Readers of the slug can finally give a long sigh of relief and stop chewing their finger-nails off, for we have it on good authority that after a close contest between the three candidates, Peter Haining has landed the plum paid coaching position at Upper Thames.

The slug wishes him well in the new role, as to whether certain individuals see fit to stay at Upper Thames now their nemesis has his foot in the door, we'll have to wait and see.

For anyone else wanting to brave Peter's coaching regime, there is a squad meeting on October 11th (7:30pm).

When the slug asked a former UTRC coach for his views on the appointment, he simply smiled serenly and wished everyone "good luck..."

Don't forget to keep your eyes open, now the days of early morning outings have started...
....for you never know what lurks around the corner.

This divine truth was brought painfully home to one young rower recently. En route to training - having ever so swiftly managed to get down to the Putney Embankment on her bike in less than 5 minutes, she was feeling quietly confident that she would be on time for her early morning outing, when she had to negotiate the sharp corner into the laneway between Thames RC and Imperial College.

Alas she mis-calculated, (failing to take into consideration the speed at which she was travelling) and landed with a nice early morning crunch into the fuel storage bin... Eyes now wide open she proceeded to watch her training partner - who had just arrived before her - piss herself laughing at the early morning prang.

So, be warned.... keep your eyes open when you get out of bed and onto a bike.

Mike Roswell rowing correspondent for the Times learnt some of the problems associated with appearing on TV, while covering the rowing at the Olympics. The slug has heard that Mike's wife, somewhat miffed at being left in the UK due to the lack of available space at the Media Village (or at least that's what she was told) was watching the coverage on the BBC when she spotted Mike in the background, organising the photographers.

Concerned that her beloved husband was risking sun stroke she immediately phoned his mobile tell him put his hat on, however as the GB hacks had switched to Auz Sim cards to stop them running up huge phonebills, she was unable to get through so had to phone the main desk and leave a message instead.

Luckily for viewers (and Mrs Roswell) the televisual coverage didn't extend to events in the media village 2000, as we have it on good authority that Mr Roswell developed a bit of a penchant for wandering round topless "it was really very unpleasant" one source (who understandably wishes to remain anonymous) told the slug.

You may have noticed that the news from the up river inbreds is a bit lax these days, yes, it's all quiet down at Upper Thames. By all accounts the men's group is non-existent (those with any perceived talent have gone to Leander, those without have been sent to Coventry) and the women's group has gone to other clubs, too disgusted by the Summer antics of the Big I Ams (or should that be the Big I Was's) in their 8+.

There are rumours of a paid coach being appointed - and some interesting names are being bandied about (such as that stalwart of the Slug's pages and friend of the rabbit, Peter Haining). He will need to assert himself with all the personality he can muster if he is to control the egos at Upper Thames. There is no denying there is some talent over there on God's River - but if ever there was a demonstration of risibly big egos underperforming in a season, then look no further. It will be interesting to see if the appointed coach keeps control and if the results (and harmony) return to that of former years.

Anyone interested in joining the mission (and coach, whoever that might be) that is Upper Thames needs the following:

  • no feelings whatsoever (either on or off the river),
  • a tolerance of fat people with egos and the desire to win everything at all costs.
  • In mitigation, there is also a staggering array of yellow and red/white boats, that gorgeous bit of river and daily views of the talent from Leander (both female and male). The Slug gets the impression that the dark days may be over, and the club may be on the up so if you're interested in getting in on the act, contact Paul Stewart Bennett at love2row@stuart-bennett.org.uk

    Should a coach be announced, the Slug's all covering slime will transmit the news to you just as soon as it stops quivering with anticipation.

    It may not quite be up to Olympic news standards, but the slug can report that Imperial College went Head of the Isis in the Oxford City Bumps on Saturday in a fashion which can only be described as "quality".

    Yes, not content with doing it the easy way, and determined to show that preparation is not always essential for a succesful race... they found themselves:

  • 1 hour before the start without a cox.
  • 10 minutes before the start of the race and they were faced with the small problem of having no boat and oddly enough, no-one was willing to lend them one for a race which would involve smacking it into another boat.

    Eventually the nice people at City of Oxford lent them a boat just in time to start. This small obstacle oversome, they boated... only to discover that they had one strokesider....

    The next problem that presented itself was that, having never done a bumps race before, the cox was slightly confused and stopped in the first round after thinking that she had "bumped", only to have to get her crew moving again after an explanation from a marshal. Completely forgivable as it was her first time.... but she then stopped again in the second round after thinking she had "bumped"... only to have to get her crew moving again after an explanation from a marshal...

    And the piece de la resistance:

    When the IC crew finally reached the Head position in the third round they missed the finish line (not knowing the course) and had to ask in a local pub where it was, only to be told they'd past it 250 metres ago!!!

    Now slugs are simple creatures, made happy by the little things in life, so although it could be construed as bit anorakish (ok it IS), the slug does like to order its "millenium rowing calendar" from Mr Amazon nice and early every year. So imagine the glee on returning from down under, to find a large flat package awaiting...

    Just to put things into perspective, this is an American (god love 'em) calendar, photographed by Joel Rogers, who is based in Seattle but it generally contains at least one picture of a British crew. Eager to see who would be featuring in 2001, the slug chewed open the wrapper and started to turn the pages...

    Nice piccie of Jamie Koven on the cover... flicking through... will it be Redgrave & co again?... Maybe Ed and Greg, or perhaps the boys in the GB VIII?...here we go... it's July...it's Temple Island at Henley.... it's....

    ... the UTRC (un)Arsesome foursome.... with the fat boy himself, resplendant in the 2 seat.

    Oh yes, faithful reader, porkies we tell you not, for it would seem that the slug's mutterings of the mighty UTRC's victories over the GB coxless IV and the man-machine that is Steve "now don't you think five gold medals is being a bit greedy" Redgrave, earlier this year, has reached across the pond.

    So, although they were denied their rightful mention in Gold Fever... the Upper Thames boys will be imortalised for ever (well at least a month) on the wall of rowing fanatics across the world.

    oooh, I can hardly wait!!!!

    Following our recent article on the Vet worlds, the slug has been informed of a minor correction, as it transpires that the Thames Tradesmen RC's Vet A VIII was a 7 rather than a 6.

    The slug can confirm that this unfortunate state of affairs was due to a certain member of the crew going to the Slug (& Lettuce) in Fulham (remarkably appropriate really) and joining in the drunken revelry by dancing on the table. Alas, he then decided to wave his hands in the air at the same time and um.... succeeded in stopping one of the ceiling fans with his right hand.

    This traumatic event, affected the poor dear's nervous system to such an extent, that he has ended up on a 4-6 week course of ultrasound treatment! Slug says get well soon you loon.

    And finally there was another avoidable tragedy elsewhere on the Tideway, when one of the Thames Vets (who really should know about tides going in and out by now) returned from Hazelwinkle to find her beloved Jaguar XJS, which she'd parked on the embankment, had been flooded and is now a right-off..

    oh well, it's only a car...