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Boathouse Events have confirmed that Cambridge University will join the Great Race in 2013 on the Waikato River and will contest the event against Waikato University and Sydney University. Cambridge have agreed to a ten year appearance arrangement at this event and will take on Sydney who in 2012 became only the second visiting crew to take out the men’s eights in this event when they came from behind to defeat Waikato in an absorbing duel over the last kilometre.

The race is run over 3.85 kms against the stream on the Waikato River through the centre of the city of Hamilton. With the river against the competing crews gaining advantage close to the bank is an important consideration which can lead to very interesting racing.

A number of the Sydney University winning crew from 2012 are looking to back up in 2013 following what was very sociable week in Hamilton followed by an exciting victory.

The men’s eights row for the Harry Mahon Trophy named after one of New Zealand’s greatest rowing coaches. Among his many achievements Harry Mahon coached the New Zealand eight to gold at the 1982 and 1983 World Championships and coached the winning Cambridge crews in the Boat Race from 1993 to 1999 inclusive and again in 2001. Harry Mahon died from liver cancer in 2001. The Great Race began in 2002 so it was a fitting tribute that the men’s eight trophy be named in his honour.

This year the race will be run on Sunday 8th September. Our photo shows the Sydney University crew battling with Waikato as the crews fight for the best position on the bank looking for some protection from the river stream.

Check out the dramatic conclusion of the 2012 men’s race at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imtJmRVHWWA