HUNDREDS of canoeists descended on the River Tyne for a bumper weekend of high adrenaline watersport.

The annual Tyne Tour attracted participants from across the country to Hexham and surrounding areas. 

Organised by Hexham Canoe Club, the volunteer-led event took place over three action-packed days from Friday to Sunday. 

It included the Tyne Descent Wavehopper Race from Barrasford to Hexham's Tyne Green, which is famed for its challenging stretch at Warden Gorge.  

The canoe club's Lorraine Glendenning said there were between 550 to 600 competitors. 

But she insisted there was far more to the event than the canoeing, with live music and a ceilidh featuring among a programme of entertainment. 

"It was a great weekend," said Lorraine. "We've had a lot of positive feedback and it seems that everybody enjoyed themselves.

"There's a lot more to it than competition. The canoeing community comes together and it was an opportunity to catch up with friends, and to have a lot of fun enjoying our sport. 

"The numbers were similar to last year, and it's lovely to see people arriving here from near and far. We had visitors from Scotland and as far south as Peterborough."

Lorraine said weather conditions were good for the most part, and paid tribute to the team of volunteers who played a key role in the event's success. 

She added: "It was very mild. Apart from the odd shower and a little bit of wind the weather was good.

"From Michael Nelson, the chief organiser, to the safety team who marshalled the river, everyone played their part. 

"A lot of work goes on behind the scenes. Scott Bradley organises the marquee and the trade stands. 

"We are grateful to all the riparian owners and everyone at Tyne Green, from Hexham Mart to Tynedale Golf Club and Cafe Enna for enabling us to accommodate this great event."

Read more in this week's Courant.