Local League 31/1/16

By Liam Price on Wednesday 3rd February 2016

Last Sunday we ventured yet again to the furthest place away ever (York) for a polo competition. I now this as local league, but I don’t really know what that means. I’m such a good info sec. On the trip over I found out Alex and I share a taste in music, which is always fun to find out (does that fact make up for not knowing what we competed in?). It was also ducking freezing waiting outside, so cold in fact that the temperature sensors on the cars read ‘as balls’. We played in the very first game, and in the warm up I didn’t throw a ball at the pool staff, which is always good. I know I don’t need to tell you all the scores as you will all have been avidly following the updates on twitter (@durhamunicanoe), but I will anyway as I should be doing a summative, and the longer this takes, the longer I can put it off for. The first game was a fairly easy 4-1 win, with some solid team play despite not having played together before. Their goal was a late ish consolation goal that was a bit lucky, an ambitious long range shot from memory. Five of us thought we had scored, so the only conclusion that can be drawn is that saboteurs attempted to derail our march to victory by omitting a goal.

Otter wasteman (Barker, 2016)
For those not au fait with the local Yorkshire polo clubs, this is a reference to Yorkshire Otters polo team.

The second game was somewhat closer, only a 2-0 victory. The standard of opposition was greater though, so not an unreasonable result. Drama came when during a chase for a ball Jean got hit in the chin by a boat. The exchange after went something like this:
Opposition player: Are you ok?
Jean: *cracks jaw*
Jean: Yeah
Opposition player: *Paddles away looking slightly afraid*

Further drama occurred when Alex decided to show off and show the entire pool just how good his roll was. He decided one roll wasn’t enough and went straight back over, his mighty roll was just too powerful again and he went all 360o for a second time, only to swim this time.

An easy 5-0 win followed in the next game, and I think it was in this game that Jasz found her scoring touch. Alex was binned miles off the ball and rolled up faster than a really fast thing, I guess out of sheer anger. I nearly missed an open goal, hitting the bottom bar, but luckily the rebound went in to save my blushes. It was after this game Alex pointed out he hadn’t lost a sprint yet and instantly regretted it.

As hubris dictates, Alex lost the next sprint, but the other guy was really quick, in fairness. The last match was the most enjoyable of the lot, with a 4-1 win really making it all the better. Cramp struck Alex underwater, forcing a swim. Someone tried to bin Dan, resulting in him moving slightly to the side.

Everyone on the team got on the scoresheet, Parrisa bagging a few, Jasz with a few, Dan got a few when he had literally no other options but to shoot. The top scorer is up for debate a bit, but Alex and Jean got a similar number. Katherine did a top job in goal, only conceding 2 in 4 games. We didn’t have the almost obligatory curry, but I had the cheesiest chessey chips I ever had the privilege to behold. When you thought no more drama could occur, Jasz stopped to try and help a dog on the way home.

Team: Alex, (OMG its) Dan Robson, Jasz, Jean, Katherine, Liam, Parrisa.

BUCS River Race - rescheduled

By Harry Ward on Tuesday 2nd February 2016

BUCS Wild Water Race has been rescheduled for Saturday 9th April - see the link for further information.

Happy New Year!

By Harry Ward on Thursday 21st January 2016

Happy New Year & welcome back to Durham, all! Hopefully this term will be another great one for the club. If you're new to the club and are keen to get involved, please get in touch - we'd love to help you get on the water!

BUCS River Race - cancelled

By Harry Ward on Thursday 19th November 2015

It is with huge sadness that I have to report that BUCS River Race this weekend is cancelled. It is enormously frustrating to all those who have put in hours of work in terms of both training and organisation for the event. However, we must all appreciate the cancellation is due to reasons outside of the control of our Friends group, who organize the event. I am currently, along with the exec, working on a contingency plan and will keep you all updated via email and Facebook as and when I have more news. If nothing materializes we will run a social on Saturday night and at the very least a river trip over the weekend.

Tyne Tour 2015

By Liam Price on Monday 16th November 2015

This update of the shenanigans of DUCC has taken slightly longer to write than the last few as Alex has rumbled the generic formula I used for the last few, so much like when you don’t have the write coinage at the checkout, it’s time for some change. So the club hasn’t been to Tyne Tour for a few years, so I wasn’t sure entirely what to expect. My thoughts inevitably drifted to whether it would be similar to the Naked National Student Rodeo. I was reliably informed that it was a good laugh by people who have a better idea of what “fun” is and “how to have a good time” than I do. A relatively large number of those newcomers to the club were also keen, so it was with hope in our hearts and a spring in our step, we mentally prepared ourselves for the second weekend away of the term. As we had the pudding social on Thursday, Harry agreed to put some of my kit in his car, so I didn’t have to lug it all the way down to the boathouse (Bear this in mind, we’ll circle back to why this is relevant later). Due to the inconvenience of lectures getting in the way of leaving to go on kayaking trips (an issue, which due to priorities, Steve has never seemed to have), I didn’t leave until 6.30 ish. This means I can only assume less fun was had than in the other cars, because I would wager they didn’t have nearly as many Hosiers tracks on the speakers. In case anyone needs a DJ for anything, I got a load of compliments about my song selection in the car, such as: “I can’t believe you’re playing these songs”, “I liked this when I was 12” or “I’ve never heard such an unusual group of songs played together”. Both late cars stopped on the way for some food, and despite Harry’s most cogent arguments (I must admit I was nearly swayed by “but it’s right there”) we did not have a curry. The food was good, but much like when you go to a cheap casino to play poker, the chips were slightly disappointing.

