The pole of destiny and other pics of the AK massive in full action, are available for your perusal from a pooled selection at www.flickr.com

Including a selection from HENLEY 2006

Must say, there are a few interesting ones in there...
(Cheetham, what were you up to?)

So the aquatic forces from the Republic of Grump finally liberated the oppressed bluecoats in Startwana on Sunday afternoon, whilst the Baliwick of Blandford-Baker cleared out the castle for a fabulous End of Empire cocktail party.

There was no opposition to the secret Grumpian task force as they headed up the back of the love island, for the citizens of the Kingdom of Ibbotsonia had left their posts to join in the world's biggest kit market taking place in the land of shoes...

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then congratulations on resisting the urge to work at the World Champs - you can get more of an idea of how the mental state of the volunteers degenerated during the regatta by printing these and reading them in order.

yes, it was a long, long week...


Separated at birth?
Half man half wolf?
Richard Lambert
Half wolf half man?

Carry on up the Nene...
glad rags
Oooh Matron

It would appear that an elite contingent of rowers from Oxford and Cambridge headed to Heathrow Airport yesterday to fly to Spain. The purpose of this particular jolly being to race against the Royal Mediterranean Club of Malaga in the second "Oxford-Cambridge-Malaga International Regatta"... (cough, cough)

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and students often go awry and although the boys from Fenland Poly and their coaches were ushered onto the aircraft with minimal fuss, Iffley special school had a few problems after their new president Robin Ejsmond-Frey forgot his passport.

So, in true team spirit the rest of them flew off without him.


The Marlow teams who competed at the UK Surfboat championships last weekend seem to have enjoyed themselves.

The race format consisted of three heats each with five crews per heat and points awarded accordingly. Having picked up two second places and a first in the heats the Marlow Peacocks went into the semis ranked 3rd overall and feeling pretty confident. The other Marlow boats also qualified comfortably despite the Barbarians having to race one heat with 3 men – as Stuart Logan decided to disappear for an hour in the middle of racing!

The Leander Vikings, with one complete non rower in their boat, scraped through with the joint lowest points tally, only qualifying for the semis as they had a higher ranking in one race than the other crew with the same score.

The prize for success In the semis was not only pride, but free Aussie Bum budgie smugglers with matching vest combo’s – all in the filthiest colours ever! All three Marlow crews were drawn in the same semi, and in spectacular fashion managed to finish 4th, 5th and 6th!

In what was undoubtedly the easier semi, Leander Vikings managed to scrape home in 3rd, and were handsomely rewarded with striking electric blue shiny new kit – much to the annoyance of the Marlow boys!! (can't wait to get an eyeful of that on the Henley reach - Ed).

It did however demonstrate that there is definitely an element of luck in surfboat rowing as the Marlow boats were in a rougher section of the course, and in any race you can be three lengths down and catch the mother of all waves and simply surf it into the lead!

"Big Wave" Beringer does the Business (report and results)

All in all the Marlow guys had an amazing weekend despite the sunburn on their upper thighs! The surfboat community were incredibly friendly and put on an awesome BBQ with free beer afterwards. There was also a campsite specifically set up for the surfboat competitors, and the rowers were all made very welcome.

The organisers are very keen to encourage more "flat water" rowers into their sport, to increase awareness and raise the profile of surfboat racing. Apparently quite a few of the French national team are big into Surfboat rowing, and regularly take part in events.

For more info on how you can get involved, check out

It was back to Strathclyde last weekend for the Commonwealth regatta, which was kindly hosted by the Scottish as Melbourne dropped rowing from the 2006 games after they won the bid. The regatta benefited from generous sponsorship by the Glasgow 2014 commonwealth bid team and, as well as a rather nice hospitality tent, they also put on the post regatta party and provided a good range of dignitaries to present medals to the winners.

The organisers had hoped for a good number of entries, helped by the rapidly approaching World Champs at Dorney, but a separate commonwealth regatta is never going to have the same appeal as one that's run as part of the main games and in the end only the South African men's squad sent their top athletes. There were around ten countries competing in total after the Nigerians were unable to get visas for the UK.

