The 182nd Durham Regatta will take place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June 2015.
Durham Regatta has its origins in the annual procession of boats, organised by the Sheriff of County Durham and the Rt. Hon. William Lloyd Wharton, in June 1815 to celebrate the ‘famous victory’ at Waterloo.
The event included the ‘firing of cannon and a substantial supper with a plentiful supply of strong ale for the Waterloo men’. The annual procession of boats continued for many years, but Durham Regatta in its present form dates back to 1834, with racing taking place over two days from Prebends Bridge to Pelaw Wood.
The regatta is the second oldest in the country, preceded only by Chester Regatta and pre-dates Henley (the “Durham of the South”, by 5 years). Today, the regatta takes place over a 750m ‘short course’ on the scenic River Wear in Durham City, regularly attracting in excess of two thousand competitors and ten thousand spectators from across the United Kingdom. In recent years, the regatta has also attracted international entries.
The Grand Challenge Cup over the iconic ‘long course’ of one-and-a-quarter miles, including negotiating the narrow arches of Elvet Bridge, is the most coveted prize at any regatta in the North of England. Last year marked 160 years of ‘The Grand’. Some innovations to the racing programme last year included time-trials for the high-performance crews, and then allocation to a series of knock-out events. These new ‘Championship’ events were a resounding success with close and exciting racing.