While the rest of the Tideway celebrated not rowing the IVs head last weekend, the party hats were on at Funeral Scullers for their annual dinner. By all accounts it was a pleasant evening, plenty of drinking, not much in the way of slime (alas) and speeches, which went on a bit too long (during which, of course, there was some heckling about videos...).

Highlight of the night was the slave auction where Mr P. Vondra was sold off for the immense sum of 60 quid, though the details of to whom and for what purpose aren't clear. Indeed rumours that Phil had given the money to a friend in the audience before the event, to ensure he got a "good price" are as yet unconfirmed...

Apres dinner, the party continued back at the Furnivall boathouse and as there was also a party still going on down the road at Auriol Kensington a most unusual feeling of camaraderie purveyed the air at Hammersmith as some Furnivall members were seen in the AK bar and AK members in the Furnivall bar (please say it ain't so!), although, more true to form, the first thing the AK captain wanted to know from his representative at the dinner was how much piss-taking of AK there had been.

The general consensus was "Not enough"

As for the aftermath, the club room still smells faintly of puke - someone managed to produce a good falling off barstool and vomiting performance.

Young Mr Vondra went sculling early the next morning - just as well, as it took him an hour and a half to scull to UL and back and he even had a Thames coach inquiring after his health while he was "resting" at the Bandstand... Later on it supposedly took him 40 minutes to walk to the Ship from his pad by the bridge, to get breakfast (where he was spotted later on with his head down on the bar ).

In a completely unrelated incident later that day, three OUBC fours and their coach came in for some very loud heckling from some yobs on the bank who seemed unable to tell the difference between light and dark blue and weren't impressed by the course they were steering.

The slug is assured that any resemblance of these loud yobs to Messrs Vondra and Brown was entirely coincidental.

The slug has heard of some more, out of character goings on, at that fine old establishment known as Quintin Boat Club. For we can report that two of their members have tied the knot (No not Lloydy & Gazza) but novices Jamie McLeod and his lovely bride Rachel, they even hired out the club for an intimate reception following the wedding ceremony.

You may remember that earlier this year,the slug reported that, as the rest of the rowing world gets ready to embrace the 21st Century, QBC has finally let a few chinks of light from the 20th Century into their hallowed halls, and allowed women to become members.. and low and behold, here we are a few months on with further proof that the old all male bastion continues to crumble...

Last week the boys of a certain Tideway club were busy doing their Wednesday night ergo-schmergo, no pain, no gain type training session. Once finished many an athlete ventured into the usual announcements of their new improved time and why it had occurred or, for the less fortunate, excuses as to why their time was not quite up to par...

One such rower pulled out a fantastic excuse, which went a little something like this...

"I couldn't do it as I had a really sore chest from ***** sitting on it all afternoon"...

Poor boy, we hope the bruising has gone down by now and the slug can't wait to see the excuse that ***** gives when she completes her next ergo!


When is it easier to fart...

When rowing
When Sculling
Both the same
I never fart

Current Results
Free Web Polls
Last Sunday over toast and tea between training sessions, the Slug was interested to hear a small debate going on between the virtues of sculling and rowing. Not so much the disciplines themselves, nor the bog standard 'I'm better than you are' routines that go along with them. This debate had a little more 'air about it' shall we say.

The question under discussion was 'Is it easier to fart when you are rowing or when you are sculling'? Fart, fluff, let one out, puff of smoke, bottom burp, fluffy has gone for a walk and other sayings were used to amongst the crowd to describe the moment when one's bottom flatulates.

Most people came to the conclusion that the extra sideways movement at the catch when sweep rowing allows for a larger window of escape for the said 'fluffy' when he goes for a walk. This was more conducive to release from one's bottom, than when sculling, as at the catch you are sitting firmly on both butt cheeks and there is not much room for escape, therefore fluffy struggles to get out and more often than not remains in the dog house, so to speak - until such time as he has become so aggressive that he has to go for a run at Emmanuel School boat house...not mentioning the name of the rower who actually spoke of personal experience in this respect, needless to say I don't think Emmanuel will be inviting the rower or fluffy back.

So as the question still remains, when is it easier to fart...when rowing or sculling, we thought we should offer you the chance to post your vote and find out once and for all...

