BUCS Head 2020 Preparations President’s Report:
BUCS Head, the universities’ winter race along the Tyne River in Newcastle, is set to be a stormy event; both the competition and wind will be stiff. Durham University Boat Club has been building towards this event with much anticipation, coming off the back of a very successful Christmas training camp in Seville.
The DUBC Women’s Squad will be fielding 2 VIIIs, with the same athletes doubling up into a coxless four, a coxed four and 3 quads later in the day. Their 1st VIII recently beat Newcastle at Tyne New Year’s head and will be looking to repeat the same feat and win a medal this weekend.
The Men’s Squad has entered 2 quads and 2 fours, the athletes of which will be joined by another 8 to race 3 VIIIs in the afternoon. With a tough field including Newcastle, Imperial, Edinburgh and many others they will be fighting tooth and nail for every second to vie for medals this weekend.
DUBC is also very proud to be entering 2 VIIIs and 2 quads from the Development Squad. After only taking the sport up at the start of the year, they will hope to add to the well-established tradition of DUBC Development Squad medalling at BUCS events.
The Boat Club has been uniformly performing at an extremely high level in training so far this season and is primed to deliver excellent performances across the board this weekend, despite the weather.
Rutherford Head 2019 President’s Report:
Last weekend saw 43 DUBC athletes race down the Tyne course at Rutherford Head. Despite grey skies and stiff winds, each crew delivered a professional and positive performance.
In the first division, the Men’s Squad put out 3 VIIIs ranking 3rd, 10th and 15th overall; a massive step on from last year and a fantastic start to the season of VIIIs racing. Similarly, the Women’s Squad took 4th in the 4- (band 1), 1st in the 4x (band 2), and 1st in the 4+ (band 3) overtaking 5 crews over the 4.5km course. With only a brief 45 minute turn around between divisions, the athletes pressed on to the 2nd Division.
The Development Squad arrived brimming with energy to support DUBC in the second division. With a race already in their legs, the two Women’s VIIIs took 1st and 3rd (band 2). Out of our 3 Men’s coxed fours, 2 of them took 1st place in band 2 and 3, while the men’s 4x placed 3rd (band 1). The top Men’s VIII broke down into 2 coxless fours, placing 2nd (band 2) and 1st (band 1, 3rd fastest overall).
As a practice run for BUCS Head, which will be run on the same course on 22nd February 2020, the club delivered encouraging results all round. With our Winter Training Camp in Seville just over 3 weeks away, the club is ready to step on so we can deliver increasingly better performances throughout next term and on to Henley at the end of the year.
GB Trials and BUCS Small Boat Head 2019 President’s Statement:
A weekend of strong performances at GB trials for DUBC and it’s alumni. Saturday saw PBs for many of our athletes with multiple triallists making it under the cut-off time: George Bourne, Magnus Burgess-Smith, Ed Gardiner, Callum Prosser, and Megan Halpin. A considerable achievement given that both George and Callum completed the erg despite being ill. Callum then went on to come 2nd U23 1x lightweight in the 5k water assessment the next day.
First time triallists Natasha Morrice & Georgia Dean were 5th fastest U23 pair over the 5k course. This is particularly impressive as Tash only learnt to row last October. They show great promise, as DUBC’s top pair last year, Lauren Irwin and Helena Barton, came 4th at trials with Lauren then going on to win gold at the World Championships, and has since been invited to Caversham to challenge for a seat in the Olympic team.
Another promising performance from Magnus Burgess-Smith, and Ed Gardiner in their new pair combination, coming across the line only 24 seconds shy of last year’s U23 World Championship medalists, alumni Oscar Lindsay and partner Will Stewart.
Great to see many of our alumni there in both a competitor and coaching capacity:
Ryan Todhunter, Matt Rossiter, Angus Groom, Will Fletcher, Ben Rich, James Vogel, Oscar Lindsay, Sam Tuck, Lauren Irwin, Amy Polglase, Helena Barton, Ros Wilson, Becky Dell
DUBC was also well represented at BUCS Small Boat Head on the Sunday, with many of our developing athletes taking to the water, unfazed by the high level of competition.
DUBC Christmas Newsletter 2018
Following a triumphant regatta season, the club also had a very successful summer with four senior squad athletes racing at the U23 World Championships in Poznan, our lightweight quad winning a medal at the European University Games in Portugal, and the annual Durham University Sculling Camps drawing attendees from across the country an internationally.
Pre-Season Round Up
The 10th of September saw old and new faces alike arrive at Maiden Castle for the first day of our three-week pre-season block. Wade opened with a meeting introducing freshers to the club and outlining short- and long-term club goals. The first week saw some selection testing on the water, ergs and in strength and conditioning, as well as individual goal setting. During pre-season we had a focus on small boat training, with promise shown in singles and pairs in both squads. Overall, we had a very positive pre-season which put us in a good position to get on with some term-time training in preparation for the British Rowing Championships at Nottingham in mid-October.
