Hopefully this will be the end of the Home Countries selection drama that has been keeping the slug busy for the last few days. If nothing else, the comments and allegations that have been flying around, show that the selectors could do worse than to publish their selection criteria well in advance next year and stick to it across the board. The slug has heard from someone who claims to have seen one of the invisible adverts about HC selection while up at Nottingham but unfortunately the individual concerned doesn't remember any details from it.

We've also been told that there was an announcement at one of the council meetings, stating potential crews had been identified at the women's inter-regionals and if anyone else wished to be considered, then they were to contact the selectors PDQ.

Taking this to be true, it still appears that the selectors have different selection policies for the men and for the women. For if the same selection rules that were used for the women applied to the men, why didn't Upper Thames or Lea get asked to do M IV+? as we understand both of them registered their willingness to be selected. As the LRC crew did not inform the selectors they were interested (in fact they were only formed shortly before HRR), surely one of the other crews should have been approached if the women's selection rule applied.

It's also come to our attention that the Wallingford 4+ crew at Nat Champs was not exactly the crew that took Open at WHR... As the slug understands it, the story appears to go like this:

  • 1999 HWR - Wallingford girls win Club 4+ .
  • One member then decided she wanted to scull (and is now going to Gent in her single).
  • Three of last years crew invited a large rower from another club to join them to form a new crew about 5 weeks prior to HWR.
  • 2000 HWR - They won Open 4+.
  • A week later, three of the crew decided that 1 of the originals was not pulling her weight and binned her.
  • So the boat at Nat Champs had a rower and a cox who are not (yet?) members of
  • The slug can't help but wonder if the basis for the Wallingford girls putting themselves up has something to do with finding out, shortly before the final, that the Thames crew contained 2 Kiwis and therefore (wrongly) assuming that crew would be ineligible for HC selection. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that this was also a factor in the selectors' reasoning, though it's not one they've admitted to...


    The Home Countries Regatta saga continued last night with the discovery that apparently the selection criteria for this event has been the same for the last 20 years. It being that you have to make yourself known to selectors and keep them updated throughout the season, as to your progress and then they look at Nationals results and - (if and only if you have made yourself known) - and if you post a half decent time, you get to go along.

    So, bearing this in mind, the slug suggests you'd better let them know if you are interested for next year, ASAP.
    (p.s. if any selectors are reading this - Twickenham would like to go please...ED)

    Now, funnily enough, these revelations did not settle well with the Thames RC W4+, as they had been informed otherwise. After they spoke to the Selectors last night, they were told that there "were adverts posted all over the Nationals" (Did anyone see one?) and apparently in Regatta Magazine (no doubt tucked away between articles on ARA coaches and some obscure junior international race), but apparently with no closing date for 'making yourself known'.

    Hence the TRC girlies are more than a little miffed at that fact that their Tuesday morning appeal to attend the Regatta was knocked back, even though - and this is from the words of the Selectors mouth - they were "the fastest club coxed four this season and would have been the best crew to go". Oh yes, for the selectors assured them, they had gone to great lengths to contact them until that crucial 11th hour on Monday night (which apparently is the date and time beyond which things are set in concrete), and declared that they had even tried to get TRC entered as a guest crew entry.

    However, none of this could be delivered if the Marlow girlies decided that they wanted to go...and they did want to go, not prepared to forfeit their place to the 'now in the know and chomping at the bit to prove their Nationals record time' crew that had come out 19 seconds ahead of them in the Nationals Final. The slug guesses that if they had 'made themselves known' some three months ago as Marlow must have done, then they would have been looking forward to a trip to Gent.

    According to the selectors all clubs should know this, and this is they way it has been done for years. This may be so and the TRC girlies may have been let down by not only poor advertising about selection criteria and their club officials - but perhaps a little bit of pre-planned lobbying (3 months worth), care of the crew now going.

    Though this still beggers the question, if the selectors were trying to contact TRC as hard as they claim, why then weren't the Wallingford (Bronze medallists and Womens Henley Open 4+ Winners) chased up as well?


    It seems that the slug has opened up a nice slimy can of worms with our comments about the selection process for home countries, and that Thames aren't the only people to feel peeved about Marlow's selection for the heavyweight women's IV+...

    for the slug has been told that when the Wallingford girls heard through the grapevine that Thames were 'unavailable to race for England', they sort of expected that they might have been asked and were totally gob-smacked when their (slower) local rivals Marlow were announced as the selected crew.

    When pressed, one England selector said that he 'didnt want to get involved' although he did admit on reflection that there had been a 'bit of a cock-up'.

    Needless to say, like Thames the Wallingford girls have put in official complaints with the ARA, and you'll be reassured to know that in return, our beloved governing body have made it clear that they intend to do .... sweet FA. (now there's a surprise)


    Now the slug can understand people complaining about crews who aren't "good enough" being selected the home countries, however we have a bit more of a problem with people complaining that the crew selected is "too good" for the event, yes faithful reader, strange but true... for the London boys IV+ which has been selected is being accused of just this.

