Aberdeen University Boat Club enjoyed the bragging rights over their city rivals Robert Gordon University after triumphing in the 25th Aberdeen Standard Investments Boat Race.
The AUBC crew pipped their RGU counterparts by three seconds in the 3.5km annual race along the River Dee.
AUBC president Kate Sugden, whose crew finished in a time of 8:03 minutes, said it was a great feeling to win the landmark race.
She said: “It is special because it is the 25th year.
“It means so much to the university and the club.
“The result was incredible and a massive relief.
“I’m thrilled that we retained the title in such an important year for the boat race. The crew has been training so hard for the last few months, and Robert Gordon University had a strong crew, so it was a well-deserved victory and I’m really proud of everything they’ve achieved.
“It’s always incredible to see so many people out celebrating rowing in Aberdeen, and the cheers of the crowd along the course made for a really exciting atmosphere.”
Robert Gordon University Boat Club president Lizzie Buchan was proud of her side for pushing Aberdeen University all the way.
She said: “It was a very tough race and a lot closer than last year.
“I am proud of my crew.
“We put in a great performance and gave it everything.
“We know we tried our best and that is all you can really ask for.
“Aberdeen University put on an impressive performance.
“It is disappointing not to win but we put up a really good fight.
“We won the novice race for the first time in 25 years and we won the alumni one as well.
“Hopefully next year we can get the clean sweep.”
Aberdeen University will attempt to make it three in a row in 2021 but Sugden admitted her crew were made to work hard for the victory on Saturday.
Sugden was impressed with the way her team dealt with a couple of tricky situations, including when one of the oar blades was caught in the water, known as a crab.
She said: “That was the most horrendous thing because they had such a lead and then they caught this crab and the whole boat completely changed direction.
“Then then they were close to crashing with RGU.
“It was horrible but they got it back together and pulled through in the end.
“It shows that they had it in them to recover from a situation like that and then recover into a solid rhythm to pull it through to the finish thankfully.”
Thomas Lloyd, a member of the Aberdeen University team, was also thrilled with the victory.
The 18-year-old from Edinburgh said: “It was a very interesting race and very nice to win.
“I had a little bit of a mess-up, catching the crab in the middle.
“We just had to keep calm, get the blade out and start again.
“But that is not the first time something like that has happened so it was motivation to pull even harder.
“You don’t want to let the crew down and we pushed even harder to get across the finishing line.
“To mess up in the middle and still win felt good. We would have felt a lot worse if we had lost.”
The AUBC cox Alliott Irvine felt his side did well not to panic when a mishap allowed RGU back into the race.
He said: “The feeling afterwards was one of utter relief.
“The race started off really well and we got a length on them around the first bend.
“We were stretching that out until after the railway bridge and the number four seat Thomas caught a crab and suddenly they were right next to us and we had to fight for it all over again.
“We had to fight hard over that last 400 metres so it was utter relief to win.”
He added: “We had a comfortable lead and were in our rhythm and suddenly we had to regain all of that after losing it.
“We had to make sure we didn’t panic.
“If we had started to panic then things would have got worse.”
The 20-year-old said his side’s strategy paid off.
He said: “RGU was a bigger crew and we didn’t think they were as fit.
“We thought their plan would have been to set off hard and try to demoralise us.
“Our plan was to hold our rhythm the whole way through and be able to keep a higher tempo and therefore be able to use our fitness to gain the advantage.”
Irvine said winning the event in its 25th year made the achievement all the sweeter.
He said: “I think it is special being the victor on the anniversary.
“There is quite a nice sensation about being the winner on this day.”
The crew representing Aberdeen University were Lena Kraft (21) from Heidelberg, Germany; Emily Carruthers (20), India Dodd (21) and Thomas Lloyd (18) from Edinburgh; Dean Porter (22) from Milland, England; Andrew Dunse (20) from Dumfries; Christy Crook (21) from Inverness; and Adam Wilson (21) from Aberdeen. The crew were coxed by Alliott Irvine (20) from Wallingford, England.
The crew representing Robert Gordon University were Antoine de Reviers (21) from Lyon, France; Michael Troy (19) from Hamilton; Benedek Gaál (24) from Esztergom, Hungary; Sarah Cameron (19) and Lizzie Buchan (20) from Edinburgh; Abigail Topp (18) from Blackburn; and Gregor Pittendreigh (22) and Kate Jones (34) from Aberdeen. The cox was Sophie Telfer (19) from Kinross.