Tuesday, 27th June 2017

Rowers representing South Shields Marine School are in buoyant mood – after claiming victory in an annual river race.
They triumphed in the eighth Tyne Row – an eight-nautical mile challenge, from Newcastle Quayside to South Shields – crossing the finishing line a minute ahead of their nearest rival.
It was a second successive win for the marine school’s squad, who overcame five other teams to win in one-hour and 21 minutes, two minutes faster than in 2016.
In competing for the Marine School Challenge Cup, rowers also helped raise money for the Seafarers UK and TS Collingwood Sea Cadets charities.
Runner-up was American Bureau of Shipping, followed by North East P & I Club in one-hour and 28 minutes, and Fleetwood Nautical Campus.
Also competing, and finishing the gruelling course, was Tyne Metropolitan College and South Tyneside College Ladies Team.
The event was organised by Tommy Procter, 70, a former tugmaster and retired South Shields Marine School lecturer, who also coxed the winning team.
He said: “It’s a tough near-90 minutes on the water, but the Tyne Row is a hugely satisfying experience to be part of.
“The marine school’s rowers worked very hard and deserved the win, but the race was highly competitive and I thank all participants for their tremendous efforts.
“The Tyne is a difficult environment to take on and overcome, and for all teams to finish the course is a great achievement.
“It is a quite unique event in this part of the world and represents a superb sporting challenge – I’m already looking forward to next year’s race.”
The event began in 2010 when 24 South Shields Marine School cadets took part.
A year later, on the marine school’s 150th anniversary, other nautical colleges were invited to join in, with the Marine School Challenge Cup being introduced on 2012.
The race is so tough that there are two swap-over points for fresh crews take over.
The first is after 3.5 nautical miles, at Hebburn Marina, and the second a further 3.1 nautical miles downriver, at Tyne Dock.
Competitors race to a finish at South Shields Marine School’s Marine and Offshore Safety Training Centre, in Wapping Street, South Shields.
Gary Hindmarch, Principal of South Shields Marine School, said: “I’m delighted that the marine school’s own team won this terrific event.
“Great credit to all teams and rowers who took part and made the eighth annual row such a wonderful spectacle of sporting endeavour.
“It is no mean feat to conquer the Tyne, so congratulations to all involved.”
For the third year running, the winners and runners-up medals were sponsored by South Shields Ferry, under the aegis of Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive/Nexus.
South Shields hotel The Little Haven also sponsored South Shields Marine School’s rowing kit, and Maersk UK sponsored the event’s safety teams.
The race was followed by a barbecue, entertainment and the presentation of winners’ medals and the cup, at the Marine and Offshore Safety Training Centre.
Seafarers UK makes grants to nautical charities that look after the welfare needs of seafarers, ex-seafarers and their dependents.
The TS Collingwood Sea Cadets, particularly Angie, Chloe, Keith, Peter and Elliott, were thanked for their support, including the providing of training and safety boats.