The north east’s finest festival of rowing and boats, Durham Regatta, is fast approaching and volunteers are needed to make sure this year’s event is a success. 

On the weekend of June 10th and 11th, Durham will host hundreds of crews from universities, colleges, schools and clubs from all over northern England and Scotland.

The weekend will see a large number of races on the Wear, on both long and short courses. 

Volunteers, both with and without experience of such events, are needed to make sure Durham Regatta runs smoothly.

Andy Jaggard, the Regatta’s publicity officer, said, “We are very thankful to all the volunteers who make Durham Regatta possible.”  

“Each year a small army of volunteers helps to set up, pack down, man the entrances and perform all sorts of important tasks during the event.” 

“We need people to help with food and drink stalls at Durham Amateur Rowing Club, where there is a small campsite, and along the racecourse during the racing.”

Mr Jaggard also stressed that some people devote their time to helping out with the Regatta throughout the year, working in areas such as social media, marketing, finance and sponsorship. 

photo courtesy of Tom Page, from Flickr Creative Commons
Rowers approach Elvet Bridge (photo courtesy of Tom Page, from Flickr Creative Commons)

Matt Evans, who volunteered at last year’s Durham Regatta, said, “It was fun to be around people who had a mixture of experience. We all learned from each other.” 

“Volunteering at Durham Regatta is a fantastic opportunity.”

Durham Regatta, which has been held since 1834, is the second oldest such event in the UK. It is five years older than the regatta at Henley-on-Thames. 

In fact, it could be argued that Durham Regatta’s roots go back to 1815, when a parade of boats travelled along the Wear to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon.

This procession, which began at Prebends Bridge and ended at Old Durham Beck, was so popular that it morphed into a yearly event. 

Today most races take place on either a short 700-metre course, which runs from Pelaw Wood to just past Baths Bridge, or an 1800-metre long course.

The long course starts at Pelaw Wood, passes through the narrow arches of Elvet Bridge and finishes close to Prebends Bridge.

More information about Durham Regatta can be found at

(Featured image courtesy of kanu101, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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