Thanks to Clive Drewitt for the following report from this years Great Tyne Row. Photos from Northern Rowing and from Peter Ashe:
The sun came out for the 2015 Great Tyne Row! This is an annual 25 km race from Newburn to Tynemouth through the heart of Newcastle. The race starts in semi rural Newburn, passes through Newcastle city centre and through the commercial port to finish at the sea. This year there were no shipping movements and we were able to row straight through to the finish. 40 boats took part, 25 sliding seat, 15 fixed, including 8 St Ayles skiffs.
With the wind and the tide behind us, times were quick, with the fastest boat award going to a sliding seat 4 from Devil’s Elbow RC in 1 hour 41 minutes. The fastest fixed seat boats were “coastal fours” from Scarborough, with their first boat finishing in 2 hours 5 minutes. These have beautifully crafted long wooden clinker hulls, one was built by Mark Edwards, who led the build of the Royal Barge Gloriana. Rowporty rowed their hearts out and split the Scarborough fleet of four boats, scoring third fixed seat and fastest St Ayles (2 hours 10 minutes).
Newhaven followed close behind, chased by North Berwick rowing “randan” with three rowers in a Hanningfield Skiff. St Andrews brought home the next fixed seat boat and were awarded the Harry Clasper award for sportsmanship, having completed the course without a rudder, the cox using a paddle to steer the boat. We assume this was never used as extra propulsion!
An ocean rowing boat propelled by two rowers turned in a respectable 2 hours 38 minutes, and the St Ayles skiffs crewed by Blyth, Whitburn and Amble earned a special mention for finishing in a three way dead heat in 2 hours 48 minutes. Whitburn also won the award for best dressed Skiff, while Blyth were awarded the prize for Open St. Ayles skiff (just!).
The swell rolling into the harbour entrance at Tynemouth led to consternation for some crews, (not the St. Ayles rowers!), but all made it safely ashore to land at Tynemouth Rowing Club (motto “Row the Waves”), to be greeted by a steel band, home baking, a barbecue and beer! Special thanks are due to all the volunteers from Tynemouth RC who helped to get boats landed quickly and efficiently
The event was very well run and a good time was had by all, and basking in the afternoon sun after all that exercise put the icing on the cake!
More info, full results and a countdown to next year’s race can be found here:
and lots of photographs can be found on the GTR Facebook page: