Tyne Regatta celebrates its 175th anniversary

Tyne Regatta, first rowed in 1834, celebrated its 175th anniversary on 7th June. It was revived after a 12 year lapse by members of Tyne RC under a constitution that represents all the clubs rowing on the Tyne. The Port of Tyne was the principal sponsor with additional support from Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils. 74 crews competed in four abreast races on a 1,500m straight course for a suite of historic trophies. With a focus on top crews the Regatta complemented Hexham held the previous day and made it a Great Northern Rowing Weekend.

The top event for the Rington Challenge Bowl and the title of ‘Champion of the Tyne’ in elite eights was a re-run of the Durham/Newcastle University Boat Race, with Durham out for revenge for their earlier shock defeat. However it was not to be with Newcastle winning by over a length. Newcastle’s women’s eight also lifted a new trophy donated by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, again repeating their victory over Durham in the Boat Race. Durham did however win the title of ‘Champion of the Tyne’ in elite coxed fours and the Palmer Grand Challenge Cup. Overall the event was dominated by university crews with Newcastle winning four events, Northumbria five and Durham three. Tyne was the top club crew winning three events including elite women’s sculls.

There was strong support for continuing the event from competitors and the sponsors given that the Tyne provides one of the most competitive courses for top level rowing in the North of England. Following this year’s excellent competition the sponsors and organisers are keen that the regatta’s historic origins will once again spur competition between the Thames and the Tyne when the likes of Clasper, Chalmers and Renforth regularly beat their southern counterparts in front of huge crowds.

John Goddard OBE

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