    The slug received the following e-mail from a reader who clearly has strong feelings on the matter..

    It looks like London RC are getting pretty desperate now that they are having to do the 4+ at the Home Countries, I heard that the London 4+ again after winning the gold in the 4+ went straight up to G.Cairnes and made what was said to be " a lot of noises" to get 4+ slot.

    Firstly I'm sure the other Home Countries are going to be really happy they are racing the Prince Philip crew. I thought the spirit of the event was to have good club crews and not the likes of I.Watson to race, and it's not as if the selectors were not short of choice.

    For a start there is the Lea four who have been by far the best club coxed four on the circuit winning Gent, Met, 2nd to IC at Docks, Semi finalist at Henley and a Bronze at Nats. Or there is the Worcester four which won the Wyfolds, and then only just lost the gold in the coxless to half of the Molesey Ladies eight which was stroked by the never die R.Stanhope. I sure they could have jumped in to a coxed boat, as they were only one second behind Lea at Gent in the coxed four.

    It must be a sad state for London R.C. that they have to push their weight round to get the England slot at the Home Countries "desperate or what". This compared to 2 to 3 seasons ago when the were 2nd in the head and winning at Henley, and have so many high quality oarsman, in fact the only squad to be able to take on the Molesey machine.

    Again it looks like the England selectors have not got a clue, if fact is there some place where all these selectors go the have brains removed along with the Football, Tennis, Cricket, and any other sport which we attempt.

    Now this all seemed a bit one sided to the slug, so wanting to air both side of the story we did a bit of digging in the mud.

    the response from London follows...

    1. the LRC crew is a good Club crew. The only international on board is Ian Watson who is very much an EX international, as he has since had massive back problems (2 slipped discs). Rupert Hare has never got an England vest, and the other two are (slightly overweight) club lightweights with future ambition, including Theo who's a former cox...

    2. - Lea have an excellent four, and we were very much looking forward to racing them. As anyone who watched the heat will tell, they gave us a pretty hard time, and were within a length or so after what they described to me as a bad race. We pulled ourselves together for the final and beat them by a bit more...

    3. Worcester entered the wrong event. Selection for the coxed four has always been in 4+ at Nat Champs. Always. Full stop. We would happily have raced them. Molesey too. Henley was re-arranged by the Stewards at the last minute in order that a club like Worcester could win an event - which they did, and we were all pleased for them. However, it f*cked up our season, as the Stewards insisted that we do a senior event. Not having the strength in depth to do the ladies we made a 'sacrificial' four of our only former Henley medalists which was fortunate to have a damn fine row in the first round of the Philip to get through. Three of the four were perfectly eligible for the Thames Cup under the previous ruling.

    4. We didn't 'pester' anyone to get the slot. We were asked to do it, and asked for time to consider if it was feasible, having previously not expected the situation to necesarily arise. After some two hours consideration we were pressed for a decision, and agreed to go. England have selected themselves a strong squad - based - as far as I can tell - on the long standing criteria they have set up for selection, and if the others aren't quick enough, is that any reason to be complaining? Is it the Home Countries not-quite-the-quickest-there-is championships, or a free standing championships of the champions of each Nation in each event outside of the selected National Squad?

    5. At the end of the day each squad should be making the fastest team that meets the selection criteria that they can. If Wales or Scotland had a crew that fast, they would send them (as they have several times in the past - walking an event). The Irish probably DO have someone as fast, if not faster, and as for the Belgians... after last year, who knows?

      Indiviuals bemoaning the fact that they failed to meet the requisite demands for the place in the team... Sorry, but try again next year. I'm fed up with people taking cheap shots at London. We've had a tough time at the top end of our club this year with the Henley ruling, and I believe this slot, for the individuals concerned, is well deserved, and entirely within the criteria for a championship of the Home Countries (and Belgium).

    So there you go.. both sides of the story... if you have strong views then let us know what you think


    The slug has had a whiff of some seriously smelly slime, which appears to be emanating from the selections process for the Home Countries Regatta.... read on, for if you can figure out this ARA admin nightmare, you could win free tickets to a selection committee lunch…

    Last weekend saw National Championships take place in lovely sunny (unnatural we know) Nottingham. Now, as you’re probably aware, the results from this event are taken on board, along with those of other recent regattas, and from these, certain crews are selected and “invited” to represent ENGERLAND at the Home Countries Regatta...which is due to take place this Sunday

    After the crews were announced, the Slug was interested (though not totally surprised) to hear allegations that some ARA technological, administrative, political, cock-ups of rather large and smelly proportions have gone into the selection process for the heavyweight Women’s Coxed Four. On first mutterings, the Slug suspected this could simply be a case of jealousy by a crew that wasn’t given the nod, however after extensive investigation, it looks like a fairly decent crew have been given the arse for what appear to be very dubious reasons…

    The crew in question were silver medallists in the W4+, having lost out to Nautilus (GB Junior & U23 types) by a mere .04 Second,- with both crews breaking the course record. However, they were not approached during or after the medal ceremony, so as the girls decided it best not to rock up and ask for the place (for this was not felt to be the 'done thing') - they waited…. And waited…. And waited…

    But it turns out this was the worst thing they could do… for even though they had won at Inter Regionals, Docks , Met, were 2nd at Women’s Henley and outperformed all eligible crews in the Final at Nat champs, apparently , by NOT showing any interest on Sunday and regardless of the fact that the Home Countries Selector had seen their Final and stated to a Slug source "They would have been the jewel in the crown of the England Squad", the position was given to Marlow.