The Australian and Canadian teams were taking part en route to the World University games in Lithuania which start on Friday, while Kenya's lone entry, Roy Apudo (who's recently changed from sweep to sculling), competed in lwt 1X and was adopted by the whole Scottish team in the run up to his race.

The reduced numbers meant less racing, and with around 10 races a day, with 15 mins in between, the regatta seemed positively laid back compared to the hectic stack 'em up and get 'em down the course timetable at Nat champs. Still, the quality of crews in many of the events was high and some exciting races could be seen with determined crews knocking chunks out of each other down the course.

Overall, the atmosphere around the regatta friendly and relaxed with a good level of interaction between competing nations and most of the athletes and coaches got into the spirit of the event. The weather wasn't quite up to the hot still conditions for Nat champs, but the rain stayed away in the main and a light tail wind helped to produce some fast times despite the water getting lumpy around the 1000m point.

England won overall (not surprising as the only country with a crew in every event), but there was a wide spread of prizes throughout the competing teams and it was good to hear a variety of national anthems being played over the weekend, though the assembled masses were getting a bit sick of "land of hope and Glory" by the end of racing on Saturday.

The medals, which if you think about it are rarer than Olympic ones, were big, shiny and generally agreed to be worthwhile additions to anyone's collection. Silvers and bronzes were being handed out regardless of the number of crews in each event, so several team managers were kicking themselves for not entering more crews.

The Northern Irish had a very good regatta, their women's lwt 2-, taking home their first ever Commonwealth gold after rowing through the Welsh and English in the last 500m of their race. The NI team also managed three silvers and a bronze - one of the silvers was the men's lwt 2- which contained John Armstrong, who was competing in his fifth commonwealth regatta. NI managed 5th place on the final medals tally – not bad and no doubt the Ulster branch of the IARU will be very happy with their results.

Most athletes and coaches were staying at Stratchylde uni halls of residence, In between testing each other for who was the biggest rowing geek and working out numerous "coping strategies" for their races ( but that's another story), certain members of the sizeable English coaching team were taking full advantage of the drink six pints of guinness and get a free t-shirt offer... Probably good practice for the dinner on Sunday evening which was held in the rather grand surrounds of Glasgow City Chambers followed by a private booking at a nearby nightclub (the Corinthian).

It was all getting a bit messy by then...

Click here for lots of dinner piccies

Snapper Ron has been busy again and there are now 500 pictures from the Commonwealth Regatta on the Committee of the Dee website


These are, again, free for anyone to download and include shots from the superb bun(ny)feast on Sunday night.

We like these ones best
Race strategy?
Fight to the finish
Rabbit makes a speech

Picture the scene, it's the restaurant in the Red Lion hotel in Henleyand a party of Irish, Americans and British who have been enjoying the Polo in Windsor, are chatting over supper.

American lady to British lady – "is this where they hold the boat race then?"

British lady sounding very knowledgeable "oh no the Boat Race is thirty miles long and they row it from Putney to Chislake on the Thames!"

Comment from one of the Chairman of Thames RRC's party, who were sitting on the next table
"Martin... just don’t go there!

and for once he just shut up!

Not for the faint at heart, but if you ever drive or take lifts in a launch, please read the attached article from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch's safety digest -- As it might help stop this happening to you.

(pdf file will open when you click on the image on the right)

Please note, this article does contain two rather unpleasant images showing exactly what hapens when a propeller hits a torso, so if you are of a delicate disposition you might prefer to pass...

No you're not going mad, the Tideway has indeed been invaded by a flock of plastic yellow ducks.

Hundreds of the beasties evaded capture after the Great london Duck Race on Sunday and it's these that are bobbing about on the river, rather than the more valuable ones which have been floating around the world since 1992.

They shouldn't cause a major navigation hazard but paddling through a flock could prove interesting.