The calendar of competitive rowing events includes Heads and Regatta seasons and an Indoor Rowing season.
Regattas involve side by side racing in two or more lanes, depending on venue, generally over a relatively short course. The Regatta season runs roughly from April to September. Local regattas take place in the early part of the season, with each club in the northern region hosting a regatta and accepting entries from any club in the region or beyond. DARC’s home regatta is Durham City Regatta. Entries are categorized according to age and status e.g. Open, Juniors, Women’s, Masters to ensure fair competition. Regional and national events occur later e.g. Durham Regatta and Henley. There are national regattas for specific categories of competitors e.g. Schools, Juniors and Masters, and an Inter-Regional Regatta for Juniors.
The level of competence and standard of competition generally increases as the season progresses, with the culmination for Masters being the World Championships, which generally takes place in September. The British Rowing Championships at Senior level take place each October. As well as these, representatives of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland contest a Home International Regatta in July. Squads are selected to represent Great Britain at Junior, Under-23 and Senior level, with each level competing in European and World Championships in July-September.
Head of the River races (‘heads’) take place during the autumn and winter, roughly between October and March. Heads are processional time trials, generally contested over a longer distance than regattas. The Northern Rowing Council organizes a Long Distance Sculling Series in the early part of the season. Several local clubs then host a winter Head. DARC’s winter head is Durham Small Boats Head. Like regattas the standard increases as the season progresses, with the culmination being the Tideway Heads in London during March, including the Head of the River Race, Women’s Head of the River Race, Schools Head of the River and the Veterans Head.
The competitive Indoor Rowing season takes place between November and March, with regional, national (English, Scottish etc.) and international competitions. The British Rowing national championships in London are scheduled for December, with the World Championships taking place in Boston, Massachusetts soon afterwards.
Other events can occur at any time e.g. long distance rowing such as the Boston Marathon which takes place in September each year. There are numerous events around the UK and around the world that are open to anyone who wants to take part and has the means to get there.