RACE rowing returned to the River Wear in Durham at the weekend, with the city’s first regatta in three years revealing a little ring rust both on and off the water .

Heavy rain caused a complete cancellation of racing in 2019, and last year’s regatta joined the list of events called off in the early months of the pandemic.

But with the all clear given this year, albeit with measures in place to enable it to be staged in as socially distanced fashion as possible, the public generally heeded the call to “stay away” to avoid congestion on the riverbanks.

Regatta chairman Nigel van Zwanenberg said apart from a few minor calamities, including two crews capsizing and one crashing into a wall, things passed as smoothly as could be expected.

“There was some slight creaking at the edges. We were a little bit short of volunteers with regatta experience, while some crews have not had the usual practice time.

“It put us behind schedule a little, but once people got into the flow we were able to make up a little time.”