Lots more pics of Nat Champs and HIR (pics by Ron Wallace) (Welsh team pics from Monmouth RC)

I've also added some more Scottish team pics to the "More HIR Lettuce" article below...

And on the subject of Welsh Dragons (again) - A representative from the English team has pointed out that the BOOING from Wales and Scotland towards the English happened BEFORE the demise of the Dragon. Apparently just your average traditional Scottish booing towards the English with which the Welsh were happy to join in and I am assured that the dragon was still safe in Welsh hands at this point.

During racing in the J M4- the Scottish TEAM MANAGMENT was overheard saying to a unidentified Welsh coach/team management
"at least the whities are coming last" which was hardly very sporting from an adult talking about juniors, so whilst not making excuses for Dragon Destruction perhaps the continuous abuse that the England team received got from certain parts of the Scottish Management and also by the Welsh became something that put some backs up.

After all, 17 year old beer fuelled boys are not usually known for their tendancy to rise above provocation from adults. ..

It'll be plush toys at dawn next year - mark my words!


Twickenham's resident New Zealander hardman Tony "artic" McCrae was entered in Novice 1X at HT&V on Saturday.

"Nothing particularly hard about that" I hear you say, well no... Except Tony shunned the offer of a rack on the trailer and instead decided it would be a good idea to SCULL his single the ENTIRE way from Twickenham to Henley.

After 50 or so miles and fourteen hours of fighting his way through numerous locks, our intrepid hero made it to his destination, only to scratch his entry as his hands were so shredded he couldn't row any more.

Luckily all was not lost however, as Tony reported that on getting to Marlow he'd found a nice long stretch of water without any locks which had enabled him to do an hour at firm pressure.

Oh, and as you may have already guessed, he did accept a lift back to Twickenham

Meanwhile, heading down the river Thames in the other direction, the Queens college Oxford crew rowing from Oxford to Westminsterto raise money for the RNLI, overnighted in Maidenhead on Saturday evening and were up early on Sunday to ensure they got to Putney for Sunday night.

They were well on track when they arrived at the hard at Twickenham at 5pm on Sunday evening, hoping to use the loos but were instead greeted with calls of "good timing, the bar's open - would you like some quiche?".

Apparently, jumping at the chance to stand up for a while and eat "anything that doesn't have malt in it", following an over excessive intake of Soreen, they happily accepted the offer leaving their cox to keep an eye on the boat as the tide started to rise.

If everything goes well and the waves stay low, they should be at Westminster by early afternoon on Monday.

Hildegard took a trip from her home turf in Switzerland to be back on Twickenham soil for a boat naming in her honour.

The ceremony took place on Sunday as part of the club's ladies day celebrations of 25 years since St Georges and Twickenham merged.

During the regatta the junior men's 4+ was red flagged by the umpire to declare a not rowed out result for Scotland. The Scottish crew had broken an oar after the bow man caught a crab twice (badly). The second time being too much for the blade in question, at which point the boat stopped.

The crew then rowed back to the landing stages crossing the finishing line on route, rather than racing across it.

In the jury meeting the president of the jury reminded umpires and team managers alike, that countries only pick up points if they are racing to the finish -- not when they're limping across the line due to a calamity further up the course.

The Finish Judge acknowledged and agreed with the umpire's course of action, yet rather curiously Scotland still picked up the point as they "crossed the finishing line" with the president's blessing. Could this perhaps be revenge for being referred to as "Muke" Haggerty in last year's program, when the event was in Wales???

Finally some news on the dragon that you can see in the Molesey photo taken at the HIR ball... and it's not good.

The dragon, which was the mascot for the whole of the Welsh team, is now no longer intact, because the juvenile delinquents that are the English Junior Mens 8+ decided that it would be fun to deface the dragon (and with it the Welsh nation) by tearing off its legs, the remains of which can be seen scattered across the floor in the attached photographs.

