As we prepare ourselves for the start of the Michaelmas Term, the Club’s aim to buy a new Women’s 1st VIII and Men’s Coxless Quad are coming to the fore.

As well as the money raised over the past years in preparation, we are going to have to pull together to raise the required funds to make these aims a reality. We already have our established events through the year to aid this: NEIRC, Winter Challenge Cup, Durham Regatta Pimm’s Tent, however the club has also set up an account with ‘Easyfundraising’. The idea of this is simple: If you wish to buy anything online, from train cinema tickets, to your weekly shop with Tesco or Sainsbury’s, please go to the site by first visiting Easyfundraising. By doing that, the various retailers donate a certain percentage of everything spent back to the boat club. So without you even spending anything extra, the Boat Club  benefits.

If this appeals to you, as we hope it does, please take a few minutes to have a look at and help the Boat Club in it’s cause!

We would also like to invite anybody who would like to donate a significant amount to help buy one of these boats and in return have the name of your choice emblazoned across its bow, please send an email to:

Bouncing Back: The Bottom of the Bounce

Five Durham Alumni competed under the banner of DUBC at Oxford City Regatta this Summer and won Elite 4+. Here is a report from Simon French, who also competed at the Alumni Races at the start of this year:

Three long years have elapsed since the last DUBC alumni crew took to the water and it took the “Bring out the big stick and smash it in the face” encouragement of this year’s club entry Secretary, Lewis Weaver, and the Administrative abilities of Simon “” French (DUBC 1999-2002 and 2005-2006) to get the Palatine machine rolling once again. The chosen event was the prestigious Elite coxed fours at Oxford City Royal Regatta, the distance a tricky 550m and the opposition a cheeky, if ‘mature’ unit from HSBC.

After a crew fry-up, the like of which hasn’t been seen since the days the club got fleeced at The Boathouse in Newburn, tension was high. The crew took their understated pick-up truck, “The Animal”, through the narrow streets of Oxford and down to the riverbank with MeatLoaf providing the soundtrack. Toby “Sitting in your tower” Mack (DUBC 2003-2004) was showing visible signs of cracking but Phil “Fingers” O’Regan (DUBC 2003-2006) was a calming influence and safely negotiated a crafty pre-race outing with the unsuspecting marshals. The crew think-tank agreed that a bucket rig was required to tie-in French to the rhythm of Paul “the scales are broken” Kelly (DUBC 2002-2005).

Studying for a PhD in physiology, Kelly managed to convince the crew that no statistical research has ever been published that concludes that the effect of small amounts of alcohol is negative. Armed with this information the crew raided the City of Oxford bar for a sharpener and went to weigh in. The weights ranged from 55.0kg to 92.6kg but for both privacy and credibility reasons Kelly has asked that exact weights of each crew member are not released at this time.

The race itself was a cracking affair with experience and flair of the alumni bettering the brutal commitment and training regime of the opposition. O’Regan, clearly still angry about the banking crisis, made a series of aggressive calls at our Bank-based opposition demonstrating his complete misunderstanding of the current financial and economic situation. We would like to take this opportunity to make it clear we do not hold HSBC responsible for the problems with growth and lending.

By the closing stages the punishing pace was taking its toll on James “Lottery Funded” Clarke (DUBC 2003-2006) but he dug deep and found another gear to power past the stewards enclosure and to victory in a time that turned out was the fastest of the day (including the eights events). Pots were collected, points were stamped and ageing Palatinate lycras were folded away with new stains of sweat and bitter shandy. In celebration the crew rowed a “victory lap” back to the boat house. James suggested finding some “top totty” to impress with our start sequence. Fingers O’Regan came back over the microphone: “I see some girls up ahead who will do…no wait…keep rowing, those ones have babies”.

We would like to thank the DUBC president for his support and the opportunity to represent the University once again. There is talk of Cambridge Autumn regatta (11th September) over 650m so watch this space however the commentator on the day spotted our secret plan of ‘being technical’ and having announced it to the crowd we fear that future race plans have been thrown into chaos…

Quote of the day:

“Your three man is very powerfully built” (Ms Charlotte French)

DUBC hosts two successful summer sculling camps.

