City Regatta thwarted by Coronavirus

Lockdown life

This year has been like no other, with the whole of the regatta season obliterated by measures introduced to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Storms and floods disrupting the winter heads season meant that the last action on the water for the Junior squad was the Junior Inter-Regional Trials at Cambois on February 8th and the last action anywhere in the region was an abbreviated BUCS Fours and Eights Head on the Tyne on February 23rd.

Weather and water conditions also caused the cancellation of Tyne Head, Nottingham Head of the Trent, the Yorkshire and Derwentwater Heads and all of the Tideway Heads during March, the only Tideway event to survive before the onset of the pandemic being the Lightweight Boat Races on March 15th.

Government measures to combat the virus announced on March 12th were followed closely by guidance from British Rowing to the effect that all rowing activity should cease until further notice, and it was decided that the Club would close from March 17th with staff being furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme soon afterwards and all business put on hold to minimise overheads during the enforced closure. Ironically weather and water conditions over the first 6 weeks of lockdown have been ideal for rowing!

Club officials remain busy with the management of finances so as to keep the club on a firm footing, while innovative measures have been brought in to ensure members continue to be engaged.

A necessary change will be the postponement of the Annual General Meeting, due to take place in July, with a later date to be advised in due course. The existing committee will continue in post until the AGM.

The cancellation of the season is a major disappointment and cause of anxiety for competitors in the final year of an age category who look set to miss the only opportunity to achieve their goal.

Continuing to be active during the lockdown is important for maintaining mental and physical health. Uptake of the offer to loan ergos to members during the closure has been good. Technology has enabled members to continue to meet virtually and to keep in touch via social media, promoting online coaching, a members’ quiz each Sunday night and an ‘Around the World’ virtual challenge where members submit their rowing, running and cycling distances, with the combined distance being updated daily in the Darccoaches story on Instagram. Membership of the Club’s Strava group continues to grow as the Around the World challenge makes its way across Australia, and there are many signs within the Club of members getting together online with their crews and squads, providing support and motivating each other to exercise.

River Wear in May 2020
All quiet on the River Wear in May 2020

Durham City Regatta is the Club’s home event and normally serves as the major source of club funds during the summer season. It was scheduled to take place on May 9th and 10th but with its unavoidable cancellation this year it has been decided to hold a virtual regatta for all club members and family on Sunday 10th May between 8am-1pm.

The regatta will consist of the following categories:

  • Junior, Off Peak, Senior and Masters racing. (Different distances depending on your category).
  • Running, Cycling or Ergo (You can compete in up to two of these), over different distances depending on the discipline you choose.

All is explained in the poster .

Competitors should select their discipline, which needs to be completed between 8am and 1pm on Sunday, and submit their score using the Google Sheets link that has been sent to members.

Then enter your name, time and category, which will save your score automatically. You have until 3pm to submit your scores. If you are unsure of how to submit your score via Google Sheets, please email your score to

We then ask that you take a picture of your achievement either ergo screen, fitbit, garmin etc and email it to, or if you are on Instagram send your picture to Darccoaches  or Durhamarc . You can also upload your picture to our club Strava page, Durham Amateur Rowing Club

Winners will be announced at our Sunday Club quiz at 7.30pm. Details of how to join the quiz will be emailed to members over the course of the weekend.

Good luck to everyone!

We look forward to further advice from Government and British Rowing as to the way forward regarding the pandemic.