Epiphany term 2018!

By Max Topp-Mugglestone on Thursday 11th January 2018

Durham University Canoe Club has even more exciting events planned for this term in all of our disciplines, so whether you're the keenest member of the polo squad, a skilled slalomist, pro freestyler, or the freshest fresher there's something on for you!

Our regular weekly sessions will be continuing, with our casual Wednesday sessions at 13:00, and the two pool sessions on Monday and Thursday evenings aimed at general skills (including rolling and freestyle) and polo-specific skills respectively! You can see more details of the regular sessions on the regular events section of the events page, or on our Facebook group.

Our first social of the term will be on Saturday 20th January, where we will be decreasing the leg count per capita by 0.5 before heading out on an epic quest through the bars of Durham and beyond (unless you consider Klute to be part of Durham in which case disregard the 'beyond')

Beyond that, there's some really fun events planned for this term, which include:

Refreshers' Weekend Away -- we'll be travelling over to the Lake District to spend a weekend staying in a hall and paddling some new rivers! There's also some fun and games planned for the evenings -- more details on that later. Sign up via the events page!
BUCS Slalom -- the university slalom competition! Another really fun event and a chance to try your hand at a new discipline -- you can compete in pretty much any boat, so don't worry if you've never paddled a slalom boat before; whatever your experience it'll be a really enjoyable day and even if you don't fancy paddling please come along to support! Again, you can already sign up on the events page.

National Student Rodeo -- the biggest student freestyle kayaking competition in the world! We'll spend the weekend in Nottingham, where there'll be an opportunity to try some freestyle paddling with competitions aimed at every level -- it's one of the most fun weekends of the calendar for everyone, regardless of freestyle experience! Added to that, both the Friday and Saturday nights will be some of the biggest and best parties you'll ever experience - so even if Freestyle's not your thing, this will be one of the best weekends of your life! Sign up via events page -- ticket prices to be released at a later date, but register your interest now.

You can also sign up for BUCS polo and our training week before that -- if you're interested in representing the university, sign up for those now! There'll be a lot of focus on training for polo this term, so make sure to come along to the Thursday sessions as well where we will really be focusing on building up those core skills.

That's all for now, but there's plenty more going on -- as always, keep track of the Facebook page and our events page for more details of everything we've got happening.

Michaelmas term 2017!

By Max Topp-Mugglestone on Monday 25th September 2017

Welcome to Durham University Canoe Club!

We've got plenty of exciting stuff planned for you this term -- whether you're a returning member or a fresher who's never been in a boat there'll be something for you every single week. Keep an eye on the events tab and on our facebook group for more!

First up are our taster sessions! These are free to anyone who wants to come along and have a go at canoeing and meet the club. All you need is some swimwear, a towel, and a change of clothes! The dates are as follows below (beware of the printing mistake on our flier!)

Saturday 7th October, 13:00 - 15:00
Saturday 7th October, 15:30 - 17:30

Sunday 8th October, 13:00 - 15:00
Sunday 8th October, 15:30 - 17:30
Wednesday 11th October, 12:45 - 15:00
Sunday 15th October, 13:00 - 15:00
Sunday 15th October, 15:30 - 17:30

On October 10th is our first social of term -- come along and get to know us!

Look out for our fresher's weekend events, including a beginner's canoe polo tournament and our Fresher's river trip -- you can already sign up for the river trip if you're keen! (log in using your DUO username and password)
The weekend will culminate in a fantastic social -- details TBA!

Make sure to come and check out our stall at the sports fair on the 3rd of October -- we'll be happy to answer any questions you might have, or just to have a chat!

BUCS polo 2017

By Calum Spooner on Tuesday 2nd May 2017

Last weekend was the return of the annual BUCS polo tournament, this year being held at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham. The Men’s A team started off their weekend with a convincing 10-0 win against Surrey followed by an 8-0 win vs. Lancaster; this concluded their games for Saturday. Sunday also started with a slightly less convincing 4-0 win against London to secure their spot in the semi-finals, where they came up against the previous champions Leeds, Durham prevailed this time with an 8-0 win guaranteeing their place in the final. The final saw Durham replay London, this time with 10 minute halves rather than 6. The final result was 10-2 to Durham A team – achieving first place overall, but unfortunately not holding on to their clean sheet.

