Scottish Boat Race 2016

Men’s First Eight:

Windy conditions from the South bank contributed to clashes between the two crews within the first 20 strokes of the race, with Edinburgh coming out of the clash with a 3 seat lead, in the first 500m of the race the crews fought hard against one another with Edinburgh unable to break to clear water but ultimately Edinburgh took advantage of the early lead around 600 in and managed to get ahead by a length. However, throughout the middle 800m of the race they didn’t manage to extend their lead by more than a 1/4 of a length and Glasgow seemed on to a stronger rhythm once they found the calmer waters of the south bank, continuing to push Edinburgh who were still in front. Unfortunately a crab in the Glasgow crew 150m from the line meant that the official finishing margin was 6 lengths to Edinburgh, but it was a hard fought race for the winning crew, not represented by the result on paper.

Women’s First Eight:

Going into the race as the underdogs, the girls were ready for a fight. An explosive start allowed Glasgow to take a canvas length from Edinburgh and brilliant coxing from Rachael never let anyone forget exactly where the competition was. This was not a race about settling into a racing rhythm – every stroke was crucial to holding onto what Glasgow has eked out in the first few hundred meters. Edinburgh threw in push after push but Glasgow refused to break in an incredibly close race won with aspiration and aggression.

Men’s Reserve Eight:

Edinburgh went off hard to take an early 3-seat lead up to 300m in but the Glasgow crew kept composed and move back to go through the 500m mark in the lead then continued to inch out to a length lead coming into the 1km mark. From here to the finish line, Edinburgh didn’t show any sign of giving up, constantly calling pushes but Glasgow responded and moved out to finish with ½ length of clear water.

Women’s Reserve Eight:

Glasgow had a strong start, taking a seat, but Edinburgh quickly responded to draw level, going through the 500m mark neck and neck. However, the wind picked up in the final 1km, favoring the Edinburgh crew who took the lead and moved away, a lead they didn’t relinquish.

Men’s Beginner Eight:

Glasgow got a better start but Edinburgh quickly pulled level and continued to move to just shy of ¾ length lengths lead coming out of the 500 mark. In the next 500m, Glasgow held Edinburgh’s charge despite the blades getting a little close and a blade clashes being narrowly avoided. 500m to go, Glasgow wound up the rate and really went for Edinburgh, closing the gap to ½ length but unfortunately the finish line came too early. A hard fought race start to finish from a beginner crew that showed composure beyond their experience to not break when Edinburgh was moving on them.

Women’s Beginner Eight:

Edinburgh got the better of the start, taking a seat lead despite Glasgow getting a good start. Edinburgh continued to move away, creating a significant lead 700m in but Glasgow didn’t give up and kept on pushing hard into the head wind. A smooth row by a crew that has come on leaps and bounds since BUCS 3 weeks.

Graduate Eights:

Women’s: Ailidh Lang (cox), Rebecca Lightfoot, heather walker, Zoe Wilson, Claire Hiddleston, Amy Nolan, Jess lee, Sally Griffiths and Mhairi MacFadyen

Men’s: Judith Burnside (cox), Ari Bonomelli, Iain Giffin, David Dennis, Dougie Thoms, Iain Rice, Dave Wilkinson, Sam Wiszniewski and Chris Logan.

Both of the graduate eights won by tight margins against Edinburgh crews that featured recent GB trialists.


It was a day of hard fought racing with some of the best races we have seen in recent years. The calibre of the two universities is shown in their recent high placing at BUCS regatta (Edinburgh 4th and Glasgow 6th) and the competitiveness of the event was reflected in the score of 8-5 to Edinburgh.

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