The Slug was shocked to hear on Thursday night, that CUWBC have done the utterly unthinkable and sacked long term coaching stallwort (and the man who taught the slug to row) Roger "heh-heh-heh-heh" Silk after 16 years long and dedicated service to the light blue girlies...

But it's not just ol' Rog who's been given the boot, for poor Ron is out on his ear too and the slug has it on good authority, that the powers that be at CUWBC don't have any idea who will take over next year. Allegedly, the reason behind this ousting is that Rog is a bit out of date with current coaching techniques - an interesting observation, especially after Yoda employed Mr Silk to help out with the GB girls as long ago as...oooh, last season.

The slug is very keen to point out to all our readership, that this unfortunate chain of events is, in no way, anything to do with the creation of a Mr and Mrs C coaching team at Fenland Poly - especially as the last person who was unfortunate enough to suggest such totally unfeasible reasoning behind the decision, allegedly heard from Adrian's lawyers quicker than you can say arsesome foursome...

The CUWBC boats have now been removed from LMBC (which is undergoing a bit of a refurb at the mo.) and are being housed at Ely. Where they eventually end up is anyone's guess - as is who will do all the trailoring, boat mending etc. from now on, though we hear that certain individuals in yellow and black might have an idea.

A very sorry state of affairs...


Anyone who rows on the Tideway during the summer months will sympathise with the plight of the Tideway Scullers men’s quad who managed to sink their coxless boat on Saturday after getting sucked into the wake of one of those lovely-to-see-you-never-a-nuisance tourist barges that cruise up and down the river at this glorious time of year trying to drown rowers.

Apparently, having navigated their way around a single sculler, the quad misjudged the distance separating them from a rather large tourist boat -- generously weighed down by heaps of sweaty American tourists complete with video recorders enjoying the sun and the sights.

Before the boys knew it (and much to the shock of the watching tourists), they were caught in the heaving wake, all too commonly generated by such vessels and were sucked parallel to the barge. Queue every rower’s worst nightmare… blades almost at breaking point as the TSS boys bravely braced their arms against the barge to stop themselves from being dragged under the monster boat.

Things weren’t getting any better as the bowman shouted, "The boat's breaking!" Spurred into action from their trusty bowman (who, it should be noted was supposed to be in control in the first place) someone else was heard to call, "Feet out!" which, the Slug feels, was an entirely sensible move given the circumstances.

The boat then split clean in two leaving the bowman stranded and submerging into the murky depths of the Thames. Meanwhile, the captain of the cruiser, happily oblivious to the fact that his boat had almost made a tasty snack out of four scullers, was alerted by someone on board and promptly came back to survey the carnage in his wake. Assured by the hardened rowing TSS boys that they were, in fact, fine, the captain bid a hasty farewell to the incident and left the scene of the crime.

Thanks to the good fortune that it was low tide at the time, the crew then managed to drag their instantly converted two-piece onto the bank and ascertain the damage. Luckily, no one was hurt and they managed to salvage all blades, seats and shoes before beginning the waterlogged walk back to the boathouse to explain to the captain that they had successfully managed to create a very interesting “single” and “treble”.

Undoubtedly, much more exciting tourist footage than the recording the sights of Big Ben!


The Slug was sunning itself down the towpath on the Cam last week whilst watching some top quality comedy rowing - light blue style, courtesy of the annual spectacle that is Mays week. Now, as any low-performance rowing coach knows, there are two particular seating problems involved in dealing with such crews:
  • Where to sit the fat git who ate all the pies
  • Where to sit the Completely-Uncoordinated-Novice-Technician (or **** for short) who will never be a rower so long as he has a hole in his bottom
    n.b. (These of course may possibly, but not exclusively, be the same person.)
  • So, to provide a bit of entertainment while watching the lower division boats proceed to the start, and to keep up with this year's college coaching trends, we carried out a little informal statistical analysis, checking each crew and noting:

  • the Pie Seat
  • the **** Seat
  • the most attractive totty seat
  • Having carried out this comprehensive survey the slug can now exclusively reveal that the most popular Pie Seat remains, as ever, the 5 seat (though it appears that in Caius III women’s crew, 4 and 6 jointly raided the Pukka factory and shared the spoils out evenly between them).

    What’s more interesting to note is the year to year trend for the most popular **** Seat. This year the Slug can exclusively reveal that the choice of the discerning coach is the 6 seat, so take note all you low performance coaches out there - the verdict of the coaches of well over 100 lower eights can't be wrong.....

    As to the most popular top totty Seat, the Slug was so overwhelmed with the quality of the goods on show that results were not recorded. But it was generally agreed that the best overall women’s crew for totty was Girton III… and their rowing wasn't bad at all, either...

