The boats raced over a 1300m course, through Bristol's Floating Docks, passing the ss Great Britain and Ampitheatre to finish at the Lloyd's TSB Building.
|The full teams from both universities|
And the event was not without thrills, with its first ever re-row following a dead heat in the men’s senior eights.
The racing, which has five counting events, saw UWE’s men turn around a poor result on Bank Holiday Monday, in which it finished significantly behind Bristol in the BUSA (British Universities) regatta and take the win on its second attempt.
Bristol dominated by five lengths in the men’s novice event but UWE took all other races including the men’s alumni competition which sees graduates return.
The UWE boat contained World Champion Peter Reed from the GB coxless four, in the seven seat.
“It shows just how fast both universities are,” said an ecstatic Nic Lowry, bow man of UWE first eight and first to cross the line.
“It is definitely one of the hardest races I’ve ever rowed and is testament to our belief that even though we were the underdogs we could still pull it out when it matters”
“Dead heat, it’s the first time it’s been done and highlights just how close the two universities are,” said Rob Ashwell, a member of the organising committee and rower in the Bristol second eight (a non qualifying race).
“Losing my boat race, well to be honest sucked big time, but at least it was against a stronger crew. Hats off to the boys I guess”
“At least it means that I keep my leg hair,” added Rob, who would have had to wax his exceptionally hairy legs had the Bristol women’s novice eight won.
Rob was second coach and made the wager to give the girls a further desire to win.
Since the event began in 1995 the University of Bristol Boat Club (UBBC) has won 8 of the 12 races, UWE winning for the first time in 2003.
Men’s first VIIIs – dead heat – UWE winning by 1.5 lengths on a re-row
Women’s first VIIIs – UWE - 3 lengths
Men’s alumni VIIIs – UWE – 4 lengths
Women’s novices – UWE - 2 lengths
Men’s novices – Bristol – 4 lengths