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.

BUCS Wild Water Race

By Mark Stillings on Monday 28th October 2013

Don't forget BUCS is only 4 weeks away. Why not go out and get some training in so that we can all smash BUCS again this year!!!

16 new Nomad polo boats!

By Erica Powell on Tuesday 1st October 2013

Thank you! Team Durham, and an even bigger thank you to the Friends Group for the funding!

Quick round up of the year!

By Erica Powell on Tuesday 10th September 2013

Over the past year the competitive side of the canoe club has grown in strength, achieving notable success in both BUCS WWR and BUCS Canoe Polo. In the December BUCS Wild water race there were some outstanding performances from the club’s athletes, most notably: Phil Dean who won the K1M Classic and K1M Sprint categories. Many other great performances including Alison Auld who won the K1W Classic category resulted in the club coming 2nd overall. 

In April, the club competed at the BUCS Canoe Polo Championships.  The dedication shown by the three teams throughout the year was rewarded, with all teams medalling: the ladies’ team came 2nd, the men’s A-team came 3rd, and the men’s B-team came 1st. 

The club also excelled at the Team Durham Palatinate Ball receiving 2 half palatinates, 2 full palatinates and 2 international honours awards. Beth Barratt was nominated as Sportswomen of the Year and the club as a whole was nominated as Team of the Year! 

The club has also grown recreationally with a successful freshers weekend in October which was then followed by regular coaching and river trips over the year, including a weekend away to the Lake District. 5 members of the club recently passed their 3* award and another 5 members took part in a leadership course in preparation for the canoe club trip to the Alps in the summer. 

It's been a brilliant year for the canoe club both recreationally and competitively and we hope to continue with the success next year!

BUCS Canoe Polo Success!

By Erica Powell on Tuesday 10th September 2013

Women’s Canoe Polo came agonisingly close to retaining the BUCS title but had to settle for a silver medal this time around. The women started the weekend with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Cambridge before coming up against last year’s Semi Finalists ULU. Despite a close first half the Palatinates pulled away in the second period to secure a 5-1 victory.  The Semi Final saw Durham come up against a talented Bristol side and the opposition were more than deserved of their 1 goal advantage at the end of the first half. The second phase was a far more open affair with Durham equalising and Bristol answering back within a matter of seconds to edge back into the lead. As the time ticked on it looked as though Durham’s hopes were going with it but a fine solo goal from captain, Beth Barrett, forced the game in overtime. It was clear that the golden goal situation was in all of the players’ minds as both teams started tentatively, seemingly determined not to give anything away and it was perhaps for this reason that the game went into a third phase of overtime before captain Beth Barrett stole the show to put the Palatinates into the final.

The final itself saw Durham come up against a talented Loughborough team who just had too much quality for the Palatinates. At 3-2 it looked like the match could go either way but Loughborough edged further and further in front to secure a 6-3 victory.

The men had an equally pleasing weekend. The Palatinate’s stormed through the early rounds but were made to work very hard against Nottingham in the Quarter Final with a golden goal penalty finally seeing off Nottingham. The Semi Final saw the Palatinates take on red hot favourites Sheffield Hallam but, whilst the game was much tighter than many would have predicted, Hallam were victorious to put an end to Durham’s assault on the title.

Outside of the BUCS Championship the men’s ‘B Team’ also had a fantastic weekend winning the National Second Team Championship – when considering that many of the B Team players were novices at the start of the year it is clear that the clubs development pathway is working well!

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