York Spring Regatta proved to be a case of 'so near, yet so far' for the two Men's VIIIs entered. Beating off tough competition from the other colleges and nearby clubs, both entered the finals before frustratingly losing by only a couple of feet each time.
For the 1st 8, this was frustratingly repeated one week later at Durham City. Beating off crews from Yarm School and Durham ARC, they made it again to the final, only to lose by a few yards to UCBC's 1st 8 in a race we all knew, they could've won.
The Men's 1st four, however, proceeded to pick up silverware in their IM2 IVs category - a fantastic start to the season!
York Spring Regatta saw this years Women’s Senior IV; Megan Baker, Sian Cogan, Emma Sharpe and Flick Kenny compete in IM3 for the first time. The crew is comprised of Sian, a new addition to SJCBC Women’s Squad this year having been a successful sculler at school, Flick and Emma - both new to rowing this academic year, Megan who is in her second year with SJCBC and is coxed by women’s captain, Molly-Kate McCaffrey. Though no win for the crew at York Spring, they fought strong staying close to their competitors Grey College, enjoying the experience of their first regatta together and looking forward to the season!
Though nearing exam season, SJCBC Women’s Squad still entered two crews at Durham City Regatta. The Senior IV raced against University College, unfortunately another loss for SJCBC but they came away positive and motivated to keep training for a win on familiar water at Durham Regatta. The second day of Durham City saw the Novice IV; Grace Gibson, Julia Ramsden, Birsu Karaaslan and Vitoria Honorato debut alongside their cox, Caragh Aylett. The IV had a sneak win against Hatfield as the opponents collided with the wall only 20m from the finish line, which saw the girls into the semi-final. The 500m race against Josephine Butler gave the girls an opportunity to row with much more confidence and move together as a crew, but not quite enough to take the win this time. Nevertheless, SJCBC Women’s Squad come away excited and motivated for the rest of regatta season, keen to train hard, improve and aiming to get some wins!
The Men's squad weekend at Durham City has posed much promise for the future. With a Novice 8 entered on the Saturday and a Novice 4 on the Sunday both reaching the semi-final stages success seems to be looming on the horizon. A lot of hard work has been put in over pre-season and the improvement and progress of the squad is evident. Hopefully the good work can be carried through the exam period and taken to Hexham and Durham Regatta's where the prize of de-novicing seems to be getting ever so closer.
Congratulations to SJCBC 1st VIII becoming the fastest ever John's crew at the Head of the River Race, and the 5th fastest college crew, beating the precious record time and placement from last year! Well done to the Novice 2nd VIII - quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with as we begin regattas next term. Although we'd like to have gone much faster, it's not bad stuff from the smallest college in Durham!
Men's IV at DSBH - Alex Thornton
As our first race of the year, DSBH was always going to be an interesting one. Spirits were particularly low due to poor weather conditions and sitting in the boat for an hour in the rain before racing wasn't the ideal pre-race warm up. Despite this, the 1st Men's Crew put in an admirable and defiant performance. We were overtook early by good grey crew but ourselves managed to overtake an Aidan's crew. Mixed emotions post race; morale was low back at the boathouse but our 5th place finish shows a lot of promise for the crew for races later on in the year and a lot of positives to take from it on the whole.
Men's 1st VIII Season Update - Martin Jakobsen
Head season kicked off with Rutherford Head on the Tyne. After having been postponed twice this race was eagerly anticipated and the crew were ready to go. We started off well holding off some crews behind us but about 2k in we failed to settle into a good rhythm and with our boat speed dropping it lead to us being overtaken by the crew behind us. From that point on we never fully recovered our pace and finished the race feeling quite frustrated by how it had gone.
Despite the crew feeling the race had not been ideal, we still managed to win the Pennant as the fastest college crew.
Two weeks later, it was time for our second head race, Hayward Cup on the Tees river in Stockton. Due to debris in the river, the course had been shortened to less than 3k. This race was a big improvement and we rowed well, though slightly underestimating how short the course actually was and when the call for 100m meters to go came, there was a big surge of power! We finished fourth, disappointing ourselves by being just off the pace of St Cuthberts Societies' 1st VIII, though I'm sure we'll be finishing in front of them next time. Again, considering we had some steering difficulties if definitely felt like a good improvement on the previous race.
Things are heading in the right direction!
Next up its the big one as we will make our way down to London for HoRR, hoping to achieve the best result in this colleges history.
With the Women's Squad yet to race this term, all attention turns to the Women's 1st IV who race at York Head in a few weeks time!