DUBC once again hosted its annual sculling camp this summer and was deemed to be a success all round. The camp was divided into two separate weeks, the first week being for juniors (those under 17) and the second for seniors. In both the focus was very much on technique development in singles, and with around 40 people on each camp, the River Tyne was awash with boats. That wasn’t to say that quality coaching was thinly spread; quite the opposite. Everyone was divided into groups of 6 based on their sculling experience and each group then had two coaches between them. These coaches were rotated in every session, meaning everyone always had a new pair of eyes on them and this refreshing system meant that there was always something to be working on and improving. A time trial at the beginning and end of the week demonstrated just how much people had developed during the week, a testament to the coaching and also enthusiasm of all those who were on camp.

There were also land based sessions to break the week up, with technique sessions in both the weights room and on the erg and also a talk from the Team Durham physio. These were also highly productive and hopefully lessons learnt here can be carried by everyone through winter training. Both weeks were ended with a meal out in Durham and brought to a close two very successful weeks for all involved. Thanks must be given to all the coaches, without whom the week could not have taken place, and we look forward to a similar camp next summer!

 Simon Mocatta


Four Fresher’s called up for a GB sculling camp.

Hannah Cannell, Michael O’Connor, Tom Rawlinson and William Warr all started rowing last October as part of DUBC’s Freshers’ programme. Little did they expect when they signed up at the fresher’s fair that within less than a year they would be training at GB’s main training facility in Caversham.

The selection progress for this week long camp started in at the BUCS’s regatta in May, where potential Fresher’s did various strength tests, as well as having their height measured. They were then invited for a further day of rigorous physical testing in Caversham, before the final 26 athletes were selected for the summer camp.

The camp as part of an initiative of GB rowing to give students a taste of what it would be like to row for your country and hopefully inspire them to pursue their sport at greater depths and attend U23 trials in October.

The finale of the week was a regatta against athletes from GB rowing’s ‘Start Programme’ in Nottingham. Hannah Cannell really shone at this event winning her preliminary 1km race. She impressed the coaches so much that she has been invited to a further pre-season U23 camp in early September, a fantastic achievement. We all wish her the best of luck!

DUBC @ U23 World Champs: LIVE

Six Durham athletes are racing in Finals this weekend in Amsterdam at the U23 World Rowing Championships and can be watched live on or live results can be found on


  • Franz Imfeld is racing in the A Final of Men’s 4+ on Saturday at 10:12am BST along with Phil Congdon
  • Will Fletcher has a Semi Final in the Men’s Lwt 4- on Saturday at 9:12am BST and hopefully an A final on Sunday at 11:00am BST
  • Char Jackson is racing in the Women’s 8+ in a straight final on Sunday at 1:06pm BST
  • Sarah Cowburn is racing in the Women’s 2x at 10:36am BST on Sunday
  • Stewart Innes is in the Men’s 4x racing in the C Final on Saturday at 1:00pm BST

Last week also saw the announcement of the Senior Team for the Senior World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia. Two Durham Alumni are definitely competing, Steve Rowbotham in the Men’s 4x and Sophie Hosking in the Lwt Women’s 2x, with possibly two more in the Women’s 8+ in the form of Louisa Reeve and recent graduate, Emily Taylor. Then final line up of this boat has yet to be decided.

Nottingham Strikes Again….

As is the expected case with Nottingham, this weekend was as windy and rainy as usual; excellent conditions for the British Rowing Championships. Here is a round up of the event from Barney Stentiford:

The weather was all that everyone could have expected from Nottingham…strong headwind and lots of rain!

James Dodd raced Open Lwt 1x which also had a time trial in the same mould as the U23 1x and he progressed to the semi-finals in this event. He came 3rd in that semi so qualifying him for the final where unfortunately he had a tough race and could only manage 6th place.

Angus Groom raced Open 1x. It started with 4 eliminator heats with top three going through to 2 semi-finals and he won his heat. In the semi he managed 3rd place and in doing so reached the final where he was rewarded with a bronze medal.

