Erin Wyness’ middle name might be Georgia, but she has lots of other things on her mind at the moment.
As president of the RGU Boat Club, the 22-year-old Granite City woman has been instrumental in her crew’s ascendancy over their Aberdeen University rivals, with three victories in the last four annual races on the Dee.
Yet, as she approaches her final participation in the Aberdeen Standard Investments boat race on March 23, Wyness appreciates she has to start planning for the future.
It has been a memorable journey for the youngster since she first started in the sport with the Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association in 2007 and she has shown lashings of dedication and commitment during the last decade while combining her studies with the rigorous training regime required to be successful on the water.
She said: “It is very hard to describe the work which is put in by all the student-athletes who are involved in the race, because it’s much more than just turning up at the gym, getting the miles done and leaving again.
“It is a whole lifestyle and requires years of dedication to doing what we do. The squads train for 10 to 12 sessions a week and that’s every week between September and July.
“Last year, the river was unrowable. The water was coming over the boat like tidal waves. On any other normal day, we wouldn’t even have been out there. But it was terrific to win the title back again after losing it in 2017.”
Wyness is now doing a Masters in Management at RGU after getting a first-class degree in her BA (Hons) Events Management course. But she admitted that, much as she has savoured her time at the university, time and tide wait for nobody.
She added: “I would like to say that I am going to be here for another year, but after four years as president, I think it is finally time to call it a day after this season and get a real job….hopefully in sport.
“As for this month’s competition, I think confidence shows some weakness rather than strength, so I will just say….if RGU put in the performance of which they are capable on their best day, they could win the 2019 race.
Wyness is as fragile as a moose in the heat of battle, but she has also relished the camaraderie and comradeship which has developed between her and both teammates and participants from the other side.
She said: “My message to anyone who is interested in trying rowing is that there is no time like the present – do it sooner rather than later, find any club across the UK and you will be welcomed with open arms.
“You are guaranteed to be hooked on not just a hobby, but a passion and you will meet lifelong friends. It sounds like a cliche, but if you don’t believe me…!