East Anglian derby not the only rivalry between Norfolk and Suffolk, as the two counties took to the water for historic Deuchar cup
PUBLISHED: 10:20 26 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 26 February 2017
Archant Norfolk 2017
Some 30 years before the start of the East Anglian derby between Norwich and Ipswich, a different Norfolk/Suffolk rivalry was born.
And it is hoped a Norfolk win of the Deuchar rowing cup yesterday could be repeated today, as the two football clubs go head to head at Carrow Road.
The Deuchar cup was first presented in 1909 by J J W Deuchar, a Justice of the Peace and company secretary and actuary of Norwich Union Life.
And up until the 1950s, it was fought over annually by a teams from Norfolk and Suffolk, selected after rowing clubs competed in heats in their respective counties.
But due to transportation costs, the races stopped - with wing scores close to even - and the trophy was stored away.
Yesterday, the battle was reignited as part of the Norwich Head of the River event, hosted by Norwich Rowing Club.
Club chairman, David Bolton, said: “It’s an event to get people trained at the end of the winter, over a 5000m course, so they are fit to race faster, on shorter courses, in the summer.”
It consists of two main races - of 5000m and 2000m - and attracts more than 220 racing crews.
There were racing age categories from under 13s to over 65s, for both men and women. And for each category - which included a boat from Norfolk and Suffolk club - the fastest boat won a point for their county.
The county with the most points then took home the Deuchar cup.
Mr Bolton said: “I’m absolutely delighted with how it all went, we had a doctor on site as we’re concerned about safety but he had nothing to do.
“The Deuchar cup has been a part of the club’s history, and I got an email from Chris Jillings from Suffolk who said there was a challenge to Norfolk, from Ipswich where he lives.”
Clubs came from all over the country to compete in the Norwich Head of the River. This included Norwich Rowing Club, Yare Boat Club, and Broadland Boat Club from Norfolk.
And Deben Rowing Club Sudbury Rowing Club and Ipswich Rowing Club from Suffolk.
Plus clubs and colleges from Cambridge and Peterborough.
Mr Bolton said it was also encouraging to see teams from Norwich High School for Girls and the Norwich School, as he would like to see more young people involved in the sport.