Durham Regatta 2016 Report

Durham Regatta teamNews, Reports


Despite the weather – overcast both days with occasional glimpses of the sun on Saturday but fairly persistent rain through to late afternoon on Sunday – it was another very popular and successful regatta last weekend, with races throughout both Saturday and Sunday. The Regatta attracted over 1400 competitors, with 310 crews competing on Saturday, and 250 crews on Sunday. The rowers and spectators at Durham are clearly weatherproof.

An innovation this year was the live streaming of races by Formula Rowing to the Internet. According to the President of the regatta, Doug Stewart, at Sunday night’s prize-giving at the Gala Theatre, viewers as far away as Australia were calling relatives in Durham, telling them to get down to the regatta so they could see them on the live video. This year was very much a trial run of live streaming, so understandably there were a few technical hitches with the coverage, which we will learn from, but live streaming of the regatta in the future can only add to the whole Durham Regatta experience.

Local clubs enjoying success at the regatta were Chester le Street, Tyne, Tyne United, Tees and Talkin Tarn, and from the local schools, Yarm, Durham School, Queen Elizabeth, and St Leonard’s.

Successful clubs from outside the region were York City, Doncaster Schools, Leeds University, Leeds Rowing Club, and Lancaster University.

Early reports from traders and entertainment stands, some sponsored by Durham-based Atom Bank for the first time, were favourable. The gate was down a little from the last couple of years but was still healthy enough to ensure that Durham regatta can continue to support the development of rowing on the River Wear and in the North East region.

As ever it required a massive effort from a whole range of volunteers to run the regatta, thanks to them all.

There are far too many volunteer roles to list, but just as one example, Chris Bell’s ‘site team’ spend at least 3 very full days setting up, (and then taking apart), all the infrastructure that is needed to run a regatta – temporary buildings, gazebos, control room, commentary box, communications, signage, power and facilities for all the trade and entertainment stalls etc. Fuelled only by pizza they do a brilliant job. We also need more volunteer support throughout the year in areas such as Finance, Marketing and Sponsorship, and Social Media. If you would like to be involved, in any way with next year’s regatta, please contact us via the Durham Regatta website, and tell us about your expertise.