Tyne and Hexham dominate Northern League opener

The Northern region’s Sunday League kicked off this weekend for its third year, as 17 crews took part in a Splash & Dash event on the glorious banks of the River Tyne at Hexham.

More than 80 people took part in the opening event of the 2014 Sunday League, spread across nine men’s and eight women’s crews and hailing from across the Northern and Yorkshire Regions. 

The Splash & Dash races see crews racing side by side over a 250m course. Each team has four races to gain points for the overall league table. 

The series has eight events spread around the region, ending at Durham in October and journeying to rougher waters at Tynemouth and Skills events at Talkin Tarn and Tees. 

With an emphasis on fun, friendly and social competition, the participants enjoyed a fantastic day of racing – albeit in slightly damp conditions.

Tyne RC’s ‘Old Farther Tyne’ crew finished top of the Open category on the day winning all four of their races. Second place was shared between three different teams: Talkin Comets (TTA), Four Oarsman of the Apocalypse (HEX) and DARC Dynasaurs (DUR) all taking three points each. 

In the women’s event Hexham RC’s ‘Prisculla Queen of the River’ took top place hoping to retain the trophy after Hexham’s ‘Hex Factor’ claimed the award in 2013. In second place was the fantastically named ‘Tyney Temp-Oar’ (TYN) and We’ar Winners (DUR) each taking three wins. 

“We had lovely water conditions today and the weather didn’t dampen any of the teams’ spirits,” said James Andrews, British Rowing’s Area Participation Manager for the Northern region. “It was like a big reunion for many coming back after the long winter and catching up with friends from the league.”

“Thank you to Hexham and the team of volunteers for holding the event… it was great to see so many new faces for the first time as well as many returning teams and it’s fantastic to see so many clubs coming and taking part.”

Hexham and Tyne now sit at the top of the early Sunday League table, after picking up four points apiece from the opening event. The next race will be held at Tyne United, on Sunday 6thApril.

For more information about the Sunday League, visit www.nerowing.com/sundays.html. For a closer look at how the crews got on on Sunday, check out the Facebook photo gallery.