Olympians Jess Eddie and Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell will be attending Durham Regatta this year. They will be on the riverbanks on Saturday, and handing out the prizes, at the Gala Theatre, on Sunday night.
Nathaniel, universally known as Noddy, is a Double World and former European Gold Medallist. He was selected as one of the two Open-Weight reserves for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Love for the sport runs in the family with his mother and two cousins also having rowed at St Leonard’s School Boat Club, in Durham.
Jess, who also attended St Leonard’s School in Durham, learned to row on the River Wear at age of eight. She joined Durham Amateur Rowing Club, as a teenager, before being picked for the GB squad when she was just sixteen. After top-five finishes in her two previous Olympic Games, Jess helped the Women’s eight win a historic Silver Medal at Rio 2016. The eight were also European Champions in 2016.
This year Durham Regatta promises to be as popular as ever with over 600 crew entries. There will be over 200 races in boat categories from singles to eights on both Saturday and Sunday, from 8.00 o’clock in the morning to 7.00 o’clock at night, and with over 1000 ‘racing seats’ per day. Amongst all the talent on show, it’s a fair bet there will be some future Olympians.