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. 

Local league polo

By Liam Price on Sunday 15th March 2015

There have been some great contests through the course of sporting history, some may point to the title decider between Liverpool and Arsenal in 1989, others may go to the Republic of Ireland reaching the quarter finals of the 1990 world cup in Italy (the more observant among you will notice a sporting theme with those examples). So it came to be that Durham university ventured to the Dolphin center in Darlington to face Kayak Northumbria and Newcastle A and B in the local league contest (of the century, if you fancy some wild hyperbole). The trip started off on a positive note when I found my hat that i'd left in the back of ledger's car, which I'm sure you will all be relieved to hear. Upon arriving it transpired that Northumbria had not brought any boats, which in the immortal words of Pepper Brooks is "a bold strategy Cotton, lets see how it pays off for him". Fortunately for them they borrowed some of Newcastle's boats, so the contest wasn't over before it had begun. The same could not be said for the first game between Northumbria and Newcastle, wherein it was 1-0 on the way to 9-0 within virtually the first play (may or may not be a polo term that). The first game for Durham came next, with a decent first performance against Newcastle B resulting in a warranted 6-2 victory. A mention must go to Ant Stewart for a hat trick (no idea if this is a thing in polo either). Newcastle A came next and provided a tougher game, though the same goal difference. Steve Hopkins netting twice to bring his tally to three helped bring about a 4-0 win. This meant that a big game against Northumbria was set up for the mid way point through the contest. The game was closer than the resulting 5-2 scoreline suggests, and Mark Ledger keeping us in the game with some fine saves and a brace of goals was arguably key. Emma Kirk's anger at everything in the vicinity was also invaluable in defense. It was around this time that Emma found the opposition to be just insufficiently interesting and did some maths instead.

A pair of goals from Ant and Steve meant Newcastle B were seen off 4-2, in a much closer contest than the first game. This match contained the only card of the afternoon, for me, for a really rather blatant foul. I then had to try and get the german referee to explain to me what a green card meant, which meant he just explained what the card was for several times. As he didn't seem to be expecting me to be leaving the pitch i assumed this meant all was fine and I could carry on. The following game against Newcastle A was similar to the previous one against the B team, with a closer 3-0 victory than last time. Northumbria winning the rest of their matches meant a key finale was set up, wherein a win or a draw would mean Durham would be bleeding victorious palatinate, whereas a win for Northumbria would put us level on points. I assume this would mean goal difference would decide the winner, which would likely mean a win for the relatively local rivals. A relatively close contest meant it was 2-0 to Durham with a few seconds remaining, truly a fantastic result, well deserved given the higher than normal standard of play we were playing to. A late opposite of a consolation goal came when a Northumbria player inexplicable passed the ball to me mid attack, which enabled a through ball to Ant who slotted into an empty net to seal the victory. This meant Durham finished top overall with a 100% record and 3 clean sheets, something certainly to be proud of. Ant was annoyed the only sprints he lost were against Newcastle B, so I won't mention that. Some faulty scoring meant that Parisa Gregg's goal was not recorded, which I'm sure the league officials will want a full investigation into. Shout out to Emma for playing through pain that required a bunch of prescription strength painkillers. The team celebrated as true athletes should with curry, which was packed with nutrients and is undeniably the best food for post match recovery.

Team: Harry Ward, Emma Kirk, Ant Stewart, Steve Hopkins Parisa Gregg, Mark Ledger, Issy Braddock and Liam Price.
Top scorer: Ant with 8

National Student Rodeo 2015

By Liam Price on Monday 9th March 2015

Last weekend the club ventured down to the white water course at Holme Pierrepont near Nottingham to take part in the largest kayaking event in the world (apparently). For those of you that haven't been/heard about NSR, it's a this weekend of partying that happens to have a playboating competition added on the side. For the boating side of things we had fairly solid representation this year, in a decent range of classes. We had an highlight with our captain Harry Ward reaching the beginners final, and while we were thoroughly entertained by his efforts, he could not compete with pie throwing and baguette paddling for the win. We had Ben Roberts performing valiantly to represent the club in the intermediate section, despite having virtually never playboated (maybe a word) before. Ant Stewart definitely deserved his place in the expert category, with loops, a helix and even a space godzilla being thrown about. For those that wish for demonstrations of this and other fabulously named tricks have a trip to the barrage and I'm sure Ant will be more than happy to demonstrate (cheeky session plug). I on the other hand thoroughly did not deserve my place with the experts, though I was happy to liven up the afternoon of the safety crews, who were looking a little bored at the time. Ellie Bacon showed much keenness in the women's intermediate section, it only took Harry's suggestion to start and enter the wave to get her going, determined to get an immediate adventage over her rivals. This would have course been a good plan had the run actually started. A decent duo run by Dan Sheppard and last minute sub Jason Pompeus meant they reached the duo heats. A rather large stick was inserted into the rotating bike wheel of life when the duo was on a car picking up Erica from the station at the time of the aforementioned heat. Our final result came from Ant gatecrashing the C1 competition in a boat borrowed from Newcastle uni, where he would have come third, had he bothered to pay for an entry.