Upon arriving at Hexham, we collectively demonstrated a masterclass in tent erecting. A fair bit of envy was going on when the pop up tents were whipped out (almost literally), but this would not be the case for long (oh the suspense must be killing you right now). I’m not sure if any tents were put up correctly, but I know that many weren’t. It was around now when unloading kit from cars that I noticed my roll mats were absent, you remember, from before in Harry’s car. Fortunately Steve had a spare, but had he not, Harry might have found his airbed deflating with a large degree of regularity. We then headed into town to catch up with everyone else. The Wetherspoon’s was packed with kayakers and it rapidly became apparent that kayakers are weird, sleeveless hoodie guy doing a solid job of showing this. Everyone had one or two drinks, maybe even 3 that evening, before heading out into the wild Hexham nightlife. The first stop was Phoenix, which was a strange place. It looked like a house on the outside, but on the inside, if you squinted it could be mistaken for a club/bar thing. Some pool of a shocking standard was played, which isn’t me being a dick, more self reflection. The music was very cheesy, and sadly no house in the playlist (get it? Because it looked like a house…..). The minimal number of people meant we then sallied forth onto the other club in Hexham, called Studio. This was smaller and worse than the last one. I also have a recollection of it being really bright in there, though that may not be true. Given it was rubbish we went back to the campsite via Tesco’s, unfortunately they had stopped serving ‘water’ by then, so we returned empty handed and saddened by not being able to remain ‘hydrated’. We talked to some people who seemed pleasant enough until I went to bed and they decided to perform the classic Shakespeare play: “The loudest things ever”. Harry learned the error of drinking 2L of water just before going to bed.

The next morning was wet, and muddy and also wet. Rain shouldn’t be an issue when one is about to get on a river to go paddling, but it is. Steve and Alex’s tent was not entirely waterproof, which decreased the envy that was felt before. Steve’s good luck did not end there, he realised he had forgotten his helmet. We had spare club ones, so it wasn’t the end of the world, but, much like toadstools, he did look a bit like a mushroom. The river (The river Tyne for those of you that haven’t read the title) was good fun, though it did have a lot of flat in, which got a bit dull. I did enjoy Ant attempting to brace using Danni’s paddles, which resulted in the blade slicing straight into the water. The rapidy bits (technical term) were paddled well, with minimal swimming all around. Warden Gorge was the culmination of the river, a bouncy wave train thing, with photographers at the bottom, which could capture a horrendous pose (me), you having the best time ever swimming (Alex) or gurning hard on the last wave (everyone). A long paddle at the end followed to the get out. A solid bit of paddling by me meant I grounded myself on the one bit of shallow on a shallow and flat 30m wide section. The rain stopped, I then of coursed jinxed it by thinking about how nice it would be to get off in the rain. We took a group picture of everyone, except Ant and Danni, who were lagging a suspiciously long way behind. A fun sequence of events followed that culminated in me doing the splits between two boats, Harry hitting me in the face with his paddle and me swimming around in what started as not too cold water.

Some people went to get changed, some kit was bought, including Harry buying what turned out to be left handed paddles. I started to get changed outside, complained about the rain, at which someone pointed out I had a dry tent to use. We then headed off to the pub, for mostly water, some beer and a few tea’s (not in the same glass you understand, that would be horrible). It was here that we had our first game of ‘where will Max fall asleep next’. We dried off there, had some fun trying to charge phones and saw a sign for ‘Stevie’s karaoke’. We then had a really rather good Chinese. Shout out to the those of the friends group that joined us. In good canoe club tradition I ate in healthy moderation (assuming healthy moderation means for like 3 people). It was here we had our next round, of ‘ where will Max fall asleep next’.

