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2016 Boat Race set to make a splash at new £1.2M Boathouse

The 2016 University Boat Race will take place on Saturday, 11 June, with 18 crews from across the island of Ireland taking to the River Lagan from Queen’s new look £1.2M Boathouse.

Launching 2016 University Boat Race at Queen’s new £1.2M Boathouse on the River Lagan are Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Guy Spence, Ellie Holmes, Captain, Queen’s Senior Ladies and Jason Armstrong, Captain, Queen’s Senior Men’s crew, along with Des Hill, Past President of Trinity Rowing Club.

Now in its 12th year, the top men’s and women’s crews from Queen’s University Belfast, and Trinity College Dublin, will launch from the newly refurbished Lagan landmark, which has been home to Queen’s Rowing Club for 65 years. School crews from Methodist College Belfast, Portora Royal School and Royal Belfast Academical Institution, along with Bann Rowing Club will also be competing on the day.

The Boathouse has been refurbished to offer a world-class facility for Queen’s rowers which now offers a floating pontoon, as well as purpose-built storage for the University’s fleet.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s Race, Liz McLaughlin, Head of Queen’s Sport, said: “The opening of our new Boathouse is set to add further excitement to our 12th annual University Boat Race, as the crews will now launch and finish from this point, offering fantastic viewing opportunities for spectators. This investment is further evidence of Queen’s commitment to ensuring its students and the local community continue to have access to world-class sporting facilities. The University would like to sincerely thank the Belfast Boat Club for allowing students to row from their facility while our Boathouse was being refurbished.”

Launching the 2016 Boat Race, Belfast’s Deputy Lord Mayor Alderman Guy Spence, said: “The new Queen’s Boathouse is a fitting and fantastic addition to the landscape of the River Lagan and our City. Rowing on the Lagan has been part of life in Belfast for over 170 years and I am delighted that the University Boat Race is continuing to strengthen this tradition. I wish all the competitors a fantastic day of rowing and hope they enjoy this fantastic new facility created by Queen’s.”

Trinity College Dublin are the current champions and the 2000m long course is a popular event in Belfast’s sporting and social calendar. Last year more than 2,000 people lined the course to support the crews, with the towpath and bridges providing viewing points in addition to the new facility at Queen’s Boathouse.

Queen’s Head Rowing Coach, Mick Desmond added: “The Boat Race at Queen’s has turned into a highly competitive fixture in the Irish Rowing calendar. The event is unique as it showcases our sport to the wider community and gains much needed profile for the universities and schools who compete. It really shows off what is great about the sport of Rowing and it is fantastic that this great spectacle now incorporates our new facilities.”

This year spectators can also enjoy a VIP enclosure at Cutters Wharf offering a clear vantage point from the bar’s riverside terrace and rear function area. On offer will be lunch, table service and live music. Tickets, costing £25 can be purchased from Queen's Sport Reception in the PEC, by telephoning 028 90681126 or by emailing

Further information on this year’s University Boat Race is available here 


For media inquiries contact Queen’s Communications Office. Tel: 028 90 97 3091 or email