Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Messing about on the River; Events: Take to the Tees

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Messing about on the River; Events: Take to the Tees

Article excerpt

W HITE-knuckle rides or a gentle row on the river? Whatever your idea of a fun day spent messing about on the water, Stockton's week-long Take to the Tees festival offers something for everyone.

Those looking for an adrenaline rush can race around on a Thundercat boat, try out a hovercraft, ride a powerboat to Teesmouth and back or give waterskiing a go.

But less demanding activities on offer include sessions in rowing, sailing and paddleboarding, plus wheelyboats - specially designed for wheelchair users to get afloat safely.

The festival - which starts this weekend and is based around the Stockton stretch of the Tees - offers taster sessions in more than a dozen sports.

Sessions vary from 10 minutes to a couple of hours or more - depending on the activity. The watersports activity taster sessions run from Monday, August 22 to Saturday, August 27.

Most events are based on Stockton Riverside or at the Tees Barrage and qualified instructors will oversee every event, with all safety equipment is provided.

Councillor Ken Dixon, Stockton Council's Cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, said some people may never have considered trying such activities - while others might have had it in mind but never known how to get involved.

"The whole idea behind Take To The Tees is to encourage people to give something new a go," he said.

"The River Tees is a fantastic place for watersports and we want to encourage as many people as possible to use it."

Take To The Tees also includes two spectator events. It opens on Sunday with the Stockton Triathlon and closes a week later - on August 28 - with the River Rat Race.

Entries for both the River Rat Race and Stockton Triathlon have broken records by surpassing last year's numbers.

The Triathlon looks set to beat last year's record of 400 who swam, cycled and ran their way around the river and its banks - more than 80 in a Mini Triathlon for beginners.

The River Rat Race returns on August 28 following a successful first year when almost 800 brave souls tackled the course.

This year's Rat Race will challenge competitors to run, jump, swim, kayak and climb the 10km course which runs alongside, as well as in, the River. …

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