After months of secrecy and planning, the final crews are announced today (Tuesday, 21 February) for the 22nd annual Aberdeen Boat Race, on Saturday March 4.
The 18 successful students have travelled from around the world to study at the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University – from A Coruña in Spain to Perth in Australia – and will come together for the challenging 3.5km race along the River Dee, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.
Fiona Bell, president of Aberdeen University Boat Club (AUBC), and Robert Gordon University Boat Club (RGU) president Erin Wyness have handpicked their teams after monitoring the rowers’ technical skill and performance under pressure over the past few months.
Rowing for the University of Aberdeen are:
Alex Zabala (18) from A Coruña, Spain; Fiona Bell (21) from Kilmacolm; Lachlan Cowie (21) from North Kessock; Henry Pettinger-Harte (21) from Chester; Alex Afaquah (20) from Glasgow; Rosie Kelly (21) from Belfast; Anna-Sophie Tierre (19) from Aukrug, Germany; and Isla Ferguson (19) from Edinburgh. The cox is Alex Ralston (20) from Perth, Australia.
Representing Robert Gordon University are:
Erin Wyness (20), Holly Reid (23), Andrew Main (20), Gregor Pittendreigh (20) and Josh Quinn (23) from Aberdeen; Michael Brady (21) from Livingston; Ruth Wright (26) from Turriff; and Katherine Lawrie (19) from Stonehaven. The cox is Kathryn Duthie (21) from Dunfermline.
Last year’s race was the most exciting yet, with both crews breaking the course record. Jostling for first position along the length of the course, RGUBC just clinched the title for the fifth consecutive year by only a quarter of a length. After coming so close, AUBC is determined to make 2017 the year they bring the trophy back to their boat house.
As the Aberdeen Boat Race enters its 22nd year, it is once again supported by global investment group, Aberdeen Asset Management.
Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen, said: “Since its inception, the Aberdeen Boat Race has become a real highlight in the city’s sporting calendar. Over the past few months, the crews have faced dark, early mornings and intense training sessions in rain and shine to prepare for the race ahead of them, and the time is almost here to put that training into practice. Aberdeen Asset Management remains dedicated to nurturing young talent, and we look forward to celebrating both crews’ achievements on March 4, regardless of who lifts the trophy.”
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, said: “Last year’s race was incredibly close, and I know that AUBC has been out on the water training hard this year. The effort that both crews put into the preparations for the Aberdeen Boat Race is commendable, and I’m sure will lead to another exciting race along the River Dee.”
Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, added: “Every year the crews from both universities show great skill and determination on the water and this year will be no different. The atmosphere at the finish line is electric and it is always fantastic to see Robert Gordon University students lining the riverbanks alongside the general public. I’m looking forward to another exciting race in March.”