Saturday 11th May saw Newcastle University Boat Club wipe the floor with Durham University Boat Club in a 6/6 races victory, adding to what was a bumper weekend for sport in the city. The annual Boat Race of the North took place on Saturday afternoon on the River Tyne in Newcastle, and saw 6 crews compete in front of a busy Quayside crowd. The race was held over just a short 1500m course, running from the Redheugh Bridge to the Millenium Bridge and the course this year was lined with the excitement of the Champions Rugby Village along the Newcastle Quayside in celebration of the Challenge and Champions Cup Finals.
Katherine Bulmer, NUBC President 2018/19 said of the event: ‘The day was a huge success and to be a part of the Challenge and Heineken Cup rugby celebrations meant that the Quayside was busier than it has ever been for the Boat Race of the North. Racing Durham is always special because of the history between the two clubs, but to do it through the centre of town and in such an incredible atmosphere really brought the racing to life. With the title successfully defended we look forward to the challenge of doing the same next year.’
The race day comes off the back of a hugely successful weekend for the club at BUCS Regatta, where NUBC retained the Victor Ludorum as the most successful University overall. Of this Bulmer said: ‘To top it all off we were able to continue our momentum from BUCS Regatta and come up with a clean sheet of victories; the first time ever for NUBC, which was the icing on the cake of a pretty perfect day.’
The event started in 1997 but Newcastle didn’t start clinching victories until 2009, and have emerged victorious at the previous two events. Last year the event was called off due to bad weather so it was fitting that this year’s returned to sunshine and blue(ish) skies making for a great Boat Race atmosphere.
In support of the club, I was very proud to be asked to ride the zip wire across the Tyne, supporting an NUBC Blue Star flag, along with two representatives from sponsors Siemens, and one from Durham University, to begin the races. Preparations were well underway when I arrived at 11.30am on the day, with boats left right and centre and athletes preparing to race, as I got tacked up to step off the Tyne bridge and do my bit! An exhilarating experience and one not to be missed if you get the chance! Then it was time to relax and enjoy the races, and the success brought home by NUBC. It was brilliant to see two northern universities contesting a Boat Race and even more exciting to see Newcastle crowned Champions of the North!