The biggest event of the DCR calendar was full of close misses and drama for SJCBC!
The women's 1st VIII lost by a bowball to St Aidan's, and the novice VIII came through three rounds to finish 2nd in a tough field. The men's 1st VIII lost by half a canvas to a composite crew from three colleges and suffered a unfortunate exit at the semi finals stage of the long course college IVs due to a crash at Elvet bridge.
The competitors enjoyed being cheered on by the Regatta Blue Club, who joined us for lunch by the river and a buffet dinner later in college. Three of our alumni even raced in singles and doubles, both crews making it to finals. Later in the afternoon, the principal, David Wilkinson, joined for a boat naming ceremony of the 2nd VIII, 'Mally Yates'.
it! The novice men continued to prove themselves, integrating well with the senior squad and winning a category in their own right at Durham City. The women's squad also did amazingly well, despite their almost entirely novice squad, not only did they win Novice category at Durham City, they also competed admirably in Hexham and even more admirably in IM3 at Durham Regatta, losing only by a bowball to reigning champions St Aidan's, where the novice VIII also came through three rounds to finish 2nd in a tough field. This marks not only the firm resurrection of a vibrant women's squad, absent since the days of "John's-Field", it also plants John's Women firmly on the map for years to come. With both squads in such fine shape, we can only hope to reap more rewards in the coming years.
Another weekend, and another race for SJCBC - and this one was a busy one! First off, a big congratulations all the men for surviving a tough week of trials - especially to those who made it into our crews for HoRR later this month. York Head marked the first trial for those selected for the second VIII, and they certainly proved that they deserved it!
York Head was a week on from selection, and the crew was looking in great shape. For half the crew, York was not only their first 5k race, but their first away from home waters of the Wear. With a strong time of 19 minutes, they beat a number crews in both the beginner and senior VIII categories and gained some valuable experience in the lead up to Head of the River. We're one of two colleges to send a second VIII to HoRR and this crew is testament to the depth of the squad we are developing.
We hope this will be one of the best second VIIIs that college has ever sent down to London and can't wait to see how the do in a few weeks time.
Last weekend, we sent our First Women’s Eight team down to London to compete in Women’s eights Head of the River Race, one of Europe’s largest rowing competitions. This was the first time in three years that John’s have qualified to send a team down, so we would firstly like to congratulate the women on getting that far, especially because most of them have only been rowing for four months.
The women did the boat club proud in representing us in this prestigious competition, where they competed along-side some of the best teams in the country. With a time of 22:38, the women have rowed the second fasted time that SJCBC has ever recorded at WeHoRR. The team rowed consistently and excellently, powering down the race course, tackling tricky obstacles such as tidal waves and buoys along the water. They finished in a respectable 259th out of 320 boats, despite racing in the category above (IM3) rather than the novice category.
Congratulations to all who rowed, and the coaches (Sian Cogan and Seb Nickols) and team who went down to support the women, with an excellent end to this term’s rowing season. We are looking forward to a well-earned break, to come back fresh and ready for the regatta season next term.
Lucy Davenport (S)
Claudia Driscoll (B)
Cox: Fran Barkess-Kerr
Coaches: Siân Cogan and Seb Nickols
On the back of outstanding performances in last term's novice cup, there was a lot of anticipation surrounding the second Novice cup of this year. Sunday proved to be an eventful competition yet once again the novice teams showed their excellence and consistency.
The first women’s team started the day, with a solid beginning to the 1.8km race. Despite a slightly rough mid patch they brought it back by the end, finishing in a solid 11th place. The next race of the day was the novice women 2s whose smashing performance won them 1st place. With a steady and consistent rate, they powered down the course, having a lovely clean ride through the infamously tricky Elvet Bridge, ending with a strong push along to the finish. We would like to particularly congratulate them on their fantastic performance placing them on top. Our third women’s team had a great start to their race however they were regrettably unable to finish.
Our two mens' teams also showed consistent and stable performances, proving their hard work and training. The first four had a stable beginning to the race, also cleanly making it through Elvet bridge. Past the bridge, they powered down the last 700m metres of the course, rowing themselves into a great 10th position. The second mens' team also proved their strength, with a concrete performance, closely following the first team, landing in 12th position.
Well done to all the teams that rowed, and particularly to the Novice Women 2nds, who have once again exemplified the strength of John’s College rowing. We are looking forward to seeing how some of them fare in the Women's Head of the River Race in London over the weekend.
This was the first race of the season away from home water for our Novice women, and they did not disappoint.
John's proved the strength of our Novice programme yet again, entering two VIII into the race and coming away with both fastest and second fastest Durham College Women's VIIIs in the Novice category. W1 powered down the 4.5 km course in a time of 19:28 to take third place, only 90 seconds behind DU and beating out four W.IM3 VIIIs in the process. W2 finished 5th in a time of 21:44.
A huge congratulations to the girls - it's a long time since John's have been able to send two women's VIIIs out to race, let alone to do so well. The hard work and commitment to training displayed by the Novices is certainly paying off, and we are looking forward to the remaining Head Races this season.
The first race of the new year was once again a successful one for John's. With four men's and two women's crews entered, it was a busy day for all but thankfully the weather was a vast improvement from DASBH back in November!
Division one saw all four of our men's crews racing, three of whom were starting consecutively - which of course made for some great inter-college competition and photo opportunities! M1 proved yet again that John's has a great year ahead, with a time of 6:58 putting them as not only second fastest IM3 4+, but second fastest college crew overall. M2 (IM3) finished in 6th place, and M3 (IM3) in 15th. M4 was made up of Novice rowers, all competing at their first BR event, and showed what all their hard work through Michaelmas term had been for, finishing in 10th place in the Novice category.
The women took to the water in the afternoon, with seven out of the eight rowers also racing their first BR event. W1 (IM3) held their own, finishing 9th in the IM3 category, and W2 finishing 11th in the Novice event - again a promising start to their Head season, looking ahead to WeHoRR at the end of term.
We would also like to say well done to the three Novice coxes who raced for the first time this weekend! As we know, Durham long course isn't the easiest race to cox, but the girls kept their cool and all managed Elvet at pace for the first time beautifully.
Special mention also to Ed Locke, stash king extraodinaire, for kitting us out wonderfully for the first race of 2017!
For the second weekend in a row, John's took the top spot at home in Durham - this time in the first event of the senior DCR calendar. With similar format to the new Novice Cup (though this time without the 360 degree spin!), the short course time trial saw our top men's IVs seeded into the fastest four crews and our top women's IV in group C.
Two dramatic side-by-side races apiece later, and we still stand tall at the top of college rankings, with M1 finishing in first place, M2 in 4th and W1 in 9th overall.
Men's captain Toby Lehain would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the excellent rig for the first IV with the following statement: "We got a few funny looks for our unusual rigging, but all smirks soon disappeared as we went flying past in our bow-bucketed beauty."
Our novices have trained hard both on and off the water over the last few weeks, getting in more erg and boat time than possibly any other college across Durham - and this dedication definitely paid off. SJCBC saw their most successful Novice Cup EVER this weekend, with John's dominating the new time-trial event on the Saturday and following up this success in the classic side-by-side races on Sunday. A big thank you to all the senior members of the club who have put a lot of hard work into coaching and coxing, hopefully this success will carry on into the rest of the season.
Race reports by Lucy Davenport and Katie Vause