Posted by: berwickarc | 27/05/2018

Tees Regatta

Saturday 19th May saw only 2 Berwick rowers travel to Stockton on Tees for the annual Tees regatta.
Tees regatta is a four lane 850-meter buoyed straight course, which allows for 4 lane racing. In hot sunny conditions with a slight cross wind rowing conditions were good.
With clubs from further South such as Doncaster, Leeds, York and St Peters School to name but a few in attendance it made for some quality racing with several finals being won by a few feet.
Andrew Cairns competing under the new British Rowing competition framework sculled in Championship single sculls. Andrew had an excellent start in his semi final against Chester Le Street, York and Yarm and had a comfortable win to take a place in the final together with the Chester Le Street sculler. With a final line up of Berwick, Chester Les Street, York and Yarm from semi final 2. With the wind picking up at the start Andrew did not enjoy such a good start and was forced to make a steering correction early on. However Andrew sculled strongly and was about 1 length clear at the bridge, but with the Chester Le Street sculler pushing hard and Andrew had to raise his stroke rate twice in the closing metres of the race. An exhausted Andrew was delighted to take the Championship win by half a length.
Later in the day Andrew teamed up with Chris Eke in Championship double sculls. The men were confident as they headed to the start of their semi against Tees and Leeds. After a quick start the men were able to settle their stroke rate and took a comfortable win to place them into the final against Leeds, York and St Peters from semi final 2. Again Berwick made a strong start and sculled strongly against a very well drilled York crew. York despite sculling well could not match the strength of Chris and Andrew who went over the line 1.5 lengths clear, giving Berwick their second win of the day from only 2 entries.

Posted by: berwickarc | 27/05/2018

Durham City Regatta

The weekend saw Berwick Amateur Rowing Club travel to Durham Rowing Club to compete in the first of the city’s three regattas. First up was Ian Black and Chris Eke rowing in a masters double against older opponents had to overcome a 10 second handicap which they did to move into the Semi-Final. The next race for Berwick was Ian Smith and Ian Boyd-Whyte also competing in a double in the master’s category’s which saw them racing against a younger Talkin Tarn crew who found the 10 second handicap they had too much to overcome to beat the Berwick double who therefore qualified for the Semi-Final. Andrew Cairns was meant to be next up however his opponent from tees was injured so he automatically qualified for the semi-final in his single. Ian and Chris were next to row racing a double of the same age (so no handicap) they took a close win over Doncaster to reach the Final. Ian Smith and Ian Boyd white were up in their semi-final against a Durham crew who were the same age so again no handicap. The Durham crew used their home advantage to beat our men and knock them out at the semi-final stage. Next to take to the water was Andrew in his single some poor steering and fast opposition from Queen Elizabeth High School (QEHS) saw him Knocked out at this round. They say bad things come in threes well this came true for Berwick as Ian and Chris also lost out in the final of their masters double. After a quick rest Andrew and Chris were ready to take to the water again teaming up to row in elite doubles. A bye to the semi final meant they were rowing a Durham crew that had already rowed and beaten a York crew. Berwick took a very fast start which was too much for the Durham crew to overcome seeing Berwick safely into the Final where they would meet QEHS. Quickly after the elite doubles race was the masters single sculls which sore Ian Black competing against Doncaster in the semi-final, to which Ian took a convincing win sending him into the final. As mentioned earlier Chris Eke and Andrew Cairns met QEHS in the final of there elite doubles race again our two men took a fast start to which QEHS kept up with but the overall strength of our two men in the final was too much and so took the first win of the day for Berwick. Ian Black then replicated this success in his single by putting in a very hearty performance to hold off a very strong sculler rowing on home water to take the win in master’s single sculls. Berwick’s final performer of the day was Will Dalgleish in Junior 18 single sculls in one of the best entered events Will drew a sculler from Tyne rowing club. This was only Wills second race in a single and the first over a short course. He put in a strong and fast start holding off the Tyne sculler until about halfway when unfortunately, Will made a slight steering error however he has gained lots of experience from his row.

