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It’s that time of year! Varsity Series 2017 starts tomorrow with the annual boat race on the Harbourside. Charlotte Greenwood gives us the low-down on the event and tells us who her money is on. 

For the 22nd year in a row, the University of Bristol Boat Club will invite their neighbouring rivals, the University of the West of England, to the harbourside for a battle of power and will that promises to be a great watch.

The boat race is the oldest event in the series with a course of 1300 metres, where crews will battle down the harbour starting at the Pump House to the finish line by Princes Swing bridge.

Taking the overall victory in 2016, the University of Bristol are hopeful that the victory blade will be returning back to its rightful place on the Bristol campus.


The event will begin by welcoming the novice crews to the water – their first side-by-side racing will begin with the Novice Men at 11am followed shortly by the Novice Women at 11:20am.

Whilst traditionally the boat race has only featured athletes from either UoB or UWE, this year’s organisers have welcomed crews from Exeter and Cardiff University, as well as crews from local teams such as the City of Bristol and Bristol Ariel Rowing club.

The final racing involving the Senior Men and Women’s first VIII’s will close the event with the men taking to the water at 2pm, followed shortly by the women at 2:20.

For Bristol boat club, this event marks the end of a long but successful head race season. The club has seen promising results from the women at Women’s Eights Head of the River on the tideway, achieving the best results the club had seen for over 14 years, to the multiple successes of the men’s crews at Henley 4’s and 8’s.

Varsity is an accumulation of hard work from the early rises to the long water sessions and erg tests. The increased number of crews taking to the water this year promises to offer more exciting races and an undoubted competitive atmosphere along the banks of the harbour.


The event is FREE to watch so why not head on down to the Harbourside this Saturday (18th March) for 11am sharp to support Bristol in maintaining the Varsity crown for another year. Each race promises to be explosive and ferociously fought – Bristol may be ready but are U(WE)?

Check out the rest of the crews on UoB Boat Club’s Instagram here.


Cheer on Bristol in this year’s Varsity and get involved by using the hashtag #WeAreBristol and follow updates of all the events on our social media:

Facebook // Epigram Sport // Twitter

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