At the start of a season, the club recruits and welcomes new members from all parts of college: freshers, to those who wished they’d signed up in first year, to postgraduates. This year, we are training an unprecedented 55 new rowers as the whole club works together to coach the novice rowers, organise social events and help new members integrate with our club’s community. It is this mobilisation of all existing members, which ensures John’s has one of the best novice programs in Durham.
The first event as a novice rower at John’s is the Novice Cup – an inter-collegiate race, which takes place in Durham at the end of first term. Crews, of four and a cox, are assembled at the beginning of the term, to allow for as much training as possible before the Cup. This training consists of water sessions, fitness sessions, and sessions on the rowing machines, preparing new members for life as a rower!
Once the Novice Cup has taken place, the novice rowers are invited to join the senior squads; these cater for all levels of commitment: from the performance squad, for those who wish to compete at a high level, to the casual squads, for those who love rowing on the Wear with friends, but are not interested in racing.
This years intake are preparing for their first outings on the river, so we wish them luck in their training and in Novice Cup!
Huw Jarman - Novice Co-ordinator
This year, the club is going to be trialing a new structure to rowing this year, with the aim of improving the experience for everyone.
What does this involve?
This is made up of every male rower who wants to race and row for SJCBC, but in a casual manner. Training will be 3 times a week, with two water sessions – one of which will be a professional coach, and Alex Thornton will be your Captain who will organize each session. There will be 1 VIII for this squad as well as fours. All squad sessions will be held at the same time and everyone will attend to row with their crews at that session. There will be opportunities to train on Tyne, as well as potential to race the Head of the River but otherwise regional events will be the focus. Subs will remain the usual £30 a term.
This is made up of every female rower who wants to race and row for SJCBC, but in a casual manner. Training will be 3 times a week, with two water sessions – one of which will be a professional coach, and Molly-Kate McCaffrey will be your Captain who will organize each session. There will be opportunities to train on Tyne, as well as potential to race the Head of the River but otherwise regional events will be the focus. Subs will remain the usual £30 a term.
This is made up of either male or female rowers who want to race and row for SJCBC in a serious manner, but not quite the DUBC programme. Training will be 5/6 times a week, will include weights, fitness with three water sessions – two of which will be professionally coached on the River Tyne. A captain will be elected at the start of term. As with the previous squads, the whole squad will train at the same time. There will be ranked crews for each gender, and crews will be selected depending on what coming event is the target. Training on Tyne will be compulsory, and larger regional and national events will be the focus. Subs will rise to £50 a term, in exchange for better coaching and use of facilities.
This squad will have a reduced sub rates, but will be able to row on a casual basis once they have been verified as having the correct skills to do so. They will only be allowed to use certain fours, and will have to check boats out with the Club beforehand using a new devised system of boat booking.
Erica Thake will coordinate with all captains to allocated coxes to different squads, at which point the crew they cox will be decided.
Timetables will be structured so that all squads train at the same time, and to maximize the value that we can gain from coaches. Fitness will take the form of cross-training, and squads will be limited to 1 or 2 VIIIs, 3 IVs and one pair or double.
Given the final sale of the Rev.Crossley, we will then order the first new 8. Immediately following this, we will begin the fundraising for a new second 8. We will look to sell Sarum and replace it with a second-hand Janousek 4, that will provide a more functional four for the club.
On the Saturday of Durham Regatta (13th June), the new alumni club of St John’s College Boat Club hosted it’s first ever event. Numerous old-boys and old-girls, their guests and other supporters of SJCBC arrived to watch a day of racing from the Regatta Blue Club’s gazebo within the enclosure.
Whilst it was a shame that our guest speaker, ex-Olympic and Cambridge Blue rower, John Pritchard was unable to attend, the day was both extremely fun and important in the development of this new vibrant pillar of the Club. The reception and dinner following the event also proved to be a success, with many of our guests receiving tours of college to revisit their old rooms and other memorable locations.
With the size and aspiration of the Club growing, bringing together current rowers, the College and Alumni who relished in the sport during their days in Durham promotes the exciting shape the Club will take in the future.
Next year the Regatta Blue Club will be planning to host the 2nd Durham Regatta Event, and we hope that you can join!
If you're interested in coming, don't hesitate to let us know by contacting us using the links above!
For now, please enjoy the photos of this years event below.
The Women’s Squad has had a busy regatta season, fielding crews at a wide range of events in the north east. The 1st IV composed of Abi Fletcher, Sophie Langham, Flo Wurfbain and Beatrice Ormerod enjoyed some early success, winning the heavily contested Novice IV category in decisive fashion at our first regatta of the season at Chester-le-Street, and setting a benchmark by which we aimed to continue the season. Particular mention must go to our incoming Women’s Captain, Molly-Kate McCaffrey for coxing the crew to victory in her first ever regatta.
