A guide to the Boat Race of the North

Newcastle will probably win

The Boat Race of the North was brought back in 2015 after a 5 year sabbatical and will once again be taking over Quayside.

It’s a rowing race on the Tyne against Durham University Boat Club and Newcastle University Boat Club.

But who should you put your money on? And where are the best places to watch? The Tab has compiled a complete beginner’s guide to this oarsome day.

What’s happening?

On Saturday 7th June rowers from Newcastle University Boat Club (NUBC) and Durham University Boat Club (DUBC) will be competing against each other along the Tyne in a series of races in the afternoon.

Organisers expect to run the races between 3pm and 5pm:

Race 1, 15:15: Beginners Women – Taylor Trophy

Race 2, 15:30: Beginners Men – Renworth Trophy

Race 3, 15:45: Tyne Rowing Club vs Tyne United Rowing Club

Race 4, 16:00: Second Women 

Race 5, 16:15 Second Men

Break at 16:30

Race 6, 16:45: Womens 1st – Chambers Trophy

Race 7, 17:00: Mens 1st – Clasper Trophy

Presentation of trophies will take place after all racing, along the Quayside.

How will I be able to tell which team is which?

Durham fashions a purple colour scheme on their oars and sometimes on their boats.

Newcastle on the other hand is well known for their ‘blue star’ featuring a white background with a blue star on top.

Photo: Al Johnson/ Newcastle Rowing

The Boat Race of the North started in 1997 as the North’s answer to the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race. It ran annually until 2010 but has not been held in recent years due largely to funding issues.

Both clubs have worked extremely hard to overcome these problems and have found sponsor NE1 so that this iconic event could be restarted, hopefully for the long run.

What’s the weather going to be like?

The BBC predicts it’ll be cooler and generally cloudy on Saturday with a small breeze. Not nearly as hot as Thursday’s heat wave.

Who should my money be on?

Both Newcastle’s mens 8s won bronze medals at BUCS last weekend, ahead of Durham. Newcastle’s womens second 8 won gold and the first 8 were in the final, ahead of Durham again.

The beginner races should be closer. The men haven’t races each other in 8s, but Durham has beat Newcastle at BUCS. Newcastle’s women lost to Durham at BUCS in the 8.

The Tab believes this is your best bet:

Novice Women – too close to call

Novice Mens – Durham

Senior Women – Newcastle

Senior Mens – Newcastle

Overall win – Newcastle

Views from the Baltic

Where shall I watch from?

The race course is around 1500m starting at the west of the river at Redheugh Bridge and ending just below the Millennium Bridge.

The best places to watch:

  1. Millennium Bridge By far the best vantage point will be over the finishing line. In previous Boat Races it has been packed (probably because it’s next to Pitcher and Piano), and this year it’s expected to be even busier. The views down the Tyne and over the finish will be the best. In 2015 it was very busy.
  2. Quayside Good vantage point right along the Quayside stretch of the river. Plus it’s lined with Slug and Lettuce and lots of other the bars.
  3. Swing Bridge Right near the action and incredibly close to the water you can cheer on your team from right above them in this excellent location. Added benefit of a nearby spoons – all you’d need is some sun!
  4. The Baltic If you happen to be visiting the museum the viewing gallery in the Baltic is sheltered, warm and incredible views from the Gateshead side of the river.
  5. Gateshead side Down the stretch below the Sage could be a good spot to cheer on.

Is there an after party?!

I wouldn’t be going if there wasn’t. Details have just been announced by NUBC’s social secs.

The route – Hop and Cleaver, Glasshouse, Flares, Idols/ Bierkeller

Wristbands to be bought on the night. They cost £5 which get entry to Flares and Bierkeller which normally charge on weekends.

Team training ahead of the event

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Featured image: Al Johnston