On Sunday Berwick were back. Chris Eke and Lee Fenton were first up in a mixed double this was one of the closest races of the day as the Doncaster double held our double too just a canvas which is about 2 feet. They then went onto meet Durham in the final which after a hard first race Berwick were unsure of. However another quick start saw Berwick beat Durham easily to take the win in mixed doubles. The next boat racing was a composite quad formed of 3 Berwick rowers: Lee Fenton Elvira Drummond and Chris Eke then 1 Cambois member: Jamie McCarron the four rowers took a convincing win in the semi over Hexham. They then faced Durham School in the final. This again served up a very close race with our quad fighting back after being down off the start to take the win, with thanks to Cambois Rowing Club for the use of their boat. Elvira was next to row and this was probably the best comeback of the day Elvira was dropped by the fast rating Doncaster sculler off the start however Elvira’s strength and determination saw her advance to the final where she met Durham School. The Durham school rower gave Elvira a very good race however was too strong for Elvira to overcome. Finally, to finish off the weekend Chris Eke and Andrew Cairns were back in their double to race a much talked about Talkin Tarn/Durham school crew. The men once again took a very fast start and took the win, which gave Chris 4 wins out of a possible 5 and 3 from 3 on the day. Overall it was a very successful weekend for the club and everyone should be proud with their efforts.

Posted by: berwickarc | 30/03/2018

Rowing Club Grant Secured

Berwick Amateur Rowing Club is today celebrating a £20,000.00 funding boost from SUEZ Communities Trust for Balcony Repairs.  This feature of the Rowing Club building is highly visible on the approach into town by road and rail.

The Balcony of Berwick Rowing Club boathouse is in need of specialist joinery repair with greater skills and time required than those possessed by the members. The Balcony floor and rails will be repaired and the exterior of the balcony and boathouse will be re-painted.  As this is a wooden building it is constantly in need of upkeep and repair, especially now that it is a grade 2 listed building. This building is one of the last remaining boathouses of its type.

Hilary Cairns, Treasurer of Berwick Rowing Club commented.  We are thrilled to receive this funding help from Suez Communities Trust.  The club members have been fund raising for the past 18 months to enable this work to take place.  With secured funding from Suez we now look forward to appointing a local contractor to complete the work, and get the boathouse back to looking it’s best.


Marek Gordon, Chairman of SUEZ Communities Trust added “SUEZ Communities Trust provides funding awards through the Landfill Communities Fund. This important source of funding has been available since 1997 and has provided such worthy projects with more than £1.4 billion. We were delighted to be able to offer funding to Berwick Amateur Rowing Club.”

Posted by: berwickarc | 15/11/2017

Double delight for Chris and Andrew at Tees

Rowers from Berwick ARC were delighted to finally get some racing done at Stockton on Tees on Saturday.

High winds through October saw the cancellation of Berwick and Tyne Long Distance races and The British National Rowing Championships, due to be held at Home Pierrepont, Nottingham.

Chris Eke and Andrew Cairns were raring to go after falling victims to the afore mentioned cancelled racing.  Racing in open double sculls in a field of 6 boats, the pressure was on the Berwick men from City of Sunderland who had previously secured a good result earlier in the series.  Sculling the five kilometre technically difficult course with its twists and horseshoe bends is a demanding job but Chris and Andrew put in an impressive performance to finish fastest double scull of the day and 6th boat overall.  With an entry of over 150 boats.

Hilary Cairns teamed up with Catherine Bowman from Hexham in Ladies masters C double sculls.  Hilary and Catherine were very pleased with their strong performance winning Masters doubles and  2nd ladies double overall.

Ian Black and Robin Morrison competed in Masters C and F singles respectively.  Ian was very pleased with his scull finishing quickest masters C sculler however as it was a C-E race when the handicap was applied Ian was denied the win as he did not beat the E sculler by a big enough margin.  Experimenting with a different boat Robin found the technical course difficult to navigate and was not a quick as usual over the head course.

The afternoon saw a Small Boats Head race over the same course.  Chris Eke teamed up with Lee Fenton in open double sculls.  Lee put in a great scull in her first ever race over long distance.  Encouraged on by Chris they were delighted to win open doubles.

Ian Black partnered up with Dave Chappell from Tyne in Masters D double sculls.  Both Ian and Dave enjoyed being back in a boat together but after both having raced singles in the morning found they could not generate the boat speed needed for the win.

Andrew Cairns moved to open single sculls.  In his first race in a single for a few months Andrew was pleased with the boat speed he generated and took the win by over a minute from his nearest opponent.

