It looks like Tanner was given a temporary get out of jail free card at the ARA council meeting on Saturday after the issue of Performance Grants for full time students was raised and the headmaster finally admitted that he had a particular issue with Oxford and Cambridge...

A motion asking the ARA Chairman and Performance Director to raise certain concerns with UK Sport was withdrawn and it was agreed that a working group would be set up to explore ongoing concerns and, if appropriate, bring any recommendations to the ARA Exec and Council for further discussion.

Alas, it's unclear if anybody actually asked the key question -- as to whether those running GB rowing really do think that rowing for one of the blue boat squads combined with studying at one of the UK's premier universities, actually is detrimental to an individual's ability to compete for their country.

On one hand I've been assured the question wasn't specifically asked, but on the other I've been told that it was, and the answer was that it didn't, however, it did affect their ability to get an A level performance grant (go figure) -- all this despite Tannercategorically stating at one point that there is no requirement for athletes to be full time to be considered for the national squad and that he wants selection to be as open as possible.

Then again, there was a two hour plus discussion on the issue... so it got a good airing and it's hardly surprising if some of those present glazed over at times.

As I've said before, I expect this one could run for some time.

The HT&V regatta dinner took place in Henley on Friday evening, and judging from the number of hangovers on show on Saturday, was a more spirited event than the WRC party.

One amused observer of the proceedings informed the slug that a certain newly-elected member of the TRRG, had to be gently removed from the proceedings by the Chairman because he was heckling during the speeches, and later had to be put to bed.

Rumours that the V in HT&V really stands for Vesta are as yet unconfirmed...

Some er, 'interesting' images from the LRC post-HOR4s Tarzan party are reproduced for your enjoyment below and, well, in the cold light of day, I must say it all looks faintly suspect...

Added muckiness all courtesy of the Henley RC contingent - god bless their yellow pants (well god bless Nick Rushton's pants - for it is he).

Heralded by the election of a new president on Sunday afternoon, a new power base has formed in the rowing world, with the foundation of the Thames Regional Republic of Grump.

Most members of the new council could been seen wandering around looking confused and muttering "god, how did I end up doing this?". A source close to the TRRG confirmed that they were in fact sufffering from the all too common affliction of "being Humphryed"... (and incase you were wondering, those who weren't wandering around looking confused will be informed of their new roles when they get back from holiday next week)

More shock was evident when it was reported that the Veterans rowing commission actually met on Saturday for the first time since 1862.

"Nice try, I'm not falling for that one." Declared a random passer-by when we asked for comment,
"You'll be trying to convince me that Chris George is no longer the Regional Water Saftey Officer next."


Considering they have 27 years of organising piss-ups in a brewery under their belt, one would expect the Fuller’s HOR4s to run fairly smoothly and organisers didn’t fail to deliver. The race started a mere 2 minutes late (at the request of the PLA) and all 509 crews were processed through the start in record time.

Actually, to be totally accurate 510 crews passed through the start after one Molesey crew tried it twice. Having encountered a problem with one of their oars after starting the first time, they pulled in, got a replacement and tried again, only to find themselves disqualified.

Of the 509 starting, 508 finished and first across the line was the Scrubbers uber-quad, stroked by Iztop Cop, with Trigger in the bows, and powered along by Ulster's finest Alan "morelli's ice cream" Campbell and big Kiwi, Mahe Drysdale, blowing away the 1998 course record whilst they were at it. Last year’s winners Leander played cat and mouse with TSS over the first half of the race until Scullers finally managed to get past them just after Hammersmith. They went on to win by over eleven seconds in a time of 17:21.

The other battle of interest being fought out on the water was the elite coxed fours as certain members of the Cambridge crew had a point to prove and were out for blood as a result. They had the Leander crew of Williams, Partridge, Reed and Bateman firmly in their sights and observers hoping for some good racing were not disappointed, though they may have been slightly surprised to see the CUBC crew pick off the pennant by a full 5 seconds and dish up a rare taste of defeat to three members of the GB4-.

