The Boat Race of the North
The Boat Race of the North is an annual rowing event between the boat clubs of Durham and Newcastle universities in England. The event is usually staged on the River Tyne in Newcastle, although the 2018 race was held on the River Wear in Durham.
|The Boat Race of the North|
|Location(s)||River Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne|
River Wear, Durham
|Inaugurated||18 May 1997|
|Most recent||11 May 2019|
|Participants||Durham University Boat Club|
Newcastle University Boat Club
|Sponsor||Northumbrian Water (− 2010)|
NE1 (2015 –)
Siemens (2017 –)
The inaugural event took place on 18 May 1997. Durham won eight of the first twelve competitions while Newcastle has won on four occasions since then. The event was sponsored for a number of years until 2010 by Northumbrian Water, and hence was known as the Northumbrian Water University Boat Race for this period. No races took place over the period 2011 – 2014, but the race resumed in 2015. Since 2015 the race had been sponsored by the NE1 business development company, with Siemens also sponsoring from 2017, when the race became the Siemens Boat Race of the North.
|1||Men's senior eights||The Clasper Trophy|
|2||Women's senior eights||The Chambers Trophy|
|3||Men's novice eights||The Renforth Trophy|
|4||Women's novice eights||The Taylor Trophy|
|5||Men's second eights||-|
|6||Women's second eights||-|
Local entertainment is often provided, and other spectacles such as a parade of tall ships, a University Sailing Contest and a University Canoe Water Polo contest have enlivened the atmosphere prior to the main race.
A race for junior rowers takes place before the main university races over the same course. It is usually contested between Tyne Rowing Club representing Newcastle and a composite of Durham Schools (usually Durham School and St Leonard's) representing Durham. The event does not count towards the overall trophy.
The 2009 boat race took place on Saturday 9 May; this was the 13th event, although only ten of the twelve prior competitions had taken place, owing to bad weather. River-based entertainment started at 3:30pm, with the start of racing at 4:40pm. Newcastle took the overall title for the first time.
In 2010 the event was held on Sunday 9 May, beginning at 1:00pm, following a race between schoolchildren (won by the Durham crew). It was moved from the Saturday to get better spectator numbers. The Boat Race was a draw, with Newcastle taking both the Freshmen's and Freshwomen's races and Durham both Senior races.
Immediately prior to the first race, Durham complained that the stagger of the stake boats was too big, giving an advantage to Newcastle. It is understood that the stake boats had been placed according to set co-ordinates, as in previous years. The Umpire shortened the stagger in order for the racing to take place without undue delay.
2011 & 2012 events
The 2011 boat race was scheduled to take place on Saturday 7 May 2011 at 5pm. The weekend before, all four Newcastle boats (Men's senior eights & Freshmen and Women's senior eights & Freshwomen) had beaten their Durham counterparts in finals at the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Regatta held at Nottingham. Durham declined to challenge Newcastle for the Boat Race trophies and conceded all races for this year without a contest. Newcastle therefore retained the overall trophy. In 2012, Durham again declined to challenge, leading to the event being abandoned until revived in 2015.
In 2015, the race was held on Saturday 9 May. Durham won both Women's and Men's Beginner races by 1 1/4 lengths and a canvas respectively. Newcastle Senior Women fought back with a win by 2 lengths, setting up a decider between the Senior Men. Newcastle won the Senior Men's race by 3 lengths. Newcastle retained the trophy.
The 2016 race took place on 7 May 2016. In addition to the four main races, there was also a race between the men's and women's 2nd eights as well as race between local rivals Tyne Rowing Club and Tyne United Rowing Club.
Newcastle's Women won their 1st and 2nd eight races by 2 ¾ and 4 lengths respectively and Newcastle's Men won their 1st and 2nd eight races by 2 ¼ and 2 ¾ lengths respectively. Durham won both the Women's and Men's beginner races by 2 ¾ lengths and ¼ lengths respectively. Therefore, Newcastle won overall.
In the club competition, Tyne Rowing Club beat Tyne United Rowing Club.
The 2018 race was scheduled for 17 March 2018 but bad weather forced the event to be postponed. A reduced Boat Race, featuring only the senior men's and women's teams, took place alongside the Durham Regatta on 9 June, meaning that the race took place on the River Wear for the first time in its history. Newcastle won both races to retain the overall trophy, the men's team by three feet and the women's team by 1 ¾ lengths.
The 2019 event took place on the same day as the Heineken Cup final for European club rugby at St James' Park, with the "fanzone" for the rugby being located at the quayside. Large screens broadcast both the rising and the rugby to the crowds. Newcastle won all six races over a 1500m course from Redheugh Bridge to the Millenium Bridge.
+ Event cancelled due to bad weather
++ Durham chose not to contest the trophies
- Edward Gleadow. "Taking part in the Boat Race of the North". Durham University. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
- "The Siemens Boat Race of the North". NUBC. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
- "University boat race honours Tyne rowing heroes". BBC News. 26 April 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- "The Boat Race of the North". Vimeo. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
- "Annual University Boat Race challenge is issued". Newcastle University. 27 April 2009. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
- "Local men lead Universities into oarsome battle". Newcastle University. 26 April 2010. Archived from the original on May 9, 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- Melanie Reed (9 May 2010). "Honours even in 14th University Boat Race". Northumbrian Water. Newcastle University. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
- Isabella Eckert. "Aboat time! Newcastle vs Durham boat race is back". The Tab.
- "The Boat Race of the North returns". The Courier Online. 4 May 2015.
- Sarah Jeffery (20 April 2016). "The Boat Race of the North is set to row down the River Tyne in May". ChronicleLive.
- Kelsey Stoddart. "Newcastle crowned Champions of the North at Boat Race 2016". Newcastle University Boat Club. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- The Courier (24 June 2018). "Durham beaten on home waters by Blue Stars". Retrieved 30 June 2018.
- Barbara Hodgson (11 May 2019). "Boat Race of the North adds to Newcastle's weekend of sporting action for rowing and rugby fans". ChronicleLive.
- Maggie Elstob (20 May 2019). "Boat Race victory for Newcastle over North East Neighbours Durham". The Courier.
- "Newcastle claim first Boat Race title". Newcastle University. 9 May 2009. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
- "12th University Boat Race". BBC News. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2008.