Aboat time! Newcastle vs Durham boat race is back

Yeah buoy

The controversial boat race is back on this summer after a five-year “sabbatical”.

Blue and purple will go head to head in the Tyne on Saturday 9th May at Newcastle’s Quayside, in The Boat Race of the North.

The races were abandoned in 2012, steeped in controversy.

Sulky Durham declined to contest the trophy in 2011 having lost to all four of Newcastle’s counterpart boats the previous weekend at the BUCS regatta in Nottingham, and again in 2012.

This followed drama and tensions between the two teams in previous year.

boat raceNewcastle vs Durham boat race

Tim Clarke, NUBC President, says: “having competed myself in the last race in 2010, I know what a great event it is to be involved in.

“I’m excited to back now and leading the Newcastle charge. Bring it on Durham, we’ve been ready for the last 5 years!”

At the most recent BUCS contest in Lincolnshire, Newcastle came out on top of the medal table, with six gold medals, three silver and three bronze. Durham came a close second with four gold medals, three silver and three bronze.

throwback boat

Newcastle University Boat Club 1977

The prestigious race, previously called the Northumbrian University Boat Race, ran from 1997 to 2010. Now, after negotiations both teams are ready and “hungrier than ever”. This is following months of “hard work behind closed doors” to resume the race. Both mens and womens teams will compete.

Natalie Hardy, Senior Women’s Captain, told The Tab: “The last few years has been neck and neck for us and Durham, with this season no exception. It’s time to settle the score on home water”.

The teams will race from the Redheugh Bridge to the Millenium Bridge, a distance of approximately 1,500m.

munno gb



This follows the successful NUBC attempt to row the distance to Africa last month, and the infamous boys’ and girls’ naked calendar for charity.

Newcastle won their first overall title in 2009 and have retained it since.

Here is a documentary by ITV covering the race of 2006:

Find up-to-date information and further details on the NUBC site here.