The fourth member of the GB 4-, aided and abetted by Messrs Fieldhouse, Solebury and Stephenson romped home to take the S1 4x pennant for the Black Death, managing 3rd place over all. London’s S1 4x lwt composite with Marlow’s Zac Purchase were about 12 secs behind, and took 5th place overall.

November is always a bad time for lurgi and there were a considerable number of withdrawals and time only crews in the end. UL Women had to pull their big quad from the women’s elite race due to illness and injury, leaving the field with open for the Thames / Marlow composite. Just as well for them really, as they had a nasty encounter with a wandering Westminster Jun 4x, who ran into them, causing them to stop and lose quite a lot of time... mind you, they still won their event by a clear 30 seconds.

Things got interesting in the lower status events when there was a large pile up near the black buoy, an event which was partly responsible for the only hiccup of the day -- processing results from the new timing system, which encountered a few gremlins during the course of the day and meant that the provisional results took a little longer to appear than usual, also they've been slightly revised since they were first published...

Full 'provisional' results and the usual other stuff can be found at

Including winning crew lists and mug shots at

Perhaps those competing in the Head of the River Fours this weekend should be warned that the riverview buoy (by Harrods) is right on the racing line...

At least that is the only reason I can imagine that the Tideway Sculler's elite uber-quad - stuffed full of internationals and enhanced with the guest appearance of one Mr I Cop - would row right into it...

cough, cough.

As a public service to assist anyone who hasn't made up their minds about the on-going debate between the Pink Pigs and the Black Death it has been suggested that I should recirculate the interview between a well known Kazakh reporter and a well known member of both clubs.

Seems only fair.

Borat - Guide to Henley

(n.b the clip is sadly missing the original PSB interview at the start)

A small insight into the joys of administering head races...
  • The captain of which Tideway club tried to bar five crews from boating from his club for the HOR4s because they hadn’t asked, only to have it gently pointed out to him that they were actually crews from his own club?

  • The captain of which Tideway club, (hint, it’s closely connected to the previous answer) tried to claim that one of the crews accepted from his club had not only mistakenly been entered in the wrong boat type and the wrong status but the crew entered also contained a totally different set of rowers from the ones they’d meant to enter (I mean, what are the chances of that! You’d almost be forgiven for thinking that they’d simply forgotten to make the entry in the first place... ahem.)

  • Which club whose crews weren’t paid for in time, swore blind that they’d posted their cheque a whole 9 days before the race opened for entries?

  • The cox of which men’s crew (who'd missed out on an entry) contacted race organisers to ask if they could have their women’s crew’s place as they were bound to have to withdraw because they were "under trained" due to "river closures"(?) N.B. The women’s crew in question eventually did withdraw after getting someone who isn’t in the crew (and is in fact rowing for a different club) to scratch on their behalf... the reason given for the scratching being that they had issues with fitness and finding a replacement cox (who was going out with the girl who felt she wasn't fit enough!).

It would appear that the women's squad of a well known Tideway club continue their quest to go where no rower has gone before, and have reportedly been striking yet more Tideway attractions off their "to visit" list.

This weekend it was the turn of the moored pontoon near the Thames Lighter driftwood barge, just downstream of Chiswick Pier

The eight had a coaching launch with it, which, with aid from two other club launches eventually managed to get the boat off the pontoon, after which observers report it was swept towards the large Thames Lighters barge causing traffic chaos as several boats coming towards them (keeping well to starboard as per instructions) had to either hold it up or change course rapidly.

Mind you they may have some competition to contend with, as rumours on the towpath would imply that AK have been seen "visiting" Hammersmith pier recently...

(lets hope it's not catching)

More ideas for stocking fillers for the rower in your life - can't guarantee they're any good mind.

oh, and can anyone explain to me why the doctor (3rd book) has tennis racket grips on his sculls..?