    Now we’re sure the selectors are fully able to defend their decision and if they care to share their logic with the slug, I shall be more than happy to post their defence and retract our critisism, but until that happens the only reason we can find for Marlow being asked to race at Home Countries, is that apparently after having lost by 19 seconds and coming fourth in the Final behind the Women’s Henley Open winners and 3rd place getters at Nat Champs, they went up to the office on Sunday and ASKED if they could go.

    The saga continued with an investigation into claims on behalf of the Selectors, that someone had made announcements to Thames RC members at Nationals after the Final and left messages at the Club. The Slug went into sleuth mode and made a few phone calls only to discover that - shock horror - there was no evidence of this having happened. Indeed numerous lines of investigation failed to show that any such effort was made to contact the crew - including no announcements ( the crew was at the course until 6.40pm along with other club members). Nor were any telephone messages left on Sunday or Monday as the 'live in' House Manager was there at all times. On top of this it would also appear, that despite having the Mobile number of the Club Captain, non of the Selectors could work out how to ring it.

    So what will happen in the coming days…. will the selected crew, currently 19 seconds off the pace of the above mentioned and 'kicking up a fuss' crew get to go to Home Countries or will the ARA overturn the decision and show some guts...

    I know where I'd put my money.


    After our recent article and photograph on the olympic torch procession (see below) the slug received the following e-mail...

    Dear Slug,

    I would like to let ya know that as Mum to the three blokes on the roof of my luvly weava board house, that you put on ya webcom thingy are me sons. Bruce, Wayne and Dazza (short for Darryl, actually I call him Darryl when he is in trouble and so does his Dad, and he got called Darryl last night!) have all been punished for getting nude on the very roof their Dad laid.

    I want to say I am sorry to the English people who looked at my sons as they ruined the torch ceremony running along our street. I even moved the Torana and the Escort off the front lawn so if me house got in the press it would look nice. I was gutted when I saw them doing that! Particularly Wayne, who told me he was cleaning the gutters with that palm frond! Just so yous know I am punishing them I have banned em from using:

    a)WAYNE - Can't go to blue light discos for a month and he is not allowed to watch Neighbours or Home and Away for three weeks.

    b)BRUCE - Can't go out with Shazza this weekend and they are not allowed to stay in the PanelVan on Saturday nights for a whole month.

    c)DAZZA - Has been banned from VB, Bundy and Coke Meat Pies for a month and we have taken away his ACDC Cd's and peeled off the tint from the windows of his Holden Ute.

    They really are good boys at heart....

    Ta and sorry for me nude boys...

    Ms. K Minogue.


    It's good to know that all Australians are right behind the Olympics. .. Indeed the slug was sent the following photograph which amply demonstrates the extent of their enthusiasm..

    though we suspect it probably wasn't used on Channel Seven's torch relay coverage....



    Disappointed by his failure to sink the 'Invincible', Poplar's Torpedo Toby has clearly thought up a new way of drawing attention to himself.

    The frustration of being unable to claim the scalp of a 20,000 tonne aircraft carrier clearly affected his performance so much, this weekend, that he was unable to keep his own craft upright, flipping into the delightfully clear waters of the Royal Albert Dock.

    Poplar rowers spotted the upturned single and rushed to the scene: they were most distraught to find that the wet T-shirt clad figure which clambered forth was not that of Globe's lightweight, Sue 'The Body' Hutchings. Instead they were confronted by the Torpedo, who claimed that his scull 'just popped out' of the gate.

    Cries of 'Let me help you with that' were stifled mid-throat, to be replaced by a wide variety of swimming pool jokes...

    oh dear...


    The slug was intrigued to hear that that fine rowing institution Quintin Boat Club had taken not one but two trailers to Molesey Regatta on Saturday. "Sounds perfectly reasonable", I hear you cry - "what a lot of entries they must have had... obviously didn't have enough room on one trailer for all those boats?"

    ... well err, no.

    For it transpires that one trailer would have been more than enough, however the "trailer man" at QBC (yes you know who) decided to make a stand for mysoginists everywhere, and flatly refused to transport the QBC IV or double that were to be used by the club's womens novice squad - (He took a womens double from Mortlake but hey..........). Hence the need for two trailers

    It was the Quintin girlies first ever regatta and the IV eventually lost in the final, having rowed through Molesey in the semi, so they didn't disgrace themselves.

    The slug wonders if "trailer man" got to the final in his first regatta??