Durham Regatta 2018 saw strong performances from a number of Sheffield crews, most notably a championship win for the men’s coxless four.
The Regatta attracts almost two thousand competitors. The regatta is held over two courses – a short 700m course, and a longer, more challenging, 1800m course. Most races take place on the short course, starting at Pelaw Wood and finishing just past Bath’s Bridge. The longer course takes crews side by side, from Pelaw Wood, through the historic arches of Elvet Bridge, where there are only a couple of inches to spare on each side of the oars as the boats go through, down to the finish at Counts House, close to Prebends Bridge.
After having a very up and down year, the men’s 4- of Mike Luckham, Gareth Morris, Simon Coyne and Piers Turnbull focused their sights on competing for the Durham Challenge Cup, traditionally won by Newcastle University and the Tyne rowing clubs.
The Sheffield crew knew that steering on this windy course would be crucial in producing a winning performance and practised hard turns on Damflask Reservoir as well as pre race day training on the course itself.
On issue of the draw, Sheffield found themselves straight through to the final against Tyne Rowing Club. As expected, steering played a crucial part in the outcome of the race, and within 200m of the umpires “GO” call, it was all over. Tyne rowing straight into the Sheffield boat were disqualified immediately, leaving the Sheffield crew to row the rest of the course on their own.