Tel Aviv rowing team
Tel Aviv rowing team Bonnie Levron

Israeli universities held their first ever academic rowing race over the weekend on the Yarkon River, taking on British academia's most celebrated institution of maritime competition; just this year the competition between Cambridge on Oxford was held for the 161st time.

Marking Israel's first foray into the watery world of rowing, Tel Aviv University won the historic event by outpacing the Weizmann Institute this weekend.

The two teams rowed in eight-person squads over a 1,000-meter (around 0.6 miles) distance, in an event that caps off months of training at the Daniel Center for Rowing in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv University's team gave a strong showing, finishing just under four minutes with a time of 3:59.31. Their rivals from Weizmann suffered some mistimed strokes at the start which their strong comeback was unable to overturn; their end time stood at 4:11.46.

In keeping with the best of British rowing tradition, both teams featured an eight-man crew and a helmsman, all of whom were selected following vigorous competition.

"It's a great honor to take the cup in the first university race," said the Tel Aviv University sports department. "This is a sport in which all the leading universities in the world are active, and we see great value in building a team for the coming years."

The Daniel Center for Rowing where the teams trained is where the Israeli national rowing team trains as well; the national team is to take part in rowing world cup competitions next week in Italy.

The rowing race
The rowing race Bonnie Levron
Join our official WhatsApp group