With numerous events still being cancelled round the UK due to adverse stream conditions, those crews who were farsighted enough to get entries in for Saturday's IBIS head on the Tideway, were looking forward for a rare chance to race. The event was organised around the UL Allom Cup event, with the IBIS head crews scheduled to start at 11:30am, while the university college crowd were on their lunch break.

Watching from by the finish at Quintin boathouse, it was apparent that things were unlikely to go off on time, when the MAA crew with the no. 1 bow number, headed down to the start about 11:20am - with the stream conditions being such as they are on the Tideway, it was taking about 30 mins to row down to the start at the barges by Kew gardens.

Time passed and no crews appeared… more time passed… and still no crews, then suddenly no 14 appeared… followed after a large gap by crew number 1 and the rest of the field, though not quite in the expected numerical order.

Curious to find out what was going on at the start, the slug wandered down to the hard to speak to the incoming crews… had the fire brigade rescue launch with the 4ft wake (and I'm not joking), seen heading down towards the start taken out most of the field?... "What a complete f*cking c*ck up" was all we could get out of them...

The mystery deepened on publication of the results, so our investigation continued into how the winners has managed to knock the best part of 50% off the course record, um…. as did most of the other crews taking part.

As the news of the amazing results spread, rumours began to circulate that club rowers were indulging in the consumption of performance-enhancing drugs, on a previously unimagined scale. However, random dope tests in the MAABC bar afterwards confirmed the presence of only the usual number of dopes, most of whom had apparently been retained on the event organising committee. The blame was briefly laid on the effects of Global Warming, causing excessive amounts of the wrong sort of water to fill up the river, until it was pointed out that the tide was actually out….

Further explanation was sought from the race management, and in particular, the Start timekeepers who had been volunteered from the ranks of Her Majesty’s finest, the Metropolitan Police [RC]. Time was, when the slug was but an egg, that if you wanted to know the time, you could always ask a policeman. Now, old habits die hard, and the Met are a pretty traditional bunch, so you’d still like to think you could rely on them to tell the time. Which, indeed, they did....

…with only one small problem…. Remember back to those halcyon days when, if you didn’t only not know the time, but also where you were, you could ask a policeman that too, and they’d help you get un-lost? Because policemen knew where everything was? Well, it ain’t like that anymore. It transpires that HM’s Finest didn’t actually know where ‘the barges’ which marked the course start were. Now, fair enough, they’re not marked in the A-Z, but how can you miss a bloody great green thing, tied up in the middle of the river, with about 50 VIII’s, all upstream from it? Quite easily, it seems, particularly if you don’t actually walk far enough along the tow-path to see it…..

Yes, thanks to the panda car, it seems that ‘Plod’ doesn’t plod anymore, and hence only made it as far as Kew Pier. From this convenient vantage point, they had a marvellous view of the crews racing towards them just before the half-way point. Just right, in fact, to record the ‘start’ times with unerring accuracy, as the crews whizzed past.

On top of the timing problems, the late start meant that the university contingent were back on the water causing chaos and threatening to start again, if they didn't get a move on… and the marshalling madness wasn't helped by some university novice coxn's spinning in front of crews heading to the start and one boat is even reported to have clipped the bridge.

As the slug drowned it’s post-race sorrows in the MAABC bar, the general consensus was that it was obviously all Quintin’s fault, as the event had been advertised on their Website. The Met are very anxious to talk to one particularly shady character, known only as ‘Captain Chalky’, who is now apparently top of their Most-Wanted List. Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should perform their Civic Duty, and contact the police, via Ibis boathouse. To help jog the memory, there will be a reconstruction of the whole event for Crimewatch UK. Filming takes place on Sunday 3 February.

Full results are available on the Quintin Web Site

Following Greg Searle’s storming win in the Wingfield sculls final on Thursday afternoon, readers may be interested to find out that Greg’s pre race preparation apparently involved getting completely legless in the Duke’s head on Wednesday night.

Reports of our hero downing “six pints” are as yet unconfirmed, but the Molesey boy was to be seen staggering around the embankment, obviously working on his race plan…

UK readers who have the mental strength required to stay awake while reading Regatta magazine may remember a letter, printed back in March 2000, from one “Tilly Applebottom” lamenting the lack of coverage of her crew’s illustrious success on the regatta circuit. This was followed up by a response from John Shore, pointing out that according to ARA records, no such rower existed, however the profile of her racing success would imply that the individual in question was none other than Avon County member, Penny Senior… and, to make up for the disappointment, the nice people at Regatta printed a photo, in which one couldn't see Ms Senior very well, if at all........