Fireworks were the next port of call, which were pretty good, though the show was stolen a bit by the guy lighting them pegging it away from the last box like his life depended on it. Now I know carrot cake is a controversial topic and can divide opinion, but I can hold my tongue no longer. I like carrot cake. There I said it. I only hope you can be accepting of this. I had some after the fireworks, and it was like a party in my mouth where everyone was invited. We then got to witness the masterful showman that is Stevie. Is a man, is he just a myth, is he even real? I doubt we will ever know the answer to these questions. All we know are his white shoes, flamboyant red shirt and chains made his attire. He strolled onto the stage (bit of floor where karaoke happened) like he owned it and sang a very standard rendition of an Elvis song. Satisfied he had blown the audience’s (mostly us) collective minds, he returned to his seat and resumed his pint. Knowing that nothing could live up to the high standard of song, we left. We then went to Tesco to successfully buy ‘water’. It may be I just wasn’t cool enough to know this as a child, but it became apparent that the place to be if you are 12 is the Tesco car park. We then went and attempted to socialise with other uni’s. I disappeared for a bit to chat to a friend from Newcastle, so I can only assume you all made lifelong friends. The ceilidh was great fun, only improved by 3 for £5 mojitos. I have a feeling that the caller’s leather beret will become next seasons must have item. Only issue was the ceilidh finished a touch too early. Some of us attempted to return to Phoenix, but decided to give up upon learning entry was charged. It seems like I’m throwing a fair bit of shade at Hexham bars, so for all the owners of said establishments that are reading this: I don’t entirely think they’re rubbish.

It wasn’t raining this morning, but everything was still very muddy and wet, which made taking the tents down so much fun. It turned out Ant and Danni needed some aid putting the tent down in the morning, so we helpful took the poles out for them. We then headed off to low force to do a few runs of that before heading home. Some of us stopped off at a tea room on the way there that had a fire and was everything one dreams of when on a weekend away. There were a few other uni’s present, who kindly helped out with safety. I think virtually everyone had a go, and there were a few swims, but it is tricky the first few times you do it! A few went off to the Swale after that, which turned out to be the first of two unsuccessful trips to the Swale in 2 days for Steve. The rest of us got cosy and started our way home. We stopped at a reservoir, which was a magical moment for everyone, and no one gave any attitude about it at all. Food was the next priority, so we stopped for something to eat. There must be a joke somewhere about leaving a wetsuit in the corner while one eats their food, but it eludes me at the minute. And so ended the weekend away, with much successful paddling done, and good times had all around (I hope)! Thanks for reading, and I guess we’ll speak again after river race this weekend.

Freshers weekend away

By Liam Price on Thursday 29th October 2015

For those of you who are regular readers you will remember that I normally start such pieces with a joke. I do this because I like to think I’m funny. This is not because because I have finally decided to face the harsh light of truth with regards to how funny I am, but because I, in spite of Duran Duran’s immortal words, have to be serious. Forty people came to freshers weekend away this year, which I’m pretty sure is more people than we have ever had at any event ever. So a big thank you to those of you that came and helped make it such a good event. Thank you to all you new-comers especially that keep coming back to things and being keen, especially when you outnumber us existing members at morning training (canoeing house I’m looking at you here). Secondly (or maybe thirdly, who knows) congratulations to you new members as well for the improvement in technique and ability we saw over the weekend. There was a noticeable difference from the intro to white water trip the weekend before, to the end of river on Saturday or Sunday, depending on which day you did it.

Our tale begins on a Friday night, a city on edge, anticipation was building in the air. Many people were unsure why. Why did so many people have this look of nervous optimism and hope etched on their faces all day? Why was their home town of Rotherham so changed this past 24 hours? What these unaware of the events that would take place that night, they did not understand that even at this early stage of the season the clash of Rotherham United against Sheffield Wednesday had the potential to have huge repercussions. With Wednesday pushing for a play-off place and Rotherham struggling in the relegation zone the stakes could not be higher. The situation in Durham was rather dull by comparison. People turned up at 6ish to get pack themselves and a load of kit into cars to amble off to Amble (remember what I said before about thinking I was funny). Harry was calm, relaxed and collected for the entire time, no stress whatsoever occurred. On the journey there I cannot speak for the other cars, but I do want to wish congratulations to Chloe Allen for falling asleep with a speed that can only be described as miraculously fast. Upon arriving at the hall we were treated to Shepherd’s pie courtesy of Jasz, which was very welcome. If you haven’t had the chance already, make sure you say thanks to her and all the other cooks from this weekend. For example most of you will know Mark, but for those of you struggling to place Eleanor, she was the one that tried to fight anyone talking smack about Stockton. A mini-social followed, with the rightful beer-pong champions being robbed Harry’s underhand tactics (literally). Much merriment followed, the details of which I won’t put on here, but whoever asked how you spelt Ed’s first name, hang your head in shame. I will mention how excited Elli was that we had the same colour shirt on, a situation that apparently demanded many selfies throughout the evening.

