Northern Sunday League begins with a bang

Sunday’s inaugural Northern Sunday League event at Durham ARC formed the first part of a brand new series, aiming to provide a platform for rowers to compete at a level between recreational rowing and traditional regattas and head races.

Crews compete in Explore Rowing quads – provided by the host club at each event – in one-on-one races over distances of 200-300m, and racing is open to all rowers with novice status and British Rowing silver members.

The crews are drawn from teams of four to six rowers, who compete in up to five races throughout the day and gain a point for each victory.

Sunday’s opening event saw six open teams and five women’s teams face off in Durham ARC’s coxed stable quads, with ‘Barking Mad’ romping to the top of the leaderboard with five points in the open category and ‘Warrior Princesses’ topping the women’s teams with four points.

“It’s a unique and excellent opportunity,” the Warrior Princesses said of the new League. “It’s a lot more relaxed than a regatta.”

Fellow women’s crew ‘Mothership’ added: “We’ve really enjoyed today mingling with other crews. Everyone being so friendly has made it a very relaxed event.”

The next event in the Northern Sunday League will be held by Tyne United on May 6th, before Tyne RC, Hexham and Tees each take a turn hosting.

The grand finale will be held at Tees Rowing Club in September, bringing a close to a series that organisers hope will give inexperienced and lapsed rowers a taste of competition away from the pressure of heads and regattas.

“I think today has been a resounding success,” said Mike Hughes, Durham ARC’s Explore Rowing corordinator.

“It’s been great to see other clubs coming from around the region chipping in to help as well. We’ve been lucky with the weather but it’s been a great atmosphere.”