The event ran on 9 September 2019 - this page for archive only
How much and what's included in the cost?

The entry fee for 2019 is £20 per rowing seat up till 24 August and then £25 up till close of entries. Coxswain seats are free. This covers the cost of running the event including extensive safety cover. There is an extra charge for (optional) T-shirts of £10 - details available mid August.

What boats are permitted to enter the event?

Boats for the Great Tyne Row must be stable or coastal oats, all coxed. They might be Explore Rowing quads, fours or doubles, Trinity 500s, St Ayles Skiffs, Celtic Longboats, Cornish Pilot Gigs or other coastal rowing craft. No fine or coxless boats are be permitted. If you would like to discuss entering a different boat please contact us.  

Can I cancel my entry?

You can cancel your entry up to the close of entries without penalty. After that time we cannot guarantee any refund for crews withdrawn - it depends if it would take us into a loss. For more information, refer to our Terms and Conditions downloadable here.


Can we substitute crew members before the event?

Yes, you can change 100% of a crew up to close of entries and 50% thereafter. You must give us full details, not just a name, when changing crew members

Can we change our crew type or boat class?

Yes, you can change either up until the closing date, but not after. 

I've never rowed before can I take part?

No, We require that you have rowed before. You must also have insurance by being a member of an appropriate Rowing Club (affiliated to a national governing body) or a Sea Cadet Unit or you have full club, crew or personal third party insurance to the tune of £2m.

The Event
Where do we start the row from?

Stable sliding seat quads, fours and doubles launch from either Tyne Amateur Rowing Club (NE15 8NL) or Tyne United Rowing Club (NE15 8NR) at Newburn - crews are informed of boating location about 4 days before the event. Fixed seat boats generally start at Tyne Riverside Country Park at Newburn slipway (NE15 8ND). Other craft are directed to appropriate club. The start line is at the downstream end of the Newcastle University Boat Club steps, just below Newburn Bridge.

Where is the finish?

The finish is now on a line from the Nexus passenger ferry pier on the north bank to the public car park on the south bank. From there, crews will be directed by marshals to Tynemouth Haven beach where Tynemouth Rowing Club (NE30 4DG) lays on a grand welcome, with food and drink. For safety reasons in rough weather an alternative landing place might be used. 

What time does it run?

Each year the start time depends on the tide, as we aim to

start a little bit after high tide. In 2019 this is our draft timing 

* Gates to boating locations at Newburn open and food on: 08:00

* Registration open at Tyne ARC: 09:00-10:15

* Safety briefing at Tyne ARC: 11:00 (at least one per crew)

* Boating: 11:30-12:30 

* First division off: 12:00 (1 hour after high tide)

* Last division of 4 off: 12:45 

* Finish: 14:05 onwards 

* Landing at Tynemouth RC: 14:25 onwards

* Prize-giving: 16:30 approx

* Food and bar available till 18:00


How does the row work?

Crews can opt for one of three crew types: Womens, Mixed or Open. There are as many boat types as enter (usually about 6-8). The boats are timed and prizes awarded - see here - but the main aim of the day is to complete the 25 km journey and to enjoy the challenge. 


What are the event rules?

As part of our Terms and Conditions, we expect all participants to be aware of and adhere to British Rowing's RowSafe guidance. The Instructions to Crews and the Navigation Guide will include further 'local rules' and all crew members should read them  in advance. Participants must abide by any instruction given by a marshal or safety launch.


Is fancy dress allowed?

Yes. However, should the boating marshals or other official deem an outfit to be a safety risk to either the rower or fellow crew members, you may be asked to change your outfit. When choosing your outfit, you should give consideration to weather conditions, the weight of your outfit when wet and the likelihood of your outfit causing interference to your movement.


Do I have to wear a lifejacket or PFD?

Coxswains must wear a lifejacket or PFD at all times on the water. Rowers are exempt but must declare that they meet the minimum swimming when entering the event. Minimum swimming distance is 100 metres in light clothing. Discuss this with us if you cannot meet this requirement and we may let you row with a PFD.


What happens if the weather is bad?

The Event Director and/or the Event Safety Adviser have the right to alter or cancel the event if they deem the water or weather conditions to be unsafe. We have several contingencies available and we will endeavour to get you rowing. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions regarding event alterations and cancellations.


We're rowing through commercial shipping lanes, are we safe?

Our event has been planned in consultation with the Port of Tyne and we have their authorisation to have crews row through to Tynemouth. We have ample safety cover for this event, including on-water support from the Port of Tyne. However, on the day it’s possible that we may receive instruction from the Port of Tyne to slow our progression or stop the row temporarily at a pre-determined point due to an unscheduled shipping movement but we have scheduled the event to reduce the likelihood of this scenario. And we will take intermediate times to allow prizes to be awarded even if there is a hold-up.

I’d like to raise money for charity. Can I do that through this event?

Yes, you are more than welcome to raise funds for a charity of your own. Our event does not have a partner charity and we cannot offer any charity free places for sponsored rows as we need to cover our costs.


Are spectators welcome? What are the best vantage points?

    Yes, spectators are more than welcome. There are four brilliant vantage points along the river:


  1. The Start: position yourself at the Newcastle University Boat Club steps at Newburn and you will be able to see the first 1 km of the event. Boats set off in four waves every 15 minutes from 12:00 to 12:45.

  2. Dunston (8km): you can watch from the promenade just downstream from the iconic coal era legacy structure of Dunston Staithes (and then try the Staithes Cafe). Boats will pass about 12:44 to 13:26.

  3. The Bridges (10km): get down to quayside in the centre of Newcastle/Gateshead. Position yourself on the Millennium Bridge – pedestrian & cycle only. We understand that you’ll want to get the best vantage points but please DO NOT STAND ON ROAD BRIDGES! Even though footpaths are provided, these get easily congested with just a few people so please avoid. Boats will pass from about 12:56 to 13:37.

  4. Other intermediate points:
    Derwenthaugh (5km) from 12:28 to 13:11
    Bill Quay (15km) from 13:21 to14:03
    Tyne Tunnel (20km)from 13:43 to 14:16

  5. The Finish (25km): stay on the north side of the river and head east to the Fish Quay at North Shields where you’ll be able to see the crews cross the finish line (looking back up the river a bit) from 14:05 to 14:50 approx. Alternatively, head straight to Tynemouth Rowing Club at the Haven and watch from the beach or you can walk up to the headland or along the North Pier below the Priory and watch the crews make their way towards the beach.

What facilities are at Tyne ARC and Tyne United RC at the start?

Both clubs have toilets and changing facilities. Tap water is available on site.


What facilities are at Tynemouth RC at the finish?

The club has toilets and changing rooms are available at the sailing club close by.


Will food and drink be available?

Yes. There will be hot and cold food and drinks available at the start at both Tyne Amateur & Tyne United Rowing Clubs and tap water will be available at both. At the landing point, Tynemouth Rowing Club will be putting on a BBQ, food stall, hot and cold drinks and a bar.


Is there entertainment laid on?

You are welcome at Tyne RC's clubhouse bar on the Friday night (food is a possibility, but tbc). There may be some form of music to welcome you ashore at Tynemouth after the race.