A CORNISH student is looking to make his mark on the rowing world when he plays a part in the iconic Boat Race on Saturday, writes Sam Moore.

David Grant, who grew up in the Falmouth area, went to Truro School where he received an education worthy of studying Physics at Oxford University’s Pembroke College.

It was here where Grant discovered his passion for rowing and now trains twice a day, six days a week as part of the Isis team, the reserve boat, which will attempt to beat Cambridge’s Goldie crew on Saturday.

This will be his first ever Boat Race and the pressures of training alongside the university’s notoriously rigorous curriculum are something which Grant, who stands at 6ft 7ins tall and weighs 13st 9lbs, has had to learn to deal with.

“It’s an extremely busy schedule for sure,” said Grant, fresh from the water after one of his twelve weekly training sessions.

“It’s tough but after a while you learn how to fit it in with a bit of help.”

Falmouth Packet:

Isis on the water during the Trial Eights in December. Grant is in the number seat, but on Saturday he will be in number five. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Help comes in the form of mentors who help manage his busy academic schedule, physiology, diet, and mental health.

Grant, 20, who will be in the number five seat, only joined the team responsible in September and although his rowing career is still in its early days, the young athlete is already looking further afield.

“Obviously I would love to make my way up to competing on the Blue Boat [the men’s boat],” he said, “We have the option of trying out for the GB under-23 squad next year. However I’m just concentrating on Saturday’s race.”

Isis have won for the past four years in a row, setting the current race record of 16:41 in 2012.

Although beating the record is always an added bonus, such an achievement is highly dependent on the weather with wind direction, rain and temperature all having a significant effect on the outcome.

Grant, however, remains focussed on the task at hand, saying: “Sure the record would be nice, but, on the day, we’re just looking to beat Cambridge in whatever time we can.”

The race sees two crews pitted head-to-head on the Thames between Putney and Mortlake, with the main race live on BBC One.

The main televised event is the men’s race with the dark blue of Oxford versus the light blue of Cambridge; However, this year will be the first in which the women’s Blue Boat race will also be broadcast live before the reserves follow.

Although not followed as emphatically as the main events, Grant and his team will be looking to put one up against the Light Blues in an event which could make their careers.