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'Chocks Away!' for University Boat Race

09 Apr 2008

This year’s Two Cities Boat Race between the Universities of Manchester and Salford has received a major boost with the news that a Lancaster Bomber will perform a flypast especially to mark the event.

Lancaster Bomber
Lancaster Bomber

The Lancaster that will be flown at this year’s event, the City of Lincoln, is one of only two that remain in airworthy condition and was built in nearby Chester.

The flypast on Saturday May 10 has been made possible thanks to 'The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight' which was formed in 1957 in remembrance of aircrews who have died in service.

The 37th Two Cities Boat Race between Manchester and Salford will be held at Salford Quays withthousands of spectators watching the fiercely contested races.

The morning of the Boat Race will be taken up with Dragon Boat racing, an ancient Chinese tradition demanding teamwork and a competitive spirit, and resulting in a great fun day out for everyone whilst collecting lots of cash for charity - this year our charity is SPARKS (Sport Aiding Medical Research for Kids).

This year 30 teams have entered for the Dragon Boat racing, as opposed to 21 last year – but organisers are still looking for more staff and student teams from the University to take part.

Filling a boat requires 16 people to paddle, and someone at the front of the boat to bang the Chinese drum. Fancy dress or team strip is not compulsory, but proved popular last year.    

The cost of a Staff or Community boat is £1000 - reduced by £200 from last year; that works out at just £58 in sponsorship to be raised by each person.

One of the VIP guest at this year’s race will be Salford-born actor Robert Powell, president of the charity SPARKS.

Robert, a graduate of Manchester and an honorary graduate of Salford said: "I'm delighted to lend my support to the Two Cities Boat Race and thrilled that SPARKS has been chosen as the benefiting charity. The Boat Race promises to be a fantastic day and will help put the North West on the map as a region for up-and-coming sporting excellence."

(Photo by kind permission of Andrea Featherby)