RGU have reclaimed their title in the 23rd Aberdeen boat race, after beating Aberdeen.
The annual event saw Robert Gordon University win the race down the River Dee after being defeated by the University of Aberdeen last year. Previously RGU had held the title for five years. This year’s win is the 8th for RGU.
Before the main event there was another three races – the university second team, alumni and media.
First up was the second teams, RGU started at the boat house station. The 800m race from the railway bridge to Aberdeen Boat Club saw the teams facing head winds of between 25 and 35 mph.
RGU caught the crab at the start of the race – meaning the oar blade got caught in the water – allowing Aberdeen to gain a ¾ length lead. There was hope they could recover but Aberdeen ended up winning the first race.
Next was the alumni race, usually 3.5K but this year reduced to three due to adverse weather. The crews had to battle it out in the difficult conditions. RGU had the advantage of the City Station – the desired start point – meaning they had the benefit of calmer water.
The teams took turns in leading as they battled it out. There was nothing in it as they came into the home straight, both commanding cheers. In the end RGU took the win, with a time of 8.34 minutes and lead of only four feet.
The media race saw STV and Phake News competing, after a 200m sprint STV took the title. The team celebrated with a “yas!” from their boat.
The main event was intense, RGU held the City Station once more. The race got off to a difficult start with an Easterly wind causing choppy conditions. After a late start at 13.34 there was nothing in it after the first ten strokes.
At the King George the Sixth Bridge Aberdeen had a lengths advantage but RGU fought back. After the Duthie Park bend RGU had minimised the gap to a quarter length.
RGU took the lead at the railway bridge but Aberdeen valiantly tried to come back. Halfway down the wall RGU pulled away and gained one length. They raced to the finish line, winning with a time of 8.12 minutes and were met with a crowd of cheers from ecstatic onlookers.
The race was almost an exact copy of the alumni.
RGU Principal Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski joked they win every year he attends – could he be their lucky charm?
RGU win the bragging rights and claim the title again as Aberdeen have to wait until next year to try their hand at beating RGU and their lucky charm.