Even though the Fours Head was cancelled, a darn good party effort was put in by a debaucherous crowd at the Thames RC party - where everyone celebrated not being beaten by anyone else. After several beers the slug was leaning on the bar and noticed a group of male rowers commenting on a certain girlie, who happened to be talking rather amiably to one of their friends (all names withheld to protect those involved even though they probably don't deserve it). Whilst the said group of lads watched their trusty mate work his charm, one of them was heard to ask, 'Is she wearing any knickers?'

Another one of the lads then suggested 'I don't know but I am sure if we tried to find out she would think it was ***** who was looking and feeling and not us'.

Keen to try out his theory, this entrerprising young lad headed in on the target for a bar side investigation while his other hand held his trusty pint.

After a short time he returned to the group, commenting 'She didn't seem to notice, but I couldn't tell maybe they are stuck in the cleft' (for those of you who are far too gentile to know such things, the Slug can reveal that the 'Cleft' is another term for one's butt crack) and from that point on, this group of lads chatted in wonderment about how large the 'Cleft' may be and would it be a large enough space to capture a girl's knickers?

Most rowers ride their bikes to and from rowing at some stage during the year and when it gets to the wintery, dark and wet weather that we are experiencing at the moment, drivers seem to become increasingly oblivious to the humble rowing/cyclist and cut in, chop up, fail to indicate, push out, reverse into, open doors, and simply drive willy nilly where ever they darn well feel like it!

As road aggression increases amongst the cycling fraternity - the Slug has discovered that rowers have some of the best one and two liners to throw 'right back atcha' to those w*nkers in their cars on the roads. So, here for your enjoyment and education, is the most recent top ten, as surveyed on the Embankment:

  1. 'Do you have children?' (Yes) 'Well I hope you make them wear helmets when they cycle, with d*ckheads like you on the road.'

  2. 'If you would take your hand off your c*ck for one second you'd be able to find your indicator'

  3. 'You may not believe this, but my legs are worth a hell of a lot more than your Rolls Royce'

  4. 'You f$*!in idiot' - simple yet effective.

  5. 'I think you dropped something' - When a driver flicks his/her cigarette butt out the window, help them out by picking it up and putting it back in - be sure to ride off quickly.

  6. 'I'm not sure if you realise, but your car won't actually fit in the bike lane'

  7. 'How can so many w*nkers be in one place at the same time' - very good to yell at the top of your voice when going around Hyde Park Corner (or Putney common).

  8. 'FTW345, Blue BMW 2 door' - an subtle yet precise description of the drivers car to their face, will make them paranoid for at least 24 hour - write it down on a notepad for added effect.

  9. 'Bike!' as loud as possible when bus passengers decide to get off where ever they like, if you time this right and yell loud enough, someone will probably cr*p themselves.

  10. Make sure you stop in front of the car and turn around when saying this classic, it is imperative that the car has no way out. 'Now don't get impatient at me because the traffic is bad and you are stressed out before you even get to the office. I am helping you out by keeping road traffic to a minimum and riding my bike. This leaves one more car space on the road for you to fill, which in turn means that I am decreasing your journey time. To think you are abusing me for helping you out is really quite rude. I know I am holding you up now, but you really have bought it on yourself by getting all narky in your car. Perhaps if you rode a bike to work like me, you wouldn't be so edgy, you'd probably get fit, lose some weight (at this point lean in the window and look their physique up and down), I can see those thighs could use a regular workout and most of all you could abuse people like you from my position which is far more rewarding than the position you are in now. Oh sorry am I holding you up - I'll be off then, have a nice day.'

The slug saw the state of the Tideway on Thursday night and decided to make its way up the fasionable King's Road, to check out rumours that there was a book launch happening at the trendy Hulton Gallery. This included an exhibition of Sports photography through the ages and the slug had been told that some of the Olympic Rowers would be in attendance.

The rumours were all true and entering the gallery who did we spot but the now world Famous Tim Foster, James Cracknell and Luca Grubor. All three of these rowing gods were in attendance, with what appears to be their fifth limb at the moment, this limb seems to have a strange golden glint to it...

I must say for once these golden boys were upstaged by, of all things, a collection of some of the classic sports photos of all time. However, pride of place went to the shot of 'The Four' after they had won. You know the one with Matthew hugging Steve, Tim trying to stop the boat capsizing and James just looking cool. This picture must have been 3ft x 2ft and framed in the most amazing Perspex frame, but what makes it seriously desirable is the fact that it has been signed by all four of the guys and the photographer. The picture will be auctioned off in aid of the SPARK's charity that Mr Redgrave has supported for many a year now and not surprisingly, it is expected that this shot will fetch just a few quid...