The Old boys’ team was not quite so successful with 2 wins and 5 losses resulting in 11th place overall.

The ladies team got off to a slightly shaky start with a 1-0 loss to Liverpool John Moore’s (who ended up 2nd). However, a 5-0 victory against Teesside got them back on track, while the next game against Cambridge was much more even; with the result being 1-1 at full time, it was down to golden goal – although the golden goal time didn’t last long with Durham winning the sprint and almost immediately scoring. The final game on Saturday was soon after, against Warwick, which was much less even ending in a 4-0 win to Durham. Sunday got off to a good start with a 2-1 win against Loughborough. However, successive losses to Bangor and Nottingham ladies resulted in a 6th place finish for the Durham ladies.

The B team began their competition with a 5-0 win against Swansea followed by a 1-0 loss to Nottingham, but they were quickly back to their winning ways with a 4-1 win against Sheffield and a 2-0 win against Loughborough to finish off their Saturday. Sunday started equally as good with a 2-0 win against Southampton afterwards beating London 4-0 securing their place in the final. However, a spanner was thrown in the works when Phil had to leave before the final, meaning only a team of only 4 players against Nottingham. Despite being a player down Durham still played fantastically with a final score 7-2 to Nottingham meaning Durham B’s finished 2nd in B league.

Scotland Success

By Molly Agar on Saturday 1st April 2017

With only three swims, this year’s trip up to Scotland can probably be called a success. Arriving at Roybridge at gone midnight didn’t stop us from getting up and paddling some great rivers the next day, and the rivers didn’t stop being fun all trip (although the Meig could be argued as being more rock than river!). Even the snow didn’t dampen people’s mood and it was with great spirit that we decided to visit a whisky distillery instead that morning! The free samples didn’t stop us from getting on a river that afternoon, although several people ended up in other people’s boats. Everyone paddled amazingly well and I think it’s fair to say that everyone had a good time.

National Student Rodeo 2017 -- not the end of the world!

By Max Topp-Mugglestone on Sunday 12th March 2017

Last weekend was the British university freestyle kayaking competition, the National Student Rodeo. This took place in HPP, Nottingham, on the lake next to the whitewater course as the whitewater course had, as a result of the rain causing the water quality to drop substantially, been forced to shut down and would probably have given us some kind of nasty disease... Potentially worse than any hangover, although some of us endeavoured to challenge that. In competition news, congratulations are in order to Molly Agar, who not only was one of only two people who got up in the morning to compete in an event but also qualified for the Women's expert final in k1, and took first place in Women's c1, only partly by virtue of being the only girl in a c1 -- she displayed some excellent moves in the final, including a flatwater flatspin (aka: a turn), but the real highlight was delivering this joke to the crowd "How many canoeists does it take to change a lightbulb? One to get on and do it, three to stand around and lie about the size of the hole." Molly and I also took first place in the c2 competition - the only issue with which being the lack of a c2 competition, so although we didn't actually win a real event I like to think we won the hearts of the crowd with our valiant efforts against the k2s in the boatercross. The Imperial Cruiser might have started to go the way of the Titanic, but this isn't the last you'll see of it.

The other -- very much welcome -- surprise appearance over the weekend was that of the sun, meaning that this NSR was actually surprisingly warm and nobody got hypothermia or felt the desire to spoon with nine other people in a tent (to the group's general chagrin).

As a new form of competition for this year's NSR, I, ex-captain Liam, and social sec Philippa came up with a list of Extra Credit Points (ECPs) for activities performed over the weekend -- tasks including swapping clothes with a stranger, binning people, stealing a stranger's costume, maintaining possession of the Duck of Doom, and telling a big deal “I can’t believe you’re sponsored! I’m so much better than you!”

Points were also deducted for crashing cars, chundering, requiring ambulances, injuring oneself, and complaining about the cold -- which, despite the sunshine, still happened frequently.

