|THE PR MACHINE|
Those who happened to be in the vicinty of Putney embankment on Thursday evening, were treated to the sight of an Empacher full of lots of people in Cambridge kit but using Oxford blades and rowing really, really badly.
More confusion occurred when their coach arrived, from a distance it was obvious that he was a rather big fellow and as he hove into view it became apparent that it was none other than Sir Fatt himself!
The crew did a couple of rounds in the eight and then came ashore for some photos, at which point it became clear to those watching, that some of the "rowers" in the crew were Xchanging executives.
They were being forced to hold the boat above heads for some minutes and whilst the actual rowers in the crew did not look too bothered, the executives many of whom could barely even reach the eight, were having real trouble just holding their hands above their heads for that long (bless!).
Eventually the crew were allowed to put their boat away, at which point Sir Fatt left in a chauffeur driven black mercedes - all very russian mafia...
|SPOT THE CAR?|
It wasn't just non-tidal aware people at Richmond getting their cars wet yesterday, as the attached photographs of a VW polo that sank outside Vesta last night, show.
Apparently the car was happily floating until a UPS van went past and the bowwave sunk it. Lots of other cars at Putney will have had wet foot wells too.
The slug noticed the council putting out "danger flood" signs, but only when the tide had reached its full height. Although to be fair the guy with the sign was running to put it in place...
And in real time...
(some people are so cruel)
|THE TIDE IS HIGH|
Reasons to keep tide tables in you car #1 - as illustrated by a random muppet at Richmond.
The bloke sitting on the car had to be rescued by the lifeboat.
|YOU DON'T WANNA DO THAT|
Burway may have been cancelled at the weekend, but the rescheduled Head of the Taff went ahead on Saturday, though we suspect that at least one crew is wishing it hadn't.
The attached photos show the Swansea University coxed four that drifted onto the bridge during the event... The crew ended up in the water drifting past the Millennium Stadium with their boat smashed in half.
Happily all four were safely rescued, but it was none too warm to go swimming.
Pics taken by Matthew Stott of Monmouth Rowing Club.
|DEWAR SHIELD RESULTS|
Meanwhile on the Tideway, Auriol Kensington collected their 5th consecutive overall win in the Dewar shield, with Sons in second place and a man-free Furnivall in 3rd.
The weather was rather nice, the beer at the AK bar was even better, and there were guest appearances by Pangbourne and MAA on the day.
Full results can be found on the AK website at
Some random pics
|THE SPANISH INQUISITION...|
The Descenso de Remo do Ribeiro in Northern Spain, is a head race for men’s eights and women’s quads, which runs over a 6.5km course down the River Mino and into the reservoir of Castrelo de Mino, where the Galician Watersports Centre is situated.
A crack team of Scottish rowers from Clyde ARC and Clydesdale ARC recently spurned the joys of the Scottish Clydesdale 4's and 8's head to partake in the Descenso and uphold British honour against the Russian and Romanian National Squads... (ahem).
Well, It was a hard choice, but somebody had to do it…
The team were staying in the same hotel as the large Eastern Europeans, and it wasn't long before the Scots-women found themselves the object of some amusement - not only because the Romanian men seemed to have been lonely for quite some time, but also because the Romanian women couldn’t quite understand why the Scottish team should have 2 female athletes and a choice of 4 coxes for the men... On being told that the four coxn’s actually consisted of one cox, one coach and two lwt athletes to make up the quad, their disbelief was palpable.
The day of the race saw the boating area alive with press and TV cameramen mingling with the competitors. The Scots boated in Empachers (kindly supplied by the Portuguese) and the girls rowed past the Romanians on the way to the start, giving them false hope in their technical superiority and the notion that size would prove immaterial.
In contrast to head races in the UK, the race commenced from a standing start. The girls had a great row, overhauling a French crew on the outside of a bend but, alas, the Easties had the last laugh as their weight and strength advantage paid off in the headwind.
The commentator was heard enthusiastically mentioning the team from Escozia as the ladies streaked over the finish line and coverage of the race was provided to Spanish TV via helicopter which circled the crews as they raced down the second straight – certainly a new experience for most athletes.