If you want to see this masterpiece before it disappears, probably into a private collection, pop along to the Hulton Gallery at 3 Jubilee Place just off the Kings Road.

Not everyone was fortunate enough to catch the stellar performance on early morning US breakfast TV by the Black Sheep VIII, in Boston for the Head of the Charles. This involved crew members intermittently bleating and:
  • pretending to be asleep;
  • pretending to stretch in the anticipation of exercise;
  • pretending to row an VIII while sitting in a row on the floor in the corridor outside the TV studio;
  • and finally being interviewed, while sitting in a line on the floor in the corridor outside the afore-mentioned TV studio.
  • All good clean innocent fun, although the producer did seem rather worried about the possibilities inherent in a true Scotsman appearing on live TV whilst clad in his kilt. But all in all, the interview went fairly well, the highlight being a stunning exposition on British rowing kit. Well, it was early in the morning....

    However the Sheepish performance was not limited solely to the interview: WB 56 ('Boston's WB in the morning') was also running a feature on fancy dress costumes that morning and asked some of the Sheep, ever eager to be helpful, to stand in as models.

    Truly eagle-eyed viewers may have realised that the stunning "Elvis", impersonator was in fact Neil "I've been coaching UWE and I don't know any of you", Ward; and may even have spotted a familiar face behind the impish "Jack of Hearts",. However, now it can be revealed that Sheepy himself donned fancy dress - the "Pimp", costume, in which he gave a virtuoso performance worthy of Huggy Bear himself...The Slug had been wondering what, a few short hours before, four of the US women's national team were doing, riding around Boston in the blacked-out Sheepmobile. Now everything suddenly becomes clearer...

    One of the Sheep was less lucky with the ladies after approaching an unidentified female rower (UFR) at the bar during the Riverside Boat Club party, post HOCR racing ....Great chat up conversations of our time, number 57:

    Sheep: So were you rowing today?
    UFR: Yes.
    Sheep: And who were you rowing for?
    UFR: The US women's national VIII.
    Sheep: How did you get on then?
    UFR: We lost, to the Canadian national squad.
    Sheep: And how was that? [Exit UFR stage right]

    Exit Sheep, solo, stage left.

    Back in August, a circular was sent out detailing a list of workshops and seminars for Rowing Clubs, athletes, coaches and Volunteers. Now these courses are organised by a company calling themselves “Rowing and Training Services( and the price of getting the said company to hold one at your rowing club, ranges in cost from between 90 and 130 GBP.

    Well what’s the problem with that?” I hear you cry.... well faithful reader, the problem is that “Rowing and Training Services” is run by none other than Patrick Lockley and Lynch Mason, respectively the Chairman of the Thames Upper Region and the Chairman of the Thames Upper Regional Coaching Commission

    Having seen the courses advertised, some “concerned members” reportedly contacted our beloved governing body, the ARA, to point out that this really wasn’t cricket. The ARA took one look; harnessed their high horse to the conflict of interest bandwagon, and leapt straight on.

    Sparing no time to pause for breath, Di Ellis, the ARA Chairman pressed pen to paper and informed Mr Lockley and Ms Mason, that in the view of the ARA Executive Officers, their commercial interests were incompatible with their voluntary positions, as they are both in positions where they can influence decisions.

    Not surprisingly, Pat and Lynch took great offence, not only at the way the ARA chose to progress the matter but also at how their comments reflected on both their personal integrity and that of the NDC, TURC and TUCC.

    Soon after, Di Ellis suggested that it would be helpful if they could talk the matter through - and proceeded to piss off to the Olympics for three weeks. The meeting was held in her absence at the end of September, when Pat Lockley met with the Chairman of the National Coaching Committee, Gary Harris and the ARA treasurer, John Van Ingen to discuss his possible “conflict of interest”.

    The slug doesn’t know exactly what was said at this meeting but then again judging by the resulting hoo-hah around the accuracy of the minutes, neither do those who were at it… the words “misleading”, “flawed” and “inequitable” being just some of those being bandied about…

    So, to cut a long, on-going, story short, the ARA have decreed that if someone who runs a commercial venture (which provides, as one part of its operations, rowing training) is a tutor or assessor for the coaching awards -they have a conflict of interest when holding office in any regional committees…

    …well, unless of course they do the honourable thing: i.e. don't use the word rowing in their business’ name, don't refer to the ARA and cease working as coaches!!

