Aberdeen Boat Race: Tough crews set to get rowing with less than an Ocean between them

The two teams will take to the water tomorrow.
The two teams will take to the water tomorrow.

The River Dee will come alive this weekend, as student rowers battle it out on the water tomorrow to claim glory at the 23rd annual Aberdeen Boat Race.

The event will see challengers Robert Gordon University take on reigning champions the University of Aberdeen in a race which has been dubbed Scotland’s equivalent of the Oxford-Cambridge event.

Spectators are encouraged to line the riverbanks to cheer on the crews as they tackle the 3.5km course, which runs from the Bridge of Dee to Aberdeen Boat Club.

Ahead of the title race at 1.30pm, a variety of races await spectators – beginning at 11.20am with the toss for stations.

Last year’s top event saw the University of Aberdeen break Robert Gordon University’s five-year winning streak, crossing the finish line four boat lengths ahead in a time of 7:03.40 over a course shortened due to the weather.

Martin Gilbert, co-chief executive of sponsors Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “Every year, I am in awe of the dedication that the university crews display in the lead-up to the Aberdeen Boat Race.

“Preparing for any event alongside your studies can be stressful, but the way the students manage their time to get ready for such an important sporting event is commendable.”

In the lead-up, the rowers from both crews briefly set aside their differences to record a video parodying one of Billy Ocean’s classic songs.

“When The Water Gets Rough, The Tough Get Rowing,” has been viewed thousands of times online, and provides a taste of the fun atmosphere expected on the riverbank on race day.