Northumbrian University Boat Race

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Northumbrian University Boat Race
Location(s) River Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Inaugurated 1997
Most recent Present

The Northumbrian University Boat Race is an annual rowing event between the boat clubs of Durham and Newcastle universities in England. The event is staged on the River Tyne in Newcastle.

The inaugural event took place on May 18, 1997. Durham has won eight of the twelve competitions. In 2009 Newcastle took the overall title for the first time and in 2010 the event was a draw. The event was sponsored for a number of years up until 2010 by Northumbrian Water, and hence was known as the Northumbrian Water University Boat Race for this period.


One of the iconic views of the River Tyne, which is the venue for the competition.

The main rowing event consists of four races:

Race Trophy
1 Men's senior eights The Clasper Trophy
2 Women's senior eights The Chambers Trophy
3 Freshmen The Renforth Trophy
4 Freshwomen The Taylor Trophy

In addition a race for junior rowers takes place before the main university races over the same course. It is usually contested between Tyne Rowing Club representing Newcastle and a composite of Durham Schools (usually Durham School and St Leonard's) representing Durham. The event does not count towards the overall trophy.

Recent years[edit]

Gateshead's Baltic Square is where the after-race presentations are held.

Local entertainment is often provided, and other spectacles such as a parade of tall ships, a University Sailing Contest and a University Canoe Water Polo contest have enlivened the atmosphere prior to the main race.

Presentations are made after the races have finished in Baltic Square on the Gateshead side of the river.

The 2006 race and the crews' build up to the race was filmed for an ITV television show about rowing in the North East.

2009 event[edit]

The 2009 boat race took place on Saturday 9 May; this was the 13th event, although only ten of the twelve prior competitions had taken place, owing to bad weather. River-based entertainment started at 3:30pm, with the start of racing at 4:40pm.[1] Newcastle took the overall title for the first time.

2010 event[edit]

In 2010 the race was on Sunday 9 May at 1:00pm.[2] It was moved from the Saturday to get better spectator numbers.[3] It was a draw.[4]

Immediately prior to the first race, Durham complained that the stagger of the stake boats was too big, giving an advantage to Newcastle. It is understood that the stake boats had been placed according to set co-ordinates, as in previous years. The Umpire shortened the stagger in order for the racing to take place without undue delay.

2011 event[edit]

The 2011 boat race was scheduled to take place on Saturday 7 May 2011 at 5pm. The weekend before, all four Newcastle boats (Men's senior eights & Freshmen and Women's senior eights & Freshwomen) had beaten their Durham counterparts in finals at the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Regatta held at Nottingham. Durham declined to challenge Newcastle for the Boat Race trophies and conceded all races for this year without a contest. Newcastle therefore retain the overall trophy. In 2012 the race was also not contested.


Year Race Number Clasper Trophy Chambers Trophy Renforth Trophy Taylor Trophy Overall
2012++ 16 - - - - Newcastle Retain the Trophy
2011++ 15 - - - - Newcastle Retain the Trophy
2010 14 Durham Durham Newcastle Newcastle Draw - Newcastle Retain the Trophy
2009[5] 13 Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Durham Newcastle Win
2008[6] 12 Durham Durham Durham Durham Durham Win
2007 11 Newcastle Durham Durham Newcastle Draw - Durham Retain the Trophy
2006 10 Durham Durham Newcastle Durham Durham Win
2005 9 Newcastle Durham Durham Newcastle Draw - Durham Retain the Trophy
2004 8 Durham Durham Durham Durham Durham Win
2003+ 7 - - - Newcastle -
2002 6 Durham Durham Newcastle Durham Durham Win
2001 5 Durham Newcastle Durham n/a Durham Win
2000+ 4 - - - n/a -
1999 3 Durham Newcastle Durham n/a Durham Win
1998 2 Durham Durham Newcastle n/a Durham Win
1997 1 Durham Durham Durham n/a Durham Win

+ Event cancelled due to bad weather

++ Durham chose not to contest the trophies

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual University Boat Race challenge is issued". Newcastle University. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  2. ^ "University boat race honours Tyne rowing heroes". BBC News. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-04-29. 
  3. ^ "Local men lead Universities into oarsome battle". Newcastle University. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-04-29. 
  4. ^ "Honours even in 14th University Boat Race". Newcastle University. 2010-05-09. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  5. ^ "Newcastle claim first Boat Race title". Newcastle University. 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  6. ^ "12th University Boat Race". BBC News. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 

External links[edit]