The Remenham Head took place in cold clear conditions on Sunday morning. Mainly thanks to good organisation everything went smoothly, well, excluding the usual problem of coxes' interpretation of "the starboard edge of the channel" having more than a hint of port about it...

The lower portion of the Tideway was fairly empty of non-racing crews, most of whom had sensibly stayed well away up stream, with the exception of a couple of IC eights and their coach, who got tangled up in the second division and ended up rowing in completely the wrong place rather than waiting for clear water.

The Molesey first eight contained both Searle brothers, who are rowing together again, this time at 7 and 6 in the eight. They didn't quite manage to catch the boys in blue on their home stretch though, and London picked up the Men's elite title in a time 6 seconds faster than the black death.

A non-too shabby Thames crew collected the women's elite title, with their women's intermediate boat doing the same a mere 15 secs behind.

Full results are available at www.vrc.org.uk/remenham_challenge/2006-results.phtml

22-01-06 WHALE RIP
Sadly the northern bottlenose whale met an unhappy end over the weekend after becoming highly over stressed - well, lets face it, having the fireboat go past nearby has that effect on scullers too..

no, it's not an upturned resoluteby westminster palace

One blog dedicated to the whale's travels named it "gonzo", those familiar with other Gonzo's known to frequent the river, may find some of the poetry on the site of particular entertainment value...

Oh Gonzo we feel like we know you,
Swim swim as best you can

You know what you have to do
all of London is your fan

Gonzo is in trouble -
we must not let him die

If only we could put him in a bubble
Why Gonzo? Oh why?

'We must save Gozno' we say,
don't let them fill him with lead

At the end of the day
Gonzo is dead.


is that a touch of ging-er I see?


And while I'm on the subject of rowers and other animals, I suspect that the advertising executives behind this particular advert have never been into a tideway club on erg test day...

monkey business

17-01-06 LRC TURNS 150
London Rowing Club reaches the grand old age of 150 this year and to mark this milestone in the club's history, Chris Dodd, rowing historian at the River and rowing museum and author of several books on rowing, has written a history of the club, which is due to be published in the spring.

The book, which costs £30, will no doubt be an interesting read for all past and present members of LRC as well as those with an interest in general rowing history and can be ordered in advance from the club, more details and a form can be found at:


15-01-06 UFO AT PUTNEY
Strange goings-on at Putney last week where a Helicopter was spotted circling around the river near Putney bridge on Wednesday night.

The helicopter, which had no obvious markings to indicate it was anything official and which wasn't using a search light, appeared to be hovering in the vicinty of a rowing eight, which was stopped near the bridge while crew members fiddled with their lights.

As said helicopter didn't appear to be police related, the slug can only assume that one of the Tideway clubs was trying an alternative "low-wash" coaching option to the Tin fish - well, that or they were just being nosey while waiting to get into the London Heliport at Battersea.

All very curious.

Entries on an e-postcard to the usual address...

The good news that Gags & Ciaran were picked up unharmed by a Spanish tanker after their Atlantic challenge boat overturned and didn't self right on Sunday night, makes the exploits of Molesey boy Chris Martin see even more impressive (or is that insane...Ed).

Chris who is doing the event solo, was also capsized by a monster wave on Sunday evening and his boat also didn't self right (that's what you get for drinking the ballast water and not replacing it). However, showing his true black death colours, Chris simply righted the boat himself, drawing on skills learnt doing capsize drills in the LEH pool(!?!).

For the full details, and a highly entertaining read, check out Chris's Weblog.


p.s. make sure you check out the comments from the readers, as there are a few national rowing treasures (past and present) contributing on a regular basis - and at times they're even more entertaining than Chris's daily musings.

At 20.50 on Monday 2nd January 2006 Chiswick RNLI Lifeboat was called to investigate reports of a person screaming by the river in Bishops Park, Fulham.

After searching fruitlessly for anyone in distress the crew were stood down by the coastguard. However, while making their way back upstream, they came upon a vessel showing lights but apparently not under control. On further inspection they discovered an unmanned tugboat, with proper navigation lights but with a propeller fouled by weed.

small... far awayHelmsman Alan Hudson said "We considering using the towline but decided it would be easier to recover the vessel into the lifeboat as it was all of 24 inches long."

The radio controlled tug is now safely in the crew room at Chiswick Lifeboat with a clean propeller. Alan Hudson added "The tug must have been someone’s Christmas present which the tide swept away when its propeller got fouled"

The RNLI will be happy to return the model boat to its owner if they contact the station on 020 8995 5534.

05-01-06 THE END OF AN ERA
Once one of the top regattas in the country, with elite crews coming from near and far to compete over two days (as it was known to be one of the regattas used to determine who pre-qualified at HRR), the sad news from London Docklands is that "the Docks" is no more.

The regatta, which started in 1988, has run at a loss for the last few years, it was cancelled in 2004 due to insufficent entries and was repackaged as a one day event in 2005. The 2005 regatta did see a good entry but it was not enough to secure the future of the race and the committee have now decided that they cannot continue to run an event which is no longer viable.

The demise of the regatta is mainly due to the large number of competing multi-lane events now held at Dorney lake a venue which is perceived by crews and coaches as far more desirable than the Docks.

While it may have been the "marmite" of regattas, it is sad that the Docks has failed to survive, we can only hope that the multi-lane regattas at Holme Pierrepont don't end up going the same way.

On a more positive racing note, the Hammersmith Women's and Juniors Head will take place at 14.30 on Sunday 26th February 2006, and the Hammersmith Head will take place at 14.30 on Sunday 12th March 2006.

The events were cancelled last year for reasons which have now been resolved by the commitee, and will no doubt provide some much needed "warm-up racing" for crews planning to enter the Women's Head, School's Head and HORR which take place two weeks after their respective Hammersmith heads.