    The most bitched about crew of the week, (by all women from all other clubs) as overheard by the Slug on the towpath, was the Newnham girlies. Starting off second, and stacked with seven women who had rowed for the Blue Boat, Blondie or the Lightweights, and the eighth having been one of the squad spares this year, there was much miaouwing and saucers of cream lapped up when they were walloped by Caius on the first day. Alas, there could be no further Schadenfreude for the rest of the week as Newnham managed to escape the clutches of Pembroke and then Jesus. Quite what the University squad girlies have done to deserve such an outbreak of spite the Slug cannot say but, as always, its nice to see them receiving full support from all the college rowers...

    From the relative safety of the bank, the Slug was overjoyed, (for the sake of its own entertainment from the ensuing pile ups and crashes), to see that the standard and intelligence of coxes has not improved one iota.

    The worst coxing of the week, along with most miraculous escape, has to go to Christ's II men. On the second day, CCAT (stacked to the gunnels with 6' 6" Germans of massive power but no technique) were steaming right up their backside on the exit from Grassy Corner. The Christ's cox decided that no way was he going to play safe and acknowledge before CCAT, vastly superior in speed, rammed them and smashed them in two.

    Oh no... rather than follow the sensible option, he decided that craning his neck around looking right behind him at CCAT whilst stubbornly and insanely trying to avoid them, was far more important than actually watching where he was steering. The slug could only helplessly grimace as the inevitable happened and the Christ's VIII began to swerve around right in front of the CCAT boat, headed for the bank at a 45 degree angle, and smacked into a moored cruiser at full racing speed. The bow glanced off, sending the head of the bowman crashing into the hull of the cruiser, the poor bloke’s head ricocheting off with unimaginable violence.

    But fortunately this little incident turned out to be the most incredible lucky escape the Slug has ever seen. Amazingly, both boat and blades remained totally unscathed, as did the bowman, though the expression on his face was not one happy contentment.. .

    Apparently he was back in the bow seat the following day sporting a huge plaster on the back of his head....

    Oh, I just can't wait until next year....


    The Slug was sliming around at Women's Henley at the weekend, wearing factor 500 suncream and watching the goings-on with relish, when we happened to walk past a member of the Oxford BB VIII who was talking to her mummy.

    As large daughter had just been knocked out of club VIIIs, mummy was concerned that her darling offspring had suffered unnecessarily at the hands of the opposition...

    "Did it hurt darling?" she asked...

    "yes... but when it hurt too much I just thought about SHOPPING" came the response...


    The Slug was sliming along Putney way doing a bit of "Talent Identification" on behalf of the Australian Institute of Sport (somehow they have heard about a couple of Aussie Internationals rowing in a few boats for Royal and Women's Henley on behalf of the Black, Red and White bunch) when it's little twitchy feelers suddenly picked up thee following heated conversation between an oarsman - (known only as super-sculler) and his support crew:
  • Super sculler..."Seriously guys I am fast enough, strong enough, good enough and full of enough to pull the weight of two people, lets go out with the quad rigged for three scullers not four!"

  • Another voice..."Are you sure you're up to it Jedi Hard-Man Warrior?"

  • Super Sculler..."Look I don't train at the coal face for nothing, lets get in the boat and do it"
  • Moments later The Slug observed this very same quad with only three scullers heading upriver just as the TRC Womens Four were passing it...

    ...perhaps that extra sculler would have helped after all.


    The slug was recently contacted by a concerned reader who feels the need to comment on the allegations that the sweep rowers at a certain Tideway club have won not-a-lot this year.
    ...... I learn from the slug this evening that the sweep rowers at ****** have won nothing this year. As if to prove a point that rowing can be taken too seriously and that people generally train too hard I wish to make a correction to this statement.

    Two wins have in fact been registered by the mighty Acheronians, that being the recreational element within *RC.

    If we have the only two sweep oar wins at the club this year then this surely goes to prove that the best preparation for a race is most definitely a Friday night spent on the lash with attendance at Crazy Larry's until 2.30am being compulsory.

    I am glad to learn that my theory has been proven. Training manuals to follow...

    Those doing last minute training for Henley - take note.


    Elsewhere on the Tideway, the slug is glad to hear that big handbags are also being brandished and toys sent flying at all angles from that bastion of manly pride, London Row-ing (as in BICKER-ing) Club. For apparently the "B" coxed four has been going a teeny bit faster than the "A" crew and even a swap of personnel has not been able to stop the rot.

    The great Gonzo is not, apparently, amused, and is said to be thinking of renaming the "B" four the "Z" four in an attempt to slow the little b**strds down!

    The slug wonders in the light of all these revelations whether AK might actually have a chance of winning this year!"