I raced Under 23 1x which started with a 1500m time trial with the top 12 going through to the semi-finals which I managed to do. In the semi I came a comfortable 2nd place so securing my place in the final. In the final I had a good start and led the race until 1000m, where the winner started to row through me and I couldn’t quite fight him off so won the silver medal but was still very pleased with the race.

A scratch coxless four of John Ford, Steve Jones, Callum McBrierty and Stu McCluskey won their heat so avoiding the repecharge on the day of their final. In the final they had to contend with a good Nottingham crew and the pouring rain and lost to them by 2 seconds and in doing so earning a silver medal.

Chris Thomas also raced in a Royal Chester quad, an event with only 3 entries but unfortunately they only managed 3rd place…

Full results can be found on:

Durham Rowers Selected for GB U23 Squad

This Summer, five athletes have been selected to represent GB at this summer’s U23 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam. Following a gruelling series of trials through the year, the initial 195 men and women who raced in Boston in October has been whittled down to a squad comprising of 31 men, 15 women and 3 coxes. The Durham athletes are:

  • Char Jackson is coxing the Women’s Eight, the only women’s sweep boat this year.
  • The Men’s Coxed Four is being coxed by Franz Imfeld.
  • Stewart Innes is racing in the Men’s Heavy Quad.
  • Leaver, Sarah Cowburn is racing with Rachel Gamble-Flint in the Women’s Double.
  • Phil Congdon, having started rowing in his first year has made it into the Men’s Coxed Four, after only four years in the sport.

A full press release and crew lists can be found on the GB Rowing Team website:

The U23’s this year are being held in Amsterdam and all races can be watched live on the FISA website:

All the details about the timetable and draw will be on their. For more information you can also see the Event Website on:

HRR, Alumni Drinks and New Exec

Last week saw three full DUBC crews competing at the foremost regatta in the world, with a further three current athletes competing in composites.

  • Prince Albert 4+: Bow: Francis Highton, 2: Callum McBrierty, 3: Stephen Jones, Str: Phil Congdon, Cox: Franz Imfeld.

This crew was our only selected crew and met a development crew from Goldie Boat Club in the first round on Wednesday. From here they progressed through to Thursday against an American crew from the University of Virginia, who again they beat to go on to the Semis on Saturday. They then ended up meeting a strong Brookes crew and were knocked out.

  •  The Temple Challenge Cup 8+s:

Bow: Charlie Rendle, 2: Stu McCluskey, 3: Rob Hodgson, 4: Ben McAll, 5: Barney Stentiford, 6: Angus Groom, 7: Simon Hardie, Str: John Ford, Cox: Charlotte Jackson.

Bow: Will Scott, 2: Chris Thomas, 3: Steve Winship, 4: Jack Lowrie, 5: Richard Langguth, 6: Ed Sidgwick, 7: Alex Blake, Str: Michael Walker, Cox: Emma Graham.

Both of these eights met tough competition on their first day, with the 1st VIII succumbing to a strong crew from Groningen University of the Netherlands, who went on to lose to the eventual winners Cal, Berkeley. The 2nd VIII managed to get one round further by beating Reading University but then lost to the Harvard Freshmen VIII on the Thursday.

  • Charlotte Jackson, along with competing in the Temple with our 1st VIII also competed in the Remenham Challenge Cup with the GB U23 Women’s VIII.
  • William Fletcher reprised his role in the U23 Lightweight 4- winning his fourth Henley medal in the Visitors Challenge Cup.
  • Stu Innes competed in a composite 4x with Agecroft in the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup reaching the Semis, being beaten by Tideway Scullers ‘A’.

The Saturday of Henley also saw our annual Alumni Drinks which attracted a record number of attendees, current and old alike, with much Pimm’s drank and many friendships created or renewed. It was very rewarding to see such a large amount of support for the club from all.

The Alumni Drinks also saw the official handover to the incoming Exec commitee 2011-12:

  • President: Franz Imfeld
  • Vice-President: Francis Highton
  • Secretary: Lewis Weaver
  • Treasurer: Chris Thomas
  • Women’s Captain: Rachel Martin
  • Men’s Captain: Rob Hodgson

Please see the Exec section of the site for biographies and contact details.