Our next event was York Spring Regatta, where we fielded a fresher Novice IV of Megan Baker, Sasha Waloff, Ellie Wainwright and Emilia Davies. After a comfortable first round win against Stephenson, despite a malfunctioning seat to the credit of the rowers, the crew was beaten in the semi final by York City RC, a commendable effort for the crew in their first regatta.
We had entered multiple crews for the first home regatta of the season, Durham City, however the notoriously unreliable weather of the North East prevailed on this occasion, which disappointingly lead to the cancellation of the regatta. Moving on from this, we focused our attention on the next big regatta, at Hexham. For this, we entered a Novice VIII, and an IM3 IV. The VIII of Megan Baker, Sasha Waloff, Hope Bicknell, Alexandra Crist, Jemima Kuzemko, Georgia Bird, Katherine Baker and Eleanor Macdougall were drawn against a very technically strong Hild Bede Novice VIII, who proved just too powerful despite the crew putting up an impressive fight, in very difficult conditions (near gale force winds). The IM3 IV was composed of SJCBC veterans Beatrice Ormerod and Abi Fletcher and novices Hope Bicknell and Megan Baker, with Charlie DC making her coxing debut. Again the girls showed grit and determination in their race, but were beaten by a Collingwood crew who ended up being the overall victors, however were somewhat let down by equipment failure during the race (a sadly all too common occurrence), when the coxbox broke.
The final official regatta of the season was Durham Regatta. We entered a Novice VIII, IM3 IV and a Novice IV on both days, with an additional Novice IV on the Saturday. On the Saturday the Novice VIII raced Lancaster University, leading until way over halfway through the race until an unfortunate crab meant the lead was lost, and the girls couldn’t quite pull it back in time. Despite this, the quality of rowing was vastly improved from the week before, and the crew presented a very strong challenge to a university crew. The novice IVs of Hope Bicknell, Sasha Waloff, Ellie Wainwright and Megan Baker, and Katherine Baker, Gwen Edmunds, Amy Taylor and Jemima Kuzemko, respectively raced crews from Trevs and Aidans. Unfortunately both crews were sadly beaten, but a lack of resources meant that the crews had to race using unfamiliar borrowed boats, wooden handled blades and faulty coxboxes which undoubtedly hindered their performance somewhat. The IM3 IV was made up of Holly Mozley, Beatrice Ormerod, Abi Fletcher and Katrina Bass who were just beaten by a strong Cuth’s crew in foul weather conditions.
The following day the VIII raced Butler, just losing in a difficult race where an (again) faulty coxbox resulted in a lack of amplification in the bows, and the Novice IV lost to John Snow. The IM3 IV however showed their class, easily dispatching a Collingwood crew, and then just losing in a tense second round, however an admirable effort, especially given the fact that the race was undertaken with no working coxbox.
We finally rounded off the season with the Johns Chads Regatta. After a disappointing performance from the mens novice squad, it was up to SJCBC’s women to secure a victory for John’s, which was delivered in fine style, with the VIII and the senior IV crushing their hapless Chads counterparts.
Overall, an enjoyable and rewarding season for the women’s squad, with lots to build on over the coming year. The crop of novices has been successfully integrated into the senior squad with many showing great promise which bodes well for the future of the club, and I wish good luck to my successor in the role of Women’s Captain, Molly-Kate McCaffrey.
The first regatta of the year for the men’s squad was at Chester-Le-Street, were we took our two strongest crews to the first big regional regatta of the year. The crews demonstrated ability, performance and overdue results.
The Mens 1st IV (Sebastien de la Fuente, James Wass, Huw Jarman, Martin Jakobson, cox Erica Thake) worked their way through to the final of their intermediate category, beating a powerful Tyne United/Northumbria University composite crew and then beating Stevenson/ John Snow composite crew in the next round. Ultimately however, they lost by only a bit more than a length to a Tees R.C. crew containing four from their Durham Regatta Championship Finalists last year on their way to Henley. It was however, a very fast and painful final!
More importantly, this demonstrated that we could beat the clubs and colleges that pose a challenge to us in the future. Perhaps more interestingly, the talk of the day was how SJCBC appeared to be dominating these races. No other college won an event.
