Sporting provision: Van Mildert College Boat Club
VMBC has one of the largest membership sizes of any club in Van Mildert College and also any Durham Boat College Club and yet was one of two out of the thirteen colleges that train and compete regularly on the River Wear not to own a coxed Eight-man racing boat. The VMBC have coped as well as possible by borrowing or hiring boats from other clubs, but this has been costly and has obviously put them at a disadvantage when racing.
Nevertheless, VMBC is one of the most successful Boat Clubs among the Durham Colleges in the discipline of Eights. Last year the VM women's 1st VIII and the VM Men's 1st and 2nd VIII competed in the prestigious Head of the River Race in London and all finished with all time best performances: the Men's 2nd VIII was placed as fastest Novice Durham College crew and the Women's 1st and Men's 1st VIII both narrowly missed the fastest Durham College crew.
The VMBC applied for funding for a Janousek 8+ and eight Concept 2 oars - a boat with proven hardiness and performance. The Trust agreed to contribute £15K towards the cost of the boat with the VMBC able to raise the remainder needed themselves.
The Boat was finally delivered and the Boat Club decided to name it 'Trust in Mildert' in honour of the major contribution made from the Trust. A naming ceremony took place on Sunday, 30 January 2011 which was attended by two Trustees and several members of VMBC. As Master and Chair of the VMC Board of Trustees, Professor Patrick O'Meara was there to officially name the boat and to toast with champagne the future success of the VMBC in its splendid new acquisition. John Harris, Captain of Boats, expressed the excitement and gratitude of the VMBC on this very happy occasion in its history. The Trustees present were delighted to hear John predict a 20-year life-span for the new Eight.
The Men's VIII first race in the new boat took place on Saturday 27 November where they won their category and secured the title of Fastest College crew!
The full news story and photos can be found on the club website http://www.dur.ac.uk/vm.boatclub/