STAGING Durham ARC’s Senior eight qualifies for Henley and two juniors to row for GB - British Rowing

Durham ARC’s Senior eight qualifies for Henley and two juniors to row for GB

Durham ARC qualified a Senior Men’s 8+, coached by Bill Pollard, for the Thames Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta for the first time since 1995 with Stef Burgess coxing both crews albeit fourteen years apart.  They were drawn against Henley, who progressed to the final, in the first round and lost by 1 and 3/4 lengths.   However, it was a brilliant achievement by the crew who had to pre qualify in a time trial.

The crew is a harmonious mixture of town and gown – two undergraduates (Mike Hughes and Greg Walkinshaw), one current graduate (Danny McCarron), two Durham Alumni (John Roxborough and Matt Hunt) along with three club members (Rich Castling, Dave Roxborough and Garath Archer).  Coach Bill Pollard is also a Durham Alumnus.


Garath Archer is the former ex England and Newcastle Falcons rugby player who only started rowing a year ago.  At the start of the season his aim was to row at Henley Royal – a fantastic achievement in only one year of rowing.

The crew also won at Tyne Regatta and competed at Strathclyde Park, Durham City, Durham Regatta and Marlow Regatta.

The men’s squad is looking for more members for next year’s Henley crew.  If you are interested contact Bill Pollard on


Two juniors from Durham ARC have come through rigorous trials to qualify to row for GB.  Helen Preston, in her final junior year, has been selected to stroke the Women’s Junior 4x- at the World Junior Championships which will be held in France from 5 – 8 August.  This adds to the success she had last year when she competed for GB at The Coupe in the Women’s Junior 4x- winning gold and silver medals.  This year she has won the Women’s Elite 4x- and Women’s Elite 2x at Wallingford Regatta and was part of the Women’s Junior 4x- which won the Bea Landridge Trophy at Henley Women’s Regatta.  Helen has also had success at local regattas.

Maddy McCarthy, also in her last year of junior rowing, has been selected to row for GB in the Home Countries International on 25 July as part of the Women’s Junior 8+. Maddy has also had many wins at local regattas over the last few weeks including the Women’s Elite 4x- and Women’s Championship 2x at Durham Regatta.