Everyone was really keen to get up early the Saturday morning, the amount of vigour and pep so early in the morning was astounding. I forget who said it but I think the general attitude is best summed up by this quote: “uuurrrrrrgggghhhhh why”. Such enthusiasm is an example for us all. We had to clean up the hall to make way for the coffee morning and puppet workshop that, despite overwhelming numbers of requests, we couldn’t get back in time for. This task was met with similar levels of enthusiasm as getting up. We got to the river with minimal hassle. The group was split in two so half did polo and half did the river Coquet, an ever tricky word to say politely. As I said before I was impressed with the improvement in river paddling I saw, it was good to see people give everything a go and be so willing to practise and work on improving. Compared to previous years we had more people and fewer swims, so kudos on that! I was a big fan of how willing you all were to give multiple runs of the fish ladders a go; it certainly made it more interesting for us! Shout out to everyone that did swim for being really chill (not literally, they managed to stay relatively warm) and kept their spirits up and continued paddling. Here a special mention must go to Julie for making the rather large claim that she enjoyed swimming. I wasn’t at any of the polo sessions, so not sure of the order of what happened both days. So polo happened, balls were thrown, boats were paddled, that mostly covers I think. Mentions to Alex for rolling and to Lilith for attempting to roll, despite never having been taught. I didn’t get to play much polo sadly, but in the afternoon of the Saturday what I saw and from what Dan saw the standard was also pretty good, again with people being very keen to throw themselves in (not into the water you understand, that would be very counterproductive to staying upright). I understand some goods were purchased from the kayaking shop, so that seems like a good thing. Hot showers were a fantastic idea upon returning to the hall. The knowledge that cold and wet kit waited for me tomorrow tempered the temporally blissful moment. Kit was hung up rather optimistically to dry, with only Ben being successful due to noticing a hot pipe/radiator.

Much like the bold explorers of old we ventured into the untamed lands of Amble. I think it’s fair to say a meal has never been more disappointing. I’m going to speak from the experience of my table here. I heard many an anguished wail of disappointment at other tables, but my heart had just sunk so low that they barely registered. The meal started full of promise. The loaded potato skins Ant had looked especially good. As did the mussels, but they later induced vomiting, so they shouldn’t be too proud of themselves. The meal then did its best impression of a car parked on a slope with no handbrake on and went suddenly downhill. The duck and hoisin pizza was lacking in hoisin, the base was dry and the experience left me strangely melancholic. A normally reliable option of the BBQ chicken wasn’t any better. Thinking Emma must be exaggerating, I tried some and I think I’ve had water with more flavour. The promise of peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake kept me going, my stomach was growling in anticipation, “patience old friend” I had to remind it. The meal then turned into a little bit of a sitcom, the chef had dropped the cheesecake. Disappointment reigned supreme. I thought the white chocolate and marshmallow cheesecake would be a solid alternative. It wasn’t. It was like eating solid cream, a hobby I do not recommend. A slightly more relaxed evening followed, with some rather interesting opinions coming to the fore in a game of paranoia. Also because we know how to have fun in canoe club, a blanket fort was constructed.

Surprisingly a slightly more energetic (a relative term) get up occurred on the Sunday, perhaps the allure of bacon was just too strong. Harry was certainly keen to get up, waking up at 5, thinking it was morning and instead of checking his watch, decided the best thing to do would be to wake Ellie up. The hall was packed up and we left for the river, ready for a second days paddling. Everyone donned kit and I managed to find a deck that seemed to generate water to drain into my boat. Again I can’t really speak for polo, but the river paddling went well, everyone was keen to practice skills and work on improving. Minimal swimming occurred, which is always nice. Today’s group were less keen to run the fish ladders multiple times, only Lilith in my group did it twice, so credit to her for that. The paddle seemed to go quicker on the second day for some reason, so we seemed to get back relatively quickly. I forget which day it was that Harry and Ellie spent 2 hours on their playerlayer photoshoot, but yeah, that happened. Given spooning improves any situation (try and think of one that isn’t, that’s right, you can’t), it was with regret that pasta was eaten with knives. The obligatory trip photo was taken and also the second DUCC swim team photo. Many people fell asleep on the way home, thankfully none of whom were driving. And so endeth the weekend away. I trust you all enjoyed it and I hope to see you all at things soon! One final mention to Cora and Alex for making it through a whole weekend in a car with Harry and Ellie, you are an inspiration to us all. Apologies that not everything got a mention, but I don’t hear about everything straight away, something you can help to rectify should you so wish. Thanks for reading and #canoelove

Pool Sessions

By Harry Ward on Tuesday 13th October 2015

Please note that our pool days have switched as of the week beginning 19th October 2015. We will now be having our more advanced Polo Pool Session on Monday evenings, meeting at Maiden Castle at 7:50pm and our Skills Pool Session on Tuesday evenings, meeting at Maiden Castle at 6:50pm. 

Taster Sessions

By Harry Ward on Thursday 8th October 2015

We're running free taster sessions, so whether you're after trying something different or are a seasoned paddler wanting to meet the club - come along and see what we can offer! Wear swimwear and a t-shirt, bring a change of clothes and we'll provide the rest! If there weather stays as good as it has been recently, we're in for a treat, so don't miss out! More details, sign up and times are available to view on our website. If you're unsure of anything please reply to this email or speak to someone on the exec.

Saturday 10th October
Taster Session- 1:00-3:00pm at Maiden Castle. 
Taster Session- 3:00-5:00pm at Maiden Castle. 

Sunday 11th October
Taster Session- 1:00-3:00pm at Maiden Castle. 
Taster Session- 3:00-5:00pm at Maiden Castle. 

