STAGING York and Lancaster Universities Roses - British Rowing

York and Lancaster Universities Roses

To most people the War of the Roses is confined to history, but this is not the case with York and Lancaster Universities. Every year the old rivalry of Lancashire verses Yorkshire thrives on the sporting arenas of the two universities.

The Roses Competition is the largest inter-university sporting event in the country in which 20,000 students of York and Lancaster come together to compete for the prestigious Carter-James trophy in a three day festival of sport.


This festival of sport takes place one weekend each May where, as in the shadow of history, the White Rose of York battles with the Red Rose of Lancaster
On 15th May 1965 the Vice Chancellor of York, Lord James of Rusholme, suggested a boat race between the two universities.  The students amplified this idea and held a three day event with a variety of Sports: rowing, table tennis, relay race, mixed field hockey and tug of war. 

The winner of each of the sports received two points and the losing Vice Chancellor presented a trophy to the winning university.

The event has continued to increase in size since its founding, with new events added every year (2009 has 44 different sports).

This year, 2009, the University of York are the hosts and rowing is at the forefront of sporting action and there will be ten races over a 1000 metres course before the winners of the regatta can be declared.

There will be 

 Men’s and Women’s senior 8+’s,
 Men’s and Women’s Novice 8+s, 
 Men’s and Women’s Senior 4’s,
 Men’s and Women’s Novice 4+’s
 Men’s and Women’s Freshers 4+’s.

The broadswords and chain mail may have been replaced by hockey sticks, rugby balls and rowing blades, but make no mistake, it’s still war.

Gill Porteous  

Commissioner for Student Rowing – Yorkshire Rowing Council