Melrose student to lead team in universities’ boat race

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MELROSE student Gillian Paterson will lead her team in Scotland’s equivalent of the Oxford v Cambridge boat race which will take place in Aberdeen in March.

President of the Robert Gordon University Boat Club (RGUBC), Gillian, 21, hopes to guide her team to victory at the 19th Aberdeen Asset Management Universities’ Boat Race, which will see the University of Aberdeen go head to head with Robert Gordon University on Saturday, March 1.

Gillian, who studies Forensic and Analytical Science, hopes to become a police officer and will use her keen attention to detail to help aid her rowers’ performance as they strive to lift the trophy for the third year in a row.

She said: “We have been training hard for the last few months and are confident that we’ll be able to continue our winning streak.”

The final crews will be selected in the coming weeks by the team presidents, who will look at performance, ability and determination while making their decisions.

Each of the 16 rowers will take just under 300 strokes in the course of the 3.5km race and, along with the crew coxes, will push their physical and mental endurance to the limit. The race stretches along the River Dee from the Bridge of Dee to the Aberdeen Boat Club.

In 2013, RGUBC won the race against AUBC by two-and-a-half lengths in a time of 8 minutes and 18 seconds. To prepare for the March race, both clubs have already undergone months of gruelling training, including 6am starts on the river.

Follow the boat race on www.facebook.com/AAMBoatRace or on Twitter @2014BoatRace.