Adriana Perez Rotondo

Club CUBC Women

Year of Birth 1995

Hometown Madrid, Spain

Nationality Spanish

College Newnham

Undergrad/Graduate PhD

Year 3rd

What are you studying? PhD in Engineering - Computational Neuroscience

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans for after? I love building models to understand how the brain works. At the moment I am studying motor control, which means looking at how the brain learns models of our bodies to execute smooth and accurate movements. I find myself thinking about the rowing stroke when I am trying to understand how our brains learn new movements (or struggles to learn them).

How do you balance rowing and academic life? I do one and then the other one. It might sound simple but I find separating the two activities in the day essential. When I finish the morning row, I try to write my thoughts on the session in my training dairy and then put it aside to do some PhD work, until I go back to training in the afternoon. Rowing and academics can be quite complementary and even benefit each other, but it is essential to be fully present when doing each one.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started rowing when I came to Cambridge in 2017. It just seemed like a fun sport: outdoors, intense enough and with a team. Also, I love the early mornings.

What was your first club? Newnham College Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? The team. Everyone is super committed and supportive.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I have only been rowing for four years but have enjoyed it a lot. In my first year of rowing, I joined the CUWBC dev squad. We raced in BUCS and came 1st in the Dev 4+. In my second year, I trialled for CUWBC and was in the victorious Blondie crew of 2019. In June, I raced bumps with my college crew and we got headship. Later that summer I was in a four that went to HRR for the Town Challenge Cup. We qualified and raced on Friday.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? Yes, 2019 Blondie.

Your favourite race so far? Quintin Head 2020 was a very fun race.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I have a pair of lucky ‘Pac Man’ socks that some teammates got for our Boat Race in 2019. Since then, I’ve always worn them.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Push for everyone in the team.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Hiking, camping, skiing, cycling, baking.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? Check in with teammates, try to train together as much as possible and look at each other’s workouts.