Following Chester-Le-Street, the men set their sights on York Regatta. In a very good show, only the Men's Novice 4 and the 3rd VIII made less than the semi-finals of all the competition. The Men's 2nd VIII demolished a York St John's Crew (and also managed to do what the 1st VIII couldn't do last year in beating them), worked their way to the Semi-Finals and then sadly lost. The Women's IV, in their first ever race and with the pressure of living up to the current winning ways of the women's squad, managed to fly through the first rounds showing promise for the future, but the crew in the Semi-Finals proved too much.
Whilst the 1st VIII wasn't out in full force as our strongest crew, a mix-match (and we borrowed Trev's brand new Fillippi 8 due to the state of our current top boat) crew managed to win our category with at least 3 lengths distance in every race - coming home with more silverware and some more British Rowing points!
At Hexham, the club had its biggest every entry into the Europe’s largest one-day regatta. However, the first VIII made it all the way into the final (beating the University College and Van Mildert College 1st VIIIs) only to get disqualified as our British Rowing number on the side of the boat was unclear. Having previously been told by British Rowing that it would be okay for this occasion, we were quite annoyed. This bodes well for Durham - hopefully winning a few races in front of the home crowd.
Over the weekend of Durham Regatta, our club sent in it’s strongest crews. The Men’s Novice Crews put in a good performance, but had unfortunately left it too late in the season and came up against the strong university novice crews both days. The Men’s first Eight lost both intermediate categories, but turned out with the strongest every crew to enter the Championship 8s, which they eventually won in front of a home crowd and by a canvas each time!
Written by Sebastien de la Fuente, Club Captain and Sophie Langham, Women’s Captain 2014-15
St John's College Boat Club and the Regatta Blue Club would like to invite you to support our Men's 1st VIII and 2nd VIII as they take to the River Thames in London in the Men's Head of the River Race.
At a length of over 4 miles and 374 yards, or 6.8 kilometres, all crews will power their way through the infamously choppy tideway waters from the start at the University Pole in Chiswick, to the finish at Putney Pier. This is widely known as one of the most gruelling races in the sport.
To support our crews, anywhere along the river from Chiswick Bridge to Putney Bridge will provide you with a view of the racing. There are a few pubs and restaurants in which one can sit to watch the racing in comfort. The most popular place to watch the racing (where large crowds will gather) will be Hammersmith Bridge, where our crews will pass under before taking on the final straight of the course.
We will be boating from midday at Cygnet Boat Club, near Barnes Bridge. Here too will be a good place to send off our crews before the race.
After the race, there will be some sort of evening gathering (details to follow) to (hopefully) celebrate a successful day of racing at one of the countries most competitive rowing events.
The crews are:
SJCBC Mens 1st VIII (211)
Sebastien de la Fuente
James Plumstead (subbing. James Prior)
Coxswain: Alice Cunliffe
SJCBC Mens 2nd VIII (258)
Coxswain: Suzie Thorpe
See the draw for timings here:
Our Women's composite 1st VIII managed to climb 50 places from their start place (quite possibly one of the highest in the country - We haven't done the maths, but it seems possible given the amount of entries), beating EVERY SINGLE college crew apart from a St Cuthberts crew that very annoyingly beat them by a single, frustrating second, but our crew climbed 40 more places in the start order then they did! In a race that lasts 23 minutes or so, one second represents less than 0.1% difference - so we're quite frustrated by that!
Our SJCBC/HCBC crew beat crews from DUBC, lots of Universities including UCL, Exeter and Birmingham, and no other college, other than SCSBC came close! As far as we know, some of the big Oxbridge colleges also fell short of our time, including the big ones like University College, Oxford.
Their result is testament the principle that good equipment (HCBC were providing the boat), but also (and very importantly) hard working rowers from Hatfield College Boat Club, and St John's College Boat Club can do very well!
On the coming Saturday, the SJCBC/HCBC Women's 1st VIII (IM3) will be competing at the Women's Head of the River Race on the River Thames. With a lot of power in the boat, we hope that they can do very well! At a length of over 4 miles and 374 yards, or 6.8 kilometres, all crews will power their way through the infamously choppy tideway waters from the start at the University Pole in Chiswick to the finish at Putney Pier in possibly one of the most gruelling races possible in the sport.
In the crew are, from stroke to bow:
Samantha Sint Nicolaas
Coxed by Daryl Yu (Collingwood College)
Most importantly, we wish this crew the best of luck!
"On 74 previous occasions women have put their boats on the water and rowed out to battle. To battle against other crews for the glory of winning; more recently to battle against the clock; to battle the tricks of the wind and tide; and perhaps above all to battle against themselves to find something beautiful in the pursuit of rowing together in an eight. To find the thin red line between too easy and too hard."
Please find details for watching the event here: