A UNIVERSITY boat race is returning to the North-East after a five year absence.

The Boat Race of the North, between Newcastle and Durham, is taking place on the River Tyne, this weekend.

The race will begin under the Redheugh Bridge and finish just after the Millennium Bridge.

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The first contest was held in 1997 and ran annually until 2010.

Durham currently holds the senior men’s title, but the overall prize was shared between the teams.

Newcastle University Boat Club president Tim Clarke said: “Having competed myself in the last race in 2010, I know what a great event it is to be involved in. I’m excited to be back now and leading the Newcastle charge.

“Bring it on Durham, we’ve been ready for the last five years.”

The first rowing races on the River Tyne took place in the 1820s and in the past thousands of people would line the Quayside to see the rowers taking part.

The Boat Race of the North will take place on the evening of Saturday (May 9).

Novice women winners will be awarded the Taylor Trophy, novice men will receive the Renforth Trophy, the senior women winners will lift the Chambers Trophy, while the senior men who come out on top will be awarded the Clasper Trophy.

Natalie Hardy, the NUBC’s Senior Women’s Captain, said: “The last few years has been neck and neck for us and Durham, with this season no exception. It’s time to settle the score on home water.”