Josh took an early lead at the Friday night party with the ECPs, managing to take fifty points from selfies with strangers and the safety team. However, Ronan was quick to catch up on the second day by binning an entirely immoral number of paddlers as part of his safety team duties. However, the judges' decision ruled against this -- as the spirit of NSR is more in the variety and less in the repetition of the same ECP (as in the original BIGDEALS rules). The game was well and truly afoot by now and would all be decided in the Saturday night party -- eventually to be won by Laura who not only had possession of the 200pt Duck of Doom on Sunday morning but also managed to complete the greatest variety of other ECPs.

That said, we respect the sheer volume of people binned by Ronan and as such he is awarded a special prize -- the "Tsar Nicholas II Award for Being a Mean Bastard"

A further honorable mention goes to Molly again, for a grand score of 350 points (potentially second place; counting is hard) -- picking up some of the more obscure ECPs including getting a shoutout from the NSR announcers ("Hide and Seek Champion of NSR 2k17" -- ask her for the story).

For our winner and runners up, several exciting prizes are on their way, to be presented at a later social.

Durham take victory at the 2016 Tyne Tour party

By Max Topp-Mugglestone on Sunday 13th November 2016

Continuing this year's excellent competition record, putting weekends worth of training into practice, Durham University won the Saturday night party at Tyne Tour after a stellar performance in the Ceilidh. Seeing that the best tactic to win the party might begin with eliminating the opposition, this involved going old-school on the dance floor, old-school meaning mediaeval and mediaeval meaning imitating a battering ram in the midst of dancing couples. Star appearances include: Dani, for her excellent role as party car owner and noble self-sacrifice to her own door; Laura and Javier for crushing the descent of the river; Josh for the loudest snoring of all time; Captain Liam for his iconic - if stupid - hairstyle; and Ant for his swim.

Durham Success at Adidas Sickline

By Anthony Stewart on Friday 14th October 2016

A massive congratulations go to Durham alumna, Sandra Hyslop, for becoming World Champion at the Adidas Sickline.

You can watch her incredible run below:

Welcome to Durham University Canoe Club

By Mark Ledger on Thursday 22nd September 2016

Hello and welcome to Durham University Canoe Club,


We have lots of exciting plans for this term for you to check out:


From the 8th to the 19th of October we will be running a series of FREE taster sessions both at Maiden Castle in Durham and the Holliday building in Stockton. These are relaxed sessions where you’ll be taught the basics of paddling and play some games to hone your new skills. So whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced paddler that wants to meet the club, why not come along and see what we have to offer? Book your place on the events page ( All equipment is provided free of charge, just bring a towel, swimsuit/shorts, old shoes you don’t mind getting wet and an extra layer for under your wetsuit. 

On the club’s Facebook page ( there are also links to our social events, which are a great chance to get to know the club better. There are currently plans for a themed bar crawl, BBQ and a club meal, so keep eye out for each week’s activities.

Finally, a big date for the diary, whether you’re a new or existing member is the return of Tyne Tour. On the 4th-6th November the club will be travelling to Hexham (that’s 50min north-west in case you’re new to the area) to attend the biggest canoe/kayaking festival in Europe. Two days of paddling exciting rivers (suitable for beginners), good food and drink, and a Ceilidh. Sign-up ASAP as places will fill up fast.

Other events, including our BUCS events (inter-university competitions) and weekly sessions can be found in the events section of the website, under the regular sessions tab ( The Wednesday recreational session and the beginner’s pool sessions are particularly suited to new paddlers

Hull International Canoe Polo Tournament

By Liam Price on Friday 5th August 2016

Are you ready paddlers?
You: Aye-aye captain!
I can’t hear you!
You: Aye-aye captain!

