Often referred to as the "Henley of the North, Durham Regatta brings some of the best competition in the North East and Beyond across two days of racing. Side-by-side, two-lane racing, makes the regatta excellent preparation for racing the Henley course. This year's Durham Regatta was different to the 184 regattas previous as the rescheduled Boat Race of the North also took place.
On Saturday, our Women's pair of Lizzie Fuller and Kat Bulmer raced well in the preliminary stages and progressed through to the final where they were not able to repeat their earlier success. The Novice Men's double of Sam Martin and Ben Jordan, who placed fourth in beginner singles at BUCS Regatta, stepped up and raced in Elite Doubles. Sadly they didn't progress from their heat in what was their first race together.
The Boat Race of the North was the main spectacle during Saturday's racing. The Men's race was a closely fought affair the whole way down the 700m course. Newcastle prevailed and the margin was 3ft. The crew of Cormac Molloy, Dan Graham, James Robson, Will New, David Willcox, Rob Fuller, Freddie Allinson, Barney Stroud-Turp and, cox Alex Turner put together an impressive piece to beat Durham on their home water.
The Women's race was a more one-sided race. Dominating from the start, Newcastle beat Durham by almost two lengths over the short course, stamping their authority over the local rivals. Stroked by Megan Barry, the eight of Rachel Webb, Hannah Cowie, Anna van De Braak, Gabby Munyard, Chloë Deyermond, Phoebe Truett, Lucy Stanhope and cox Hannah Taylor, let from the beginning, silencing the Durham crowds and showing their speed before HWR.
Sunday's racing saw the majority of the club take to the water. Competing in the Grand Challenge Cup for Open coxed fours, our Men's four put together a strong race losing out to Durham in the semi-final. Both the Women's coxless four and quad experienced steering difficulty through Elvet bridge and off the start respectively and did not advance beyond their first race.
Our Women's Champ 8+, unchanged from the Boat Race winning crew, easily progressed through to the final where their competition ultimately scratched and all that was required was a row of the course. Newcastle had three eights entered in Open Championship 8s. The 1st and 2nd HWT 8s met in the preliminary race with saw the 1st VIII come out on top by three lengths. Subsequently, they met local rivals Tyne ARC in the semi-final who they beat to reach the final and meet the LWT 8+ who beat Leeds University by a quarter of a length to progress to the final. The 1st VIII came out on top by three lengths to win and complete what was a very successful weekend for Newcastle University.
Written by Fergus Mainland
Photos by David Stephenson & Fergus Mainland