Wednesday 14th October
Taster Session- 1:30-3:30pm at Maiden Castle. 
Taster Session- 3:30-5:30pm at Maiden Castle. 

Saturday 17th October
Taster Session- 1:00-3:00pm at Maiden Castle. 
Taster Session- 3:00-5:00pm at Maiden Castle. 

Sunday 18th October - 11am meet at Maiden Castle* 
We will paddle a local section of river which passes through a scenic wooded valley as it travels from Durham to Finchale Abbey. The section will include some minor white water rapids, these however are suitable for beginners. We recommend you come along to a taster/pool sessions beforehand or have some minor prior experience. The total trip cost is £4 per person, please bring this with you.
*Please note: there are no normal taster sessions running in addition to the river trip on Sunday 18th 

Wednesday 21st October
Taster Session- 1:30-3:30pm at Maiden Castle. 
Taster Session- 3:30-5:30pm at Maiden Castle. 

To sign up to anything listed, just click the "Events" tab on the top right hand side, search for your event, click "sign up," then sign up again on the main page... then just turn up!

See you on the water soon!

Welcome Back!

By Harry Ward on Sunday 4th October 2015

A big welcome back to Durham from me! If you're new to the club, I'm Harry your Captain for the next year. I'm a third year from Mary's studying chemistry, two years ago I joined canoe club having never really paddled before and now I'm proud to be captain of one of the most successful sports teams at Durham. Whether you're wanting to compete for the university at a high level, float down a river every weekend or just have a great time at socials out in Durham with the friendliest bunch of folks you'll meet - we're the club for you! Me and my awesome exec and all the club look forward to meeting you soon! Anyone new to the club should be sure to join our Facebook group for all the latest goings on -

For those of you who haven't been back in Durham long, we've just had two weeks of awesome preseason. We had a great turnout at all events and a huge thanks must go to Mark Ledger and Dan Robson for organizing the two weeks! 

This term will hopefully be one of the busiest the club has had recently - with two weekends away, one BUCS event, two pool sessions and three early morning training sessions per week and lots of river trips/polo competitions thrown in for good measure! Here's to a great term of paddling!

If you're around this week, please do come and say hello at the Experience Durham Fresher's Fair in the Elvet Riverside building - we're in ER145 and have an ergo competition for both days. The event is on from 1300-1800 on Tuesday 6th October and 1000-1600 on Wednesday 7th October. Come and find out what we can offer!

Weekly Timetable:

Fitness Session - 7:20am at Maiden Castle boathouse 
Polo Tactics and Rolling pool session - 7:50pm meet at Maiden Castle boathouse

Fitness Session - 7:20am at Maiden Castle boathouse 
Wear Whoppers - 6:15pm at Maiden Castle boathouse (more advanced session)
Polo Games Session - 7:50pm meet at Maiden Castle Boathouse

S&C Gym Session - 1:00pm at Maiden Castle, S&C Gym
Wednesday Wear Session - 2:00pm at Maiden Castle boathouse (great for beginners)
Slalom / WW Training - 4:00pm at the Tees Barrage (check weekly email)

Fitness Session - 7:20am at Maiden Castle boathouse
Wear Whoppers - 6:30pm at Maiden Castle boathouse (more advanced session)
Weekly Social - 8:00pm meet at a college bar - check the weekly email for details

Friday Freestyle - 6:00pm at Maiden Castle (check Facebook for details)

Weekly river trip (check the website and weekly email for updates)
Polo Tournaments

Upcoming Events:

Taster Sessions - Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays until 21st October (except Sunday 18th - see below) - Maiden Castle
We're running free taster sessions, so whether you're after trying something different or are a seasoned paddler wanting to meet the club - come along and see what we can offer! Wear swimwear and a t-shirt, bring a change of clothes and we'll provide the rest! If there weather stays as good as it has been recently, we're in for a treat, so don't miss out! More details, sign up and times are available to view on our website. If you're unsure of anything please reply to this email or speak to someone on the exec.

Fresher's Meeting/Social - Thursday 15th October - 7pm - The Boat Club bar (under Elvet Bridge, near Klute)
Want to find out more about the club? Come to this first informal meeting and social to meet the exec and find out more about what we can offer. Anyone is welcome! Whether you want to become a BUCS warrior or just float down the river every weekend, we’re the club for you! We're planning a Bailey Bar Crawl after informal drinks, however check next week's weekly email and the Facebook page for more info.