As a plug for next years NSR, I highly recommend it, whatever level of paddling ability you have, you will fit in somewhere, whether its throwing mad shapes at the pro end, or having as much fun as possible getting wet in the beginners! There are some great prizes up for offer as well, from boats, paddles to your very own throwline to show off to all your friends. Another reason to come is the rodeo rabbit, which upon tackling to the ground will give you some prizes, as opposed to the restraining order you would normally get in other circumstances. The party mentioned earlier must of course get some more words written about it. On the first night on the Friday everyone has a good time and definitely does not swear off all alcohol ever again the morning after, absolutely does not miss their run due to a hang over and most certainly does not injure themselves jumping off ledges. On the Saturday is the themed night, so this year it was carnival theme, so we all purpled up our clothes and acquired purple hair and scales courtesy of Eleanor and Emma to make our dragon. This evening was one of moderation, which caused no one to get up in the afternoon only when tents got taken down and it can be categorically be stated that no one managed to arrange their airbed so that they fell asleep sitting upright. An unlikely positive outcome of the weekend was the  discovery of the joy of waking up to the animal hospital theme on repeat, endlessly. For those that have not had this distinct privilege of this, I encourage you to venture to youtube (other video streaming services are available) to try it on for size. The weekend was ended with lengthy discussion in Sambuca (other restaurants named after drinks are available) about whether jaffa cakes contain apricots or not, initiated by Mark's brithday cake. Despite it being a rather tiring weekend, it was great fun and would really recommend it to everyone in the club, I hope to see many of you there next year.

Changing of the exec

By Liam Price on Wednesday 4th March 2015

This last saturday was the day of the AGM, the momentous day when the new exec is voted in. In a much more democratic way than when Valentinian I became the Roman emperor on the same day in 364, it must be said given that question will inevitably be asked. The club gathered in the hallowed seat of democracy that is Elvet Riverside 141 to assess all the candidates. Such questions as if you were a vegetable what would you be or can you roll yet tested the wits of the candidates to the very limit. This was followed by a round of voting for each position. It is with great pleasure that I can inform any of you that haven't heard of the results of the new exec:
Captain: Harry Ward
Vice-captain: Ant Stewart
Vice-captain (Stockton): Alastair Paterson
Treasurer: Issy Braddock
Trip officer: Ben Roberts
Kit and safety officer: Steve Hopkins
Social sec: Eleanor Bacon
Info sec: Liam Price

A large amount of thanks must be given to the previous exec for the work and effort they have put in this past year. We must of course now look forward to what will hopefully be a great year for the club and all the paddling it may contain!

Durham Paddlers secure third overall in BUCS River Race

By Daniel Robson on Monday 24th November 2014

At the 2014 BUCS River Race this weekend, the Canoe Club finished on the podium behind Loughborough and Newcastle after two days of solid racing on the river Washburn in Yorkshire. On Saturday competitors raced in the classic race, a time trial lasting approximately ten minutes on white water rapids, including a steep drop that most would describe as a small waterfall. Several different classes of boats compete in the race, with Durham fielding a strong well rounded team spread across the different classes.

This year was one of the most competitive events of the past few, with medal places being split by fractions of seconds.

Durham had a mixed bag of results on day one. In the C1M category Alastair Paterson was on track for a very fast time until the handle snapped off his paddle, making it impossible to put down maximum power. Hoping to regain some points, Alastair and Mark Ledger teamed up to defend their title as C2 champions. Alastair's luck didn't change and at a pivotal point in the race his second paddle snapped clean in half.

In the K1M category Edmund Hawes was looking good until the waterfall section where his boat took an impact from a rock, cracking it open and sinking the boat. Ed's misfortune was soon to be shared with his sister Alice who was entered in the mixed team with Daniel Robson, Alastair Paterson and Mark Ledger. Under similar circumstances Alice's boat was also broken and what was looking like a medal winning run was brought to a halt.

Durham's luck then started to change, with Open Team 1 (Daniel Robson, Mark Ledger and Edmund Hawes) finishing first in an incredibly competitive field. Open Team 2 (Daniel Taylor, Matt Fletcher and Alastair Paterson) finished in seventh and Open Team 3 (Steve Hopkins, Anthony Stewart and Jordan Price) finished tenth.

In the C1 category Durham continued their newfound momentum with Mark Ledger finishing second and Anthony Stewart finishing fourth. Durham finished Saturday's racing with a solid second place finish in C2 from Daniel Robson and Anthony Stewart.