    As for the main objection from the ARA ie, that they are able to apply for funding for courses on behalf of the region and then are able to be paid to tutor or administer the said courses, it seems that the fact that the courses are are set up by clubs who then apply for funding, if required, and then appoint the tutor they hire is academic. Also the small point that that the head of the coaching commission for the ARA is an assesor and tutor who can likewise sign off such things seems to have escaped the powers that be....

    So whether the proprietors of R and TS will fight their corner; give in to the ARA’s demands or resign from their voluntary positions has yet to be seen, but it’s an outcome the slug will be watching with interest.

    The slug was happily chewing through the Leander Club AGM minutes yesterday, when a couple of particularly juicy paragraphs started to leave a rather nasty aftertaste.

    In response to a question about that old chestnut - women’s rowing - the Captain is recorded as having informed the gathered members that:

    “we were moving towards supporting women more but we still did not feel that we yet supported the men’s heavyweight and lightweight squads in the way we would like to… At each step we had needed to make sure we had the infrastructure (coaches equipment and other resources) In this respect we were really still stretching just to cover our needs… we did not wish to be seen in any way as competing with the main ARA-sponsored centres for women’s heavyweight rowing such as Marlow or elsewhere. We were hoping for more structure to come into women’s rowing so that women would have their leading centre as the men have Leander. We would help the women and do as much as we could, but would always be mindful not to take our eye off our main task which is primarily men’s heavyweight and lightweight rowing…”

    The slug wonders just what the Sports lottery commission would make of these comments especially as the Pink Palace opened it’s doors to the technically superior sex to grease the path for a whopping great load of lottery cash - 2 million of it to be exact and reading between the lines of Leander's newsletter would seem to infer that they simply aren't interested in women now they've got a nice plush clubhouse with the lottery cash…

    But it seems all is not lost, for despite the lady members of Leander complaining that the new loos are far worse than they were previously, the money has been put to good use, in providing two bars and a number of bedrooms. As the Chairman summed it up “booze, birds, bedrooms, boardrooms…” seems Leander women have a use after all.

    DON'T PUSH ME...
    The slug was curious as to why Imperial College Coach Bill Mason was wandering around grinning rather a lot on Monday morning. On enquiry, it transpired that when he returned home on Sunday, someone had taken his usual parking space, and, cursing them, he went and found parking some distance away.

    Sunday night the wind howled, and the rain came down, and lo and behold, Monday morning found the car in Bill's parking space with a tree on top of it.

    Harsh... but sweet revenge.

    The CUWBC herd were training on the tideway last weekend, and by all accounts successfully managed to seriously piss off the locals. Now, we expect visitors to the Tideway to behave with some degree of ignorance until informed otherwise, and it’s a given that Oxford and Cambridge will swan down, take over the embankment, behave like they own the river, (and its very kind of them to let us use it ) and piss us all off on the water, but last weekend saw a particularly rude display, especially on Sunday…

    With some IV's paddling in pairs they rounded the corner, against the tide, (on a pretty good line if they had been with the Tide), one particular coach giving off the most enormous wash and paying no attention whatsoever to anyone else on the water, including scullers that he overtook at very close range, (causing more than one to have to stop to empty their boat to avoid sinking) , it was hardly surprising that some of the local crews doing pieces with the tide, had to change their line mid piece to avoid the poo in blue..

    Despite a mixture of polite requests to cut his wash, and torrents of abuse to look where he was going, it was clear from conversations in the pub later that day, that the crews of at least three Tideway clubs had all been menaced by the 'coach in yellow'.

    Add this on top of the usual problems with non-Tideway crews let loose on the lower Thames: crews not helping themselves by starting paddling in coaching launches’ wash when you've just passed them and then expecting you to stop and ignore your own crews in order not to wash them down, and you start to get the picture.

    The slug can’t help wondering how they’d like it, if a load of Tideway clubs went up to Cambridge tore up and down, taking up the whole river, washing them down, interrupting their training pieces, parking our trailers in front of their boat house so they couldn't get their boats out, etc etc.

    The men of CUBC were reasonable with their wash, and polite, so if the boys can make an effort (and we all know that CUBC and OUBC are some of he most arrogant groups of rowers in rowingdom) then the tab birds have no excuse.

    Shame on them…