A clash of dates between the 2023 Durham City Regatta and the Coronation Day of King Charles III and Queen Camilla meant that the regatta moved forward a day, taking place on Sunday, May 7th and Monday, May 8th.
Billed as the Coronation Regatta, Sunday had a full entry of 246 competing over 700 metres in warm, sunny and dry conditions, while the Coronation Sprint on Monday saw 136 entries racing over 500 metres in somewhat wetter conditions.
Competitors came from as far afield as Sudbury in Suffolk, as well as from Newark, Hollingworth Lake, Doncaster, Leeds, York, Bradford and Yarm, with clubs from across the Northern Region also well represented, including many entries from Durham School, St Leonard’s School, thirteen Durham Colleges and Durham Amateur Rowing Club.
A large entry of 69 from Durham ARC contested events in the full range of boat classes in Junior, Senior and Masters categories, and enjoyed success in 25 events ranging in age from J13 to Masters H. The entry could have been even greater had some not been without opposition.
Sunday got off to a good start with DARC boating two Open Senior eights, one of which defeated Stephenson College in the final. More victories followed in division 1 for Jonny Cleugh in the J15 single sculls, the J14 boys coxed quad and J13 girls coxed quad.
Division 2 brought two more wins in singles for Nick Baird in Masters A and Andy Jaggard in Masters H, as well as a win in the Open pair and one for the Masters F coxless quad of Richard Court, David Heppell, John Lyons and Paul Rutter, who got the better of the second DARC MasF 4x-, steered by Tim Morris, in the early rounds.
There was another win for Sam Terry in the J18 1x in division 3, as well as for the Senior Men in band 2 of the Open 4x-, and for the J14 girls 4x+. Martyn Calkin and Rob Coe overcame Paul and Sarah Rutter to win the MasF 2x, while Andy Jaggard and Richard Court in the MasG 2x were denied a second success of the day by the Newark/Hollingworth Lake pairing.
Monday brought further success, including Tom Pfetscher, Luke Davison, Matthew Flatters and Finley Scott winning the J18 4x-, David Beeby, Gabrielle Maxfield, Elliot Kay and Anna Golightly the Mixed 4x-, and John Roxborough and Dan Pearson the Open 2-. Joyce Collett won against Gabrielle Moore in a Women’s Masters F/H 1x handicap.
In division 2 the J13 girls had their second success of the weekend, this time winning the Open J13 4x+ event. Three of DARC’s J14 boys battled it out in a large field for the J14 1x that also included scullers from Doncaster, Yarm School and Chester-le-Street, with Quinn Mosley getting the better of Jason Wrack in the final. Other victories came in the J14 girls 2x for Jasmine Kane and Eleanor Wesencraft-Colledge, in the Women’s double sculls, and for the DARC/Tyne ARC composite in the J16 girls coxless quad. Andy Jaggard had a second success of the weekend in his single, this time getting the verdict over Nick Baird by a canvas in the final to win the MasA/C 1x handicap.
Division 3 brought another sweep-oar success for the Senior Men in band 1 of the Open 4+, the Masters coxless quad had a second win, this time in MasE 4x-, while the final success of the weekend went to David Beeby and Elliot Kay in band 2 of the Open 2x.
The special medals produced for the occasion were well received and a cheerful atmosphere prevailed throughout.
The Regatta has been acclaimed as a resounding success with compliments being received from several visiting clubs. We could not run it however without the efforts of the many volunteers, umpires and officials who put in long shifts over the two days and beyond, to whom we are extremely grateful.