Northern Sculling Series
This year the club decided to enter the Northern Sculling Series to continue our progress in small boats from pre-season and to increase racing experience for newer squad members. The series comprises of long-distance sculling races around the region on the Tyne, Tees, Wear, and Wansbeck among others. Our aim was to enter two divisions at these races so that everyone could race twice and aimed to use these events to create small boats rankings. Unfortunately, Tees LDS and Wansbeck LDS were cancelled due to the weather living up to the Northern stereotype. However, those events which went ahead were a great success for the club with several category wins, and importantly rankings created within the squads. It was also a great opportunity to interact with, and race against, local clubs.
British Rowing Senior Championships
The British Rowing Senior Championships took place over 20 – 21st October in Nottingham. The club entered 5 boats with the top boats being a Women’s Eight and Men’s Quad. The Women’s Lightweights Double were also the 4th U23 Lwt W2x. It was also a promising weekend for the Women’s Second Eight, comprised of three previous Dev Squad Members and four fresh faces, who raced well despite their short time training as a unit.
Each year, DUBC is proud to send some of our top athletes to GB trials and this was no exception. Our top results included Helena Barton and Lauren Irwin’s pair coming 4th in the U23 category, George Bourne finishing as the 5th U23 Sculler, and Saskia Devereux as the 5th U23 Lwt sculler.
North East Indoor Rowing Championships
The University once again hosted the regional indoor rowing championships on Wednesday 14th November. The 2k race provides a great focus in the first term for those not going to trials and provides a comparison to the 2k’s pulled in preseason. We had some strong performances and huge steps on in the two months of training since pre-season. The next day the University hosted the corresponding junior event with help of student volunteers, and it was great to see so much talent and hard work from local juniors, who we will continue to support throughout the year through mentoring and coaching.
DUBC 140th Anniversary Dinner
In November the club commemorated its 140th Anniversary. To celebrate the club hosted a dinner at the River and Rowing Museum at Henley. It was an amazing venue with the dinner tables set up within the museum so that we were, fittingly, surrounded by rowing history. 130 DUBC alumni attended the event with members of the current executive committee representing the current squad. In recognition of the date of the dinner the speeches began with a very poignant story of the 1913 Durham regatta winning crew which can be seen in greater detail on the DUBC website. Simon French then gave an excellent speech focusing on the future of DUBC and what the club wants to achieve by the 150th Anniversary. This was followed by a boat naming auction for our two new coxless fours and then the festivities moved to the Bull on Bell Street in Henley Town. All in all, it was a fantastic event and students who attended came back full of stories of who they had spoken to and an increased sense of pride in the club as a community.
Rutherford Head 2018
Rutherford was our second major race of the season. Despite some precipitation the club came out with some good results despite tough competition from a broad range of clubs from both further North and all the way down to London. The Women’s Open Quad won their event and finished as the 3rd overall quad, with the Lightweight quad close behind them in 4th. The Women’s Eight came 5th overall, with a smaller time difference from the winning crew than was achieved at Rutherford 2017. The Men’s Coxed Four finished overall as the third coxed four. The Men’s Eight also had a promising result within touching distance of the top crews. As the last race before the Christmas holiday it was a good opportunity to compare our progress over the term and where we sat in comparison to other crews as we look towards the rest of the season.
Each year one of our coaches, Ellie Hizzett, puts freshers through the three-week Durham University Learn2Row program. This year, 463 students took part. Following this, participants are invited to trial for the DU Development Squad. 119 trialled, and the top 28 were chosen to join the squad. This term they have been ‘training to train’; building up to longer ergs and sprint pieces, basic shapes in weights with Jon Boyle and in sculling boats on the water. Whilst the latter lead to a few swimmers in the first few sessions, the squad’s progress has been rapid and they had their first trip to the Tyne last week. They are looking forward to attending the boat club camp in Seville in January and then their first race at Tyne New Years Head on 19th January.
In January we are taking members of all three squads to Seville for a week and a half for our annual training camp. Last year this proved vital in establishing a foundation for our work throughout the season. This year we have the additional benefit of not needing to run any further seat racing or selection whilst we are away, so crews can focus on training as units and preparing for the racing season. Our focus will be on our Eights in preparation for BUCS Head and then the Head of the River and Women’s Head of the River in March. We will be posting daily updates on our social media links so please follow us there or on our website (dubc.co.uk).
January also sees the return of the Junior High-Performance Academy, again lead by Ellie Hizzett, a 6-week program which gives local juniors access to University coaching and facilities in sessions focusing on erg technique, strength and conditioning, nutrition and psychology.
Save the Date!
30th March – The Head of the River/Women’s Head Alumni Dinner at the Star and Garter on Putney Embankment.
The night includes the presentation of Palatinates to the respective 1st 8s, a raffle, a three-course meal and one or two short speeches, with the company of the DUBC current athletes, Alumni, Coaches and Team Durham Staff.