On Sunday competitors raced the sprint course which lasts approximately one minute, still on white water rapids. In the K1M category Durham represented itself well with four paddlers finishing highly; Mark Ledger (fifth), Daniel Robson (tenth), Matthew Fletcher (eleventh) and Edmund Hawes (twelth)were split by only three seconds.

In the K1W Sprint Alice Hawes successfully defended her title as fastest woman finishing first, meanwhile in the C2 Sprint category Durham took second (Daniel Robson and Anthony Stewart) and third place (Mark Ledger and Alastair Paterson). Finishing off the weekend in the C1s category Mark Ledger finished third and Alastair Paterson fourth.

BUCS River Race!

By Harry Ward on Tuesday 4th November 2014

Less than three weeks to go before the first BUCS event of this academic year! Get excited guys... if you're not competing be sure to sign up as a volunteer to help cheer Durham on! With a great party on the second night and an all-weekend BBQ it's sure to be a great one. Message any member of the exec for more info!

Two river trips this weekend!

By Harry Ward on Wednesday 22nd October 2014

This week we are running two river trips - on Saturday we are going to High Force, Low Force (or Huffaluffa), a real club favourite complete with a waterfall for you to try out! We're leaving at 8am and intend to be back for about 2/3pm. We recommend having a little white water experience, but so long as you don't mind a swim you're more than welcome! 

On Sunday we have more of a whole day river trip, leaving at 9am from MC. We're doing the South Tyne from Alston. This will be a really nice fresher trip and easier than Saturdays, but still with a fair amount of white water - so make sure you've been to a couple of Wednesday sessions or at least a pool session.Plus we have our meal out afterwards, so even if you don't come out on the river come for some food!

So... join us for at least one or the other... or even better - BOTH!

BUKE Applications

By Anthony Stewart on Tuesday 7th October 2014

Best of luck to Mark Ledger, Steve Hopkins and Anthony Stewart who are applying to take part in the British Universities Kayaking Expedition this year.

Durham has a good history at the event with Jamie Conn and John Tomlinson attending the previous expedition and Sandra Hyslop taking part in the one before that.

A video from Sandra's venezuala trip can be found here:

Fresher's weekend away!

By Harry Ward on Sunday 5th October 2014

Ever wanted to get in to kayaking or canoeing? Want to get out of the Durham bubble for a couple of days? Join us for this year's freshers weekend away, we're heading to Ambleside in Northumberland for a chilled-out intro to paddling. The total cost is £40 including transport there and back and breakfast/lunch on both days. Be sure to sign up quickly as places are first come first served! 

Canoe Polo World Championships

By Anthony Stewart on Friday 19th September 2014

Best of luck to our three athletes competing at the Canoe Polo World Championships this year, Matthew Fletcher, Daniel Robson and Olivia Hithersay.

Keep up-to-date with how they do by following @durhamunicanoe on twitter.

Golden weekend for the Canoe Club

By Charlie Jefferson on Wednesday 27th November 2013

Last weekend saw Durham University Canoe Club (DUCC) claim victory over 24 other universities in order to win the BUCS Wild Water Racing Championship. A feat not achieved for nearly 10 years.

The team fought hard to win 16 medals overall, had 21 top 10 finishes and were placed nearly 70 points clear of the main rivals Loughborough University.

Enduring what was to be another cold weekends paddling thirty DUCC members set off to battle it out at this years Championship held at the River Washburn, North Yorkshire. The Championship is an annual inter-university competition that sees canoeists, from Universities from all over Britain, racing for the fastest time down a section of white water.

The event is run by the Club’s alumni, Friends of Durham University Canoe Club, who work incredibly hard to organise a superb competition, and this year was no exception with around 300 competitors vying for the medals in individual and team races across both canoe and kayak disciplines.

The first day involved the classic race where competitors race down a 1 km series of rapids in as little as seven and a half minutes. The day finished with DUCC on top but the sprint races on the Sunday were set to be tough with Loughborough and Nottingham Universities traditionally performing well.

Another cold days racing later and a brilliant performance from the team saw Durham placed a brilliant first overall in the rankings. While the whole team performed incredibly well, Mark Ledger stole the show winning 3 golds, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

While much of this success must be attributed to the hard work put in by individual athletes, the performance has built on a strengthening racing programme over the last few seasons that has seen Durham climb the tables in recent years. With the support of the Clubs Friends Group (FoDUCC) two new racing boats were purchased in the last year helping to give Durham the extra edge when it came to racing. In addition to the new boats a specific white water racing training day, which was kindly funded by Team Durham, helped to polish race technique in the lead up to the championship.

Thanks to the great dedication of Club athletes, the Club Committee and the tremendous support of FoDUCC, Team Durham and our sponsors PWC the Club has had a fantastic start to the year. Attention if now focused on training for the Slalom Championship next term and the clubs strongest event, Canoe Polo in Easter, where it is hoped a similar performance can be achieved.

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