Posted by: berwickarc | 03/11/2017

South Hylton LDS

Following the disappointing but necessary cancellation of Berwick Long Distance Sculling due to high winds and a very rough river.  North East rowers had to wait an extra week before beginning the 2017 Long Distance series.

Eight Berwick scullers headed to South Hylton (Sunderland) on Saturday.

Chris Eke and Andrew Cairns put in an exceptional performance to finish in 4th place overall and fastest double scull of the day.  With only 3 Quad sculls ahead of their double.

Andrea Little and Holly Freebairn, ladies double scull raced their first ever long distance and put in a creditable strong scull, which they will surely build on as the series progresses.

Robin Morrison put down a steady marker in Masters F single sculls, and Gordon Benton had a strong scull to win Masters G/H singles.  Elvira Drummond also had a strong scull taking the win for fastest senior lady sculler.

Hilary Cairns joined three ladies from Cambois in Masters B Quad sculls.  The ladies were pleased to finish 2nd quickest quad overall.

Next weekend Chris and Andrew head to The British Senior Rowing Championships at Nottingham, while the rest of their club mates only have to venture down the road to Cambios for the next round of the Long Distance Series.

Posted by: berwickarc | 10/07/2017

Berwick Scullers Head to Talkin Tarn

A good representation of Berwick Scullers headed to Talkin Tarn Regatta on 1st July.

Andrew Cairns was not successful in his first outing being beat in his single by a Tarn sculler.

A newly formed ladies’ coxless quad (Amy Farager, Andrea Little, Holly Freebairn & Lee Fenton) came home with a comfortable win against Hexham in the first round. This took them through to the final but they were beaten by the home team in a close race.

Chris Eke and Andrew Cairns came together in a double and won their first round against Lancaster Royal Grammar. They went on to race against Tyne and St Leonard’s in the final. This was a very close race won by about 3 ft by Tyne.

Robin Morrison competed in a single against Tyne and Gateshead had a good race but didn’t get to the final. 

Lee Fenton then took to a single however her opposition scratched so Lee had to row over (row against herself).

In final Lee was beaten by City of Sunderland.

William Dalgleish came next with his first ever race in a single. William is a junior member of the team who shows much promise, his training efforts paid off as he was just beaten in a very good race by St. Andrews.

Chris Eke and Andrew Cairns took to the the pair and lost against Tyne and Lakeland in a very very close race.

The squad had a very enjoyable day and thank Tarn for their hospitality.

Posted by: berwickarc | 14/06/2017

Nottingham & Durham Rowing Action

The British Rowing Masters Championships were held over the weekend of 10th and 11th June at The National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham.

Ian Black and Hilary Cairns have enjoyed an unbeaten run of form together with Catherine Bowman and Kevin Oates from Hexham in mixed C quad sculls but decided to give themselves the ultimate test at the National Masters Championships.

Racing on the six land straight buoyed course was into a stiff cross head wind which made attaching to the start difficult.  Taking their place in lane 5 against Upton, Putney Town, Twickenham and Leeds Berwick/Hexham had a good start and quickly settled into the race plan.  Upton in lane 6 drew a slight lead at the 500m mark, with the remaining 3 crews following a distance back.  From the half way point Berwick/Hexham made a big push and sculled with determination and were delighted and completely exhausted after crossing the finish line just 0.86 seconds ahead of Upton with Twickenham, Leeds and Putney Town some 22 seconds behind them.

Ian Black also competed in C single sculls, and although sculling well in difficult conditions did not made the final.

Later in the day Hilary Cairns teamed up with Catherine Bowman (Hexham) in Ladies C Double Sculls.  Sculling in heat 3 the ladies knew they needed to win to be assured of a place in the final.  With a strong head wind still blowing up the course the ladies settled into a nice strong rhythm and made a big push in the closing 100m to sneak past Durham/MAA and take the win by just 0.14 seconds, with Milton Keynes, Bradford and Champions of The Thames further back.

Lining up for the final were Durham/MAA, Tees, Eton Excelsior, Milton Keynes, Putney Town and Hexham/Berwick Hilary and Catherine had an awful start with the boat being blown not straight on the starters order.  From here the ladies had to scull themselves from 6th position back into the race, using their experience they managed not to panic but to work hard and scull back to a 4th place finish just out of the medals.  Tees claimed the Gold.

