Winter Skills kick off 2013 Sunday League

The Northern region’s Sunday League was back with a bang this weekend, as 18 crews took part in a special Winter Skills rowing challenge on the River Tees.

More than 90 people took part in the opening event of the 2013 Sunday League, spread across nine men’s and nine women’s crews.

The Winter Skills test saw each crews taking on the following 1km obstacle course on the Tees, with time penalties for each failed obstacle (each crew would row the course twice, before being ranked in order of their cumulative time).

  1. Rowing a set distance square blade
  2. Stopping and spinning a full 360 degrees on the spot
  3. Rowing around and between designated buoys
  4. Performing an emergency stop on a marshal’s call
  5. Performing 10 rigger dips and sprinting to the finish line.

With an emphasis on fun and friendly competition, the participants enjoyed a fantastic day of racing in relatively balmy conditions.

Tees RC’s ‘Forever Wreck’ crew finished top of the Open category, taking 13 minutes and 38 seconds to complete their two runs. They were followed by fellow Tees crews ‘Hutch & Co’ and ‘FWAB’, whose final times of 15.40 and 16.50 saw them take second and third place respectively.

In the women’s event, Hexham’s ‘Hex Factor’ crew took the top spot with a total time of 14.16, ahead of Durham’s ‘DARC Energy’ (14.46) and ‘DARC Horses’ crews.

“We had great conditions today, and some fantastic racing and showing of skills,” said James Andrews, British Rowing’s Team Leader for the Northern region.

“Thank you to Tees for holding the event… [it was] great to see so many clubs enter the first event of the season, particularly Tyne and Bradford, who were taking part for the first time!”

Hexham and Tees now sit at the top of the early Sunday League table, after picking up five points apiece from the opening event. The next race will be held at Tyne United, on Sunday 4th April.

For more information about the Sunday League, visit For a closer look at how the crews got on on Sunday, see the Facebook photo gallery.