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Salford man attends every University Boat Race in history

05 May 2010

One man who is hoping for sunshine at this year's boat race is Tony Frankland – who's not missed the competition in its 39-year history.

Tony, 66, from Salford, has been to every boat race since it was started by students in 1972.  And he's seen some nail-biters along the way!

Tony was working at the University of Salford in 1972 when he first heard about the new rowing contest against Manchester. 

The Captain of the Agecroft Rowing Club at the time wanted to make the public more aware of rowing in Manchester and attract more people to take part in the exhilarating sport.  So the students decided to create an event showcasing the region's rowing talent - and The Two Cities Boat Race was born.

Tony said: "The idea was completely thought up and controlled by the students.  The teams jumped at the chance of performing in front of a crowd and were committed to raising the profile of rowing in the region."

He added: "The funny thing is, I’m not a particularly sporty person, but I have always enjoyed boats and was the Chairman of Salford RNLI (lifeboats) for many years.  I also love community, outdoor events with a great atmosphere.

"The Two Cities Boat Race has really grown over the years and it’s a great day out. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for sunny weather, that’s when the crowd really gets going!"

This Saturday, 8 May, rowing crews from The Universities of Manchester and Salford will lock oars on the Manchester Ship Canal in the 39th Two Cities Boat Race.

Admission to the event is free and everyone is invited to come down to Salford Quays to enjoy the food and drink, live entertainment and electric atmosphere.

The day begins with dragon boat racing at 10am. The student rowing regatta begins at 2.30pm. Presentations will be held at 4.45pm.

Money raised throughout will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Notes for editors

Contact Jon Keighren, Media Relations Manager, The Unviersity of Manchester 0161 275 8384