Robert Gordon University has reclaimed the sought-after title yesterday at the 23rd annual Aberdeen Boat Race, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Investments. Bringing the trophy back to their boathouse after last year’s loss, the mixed crew of eight triumphed in a time of 8 minutes 12.6 seconds, winning by two lengths over a shortened course due to river conditions. Their rivals from the University of Aberdeen crossed the line close behind, in a time of 8 minutes 18.7 seconds. Hundreds of spectators lined the River Dee to cheer on the rowers in the city’s premier rowing spectacle.
Erin Wyness (21), president of Robert Gordon University Boat Club, says, “We’re on cloud nine, and it still hasn’t quite sunk in that we’ve won the title back. Losing last year was a real blow after five years of winning, but to have brought the trophy back to RGU is amazing. I’m very proud of all the crew has achieved this year. This is my fourth time in the Aberdeen Boat Race, and to have won three of those feels incredible.
“The University of Aberdeen crew put out a strong line up – the race wouldn’t have been as exciting or tough if we didn’t have such formidable opponents.
“The Aberdeen Boat Race has raised the profile of rowing in the north east of Scotland over the last 23 years, and it’s been amazing to be a part of it again this year – from the alumni and second crew races right up until the title race, there’s been some real talent on show. Thanks, too, to Aberdeen Standard Investments for their support in the organisation of the event.”
Henry Pettinger-Harte (22), president of Aberdeen University Boat Club, adds, “Congratulations to Robert Gordon University on their win today. In the lead up to the race, the teams each had their own unique strengths – but in the heat of the moment RGU pulled ahead. Although we didn’t win, the crew put in an incredible effort and really pushed themselves both in training and on the water – I’m very proud of all they’ve achieved.
“There was a real buzz about the river today and it was amazing to see so many spectators lining the shore to cheer on the crews – it really made the day for us. I’d also like to thank Aberdeen Standard Investments for their continued support – without their backing the Aberdeen Boat Race wouldn’t be the top sporting event it’s become.”
The alumni boat race was won by Robert Gordon University by just four feet in a time of 8 minutes 34.3 seconds. The universities’ second crew boat race was won by the University of Aberdeen by one and a quarter lengths in a time of 2 minutes 35 seconds. STV clinched the media challenge title in a time of 1 minute 17 seconds by five lengths over a short course in two-person coxed tub boats.
Martin Gilbert, co-chief executive of title sponsor Aberdeen Standard Investments, says, “Once again, the Aberdeen Boat Race proved to be a thrilling display of talent and steely determination. On behalf of all at Aberdeen Standard Investments I would like to congratulate Robert Gordon University on their hard-fought win.
“I would also like to commend the efforts of the University of Aberdeen crew, who put in a valiant effort and deserve every praise. The commitment shown by the rowers over the last few months is a testament to the high levels of excellence expected of them by their universities.
“We are proud to have sponsored the Aberdeen Boat Race for the last 18 years and look forward to its continued success as one of the country’s best loved rowing events.”