Oh! Who went to ‘Hull’, oh did you see?
Kayakin’ and ballin’ and drinkin’ were we

If water based nonsense be something you wish….
Then pull off your deck and swim like a fish

D-U-C-C! D-U-C-C! D-U-C-C!
D-UUUUU….C-CEEEEEEE  Hahahaha ahahahah
*flute sounds*

So first and foremost if any of you did not sing along to that, I am very disappointed in you. As penance you can start again and sing it out loud. So why have I done this? I felt it was essential to introduce the club’s trip down to the Hull international with a song. You may have noticed that the word Hull was being mugged by inverted comma’s above and this is with good reason. Due to building works the tournament could not take place in Hull itself, it took place a little outside of Hull. Upon arrival the smell that greeted you could be perhaps best described as a quirky Yankie Candle scent. The name of which being: “nearby manure pile”. 1/10 would not recommend. So we pitched our tents and all that, except that is for Sarah ‘Judas’ Ehmann who decided to abuse her local contacts and stay the night in Emily’s house in, get this, a bed! Totally betraying the kayaking ethos of being a cold and uncomfortable while on weekends away.

So matches didn’t start until the Saturday morning, so we went to the bar. I know what you’re all asking: how drunk did Danni get? But that wasn’t until the Saturday night. I don’t think we really did much, perhaps socialised a bit, maybe had an early-ish night because we’re #funpeople. So the way the tournament worked is as follows: 3 divisions (div 1-3) each divided into 2 groups. Each group plays a round-robin to produce a league table. You then play the corresponding team from the other group to decide your final position. So first in one group plays first in the other, second plays second and so on. So Durham were in Div 2, in the group not containing Tees Tigres B, which like the previous tournament had strong Durham representation. So a bit about the team before we go any furher as it was mostly, but not entirely Durham. So from Durham were Sarah, Jasz, Dan and myself, with a delightful pair of people by the names of Shaune and Jess. Because I’m all clever and things I had forgotten how names work and thought Shaune was pronounced Shwane when I first read it.

The first day started off less than ideal, with a 2-1 defeat to a St. Albans team we really should have beaten. It was our first time playing as a team though, so that provides some excuse at least. This was followed by a rather high scoring game in which we won 6-3. As the score line suggests we started to work better as a team in this one. We had a bit of a break until the next one, so we got to relax a bit, watch some polo and enjoy the agricultural smelling surroundings. An important game was up next, another university team, a game which our pride would not allow us to lose. University of London were the team in question. Despite the fact that we lost the first game, they were our toughest opponents yet. The goals came from both sides, neither team able to pull ahead, unitl finally Durham did, a 4-3 win showing the #durhamdifference. A relatively straightforward game followed against Scotia B, a 4-2 win. That was that for the day, with three games left to play the next day. So we went out for a meal, eventually finding somewhere that everyone liked the look of wasn’t completely booked out by a party. As the European championships were still going on, we got to enjoy the Germany-Italy game that was on at the time. Unfortunately Sarah had to leave before the match got interesting, and subsequently missed the goals and penalty shoot-out that went to the the ninth player.

The FOA team we played next was a team with a fair few kids on, cos FOA, and size may have been a main reason behind the 7-2 victory we enjoyed. This only left the armed forces team, a fairly formidable looking set of opponents.  This was both our hardest and most enjoyable game of polo yet, which I guess is a good thing, made better by a 3-2 win. It was around now that most of us were flagging somewhat, but Shaune “the energiser bunny” Walsh and Dan I feel somewhat carried by being able to break at speed towards the end of this game. This only left the cross-overs now. We finished second overall thanks to the Armed Forces team having a better goal difference than us. This meant we faced (Kami-) Kamikazee (, take me to the party) (for the MØ fans out there). This is a very good team, that had scored a lot of goals in their half of the draw. So while it was disappointing to lose 1-0, we did well not to concede more and they were probably deserving winners. This meant we came 4th overall, and Tigers B came in a respectable 10th, which given they came in looking for a challenge, they did well. That left packing up and heading home and breathing clean air again.