The boys were off next, and springing into action their lack of coxbox became somewhat irrelevant as Airwolf hovered overhead for the first kilometre of the race, close enough to make communication impossible, but too high to provide an effective tailwind.
Starting in the top section, in the thick of the National/Top Club crews, the Scots were hunted down by the selected French team, but held them off until the final 1000M of the course, a buoyed section that could be extended to encompass a six lane regatta. The auld alliance fought bowball to bowball, crossing the line together
The results came quickly showing that the Clyde Men's crew had come a credible 10th but, amazingly they had beaten the Russians! (Actually, so had everyone -- as they’d been disqualified...).
The Russian women were not so accomodating and refused to roll over in the same way, instead surging to victory over the Romanians by 3 secs and the Scottish Clyde/Clydesdale crew in third by a "little more".
Sharing the honours with the Russian women's quad (two of whom were in the ill-fated World Championships 4x) must have been quite an experience. As well as the novel pronunciation of their names, they received specially struck medals and an event specific trophy. The unique medal ceremony, complete with traditional Galician pipe band (all dressed in Queen Victoria black lace widow stylee outfits) allowed full opportunity for an en masse photo shoot before being whisked off for "food and fraternisation", which was surprisingly unexciting and sober
Many of the international teams were also there, and the Scots' appearance in Kilts caused a real stir. There were numerous photo calls from people keen to prove that men from Scotland actually do wear skirts in public, whilst the women wear trousers... A round of Crazy Golf was similarly transformed into a spectator sport, as bemused locals got a taste of those from the home of Golf deal with water hazards involving Plastic Whales (?).
All in all a very successful trip, though the wisdom of Solomon must now be applied to where the trophy should be kept - Clyde or Clydesdale..?
Some entertaining photos of the experience can be seen at
The Molesey Vets head went ahead on Saturday (albeit minus the Remenham Challenge division) despite the river going on red flag about an hour before crews were due to boat. Some careful contingency planning from the organisers and the considered opinions of at least two FISA umpires meant that alternative arrangements for returning crews were put in place quickly and communicated to crews at the coxn's meeting.
It never fails to amaze how the boats with defective heel restraints / bowballs frequently contain experienced umpires who really should know better (you know who you are) but in the end everything on the water ran to plan and the competitors retired to that natural haunt of veterans - the bar - to await the results.
Alas, the whole of the Upper Thames is now under red board conditions and with more rain expected tomorrow & later in the week, is likely to remain so for some time - which doesn't bode well for Torpids or any other upriver head races...
Full results at www.moleseyboatclub.org/mar/mvh_results.htm
(presented in extra big font for half blind elderly people, or so it would appear...)
And a few pics (click to enlarge)
|GAPS IN THE TIME SPACE CONTINUUM...|
(queue twilight zone music - click HERE )
Yes faithful reader, we bring you more curious tales of things lost and found...
Mysterious goings-on were afoot at the Hammersmith Women's and Junior's Head on Sunday... for although organisers had three independent observers in different locations writing down the start order, none of them saw the Emanuel school A crew start.... yet they were definitely seen to finish & their number identified at this point.
To confuse matters even more, ESBC coach Richard Marriott was heard swearing that they had started and that he had proof in the form of a video, however, a source who has seen the footage confided to the slug that the video footage was far from conclusive.
Clearly the ESBC crew were afloat at some stage during the proceedings - given that they were seen to finish, yet it would clearly be odd if all 3 observers missed them at the start, seeing as they didn't miss any of the others.
Using the tried and tested theory of Occam's razor, we are therefore left with two possible alternatives:
Of course, there has been some speculation that, being late to the start, the crew simply turned too early and joined in with racing crews after the timing point, but that's clearly far too preposterous a scenario to ever be possible - I mean they'd never make that mistake on their home water, would they...?
