A BLACKBURN undergraduate will be taking to the water in the North's answer to the Oxford-Cambridge boat race.

University of Salford student Laura Hacking will be part of the crew in the 37th Two Cities Boat Race on May 10, when Salford and Manchester go head-to-head.

Rowing clubs from the two universities will compete at Salford Quays in the fiercely-contested race.

Laura, 22, is in the third year of a wildlife conservation with zoo biology degree.

The crews will compete along the traditional River Irwell course at Salford Quays - starting at Sam Platts pub and finishing at the Lowry Bridge.

Last year's race was close, with Manchester just pipping Salford to the post.

Laura said: "I'm proud to be representing a boat club that has worked very hard to improve fitness and perfect technique.

"And I'm really looking forward to the race itself - especially the last 500 metres!"

Salford University Boat Club President Rhys Kearney said: "The Two Cities Boat Race is a great chance to show how far we've come since we first started rowing.

"We're looking forward to crossing the finishing line a few lengths ahead of Manchester. This year it's revenge!"

As well as the eight-event regatta, the Two Cities Boat Race will feature dragon boat racing and a festive atmosphere along the quayside with food, drink and live entertainment.