Yorkshire Knockout Tournament

By Liam Price on Tuesday 19th July 2016

Durham University recently ventured forth down to Leeds to partake in the Yorkshire Knockout tournament at the Waterfront Festival. So this was a one day event, unsurprisingly given the title, in Leeds. So over the weekend there were things like dragon boats filled with minions and mimes (not Mr mimes as pokemon Go hadn’t come out yet), a live band and what Richard Chew from Harrogate described on facebook as “some daft sport I’ve never seen before involving kayaks and a football”. Before we go into the polo I’ll tell you about the highlight of my weekend. So there was the UK streetfood championships going on, and if you would allow me to paint you a mental smell picture. It was a nasal paradise, with bratwurst demanding the attention of your right nostril, then some exquisite chicken tikka would demand the attention of your other nostril. What was my favourite, I hear you ask? With all of these delicacies on offer, in which stall did I venture? I’ll leave you in suspense until the end, because this will be fun.

So onto the polo side of things. The intrepid Durham Team was made up of Phil Dean, Jenny, Sarah, Dan and myself. There was also strong representation from Durham in Tees Tigers, with Ant, Emma and Danni making up 3/5ths of the team. And yes you did read that right, Phil Dean literally dusted off his polo boat to make an appearance. I won’t bore you with the details of every game, save to say the Durham team did really well in the round-robin stage, overcoming virtually all in their (our) path. Because I am the one writing this, I will inform you of my paddle shot that was really close. Looking at the scoresheet, Dan was probably number 2, Phil was maybe number 3. Midway through the day there was an exhibition match with Phil, Dan and I want to say Ant played in, all representing Durham commendably.

In the afternoon there were a few more matches, leading to two semi-finals. Durham faced White Rose, formidable foes indeed. However a 3-1 win saw them off. This set up a final against Tees Tigers. This was a very tense final, with Durham emerging as victors due by two goals to nill.

And so this meant we have the resulting photo: 

So we have a shiny trophy now. Huzza.

So my favourite element of the delicacies of the best of British Streetfood? None of it, because they packed up by the time they finished. I almost cried.

National Student Rodeo 2016

By Jean Chabrelie on Monday 7th March 2016

Right guys for all of those that missed NSR I'll try to summarise what you've not had the chance to experience.

NSR started straight off the bat with a messy pre drinking session that involved "Shots in a tube" (England still holds many mysteries from me to unravel) and ungodly amounts of pizza (that Mic still expects compensation for). As soon as everyone felt the presence of NSR's two main enemies (cold and sobriety) be negated by the sheer amount of alcohol they consumed they went to the main tent for a memorable party that involved more alcohol, half naked campers rave music and Max, who is an absolute legend on the dance floor.

The next day started out with everyone in great shape for kayaking. In other words, utterly gutted to have been pulled out their tents and exposed to their hangovers. 
Anyway we had loads of great performances by Anthony play boating and rocking the C1, Eleanor kayaking in a hipster way: aka, without useless mainstream things like paddles. Harry decided that he was too hungover for this shit so he just straight out went for a cheeky swim cementing his position as the club's greatest ever swimmer. Good performances by Ronan as well who made intermediate level a position Captain Ward has been gunning for the last 3 years. Parisa was one of the club's best hopes but she decided that she would be fashionably late for the Women's intermediate final which she missed by a slight margin of a couple of hours. Liam and ex Captain ward reminded us that bromance isn't dead with their great performance on the Duo.

Big congratulations to both Mark and Dan Sheppard for their work saving people's lives all weekend. They even saved one crazed madman who was going down the course in his boxers and swimming for fun (a nudist version of Harry).


The party on Saturday night was pretty epic people were wondering why we came in togas to a Christmas special but we came up with an excuse like Romans killed Jesus whose birth created Christmas. That's still better than: our social sec Alex wanted to re-use an old costume. However, he was sexy in that mini skirt though so we let it slide.
Shout out to Emma for giving us an adult friendly reindeer costume no-one will forget.

Since we didn't get much recognition for our efforts in the prise giving I've come up with my own:

Most keen swimmer: Harry
Nicest person on the dancefloor: Liam
Kinkiest costume: Emma and Alex
Best raver: Max
Most sleep during Nsr: Jennifer
Roughest morning: Eli Bacon
Best NSR spirit: Jake and Eleanor
Most allusive: Taylor


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