Andrew Cairns was at Durham Regatta often referred to as The Henley of the North for their 2 day regatta.  Andrew sculling in IM 2 single sculls made a good start against his Durham Uni opponent and was holding a length lead when he clipped a buoy this unsettled Andrew and brought Durham back on terms, Andrew then clipped a second buoy in the closing stages and was bitterly disappointed to loose out by 3 ft.  The Durham Uni sculler carried on to the final where he was finally overhauled by Northumbria Uni.

Elvira Drummond currently rowing with Newcastle Uni in Championship quad sculls had a better day at Durham.  The ladies put in an impressive performance dominating Durham by 5 lengths to set themselves up in a final with Tyne.  Again a good clean sculling race was fought over the 750 meters with Newcastle winning by 3 lengths giving Elvira her first Durham win.  This should hopefully give the Newcastle ladies great confidence for their forthcoming trip to Women’s Henley.


Posted by: berwickarc | 05/06/2017

Explore Series-Tees & Drummond at Metropolitan Regatta

Sunday saw Berwicks BARC’ing Mad Explore crew travel to Tees Rowing Club who were hosting a leg of the Explore Series. With team member Lee Fenton winning an event at Durham she was ineligible to continue in the series however she stepped in to cox the team of Ewan Brewis, Chris Arnfield, Holly Freebairn and Julie Riley. The new crew only had 3 sessions to practice together and 1 with Lee coxing so the challenge was already in place.

This leg of the event was based on sculling skills. The crews task was to master square blading, cornering, 360degree spinning, backing down to a buoy to allow the cox to touch it, blade swapping, emergency stop and paddle splashes. All crews had two timed attempts at this with the sum of both times bringing the results.

On their first outing the crew were clearly nervous with timings being out of sync causing blade clashes however they did manage all the skills and came in at 7mins 14secs putting them second on the leader board. The weather changed making conditions challenging however the team seemed to have lost their first race nerves and despite equipment malfunction meaning Julie was sculling with her feet not secured and the dropping of a blade at the blade exchange, the team sculled competently around the course arriving home happier and in a time of 7mins 33secs.  This gave them a combined time of 14min 47secs and put the team in to the lead. There was a nervous wait for the last few races to see where they had finished on the board. During their wait they discovered that they had been penalised 10seconds at each race due to carrying out only 8 paddles splashes instead of the required 10, this was disappointing and a lesson for the crew.

At the penultimate race Durham crew Wear Well Away completed the course in an astonishing 6min 34secs giving them a combined time of 14mins 5secs and the win. BARC’ing Mad came away with a credible second place and 4 points cementing their place at third in the table. Given that the team missed one event in the series this is a great position to be in and they look forward to the next round at Tyne ARC on 2nd July sweep rowing.

Berwicks Elvira Drummond travelled to the Metropolitan Regatta held at Dorney Lake competing as a Newcastle University crew in double sculls and quad sculls in category 2. Her first event was on Saturday in a double scull where her challenge was high having only had one outing in the boat together before this. The crew narrowly missed out on the final managing a rough course and coming in 4th against some strong Southern crews. On Sunday Elvira went on to compete in quad sculls again against strong experienced crews including Oxford and University of London.  Racing was late in the day but conditions better and the crew were pleased to come 5th in their heat at this standard. This quad are hoping to attend Womens Henley event in July and the club wish Elvira all the best in this quest. She has put in an extremely gruelling year of training and it seems this is paying off.

Posted by: berwickarc | 29/05/2017

Cambois Regatta

Berwick rowers travelled to their neighbouring club Cambois at Ashington for their annual regatta.  In a day that saw many changes in the weather the Berwick rowers had much to be proud of.

Chris Eke and Andrew Cairns opened racing for Berwick in Open Pairs.  Chris and Andrew put on a good performance against a very experienced Hexham/Tarn crew.  Berwick pushed hard to the bridge but could not quite match the experience of the composite crew.  Hexham/Tarn went on to win the event and commented that their hardest race had been against Berwick.

