Durham Regatta, the biggest regatta in the North, took place over a sunny but blustery weekend 12/13th June. Having not run since 2018 due to floods and Covid, everyone was delighted to see racing back on, albeit with no bankside entertainments and spectators requested to stay away.
Berwick had 3 entries. Chris and Andrew Elite 2x aiming to defend the title they won in 2018.
With a stellar line-up in the doubles, the men knew they had their work cut out. A good first race with York City 2, settled the nerves and set the scene for a battle with Durham University in the semi. Berwick made their usual quick powerful start, but DUBC were not for giving up and after Chris and Andrew clipped the last buoy it was a scramble for the line with Berwick taking the win. It was straight back up to the start to line up against York City A. Again, a quick start gave Berwick a slight lead at the end of the wall but York were pushing hard and there really was nothing to call between the crews as they charged towards Baths Bridge, unfortunately the Berwick crew hit the final buoy hard almost stopping the boat, York took their opportunity and won what had been an extremely close fought race.
Much later in the day Hilary found herself in womens Elite singles, (banding and no masters 1x) not knowing what to expect, nerves were clearly evident as Andrew pushed her off, just managing to raise a smile from Hilary. Tees on racecourse and Berwick on Pelar Wood lined up for a straight final.
Hilary made a steady start and was level to the end of the wall, at this point Hilary applied the pressure and took a slight lead, extending her lead to 1 length at Cuthbers landing. That annoying final buoy caused misery again for Berwick as Hilary clipped it and gave Tees the opportunity she needed to put in 5 big strokes and win by 1/2 canvas.
Early Sunday saw Chris and Andrew team up with Chester Le Street to take on CLS in Championship Quad sculls over the long course of 1800m, this included a trip through the much talked about "hard arch" of Old Elvet Bridge. Although the lads were pleased with their row, an unpractised composite was always going to struggle and lost out against a well drilled CLS crew.
If it had not been for that last buoy, we might have had 2 wins. As it is we had non, but some great racing and the knowledge that for a small club we can still mix with the best.
Chris, Andrew and Hilary are extremely grateful to Tweedmouth Service Station for the use of their Mitsubishi vehicle to pull the boat trailer.