George Nash tells HUGH CARSON how training for the Olympics is easier than being a Cambridge Blue.
After racing for the team that lost the 2011 Boat Race, George Nash decided that wasn’t enough. Taking a year out, he decided to trial for the Great British team. He now returns to Cambridge in October to captain CUBC, but not before competing in the 2012 Olympics.
Congratulations on your recent election, how does it feel to be returning to the Boat Race?
It feels pretty exciting to come back for one more crack at the boat race, it’s a unique rowing race and one that I’m hugely honoured to have been a part of. The last one I raced I lost so I see next year as a great opportunity to put that right. I also have a solid appreciation of Cambridge life having taken a year away from it, so it’s amazing to be able to return to the University.
Speaking of 2011, how was it teaming up with your former opponent Louloudis so soon after the race?
Teaming up with Constantine was slightly awkward initially, but we rowed together the previous summer and are pretty good mates so it wasn’t a huge deal. We had a fantastic summer season last year and have both ended up on the Olympic team this year, so it worked out pretty well.
You recently won Silver at the World Cup in Belgrade, how’s the preparation going for the Olympics?
I’m rowing with Will Satch at the moment in the pair and we’ve been putting in some hard yards recently. We had a great race in Belgrade, but there are a few really fast pairs that weren’t there who will be at the next race in Lucerne. We’re trying as hard as we can to raise our game every day to step up to the challenge.
How’s it been rowing in a squad of characters like Greg Searle?
There are a lot of interesting characters on the team all bringing something slightly different to the table. Greg was rowing in an era when British rowing wasn’t anywhere near the kind of well drilled machine it is now so he brings a lot of positive vibes to the group when the program gets tough. For the most part though, the social dynamic is similar to that of a group of chimpanzees to be honest.
Which do you think is harder: rowing in the GB squad or balancing Blues with your degree?
I think I found balancing Cambridge rowing with a degree was significantly harder than rowing full time. I put in similar training hours at the moment to what the guys do in Cambridge but in between I nap and eat cookies and watch telly instead of stressing out over academic deadlines and trying to stay awake in lectures.
Do you reckon you’ll trial again when you finish your time at Cambridge?
Full time rowing is about having the motivation and desire to physically and mentally better yourself. As long as I have that I will carry on.