Newcastle University Lose Out to Durham in Tyne-wear Boat Race

By: Beverley Bukowski

Newcastle University has been beaten by Durham University in the 12th annual Tyne-Wear Boat Race. Durham University won all four events in the race, which consisted of the Freshmen’s Eights, Freshwomen’s Eights, Senior Men’s Eights and Senior Women’s eights.

The two teams were blessed with fine weather for the annual event, which was watched by thousands of spectators who lined the 1,800m course along the River Tyne. Colin Blackburn, chairman of the boat race executive committee, said that the sunny weather had managed to make the event an unforgettable one. He said: "It has been a very good day. The fine weather has brought a lot of people out to watch the University Boat Race, and it didn't disappoint."

Mr Blackburn said that Newcastle had a very "difficult task" in facing Durham University, as he believed that the team’s rowers "are the best in the country." Professor Chris Higgins, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, echoed this sentiment and said that his students were "remarkable" rowers. He said: "Our students are truly remarkable in the sport of rowing, and I am very proud of them. We have won the British Universities rowing championship for the last four years, and of course they have represented Durham spectacularly well here today."
Durham University Boat Club is a strong team with a great record of winning the annual Tyne-Wear boat race, which is now in its twelfth year. In addition to this year, the team has managed to win all four events in the race twice previously. The first time they managed to do this was in 1997 race - the first of this annual event - and they managed to do it again in 2004.

President of Durham University Boat Club Rob Stark was delighted with his team’s win. He said: "It's fantastic to have won all four races. I'm particularly pleased that the Freshmen and Freshwomen won their races, because it signifies that we have a very bright future. The results are testament to the strength and depth we have in our squad, and I'm absolutely thrilled with their performances."

Professor Chris Brink is Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University and was attending his first Tyne-Wear boat race this year. Despite his team losing, Mr Brink said that the race had been an "enjoyable event." He said: "These are the top two rowing universities in the country, and so there is certainly no shame in coming second. This has been a most enjoyable event, and I am pleased to see so many people participating in the spectacle."

Newcastle University’s team were said to be "disappointed" about their loss, but determined to try harder next year. Dan Cupit, who is president of Newcastle University Boat Club, said: "Obviously we're disappointed, but that's the way it goes, and we'll be back next year more determined than ever."

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