Hilary Cairns and Catherine Bowman (Hexham) ladies masters C/D double sculls lined up a straight final with Durham.  After allowing a 6 second handicap start the Berwick/Haxham ladies had to work hard to close the gap.  By the bridge there was an overlap where a slight touch of blades caused a stop.  After the re start Hilary and Catherine sculled confidently to win.  Hilary and Catherine joined up with Kevin Oates and Ian Black in open mixed quad sculls.  After a very strong start Berwick/Hexham saw off St Johns College with a smooth controlled row.  The final against Tyne United was a battle to the line.  Berwick/Hexham took an early lead but Tyne United fought back to a half length lead.  Going into the bridge Berwick/Hexham pushed hard and were exhausted but delighted to take the win by half a length.

Andrew Cairns J18 and Open single sculls had an indifferent race in J18 and was disappointed to loose to Queen Elizabeth.  Andrew put in a much stronger performance in open sculls but could not match the boat speed of the very talented Chester Le Street sculler.

Ian Black and Hilary Cairns racing mixed double sculls had a comfortable win over Durham to set them up in a final against their Quad scull partners from Hexham.  Hilary and Ian made a quick start but could not maintain the boat speed needed to keep up with the well drilled Hexham pair who took the win by 2 lengths.

Robin Morrison Masters F single sculls also had a difficult day and could not get ahead of Tyne United who went on to comfortably win the event.

Chris Eke raced during the deluge of rain that hit the regatta.  Rain was not to dampen Chris spirit as he sculled strongly to take a clear water win over Durham.

By the time Amy Faragher and Andrea Little took to the river for ladies B double sculls the sun was shining brightly.  Not having the best of starts Amy and Andrea had work to do, the ladies showed great determination to row through their City of Sunderland opponents in the last 200m to set themselves up into the final with Queen Elizabeth.  The final saw Amy and Andrea make a much better start and in a race where neither crew took clear water advantage it was a battle to the line.  On this occasion Queen Elizabeth took the victory by half a boat length.  In their first race together Amy and Andrea have much to be pleased about.

Yet again Lee Fenton had to wait until the very end of the day before racing ladies B single sculls.  Following her victory at Durham Lee was keen to repeat her success.  In the first race against City of Sunderland she showed her strength and took a clear water win.  This then set Lee up for the final against another City of Sunderland sculler.  Lee did not have the best of starts which meant she had to push hard for the whole of the 850m course.  Into the closing stages Lee was closing hard on her opponent but the line came before she could overhaul City of Sunderland who took the win.

Berwick have some very promising new competitors with Lee, Amy and Andrea all reaching the final of their respective events.

Posted by: berwickarc | 29/05/2017

Tees Regatta

Despite only 2 rowers from Berwick attending Tees regatta on Saturday they returned home triumphant after a 100% success rate over the 4 events they entered.

Ian Black and Hilary Cairns partnered up with Catherine Bowman and Kevin Oates from Hexham Rowing Club in open C/D quad sculls.  With a difficult cross tail wind it took a bit of time for the Tees, Chester Le Street and Hexham/Berwick crews to get aligned on the start.  Chester Le Street were given a 6 second advantage as they were an older crew.  Berwick/Hexham executed their race plan well and before the half way mark had on overlap on the Chester Le Street boat.  With Tees a little further back.  From this point the composite crew pushed on and were delighted to win their first race together.

Hilary then stepped back in with Catherine from Hexham in ladies IM2 double sculls.  Again conditions were testing at the start of the 850m straight course.  Hilary and Catherine pushed from the start and as they hit their rhythm at 250m in they opened up a 3 length lead over Chester Le Street and Bradford who were battling for 2nd and 3rd in their wake.  The ladies then turned and went back to the start for masters A/B double sculls, gaining confidence from their earlier win the ladies put in another strong performance and took their 3rd win of the day over Tyne United and Tees.

Ian Black had to wait until the very end of the day to compete in a strong field of 6 masters C single scullers.  Ian put in a solid performance to win his semi final which put him into the final against Chester Le Street and York.  In a thrilling final Ian took an early lead but was then passed by Chester Le Street.  Never one to give up Ian used his strength to draw back to level and then a canvass advantage into the closing 100m the Chester Le Street sculler would not give up and both men fought hard to the line to the cheers of the spectators, after an anxious wait Ian was delighted to be awarded the win by the narrowest of margins.

Berwick are please to be travelling to Cambois this Saturday with 8 rowers competing in various different events.

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