It would appear that the Notts County / Notts Union merger isn't going very smoothly at the moment.

In fact it's going so badly that when the Notts county coach made his selections for the Thames cup 8, one of the union guys allegedly drove down to the lake and punched him! The irate rower then had to be dragged off by a passerby.

Her Majesty's constabulary have apparently been informed about the altercation and County are, understandably, very unhappy about the whole thing, however, the course of action which the Union chose to take, still remains to be seen...

It's not just UL who've pumped for new kit which is seperate black shorts and singlet with retro stripe, for Thames Trademen's first eight have been spotted recently wearing wife-beater style vest tops. I don't think they're going to race in them - but you never know. At least Fred would be happy...

Mortlake have also gone back to their old style all in one, while at least one Thames crew has been wearing kit which looks like the stuff Mortlake have just got rid of (?!?)... my head hurts.

Mark my words, everyone will be doing it soon.

Around 180 crews made the trip to Henley, in almost perfect racing conditions, to line up for the world’s most expensive head race on Friday afternoon. A light stream, slight tail wind and warm but not too hot temperatures greeted those trying to qualify for the main event next week, and instantly removed excuse number 1 for those who couldn’t cut the mustard.

The warm weather made the river seem all to inviting for a group of workmen who were putting up corporate hostility tents across from Remenham club - after stripping off they swam across to the booms where they perched for a while watching the crews row past. They lasted about 5 minutes before an environment agency launch appeared and they legged it back to the bank.

The Liverpool 8 posse was out both in force and under the microscope, as the boys tried their best to give ITV the fairytale ending they were hoping for, but despite the odd shaped blades, spanking new equipment and Sir Steve busily rushing about with a rate watch round his neck in front of the cameras, both crews were de-rigging by 8pm. Not that they didn’t try their best – the four was the slowest non-qualifier in the Brit, but the Thames cup eight threw everything but the kitchen sink at it, and missed out by a mere three places. A pretty good effort for 6 months of rowing and they also put several noses out of joint, if the number of slower crews muttering "timing error" were anything to go by,

One of the L8 supporters was spotted cycling manically down the towpath after the eight shouting "stick it in... stick it in!" just before he, er, stuck himself in and cycled off the bank. Our now soggy supporter took a few minutes to extract himself from the river but witnesses confirm he spent most of the time with his arm in the air - holding his mobile phone aloft to ensure it didn’t get wet.

A few of the qualifying races didn't happen after withdrawals (Goblets, Princess Royal and the Princess Grace) but to make up for it the Temple qualifiers went on for ever, as the Stewards made 47 crews race for 16 places. Interestingly a reasonable number of Cambridge and Oxford College eights have made it through this year. Whether they can avoic becoming first round fodder remains to be seen but it’s a positive change compared to the last few years when there have been one or two at most.

The slug has noticed a trend starting...

For, not only have the UL boys, turned their back on the 2005 rowing fashion item of choice, the gimp suit, in favour of a more traditional stripe-style all-in one, we can confirm that macons are back in fashion at london rowing club.

Yes, dear reader, the newly formed London 8 for HRR were seen getting on the water on Monday night with a set of very old macon oars. Goodness only knows what they were doing this close to Henley training without cleavers but perhaps they'll be racing the main event with macon blades too...

It'll be towelling shorts next, and then you'll be sorry.

Whilst plenty of people were taking photos from the bank at HWR, there was one notable exception spotted on Saturday afternoon...

For as UTRC lined up against Thames at the start for their quarter final in Eite 4-, one of the crew, a Ms Guin Batten, suddenly produced a disposable camera from beneath her feet and merrily started snapping away.

After taking a few pics of her crew, she looked over at Thames and quizzically enquired
"would you like me to take a couple of snaps for your album too?"

the response to this most generous offer was a long hard Paddington Bear type stare from the crew alongside them

Some people are just too serious...

Listen and learn...
  1. Overheard at Marlow Regatta: A coach, following a race on his bicycle, offered the following motivational comment to his charge during his 1x race :


  2. Overheard At Reading regatta: the cox of one UCD women's four during their race against another UCD women's four