Introduction to White Water Paddling - Sunday 18th October - 11am - Maiden Castle
We will paddle a local section of river which passes through a scenic wooded valley as it travels from Durham to Finchale Abbey. The section will include some minor white water rapids, these however are suitable for beginners. We recommend you come along to a taster/pool sessions beforehand or have some minor prior experience. - sign up link

Fresher's Weekend Away - 23rd-25th October - Warkworth, Northumberland
This is a great opportunity to experience the club and let us showcase what we can offer you! Leaving Durham on Friday evening we travel up to Northumberland for a weekend of socializing and paddling. Over the weekend we introduce you to gentle whitewater paddling (no prior experience required) and canoe polo, our two main disciplines within the club. The trip will cost around £40 per person including Breakfast/Lunch on Saturday and Sunday, all kit usage and transport. We expect popularity to be high so sign up as soon as you can! - sign up link

Tyne Tour - 6th-8th November - Hexham, Northumberland 
Europe's largest mass participation kayaking event - with plenty of races, kayaking and a great party on the Saturday night! We're expecting a big Durham turnout this year - sign up at the link or speak to any exec member to find out more about the event. - sign up link

Pool Sessions:
Come and have a go at rolling or polo in a heated indoor pool! Our pool sessions this year are in Hartlepool and run from 9-10pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. We meet at Maiden Castle at 7:50pm and return by around 10:45pm. Sessions are £5 each and sign up is done via our website. Links below are for pool sessions on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th October, respectively.
Monday Sessions - Rolling and Novice Polo Sessions - This is our weekly beginner's pool session open to all members of the club. During these sessions the pool will be split in half with one section dedicated to learning the basic kayaking strokes (with a particular focus on rolling) and the other introducing canoe polo. Both are appropriate for new members with no prior experience. Coaching will be provided by the club's experienced paddlers and transport to and from the pool is provided. Sign-up is required.

Tuesday Sessions - Advanced Polo Sessions - Whilst this might sounds rather serious, the session is open to all club members and we encourage new members to come along. In fact, most of our BUCS teams are filled with paddlers that had never tried canoeing before coming to University. We do however recommend that if you are completely new to paddling and you are able to attend the Monday or Wednesday sessions, that you learn the basic kayaking strokes at these sessions before attending Tuesday sessions.

To keep our excellent treasurer, Issy, happy - please pay your membership as soon as possible, especially if you are storing a boat in the Boathouse. For up to date accounts, please log in to our website and see your balance. Membership this year is £40and includes all kit use and boat storage for the year. You can attend three sessions before becoming a member however this year we are offering anyone who becomes a member before Fresher's weekend away £5 off the cost of the weekend, so save yourself some cash and bother and pay your membership asap - £5 is (nearly) three pints in the Swan and Three!

Please pay membership by cheque or cash in a sealed envelope with your name on, handed to a member of the exec. Or preferablyvia bank transfer to our account. Details below:

Account name: "Durham University Canoeing Club"
Account number: 53770109
Sort Code: 20-27-41

Please put your initial and surname i.e. "H Ward" so we know who has paid! Any questions please reply to this email and Issy will be in touch.

General Information: Please READ the following, they are important:
1) Health Declarations: The policy is for all health forms to be destroyed at the end of the year. If you would like for your health details to be kept, there is a check box at the bottom of the health form giving us permission to keep your details. If when you sign up to events you see a red cross by your name, please fill out a Health Declaration form. Not doing this may results in you being turned away from the session.
2) Standing Orders: The new standing orders have been approved by Team Durham and are now official club policy. The new version can be downloaded from the "Files" page of our website, look for "Durham University Canoe Club Standing Orders - Issue 11"
3) Safety Policy: We are in the final stages of updating the club Safety Policy. When this is complete we will upload it to the website as well and would ask all members to familiarize themselves with it.

...thankfully I think that's all! Apologies it's a bit of a long email and thanks for managing to stay awake during the bulk of it. 

Again, a massive welcome to all new fresher's joining us this year and we look forward to helping as many of you get out on the water as possible.

If you have any questions whatsoever about anything listed, anything to do with the canoe club... or anything at all... please drop me an email/text/facebook message, I want to be as approachable as possible so please do get in touch - I'm here to help!

I look forward to seeing/meeting you all soon! Happy Paddling!


Harry Ward
Club Captain

BUCS polo 2015

By Liam Price on Thursday 30th April 2015

Approximately 4,523 weeks after 4 score and 7 years ago Durham uni canoe club ventured forth to BUCS polo 2015. The majority of the team went down to Doncaster on the Friday night, with the exception being me, who due to a vital derby couldn’t come up until the Saturday night #bleedslightlymauve. So while everyone else was travelling up I was learning a rather interesting fact about ants in a fantastically timed lecture on Friday evening: you can determine ants gender by if the float or not; if the sink = girl ant and if they float = boy ant. The main event on the way up seems to be Harry’s decision that his true calling in life is as a highway maintenance worker. Who knows where this desire came from, Harry himself does not seem to know the exact moment when he knew, but the moment of truth came when nearing the end of the journey. With roadwork’s on the leftmost lane a gap in the cones was suddenly before him. A chance to live the never before realised dream was suddenly his. He hit the gap. He could hear the shouts of support (that definitely weren’t of terror) from the passengers of the car. After an all too brief moment of euphoria he remembered the polo competition, he knew that roadwork’s would always be there waiting for him, it was time to head out of another gap and back onto the actual road and meet his destiny at BUCS polo 2015.

