This year’s University Boat Race proved a great day for both spectators and competitors with fantastic weather for all four races of the day.
The day got underway with the fresher’s races. The fresher ladies’ race took place first, with QUB ladies’ fresher crew losing to Trinity by 3 lengths. The men’s fresher race took place at 2.30 pm and proved to be the only success of the day for Queen’s. The fresher men lost their coin toss and Trinity opted for the Antrim station, leaving Queen’s to race Down. Both crews flew off the stake boats with Queen’s getting the upper hand. Trinity then began to pull away on their corner and were marginally ahead through the Ormeau Bridge. However, Queen’s held on showing great form when they were down and sure enough pulled level approaching Kings Bridge. Through the Kings, Trinity began to tire and Queen’s took full advantage by taking the rate up to pull away from their rivals on the straight between Kings and Governor’s Bridge. On the final corner the race was Queens to take as they powered away from Trinity to win convincingly by a margin of 14 seconds. Congratulations to the freshers for such an excellent performance. The winning crew was Claire MaCartney (cox), Patrick Black (stroke), Darren Devaney, Matt Hall, Ryan Hodgkinson, Damian Hannon, Peter McCaul, Kevin Mahoney and Chris Smith (bow).
The Senior events began with the Senior Ladies race at 3.15pm. The Senior Ladies race was won by Trinity by one length. The final event of the day, the Senior Men’s race took place at 4 pm. Queen’s won the toss and opted for the Antrim station. Both crews powered off the stake boats with Queen’s over-rating Trinity to gain an early advantage. Queen’s held Trinity to early lead going through the Ormeau Bridge, where Trinity began to pull through and take the lead when the corner fell to their favour. Queen’s held Trinity as far as the Kings, then Trinity began to extend on their lead and pull away. On the last corner Trinity had the advantage and pulled away to take the win by 4 lengths. In the end the more experienced and heavier crew won but Queen’s showed guts and massive potential for a predominantly novice crew.
Great thanks must be made to all those who helped make this year’s event possible, in particular Consarc Design Group for sponsoring the senior events and also Belfast City Council, Queen’s Chief Executive Club and Lomac Tiles for their support.
Photos by Kenny McCracken can be found here.