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UoB Boat club prepare for the 2017 Varsity Boat Race

17 March 2017

Getting ready for the first event in the 2017 Varsity Series, Alice Lovett, senior rower in the women's 1st VIII, spills the beans on their preparations for tomorrow's Boat Race...

"The boats have been polished, the blades have been cleaned, the unisuits have been washed, and the stage has been set for what is the most highly anticipated event in the rowing calendar. Sure to attract similar crowds to the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race, Bristol’s bustling Harbourside will play host on Saturday to the oldest event in the Varsity series, whereby crews from the University of Bristol Boat Club and the UWE Boat Club will battle it out, fighting ruthlessly to take home the Varsity trophy.

Preparation for this event has been rigorous from all squads, with a demanding training schedule, incorporating ergs, cross-training and weights, as well as sessions on the water. For the women’s squad, Varsity is the culmination of a long but successful Head Race season. A win at UBBC’s own Head Race in December provided a strong initial platform from which to step on as a squad. Despite being overwhelmed with injury, the Senior Women’s squad have gone from strength to strength each race; from Newcastle to Henley, Eton Dorney to the Thames, the Senior Woman’s squad has produced some impressive times and excellent results across the country, the most recent being at WEHORR where the 1st VIII achieved their best result in 14 years. The Novice Women have had an unforgettable Head Race season, with Olympic Gold Medallist Moe Sbihi sharing of a video of them at WEHORR on his Instagram account.

While the men are still busy putting hours of preparation on the ergs and lifting weights for their biggest race of the Head Race season- HORR- they have not lost sight of their Varsity dream. Both Senior men crews had a nice taste of summer racing against the University of Oxford Lightweights at Eton Dorney last month, excellent preparation for the short (but demanding) Varsity course. Success has been rife in the men’s squad so far this season, with various medallists at BUCS Indoors, the Senior Men’s 1st VIII coming 2nd in IM2 and IM3 at Henley 4s and 8s Head Race, and our lightweight quad winning IM3 at Fours Head in October. Hundreds of miles have been covered in unfamiliar waters so far this season. Therefore unsurprising that both the Senior and Novice men crews are eager to race on home turf.

The traditional pre-Varsity weigh-in, where each racing athlete weighed in against their corresponding member of UWEBC, created a competitive atmosphere and ignited tremendous excitement between the boat clubs. For the crews at UBBC, Saturday can’t come fast enough. Each race promises to be explosive and ferociously fought. We are ready. Are U(WE)?"

Further information

No need to buy a ticket, the Boat Race will be held in Bristol's Floating Harbour from 11am to 3pm on Saturday 18th March 2017.

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