Gillian’s journey, week four: Practice, and pizza, make perfect as big day approaches

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Gillian Paterson, aged 21, originally from Melrose and now studying at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, is president of the university’s boat club. She is preparing her crew to face rivals Aberdeen University Boat Club as they attempt to take home the title of rowing champions in the 19th Aberdeen Asset Management Universities’ Boat Race. Gillian is giving us a weekly rundown of her diary as the crew takes to the waters and undergoes rigorous training in the quest for victory.

It’s the week before Aberdeen Asset Management Universities’ Boat Race, and tradition dictates that both my crew, the Robert Gordon University Boat Club, and our rivals, Aberdeen University Boat Club, must take part in an annual race against the top teams of young rowers from Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association (ASRA).

This challenge is always greatly anticipated amongst both the rowers and those who come along to watch, as the calibre of rowers from ASRA is very high and it always makes for a fun and action-packed race. So we took to the river on Wednesday with high hopes of a winning streak and the outcome was a win for my crew.

As well as preparing for this we have had a busy week continuing training, spending around four evenings down at the river practicing intensely, with our final training session taking place today. Tomorrow we will have a day of rest and recuperation before the big race on Saturday.

This week was also a perfect opportunity to get the team together for one last gathering before the big day.

The crew spends so much time together, training in all elements, encouraging, motivating and inspiring each other through blood, sweat and tears, so much so that if we weren’t already good friends to begin with we all become best friends by our final training session.

It’s always a bit strange when things die down after the race and we don’t see each other as often so we decided that we should take some time to have fun together and unwind for a few hours and the best way to do that was deemed to be an evening of pizza, movies and board games.

The clock is ticking and the winner of the 2014 boat race will soon be revealed, let’s hope it’s another year of success for RGU!