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Uni boat crews are at the races as river rocks

There will be a party atmosphere along the River Lagan today, when Queen's University hosts the Lagan Construction Group University Boat Race.

The event has emerged as one of the highlights in the Northern Ireland sporting calendar.

Spectators can enjoy the action this year from a new public enclosure at Belfast Rowing Club, Lockview Road, Stranmillis, where there will be live music, children's entertainment, food and refreshments from 10am.

Now in its 11th year, the event will be stacked with over 20 races culminating in the main university races as Queen's goes head to head with Trinity College Dublin in a repeat of the first-ever Boat Race back in 2004.

In addition to the top men's and women's crews competing for the third-level honours, there is a comprehensive schools schedule, with teams from Methodist College Belfast, RBAI, Portora Royal School and Bann Rowing Club competing for the Craig, Bobby Platt Perpetual Trophy and Ulster Schools Cups.

The races take place between 10.30am-5pm, with the starting point upstream of the McConnell Weir, opposite Ormeau Park and below Ormeau Bridge. The crews will finish the 1,550yrd course opposite Cutter's Wharf bar, adjacent to the Annandale Embankment, Stranmillis.

Head of Queen's Sport, Liz McLaughlin, said: "This event run by Lady Victoria Boat Club and Queen's Sport has developed into a truly spectacular event for Belfast, another example of how Queen's is at the heart of the city.

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"It has set a new standard for rowing regattas on these islands and I have no doubt that this will continue with this year's event.

"We look forward to some promising rowing from the schools teams."

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