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A grand day out at Belfast's very own boat race

By John Mulgrew

Racing crews from Queen's University triumphed in Belfast this weekend after winning all four events in the annual university boat race.

Both men's and women's crews took to the River Lagan on Saturday in the eighth year of the race, going up against seasoned teams from Trinity College in Dublin, and for the first time, University College, Cork

Modelled on the classic Oxford and Cambridge races, the teams rowed a 2.2km route along the Lagan before racing to the finish line at Queen's University Boat Club, which has been in existence since 1931.

The weather cleared just in time for the 2pm start as guests watched eagerly with glasses of Pimm's in hand as the women's novice crew took to the water.

A first win by Queen's University helped kick off a jubilant atmosphere as onlookers enjoyed live jazz and a sizzling barbecue.

The novice men dispatched Trinity's novices with a forensic display of power and ability making short work of the Dublin side.

Queen's senior men's and women's squads completed the day after trouncing their Cork rivals.

A spokeswoman for the event said "a great day" was had by all who braved the notorious Northern Ireland weather. "There was couple of hundred out in their finery. It was a great event," she said.

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