DUBC Christmas Newsletter
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 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.