Tyneside rowing extravaganza, 7-8 September

The Great Tyne Row and the Tyne Single Scullers Head take place on the River Tyne in early September


The Great Tyne Row (c) James Andrews

Tyneside showcases two very different rowing competitions during the first full weekend in September with the Great Tyne Row on Saturday and the Tyne Single Scullers Head on Sunday.

Great Tyne Row

The Great Tyne Row takes place on Saturday 7 September and is one of the few competitions rewarding the best dressed crew and boat, the slowest boat ‘enjoying the view’, together with the fastest finishers.


Established in 2011, the race is a 25km fun challenge event from from Tyne ARC and Tyne United RC at Newburn in the west of Newcastle through the city centre down to Tynemouth, finishing at the river mouth.

Event Director Colin Percy says: “This is one of the few opportunities there is to row through the bustling Newcastle-Gateshead central quayside area and under the iconic Tyne and Millennium Bridges.

“Further downriver, crews then get an idea of the river’s former glory as a world-leading shipbuilding centre and may even row past one of the huge cruise liners that now dock at North Shields. We finish very nearly at the North Sea with the possibility of some exciting waves, plus a barbecue and suitable refreshments to round it off.”

This is one of the few opportunities to row through the bustling Newcastle-Gateshead quayside and under the iconic Tyne and Millennium Bridges

To ride out the possibly rougher water at the river mouth, boats must be ‘stable’ and coxed, but can be sliding or fixed seat. The majority of entries have been coxed sliding seat quads and fours, but there has also been a good turnout most years from the St Ayles Skiff community and other rowing coastal boats have been seen, including Celtic longboats and Whitby gigs.

In addition, there have been a few coxed doubles and in 2017 a coxed single entered with the name of James Renforth – one of Tyneside’s 19th-century rowing greats!

How to enter

Enter the Great Tyne Row by Saturday 24 August and you’ll be eligible for an early-bird discount

Entries close on Saturday 31 August and are by email (not through BROE) using the entry form downloadable from the website .

Check out the FAQ page and if you have any questions that aren’t covered there then email Colin Percy at [email protected] .

Tyne Single Scullers Head

On the following day – Sunday 8 September – the Tyne Single Scullers Head takes place, offering rowers the chance to put their skills to the test before the winter head season really kicks off.

Founded by Newcastle University BC in 2017, the Tyne Single Scullers Head consists of three divisions run over 3,000m from Blaydon to Newburn with all the usual categories of juniors, seniors and masters. There is also a final division – the Newcastle Sprint Championship – run over a straight 1,000m course.

The Tyne Single Scullers Head offers rowers the chance to put their skills to the test before the winter head season really kicks off

Kat Bulmer, Newcastle University BC President, says: “The prime aim of the head is to give those who have been out over the summer in small boats – some attending sculling camps in the region and elsewhere – an opportunity to show off their new or upgraded skills in a more relaxed environment than in the bigger events coming afterwards. And the weather might possibly be better!

“It is a small, but growing, rival to the Great North Run on the same day. We hope to see you with your single.”

How to enter

Competition details are here and you can contact the organisers at [email protected] .


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