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Rowing to victory: Edinburgh take the title in the Scottish Boat Race

Edinburgh students have retained their title by winning an annual boat race competing against Glasgow rowers.

Olympic gold medallist Katherine Grainger watched as the rowers battled it out on the Clyde today in this year's Scottish Boat Race.

Hundreds of spectators looked on as Edinburgh and Glasgow's elite university rowers took part in six races, including alumni and reserve contests.

The capital's students were celebrating after claiming victory in five of the contests - including the men's feature race, retaining the title from last year after Glasgow had won it every year since 1999.

However, Glasgow did secure today's women's title.

Henry Millar, from successful Edinburgh Men's 1st crew, said: "It was a very good victory and I suppose coming into this race, we weren't really sure how to take it.

"We had raced Glasgow earlier this season and won, but going into this we didn't want to come in with any complacency. The aim was to go out hard and try and build an early lead which is what we did and it was great to get the win.

"The atmosphere today has been great. It's a nice occasion for the family and universities and it's a chance to showcase rowing to the wider public and an event like this is a brilliant chance to promote the sport."

Rebecca Lightfoot, of the Glasgow women's crew, said: "We had a very good race and stuck to our race plan which was great. Unfortunately, Edinburgh had an issue which held them up, but we had to carry on and worked really well to the end.

"The Scottish Boat Race is different to the other races we take part in all season as all the other regattas have more boats and rounds during the day. This is obviously just a one-off, head-to-head showdown and you don't know quite know what the opponents will be like on the day, so you've just got to go for it and, although we had a positive feeling about today, it is nice to come out on top."

Olympic rower Grainger said: "It's been brilliant. It was pretty dominant by Edinburgh University this time round, which is a bit of a shame as it's nice when it's close racing all round, but it's always a great event and it's lovely to see so many people coming down to support it and cheer on the rowers."

Having been running since 1877, the Scottish Boat Race is said to be the third oldest boat race in the world behind only the famous Oxbridge contest and Harvard-Yale Regatta in America.

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