Clearly such dreadful behaviour is unacceptable, so it's hardly surprising that the English cheers were muted by the boos that outnumbered them. I mean, if the same was done to the St Georges flag, then one can only imagine the uproar from the English.

As it was it was lucky that the ripping of the dragon's leg did not cause the sort of diplomatic incident which requires Condoleezza Rice to get involved, but the slug is reliably informed this was only because the noble Welsh team rose above it all to avoid spoiling what was a very good evening. A representatice of the Scotish team tells me they were deeply saddened at the demise of Idris, and send deep condolences to the Welsh.

SHAME on those English rowing hooligans!!! SHAME!!

(meanwhile, some Scottish flavoured pics....)

The slug was unable to make it to Scotland for the Home International Regatta on Saturday (the thought of scotland 3 times in a month was more than my bank account could take), so I can't comment on it personally but apparently there has been lots of positive feedback about the organisation and presentation of the event, and the general assessment seems to have been that it was the best delivered HIR for some time.

It's always interesting to see who turns up rowing for whom at these things, so the slug was interested to note that the Welsh team were bolstered with a few oarsmen of the Molesey variety (some of whom have more of a Welsh connection than others...) The boys managed 2nd place in the men's IV+ event, overlapping the UL 4+ rowing as England (with Pete Wells on board), who stormed the Nat Champs and beating the Aberdeen crew (racing as Scotland) comfortably.

They also helped to run the Scots to a 3 ft race for silver in the 8 (the English 8 were superb and well out in front the rest of the field).

Could we perhaps see a decent Welsh entry for the Commonwealths in two weeks time? - I know there are at least 10 countries taking part (4 x home, Can, Aus, NZ, RSA, Nigeria, Kenya and possibly India), but not sure when the final entry list will be released.

It would appear that a certain Mr J Hedger from Phoenix RC finally managed to lose his sculling virginity at Staines Regatta last weekend. Of course, as Chairman of the Multi Lane Umpires Commission and Vice Chairman of the WRC he probably should have made more of an effort to get to the start on time for his first race (official warning there) and we really would have expected him to avoid the false start in his final.

As one umpire told the slug "We looked for every opportunity to DQ him, but he had all the bases covered"

The Secretary of Phoenix RC has pointed out that this was Phoenix RC's first win of any kind, qualifying or not, since it was set up for uprooted former Lensbury RC members in 1999.

They're now wondering whether this might be a record of some sort?

Quote of the regatta - assorted Staines supporters close to the finish tent were supporting a club-mate who was winning by a country mile: "Come on, break into a sweat".

Four umpires in the finish tent, in unison, "No coaching from the bank!".

Also on last weekend was Burway Veteran and Junior Regatta which managed something like 212 races in one day... That's more than the entire World Championships, which insists on taking a whole *week* for the event;


The alternative side of the worlds, as caught on camera by the nice people at NLRoei

A Maori War Dance is always a great starter to any regatta

Is this ( a scene of

a. Lord of the Rings, The return of the King
b. WU23
c. Kingdom of Heaven
d. Shakespeare in Love

Pictures from Harry Potter?

And finally - Why are these boys laughing...???
they just became world champions and were singing their national anthem.... but couldn't finish it because of:

a. a bird landed on the flagpost?
b. a semi-nekkid girl was running past ......?
c. the wrong National anthem, or
d. This

Some excellent photo finishes of the Henley RC crew (licking wounds after their HRR 1st round exit) pipping the Army to silver in coxed IV+ at the weekend

That's gotta hurt.

So you think rowing with bungees is tough..?

Well, for the true definition of "hard" with an oar, try rowing 30 tonne cargo barges over seven miles with 26ft oars.
For more info check out the link below -- the 2006 race took place last Saturday and was won by a PLA crew.

Clearly nutters, but respect is due.

The slug was passed the attached photo of the German Women's Eight cleaning their oar handles on the landing stage at Lucerne.

Those with a slightly puerile mind (which of course, none of you do - cough cough) will no doubt find it amusing , and clearly at least one of them knows it!