- The crew and coach were momentarily abducted by aliens just as they were approaching the start line, and, after numerous experiments of an unpleasant nature, were returned to the Thames halfway down the course with their minds wiped and fake video footage inserted to fool them all
- They all passed through a gap in the time space continuum somewhere in the vicinity of Chiswick bridge, appearing in a parallel universe where they started in an alternate version of the Head, and indeed where even now parallel organisers are wondering how two ESBC crews could have been recorded starting when only one finished...
Full results (with times) are now available at www.akrowing.com.
|OPERATION KINKY - TRC WIMMIN RAISE THE STAKES|
As regular readers may remember, this time last year the London RC boys broke into the TRC women's changing rooms and gave every girl at Thames a Valentine’s card and left them a massive box of chocolates. So this year, the girls in Red, White and Black, figured they should do something in return for their
Showing true TRC grit, they went sex shop shopping on Saturday in seedy Soho and bought various ‘toys’ for the LRC boys including: a blowup wife; red fluffy handcuffs; a cock-ring; a willy whistle; boob magnets; a dick measuring stick; willy warmers and a one-night-stand kit!
They then rang Paul "the Impaler" Reedy after shopping, and he let them into the changing rooms that very evening. Once in, they decorated the place with 75 balloons, loads of streamers and heart glitter. The ‘toys’ were wrapped up in a big box along with a giant card signed by all the girls.
Not content with this gesture of love to LRC, they also decorated the Thames boys changing rooms and gave them a big card and a box of heart-shaped red satin chocolates.
The TRC boys are "a little tamer" then the boys in blue, so the girlies were scared the men would take the ‘toys’ the wrong way... which is why they went for chocolates with them. The TRC boys are always complaining that the Thames girls love the LRC boys (and not them), so they hope that this gesture will prove that they love them too.. after all they are their home boys! Mind you, some of them have been complaining that they didn’t get ‘toys’…
See below for some photos of Operation Kinky in action -- taken in the LRC changing rooms.
The response for the LRC men, was also quite impressive!!!! (p.s. Sheena - he kept the hat on!)
Going... Going... Gone!...
The boys in blue achieved a convincing clean sweep at the 50th Boustead Cup on Sunday. Conditions were good this year, resulting in fast times across all the races, though it didn't seem to reduce the usual frantic flag waving from the Umpires.
London won the toss and chose Surrey. Their first crew hit a strong rhythm early on in the race and had gained clear water by Barnes Bridge which they continued to extend, passing the University Stone at Putney 30 seconds ahead of Thames.
At a ceremony afterwards at Thames, the trophy was presented by Nicholas Boustead and his wife Sarah. Thames captain Emma James gracefully congratulated the LRC crews and the London captain Tom Killick.
There was one small victory for Thames... their novice men won their race easily after the London novices failed to show on the start (er....)
First eights LRC (Surrey) beat TRC (Middlesex) by 30 seconds. Time: 17:26
Second Eights: LRC (Middlesex) beat TRC (Surrey) by 13 seconds. Time: 17:49
Third Eights: LRC (Surrey) beat LRC (Middlesex) by 56 seconds. Time: 17:51
The overall tally for the event now rests at 27 wins for London to 23 wins for Thames.
Photos from the day can be seen at
|GET OUT OF THE WAY...|
The Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006 comes into force under a Commencement Order on the 20 February 2007.
The Act makes it an offence to obstruct or hinder persons from the following services who are responding to emergency circumstances:
the Fire and Rescue Service (including any Crown employees carrying out that function), Ambulance Service, NHS transport of organs, the Coastguard,
RNLI and other vessel rescue service.
Section 2 of the Act is worth noting as it provides an offence of obstructing or hindering a person who is assisting an emergency worker from the above services responding to an emergency situation, so if you see the RNLI or fireboat in the distance with blue lights flashing, get out of the way quick (normally a good idea anyway).
Less obviously, it could also include the Police and the PLA when they are called upon to help out in SAR situations. Essentially if they have their sirens and blue flashers going, there can now be legal implications for not shifting out of the way, and it's unlikely that any court of law will accept the, "I was in the middle of a piece your honour..." defence.
Read the details at www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2006/ukpga_20060039_en.pdf