Crowds have been enjoying a weekend of river racing, barbeques, and fun with the return of Durham Regatta.

Rowing clubs from across the country sent crews to take part in back-to-back competitive racing on the River Wear, in the heart of medieval Durham. 

The city centre has been abuzz with activity over Saturday and Sunday, with limber, lycra-clad athletes hurrying to Tesco, or stopping off for a post-race pint.

Down on the racecourse, crowds slathered on sun cream and cheered as boat-fulls of the country's best rowing talent zipped by. 

(Image: Andy Futers) (Image: Andy Futers)

Most of the racing was contested over the 700 metre ‘short course’, alongside the Racecourse, providing a close-up view for spectators, while a small number of contests took place over the 1,800-metre ‘long course’ for which the finish line is further downstream adjacent to The Count’s House.

Although from the banks, the river looked lazy, racers were canny not to be fooled, as an unusual wind whipped down on the Wear's surfaces.  

(Image: Andy Futers) (Image: Andy Futers)

Racing on Saturday and Sunday was plagued by unusually strong breezes, and one spectator said: "Our gazebo has nearly blown away a few times!"

There was plenty of off-course entertainment this year, with music, food and drink, and it's thought around 10,000 people turned out to enjoy the racing and the glorious weather. 

(Image: Andy Futers) (Image: Andy Futers)

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On Sunday evening, the regatta's collection of 57 historic trophies are to be presented to winners. Many trophies having been donated in memory of former rowers and important figures from the region.

The regatta, the second oldest in the world behind Chester, emerged from river pageants staged on the Wear in the 1830s to commemorate Wellington’s 1815 victory at the Battle of Waterloo over Napoleon’s French army.

(Image: Andy Futers) (Image: Andy Futers)

It has only failed to take place during world wars, due to bad weather and the coronavirus.