Robert Gordon University boat club president Lizzie Buchan feels confident her team can reclaim the Boat Race title after the University of Aberdeen’s victory last year.
Applied social sciences student Buchan, 20, has selected herself to row as well as taking on the presidential duties and thinks the experience in this year’s RGU crew could count.
She explained: “This is my third race – I feel very lucky to do it for so long. You want the crew to do well, so you’re organising everything behind the scenes and thinking about the race from the start (of the uni year), with getting freshers in.
“At training, you’re cheering everyone on to make sure you’ve got the best team.
“If you select yourself in the boat, you want to make sure you pull your weight.
“We’ve got a few people this year who’ve done it for a few years – for one of the guys it’s his fifth year now.
“He’s been rowing here for eight or nine years, knows how the river runs, knows the tactics.
“But we’ve also got people who’ve never done this race before, but have rowed for years before coming to university and know tactics.
“We hope combining all of them will give us the upper hand.”
Aberdeen – led by president Katie Sugden – are expecting a more difficult challenge from RGU this year, having won by a good margin last time around. Third-year politics and international relations student, Katie, also 20, who will be in the launch with the umpires having recently had an operation, said: “It’s going to be a lot closer this year.
“Last year, we were very lucky in the sense there were a lot of seniors and they made it pretty obvious who was going to be in the crew.
“RGU were in a transition year, with people having graduated and beginners who were new to the sport.
“This year there are solid crews in both.”
Katie, who was in the victorious Aberdeen boat last year, added: “It’s nice to see everyone else do it and hopefully they can get the win. I was in the second crew race in first year and last year I was in the main race.
“Winning the Boat Race was my highlight of last year. When you get to the finish and all of the crowds are there, with the rivalry between the universities, we were able to feel the joy of beating them.
“If you’ve been working up towards something and don’t achieve it, it does really hurt. Because we train 10 times a week, you want to get something out of it.”
The Boat Race begins at the Bridge of Dee at 5pm on Saturday, finishing at Aberdeen Boat Club.