New route for Glasgow and Edinburgh's university boat race

Glasgow - Edinburgh Boat Race.
River race: Glasgow's Sally Griffiths and Edinburgh's Andrew Crowe on the Tall Ship.© The Big Partnership

Since 1877 two teams of student rowers have powered their way down an iconic body of water, competing for the prestige and pride of victory.

The banks of the river are lined with cheering crowds, wearing T-shirts and waving flags that distinguish their allegiances.

The eight rowers on each team rhythmically propel their boat towards the finish as the cox steers the vessel through choppy waters.

Every year, no matter the weather, these dedicated athletes race for their university - and for their city.

This is a rivalry fuelled by over 136 years of boats, sweat and oars.

On May 25, the Weegies will take on the Burghers in the Glasgow – Edinburgh University Boat Race on the River Clyde.

The competition is the second oldest of its kind after the Oxford – Cambridge Boat Race on the Thames.

This year, the route of the race has been altered, making it much straighter and easier to navigate for those competing.

Previously starting in the Dalmarnock area and heading west to a finish at Glasgow Green, the team behind the contest have reached an agreement with river operators Clydeport to change the finish line of the event.

Passing under four the city’s iconic bridges, including the Clyde Arc, the route will finish at the Riverside Museum.

This new finish-line will allow more spectators to watch the climactic stages of the historic race.

Six races will take place throughout the afternoon, with the graduate male and female 500m race kicking off proceedings at 12.30pm, followed by the reserve VIII race.

The main events, the First VIII female and male races, will set off at 1.25pm and 1.30pm respectively.

The Glasgow University Boat Club took the main trophy of the competition home after last year’s event.

Sally Griffiths, the club Captain of the University of Glasgow Boat Club (GUBC), said: "The GUBC is very excited for this move down the Clyde, another defining chapter in the history of his ancient competition.

"We are hopeful that it will not only improve the event for all competitors, but also help raise awareness of university rowing and the sport in general."

Sally’s sentiments were echoed by the president of Edinburgh University Sports Union, Anna Donegan.

She said: "It is a very exciting time for both universities as the move to a new location on the river will hopefully re-establish the race as a truly spectacular event, which is fun and exciting for all involved."

View 2013 Clyde boat race route in a larger map. Map by Michael MacLeod.

Captain Ron Bailey, the Clydeport Harbour Master, is hopeful that the changed route will bring new spectators to the long-running event.

Captain Bailey said: "Clydeport is a proud supporter of the Glasgow – Edinburgh University Boat Race and very pleased to have assisted in providing a more prominent finish line for the event.

"We hope this will help to create added interest and crowd numbers for the race at what is an exciting time for sport in the city and we wish all participants the very best of luck on the big day."

Those waiting on the oarsmen and women returning to shore can visit the tall ship SV Glenlee.

The historic vessel travelled from Yorkhill Quay to be berthed at Pointhouse Quay alongside the Riverside Museum in 2011.

Andy Aire, the ship manager, said: "We are delighted to welcome the race to this section of the river, it will be a thrilling event and we look forward to exciting times ahead."

Spectators will be able to watch the event as it makes its way along the Clyde, with entertainment on hand at the Riverside Museum finish line.

The £74m Riverside Museum opened in June 2011 and contains more than 3000 exhibits.

More than half a million people streamed through the doors of the attraction in its first seven weeks.

For more information about the Glasgow – Edinburgh Boat Race click here.

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