between 1 and 2 hours before their stated race time. All athletes must arrive in plenty of time before their race, and be ready to race at their stated race time.

Please get in touch if any corrections need to be made.

DUBC at BUCS Regatta: 10 Years at the Top

Durham University Boat Club has never been a stranger to success at BUCS regatta but 2013 will be the the year that none of its members and supporters alike will ever forget. 12 gold medals, 6 silver medals, and 4 bronze medals and many more high placings across a myriad of events at the regatta placed DUBC not only at the top of the medal table, but also clinched the Victor Ludorum for the 10th successive year. This record breaking streak makes DUBC the most successful rowing club in BUCS sport history.

The medal rush couldn’t have started any sooner with the women’s lightweight 8 gaining an impressive silver in the very first final of the regatta, and then they just kept coming. The lightweight women went on to gain a silver in the double sculls. Saturday also brought silver for Lloyd Seaman in his intermediate lightweight single, who soon after helped the lightweight coxless four win bronze.

The fresher squad made their debut to the event with a decisive gold in the men’s coxed fours, with 2 further golds being won by Angus Groom and Barney Stentiford in the men’s championship and intermediate singles respectively. Saturday’s racing was capped off with a furious battle in the men’s championship eights, with Durham only just missing the medal podium by under a second. Congratulations to Newcastle for a well earned victory. At the close of Saturday, Imperial College lead Durham in the VL table by 26 points.

Sunday brought with it more medals for the women’s squad with Trude Meyer winning gold in the intermediate singles and Mimi Carlton winning bronze in the equivalent lightweight event, and soon after helping the lightweight coxless four win gold. The freshers squad continued to deliver with a silver in the men’s eight, with the senior men winning silver in the lightweight quadruple sculls, and gold in the heavyweight championship fours and double sculls.  At the close of Sunday, Imperial College lead Durham in the VL table by 2 points.

Monday. Despite two days of constant racing and constant performance, DUBC still had work to do, and they delivered. Gold medals in the women’s lightweight pairs, the women’s coxless fours, the men’s championship pairs and quadruple sculls and the women’s beginner eights, a silver medal in the men’s intermediate pairs and a bronze medal in the women’s championship doubles. At the close of Monday, Durham lead the VL table by 56 points.

Victor Ludorum translated means “the winner of the games”, Durham has  proved over the past three days, and over the past decade that this is a worthy title.

Finally DUBC would like to thank the alumni, friends and family for their overwhelming support as well as the voluntary catering operation up in the tent, for making the weekend feel that little bit easier!