In order to prepare best for the weekends polo, the team did as all top athletes do and went out for a carvery. Given the inevitable rigors of the competition to come, Ant Stewart, Harry Ward and Dan Sheppard went for the King Size option. According to my calculations this meal consisted of a solid 2,322 kcal of pure health. Dan and Ant had sufficient commitment to the team to finish and be raring to go for the next day’s exertions.

When the team arrived in the morning they were simply inundated with expressions of admiration for the Team Durham kit tent, some walking past with open looks of jealousy and awe. To continue the display of dominance the ladies team beat Teeside 3-0 in the earliest game of the day. The men’s A team clearly saw this result and decided that Teeside hadn’t suffered sufficiently at the polo ball wielding hands of Durham and won a fairly convincing 14-0 win. It is also possible that they were just making the point that the single digit score boards were inadequate for their requirements. The B team could sadly not continue this winning trend and succumbed to Nottingham in a closely contested 1-0 defeat. In Durham’s fourth game of the day the women’s team showed the B team how it was done by beating the not a proper northern university of Manchester by a resounding 5 goals to 0. The men’s A’s frankly let themselves down in the next game, maybe it was complacency, or possibly they didn’t want it enough. The 10-0 win shows this well, barely reaching double figures; disgraceful. Much like the sea at 8.59 in South Shields that very same day, the tides were turning for the B team. A 3-1 victory over Birmingham B gave the team a much needed boost. While all these games were going on the old boys team was officially being remarkably consistent by losing every game they played 3-0. The reality is much less neat, what with variable scores in every match. However winning every match by approximately all the goals to very few or none cannot be complained about too much.

Our afternoon games kicked (thrown?) off with the women’s team suffering a 3-1 to one of the few alliteratively titled teams in the competition; London ladies. Durham B drawing their next game against Leeds B 2-2 (wordplay was definitely not the result of a typo). The ladies team ensured Southampton were moving south with a 4-1 win. The results document I’m checking the scores against tells me this game was a knockout game, so Southampton may not have been moving south, possibly sideways, it’s hard to tell with polo. The men’s A’s recorded a 10-0 win against Sheffield as the day approached the evening, which I think was the joint second highest score of the weekend, being only equalled and beaten by themselves in earlier rounds. A comparatively normal score came next for the men’s A’s against Warwick, however I am assured that the 4-0 victory should have been more with Matt Fletcher especially rueing a dip in his performance in front of goal.

For reasons that remain somewhat of a mystery we went out to eat at Sambuca Doncaster that evening, a restaurant that the especially observant among you will notice is one of the 3 places to eat out in Durham. After witnessing Doncaster’s finest specimens of sophistication on the way from the train station, I joined up with the team, filling in for Ant while he met the queen. Also getting on the wrong train because you were looking at train times for the next day on your phone is totally something everyone has done and very much not something that one should feel embarrassed about. After the meal everyone got the proper amount of sleep of about 5 and a half hours, though part of that was my fault for staying up to watch Hull city’s triumph over Crystal Palace, the first of two clean sheets in a row, the first in the premier league since 2013. I digress however from the beds that inexplicably had a hard rope like border around the outside that would offer the optimal comfort to someone with grooves in their ankles. I hear the double beds were great though, so I’m not at all jealous about that.

The morning was another early one with a surprisingly good breakfast from a travel (probably) inn. Anyone that complains about muffins for breakfast is someone you don’t need in your life. As the planned leaving time of 6.30 came and went Beth Barratt in particular being especially calm. Upon arriving at the competition I got my first glimpse of a remarkably graffiti free pretentious, a majestic sight indeed. The ladies team got their warm up going, which given the temperature was rather necessary (ice on the cars cold is not a fun temperature). Exciting times lay ahead for the ladies against another alliterative team (two in two days is a treat indeed!), Lancaster Ladies. 2 goals was enough to ensure that by the end a loss would have been sheer LUNE-acy. I think it was around this gap that Ellie Bacon announced that a bee had stung her, only for her to retract this a few seconds later when she realised it was her jacket zip, wild times indeed. The B’s had their first match of the day at the time of 10.20 against Sheffield B. It was a close game with only a goal from myself separating the two teams (narcissism what?). The game turned out to be one of abundant binning, much to the delight of the crowd. One such occasion meant I had to splash over to the front of a member of the other team’s boat to T rescue myself, in not my most elegant moment. Also it wouldn’t be a proper polo match if I didn’t get a green card, so I earned one by throwing the ball at one of the other team’s head when “trying” to give the ball back. The rest of Durham have a much less lax attitude towards sportsmanship, so no cards were needed in the women’s 4-0 win over Bristol. The approaching sun and its delicate warmth seemed to inspire the team to a solid victory.

