29-11-05 BUOY AHOY!
If you go out on the Thames today you're in for a big surprise...

it's just like a big xmas bobbleOr rather, you might be after 12th December if you don't familarise youselves with the contents of the PLA's Notice to Mariner's no U14. As the PLA are puttting down a couple of new buoys near Barn Elms to try to aid traffic flow (well, lets face it - it is quite difficult to paint white lines on the river).

No doubt some of you will be getting snotty about yet more things to run into before they're even in place, but I should point out that this is an experiment being carried out as a result of the Salvage Association Report and has the full support or the TRRC representitives on the Consultation group.

unless it's one of these... Comments will apparently be invited after 6 months, when people have had a chance to see how / whether they work... the address to send your ranty or supportive comments to is on the above link.

In the mean time, should you like to venture a guess as to which club the first "victim" of said small red plastic objects will be from, please send it to the usual e-address, after all, it doesn't matter how well you try to inform rowers about these things, someone is likely to either forget or simply not bother paying any atention until they run into one of them at speed...

Try to make sure it's not you.

Connoisseurs of low performance rowing will no doubt be watching the 2005 Christ Church regatta (where Iffley special school's finest come out to play), with pant-wetting excitement...

One day down and the tally so far is a mere three capsizes, one crew disqualified before they reached the start for excessive ineptitude, and one regatta organiser who disqualified the crew he had been coaching all term.

What more fun awaits....?


23-11-05 UBBC BARE ALL
Just to whet your appetite, the slug has managed to acquire a selection of shots from the upcoming University of Bristol Boat Club's nekkid calendar (see "BRRRR-ISTOL BITS" below for more info)

UBBC bare it all... UBBC bare it all... UBBC bare it all...

The photographer who took the pics and is also handling the graphical side of things is Hamish Roots, who reports
"yes it was freezing out there on the day of the shoot, and no I did not 'follow suit' to sympathize before anyone gets the wrong idea... I might be a rower but I'm not that stupid!"

The perfect Christmas present for the Thames rower in your life? - they even got the colour right (it's red, white and black)


It's "much requested" apparently... I except we may see a few of these on the river in the new year.

22-11-05 WORLD'S BEST DAD?
A double from Sons of the Thames were out sculling between Chiswick and Barnes on Sunday afternoon, when they were hailed and waved down by a man walking along the river’s edge at low tide.

Having seen some boats pulled into the bank at a precarious angle, they wound down their piece and asked the man what the problem was.

He explained that he and his daughter had each been out in single sculls and that his daughter had fallen in. Said daughter (about 13 or 14) was now standing by the water’s edge entirely drenched and shivering, and wearing nothing but flimsy shorts and a strappy top.... The man, it should be added, was fully and warmly clothed in leggings, rowing kit and a splash top.

Thinking that the man might wish them to take care of the boats while he got his daughter into the warmth of his nearby club (since temperatures had only risen above freezing just after lunch time), they stopped and offered to help. However, it soon became apparent that the man had no such plan in mind, and merely asked them if they had seen the hatch cover from the scull since it had fallen off when the scull tipped over.

While appreciating that there are safety concerns of continuing rowing without a hatch cover, this did seem to be of a somewhat lesser concern, with a potentially hypothermic offspring standing on the bank.

Still somewhat concerned, the double were left with little option but to continue on their way. Even as they rounded the corner and Barnes Bridge and the duo faded from view, they could still see the man continuing his futile beach-combing for the lost hatch cover, which was by now probably half-way to Kew on the in-coming tide.

The poor child still a forlorn figure by the side of her upturned scull, and probably wishing that she had taken up horse riding instead.

There was consternation at Aberdeen Boat Club recently, when it was discovered that the club men's four had left their blades on the bank in Aberdeen instead of taking them to London for the Fours Head.

Shock turned to amazement, however, when their club mates started searching the archives to see if Uber-coach Ali Paterson was experimenting with some new technique for 'go-faster rowing'.

The archive-sweep was rewarded when this photo of a secret training camp on the Caledonian Canal at Inverness turned up. An impressive feat of balance – not to mention a clever way of translating power into the water without carrying the excess weight of the blades!

Sadly, the crew bottled out of the 'oar-less fours' category and got the ABC wimmin's squad to fly down their blades as 'excess baggage' so they could enter plain old S1 4+ as planned.

Nice try though.

Some pics of Boris' visit to UTRC and the junior official's day last month

(Been a bit tardy putting these up - busy busy 'n all that).


A nice pictorial record...

2005 hor4s

"Bev, Bev..... I'm a celebrity, get me out of here"

13-11-05 MORE FOURS
Following on the HOR4s, the Vets fours head was a more sedate spectacle, with a mere 94 crews racing (quite a few of whom were racing the Tideway course for the second time in two days).

Conditions started out looking good, but Sunday was definitely colder and windier than Saturday had been and the water from Chiswick Ait to Hammersmith Bridge was pretty foul by the time the last quad wove their way down the course.

One crew was late because their rudder fell off and they had to do a quick pit-stop at Vesta to mend it and there was a slight delay to the start while the timing team got in place but the main niggles were land based…

Someone had apparently nicked the radio repeater from Emmanuel, so the radio net didn’t quite cover the whole course, meaning race control at Hammersmith were kept busy relaying messages to the marshalls. The entries sec had also decided to renumber the crews, adding in a few additional ones, AFTER the paperwork for the officials had been printed, but it all seemed to work out OK in the end.

Full results at http://vetfourshead.com/