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University Boat Race takes over Bristol Harbourside

The University of Bristol Boat Club battle it out in the Annual Varsity Boat Race

Press release issued: 18 March 2015

Bristol’s floating harbour will once again play host to the Annual Varsity Boat Race on Saturday [21 March], in a day of fierce competition which pits the University of Bristol against the University of the West of England (UWE).

The boat race is the oldest and most prestigious event in the Varsity Series, which sees the two universities go head to head in a number of sports events between February and May each year.

The 1,300m sprint is a thrilling showcase of side-by-side boat racing, from the Cottage Inn to the Arnolfini, attracting hundreds of spectators to cheer on the competitors.

With a variety of races throughout the day, the University of Bristol Boat Club will be looking to win the Varsity Challenge Cup and Blade from current champions UWE Boat Club.

The Boat Race presentation will be made by Mark Hunter MBE outside the Olive Shed restaurant.

Mark Hunter won silver with Zac Purchase in the lightweight double scull at the London Olympics in 2012.  He also won Britain’s first lightweight gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and was named rowing’s Olympic Athlete of the Year in 2011.

Alyx Murray Jackman, Bristol SU’s Sport and Student Development Officer, said: “Varsity is the biggest multi-sport event in Bristol’s calendar and the boat race is definitely one of the highlights. It’s great to see the local community turn out in force to cheer the teams on, and there’s always an amazing atmosphere.

“This year, the University of Bristol are trailing 3-1 to UWE, so the Bristol teams will really be going all out.”

All Varsity events raise money for local charities.  This year, the Varsity Series is supporting local youth homelessness charity 1625 Independent People (1625ip). 1625ip exists to support young people aged 16 to 25 to build independent lives, which they do by helping people find and keep a safe, stable home.

The event is free and all Bristol residents and visitors are invited to watch the action unfold.

The race schedule on Saturday is:

11:00 – Race 1: Novice Men 2nd 8+
11:20 – Race 2: The Eleanor Rose Ellis Novice Men 1st 8+
11:40 – Race 3: Novice Women 1st 8+
12:00 – Race 4: Alumni Men 1st 8+
12:20 – Race 5: Alumni Women 1st 8+
12:40 – Race 6: Senior Men 2nd 8+
13:00 – Race 7: Senior Women 1st 8+
13:20 – Race 8: Senior Men 1st 8+
14:00 – Presentation 

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