It is now that controversy struck. The time was 12.00, the pitch was 4. The ladies were drawing 1-1 with Warwick. It is then that one of the Warwick team got binned and failed to roll back up and took a swim. The ref called a timeout, for some reason. The player subbing on then paddled onto the pitch before the swimmer had all their kit behind the goal. The ref also allowed this for some reason. So Durham were not a player up due to a yellow card for an illegal substitution. The game went to extra time. Emma Kirk was binned and in a rather poor display of sportsmanship (not that I can talk) 2 nearby Warwick players did not rescue her, despite Emma having done that for another Warwick player earlier in the match. Warwick unfortunately got the winner soon after. Dan Robson was banned from the waterside for his protests against the refereeing decisions. Given Dan is well known for his angry and expletive ridden outbursts, this is to be somewhat understood. The Warwick coach openly told one of the refs to duck (you know what I mean) off, and received no censure. Where is justice (apart from isolated parts of the arctic). The result meant the ladies finished 4th, which is a great achievement, no matter the manner of the last game.

The A’s played their first game of the day at 13.00, with blood boiling thick in the veins due to the wrong that had been delivered upon Durham. The team that had the misfortune of standing (or sitting?) in their way was Nottingham, a good team, that could not withstand the march of the righteous as they succumbed to a 6-1 defeat. I did not hear any chants of “Matt Fletcher, he scores when he wants”, but around now it would never have been more appropriate. Shout out to Tom Rawlings, Steve Hopkins and Mark Ledger for having the audacity to line up against Birmingham in a 3v5 game. They sadly lost 2-1, but given they were 2 men down, this was a very good effort. The B’s had their second game of the day against the 4 man Southampton B. Kudos to them for getting so far with a 4 man team, but defeat was all that was awaiting them on this particular afternoon that was getting pleasantly warm. A hand roll of redemption for me and what Harry described as the best day ever when he rolled back up to find the ball sitting there waiting for him. The 2-0 win was a tough one, but well earned. It also meant we finished 9th overall (Rumours going around that thats really the best place to come). After a rather chilly morning there was an unacceptably large amount of complaining about the heat in the afternoon, with a hunt for sun cream consuming some those of the club of a more ginger persuasion. In a very karmically satisfying game Loughborough ladies went on to beat Warwick 5-0. I did get shouted at my Eleanor Marshall for going to help Warwick retrieve a ball in that game though, in what can best be described as holding a grudge.

The only game left for Durham was the Men’s A final against Loughborough. The team displayed their shooting skills to the crowd at the only goal with a large hole and spectators sitting behind it. I can only assume they were trying to intimidate the crowd. With Jasz don’t ask me to try and spell your full name Blows hiding behind her hands, the game begun. It wasn’t tense for very long with Durham reaching a 5-0 lead by half time and dominating the half. The game was more even in the second half, with Durham failing to find the net more than once and conceding only the second goal all tournament. Matt Fletcher adding a few more to his tally to be Durham’s top scorer. There was never a serious threat (he says knowing the final result). The 6-1 result meant Durham retained their title, and given the fact the trophy was a new one, Durham’s name is all that is on there. The group photos of the proud competitors are all on the facebook page and I'll tweet them as well. Big thanks to James Cochran for stepping in at literally (not literally) the last minute to complete the B team despite never having played polo before. Also shout out to Jasz for losing Harry while he stood in front of her. On the way back to Durham some rather good fish and chips were had in Boroughbridge. I mention this as it was here that Ellie chased some ducks and Harry was shocked by a Heron. Given this is the canoe club I feel that’s a suitable note to end on.

Men’s A: Dan Robson, Dan Taylor, Scott Creswell, Matthew Fletcher, Mark Stillings, Steve Hopkins and Beth Barratt.
Ladies: Beth Barratt, Eleanor Marshall, Eleanor Bacon, Parissa Gregg, Issy Braddock and Emma Kirk.
Men’s B’s: Alastair Paterson, Dan Sheppard, Harry Ward, James Cochran, Ant Stewart and Liam Price

Final Div 4 Tournament

By Anthony Stewart on Saturday 18th April 2015

Five of us headed down to Liverpool for the final Div 4 tournament of the season. In our first game against Manners, Anthony started us out with our first goal in what became a 1-1 draw. 

Our second game was against the home team LCC Salthouse. A hattrick from Steve, two goals from Anthony and a goal each from Emma and Mark saw us win comfortably with a final score of 7-0.

Next up we faced Red Rose. We did well to keep then honest but a bad pass allowed them a shot at an empty goal and despite a few good runs from Mark and Anthony we never made this back, losing 1-0.

Our fourth game was the hardest, playing Kingston C who had four players trying out for GB U21s. We did well to make it to half time at 1-1 with a goal from Anthony, but in the second half we struggled and despite a great goal from Steve, we lost 4-2.

We were looking forward to our final game against Dee Valley in which we were hopeful for a good result, however, they never showed :/

We did well to play some great polo against much stronger teams. The Durham team was Steve, Anthony, Mark Stillings, Emma and Dan Price. Steve scored the most goals and Anthony managed to win the ball off all 8 sprints. 

We'll have to wait to see where we came overall in the league bit we put in some strong performances and think we came between third and fifth depending on goal difference. 

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