Needless to say, after all the fuss, the slug was greatly amused to receive an e-mail from

Penny, regarding WAGS new Coaching and Development Officer. “Oi, what’s so funny about that” I hear you cry “where’s the connection oh slimey one?

Well, what caught the slug’s beady little eyes, wasn’t the content of the e-mail but the automatic footer that Penny’s set up, recreated here for your enjoyment (and - information)
Penny Senior
Henley Womens Regatta 2000,  
		Lightweight Coxless Fours (gold)
National Championships of Great Britain 2000,
		Womens Lightweight Coxless Fours (gold)
		Womens Lightweight Coxless Pairs (bronze)
Home Countries (representing England)	
		Womens Lightweight Coxless Fours (gold)
		Womens Eights (gold)

The slug, reckons this shameless self promotion could really catch on, so all you winners of senior 4 events at Llandaff - take note

It power-cleans small buildings in a single snatch and it a bird??... is it a plane???...'s....SQUAT MAN!

News has recently surfaced that the Tideway has a new legend, perhaps even a character of mythological status, in the making... this man is known only as Squat Man!

Yes, oh faithful reader, Squat man.. an illusive figure of power and strength, is being spoken of amongst a growing number of females in the rowing world... in whispered tongues they tell stories of his Herculean strength when performing squats, the like of which has never been seen before.

The slug has heard that Squat Man is, allegedly, not the tallest of the rowing legends in Tideway Mythology nor necessarily the strongest overall - for that award surely goes to Geoff Wode Man! (and those in the know will know to whom I refer), however, amongst his devoted followers, the tales of how strong Squat Man's legs actually are, seem to grow each week . Recently The slug even saw a live impersonation offered by one of Squat Man's colleagues of the agonising facial contortions he goes through with each lift... all I can say is that, it was truly amazing .

Legend has it that he puts men's eights on the water without assistance and lifts the coaches out of the water (still in their launches) at the end of each session.

Squat Man ... urban myth or perhaps real... but who really knows the man behind the legend?
So keep an eye on Tideway training and maybe.. just maybe... you'll catch a glimpse.

Another nice tit bit from the Vesta dinner last weekend, which featured a classic Redgrave moment:

After the speeches the Gents was decidedly full when Sir Steve joined the throng, soon afterwards the following comment was overheard "you might have an Olympic gold but you still haven't got a pot to piss in .... "

Many a true word...

The slug was pleasantly surprised (though I must say it wasn't completely unexpected) to learn that the former coxless pair of Kirman and Castle is now a coxed pair.

For Ex-GB oarswomen, Caroline and ex-Marlow/Bedford member, Blaine are expecting the splish-splash of little oars in May. Mother and bump are doing well, and anybody wishing to buy a 75kg Ray Simms scull in excellent condition, should contact the mildly embarrassed couple by e-mail!


The slug has some news from every-one's favourite rowing venue...

as it used to be...You're probably aware that during the recent flooding, the Pond at Holme Pierrepoint became re-united with the River Trent and the river, having found its way over the top car park and down past the score-board, quickly filled up the course to such an extent, that only submarines could enter the totally submerged boathouses.

Now, as if this wasn't enough trauma for the local rowers, the river kindly brought with it a generous helping of silt and other river bourne debris which it proceded to dump in the rowing lanes, indeed it's even rumoured that at least one portacabin is lurking somewhere in the middle of the lake.

But wait faithful reader... for there's more. Yes... just to add insult to injury the river had a sting in its tail, as all that water had to go somewhere and as it went, the thinnest piece of bank next to the slalom course (around the 1000m marker) gave way with the help of a large tree, which pushed the bank and about 40m of road into the lake, so much in fact, that it even formed a little island (perfect for sun bathing).

As a result, a section of the lake is open to the river downstream of the outlet to the canoe slalem channel, so the level of the lake is no longer controlled, and as the river water level drops back to something approaching normality, the lake is emptying. So far, it seems unlikely that the lake level will drop below normal as it's about 4m deep, and the bank doesn't seem to have given way to that depth.

However, one additional side effect of the flooding is that the pond has been contaminated by sewage after a long period of being relatively clean. It is expected to be closed until the New Year at the earliest, but re-opening obviously depends on the weather and ability to repair the damage to the bank and towpath.

As the current fad for trashing VIII's continues, the slug is excited to be able to report that there are now significant holes in both the women's eights at Vesta RC after Sunday's outings!


It would appear that most of LRC were out in coxless boats at the weekend, as both VIIIs (formerly described as "good racing boats") were off, being lovingly tended to at the boat doctors. Curiously enough none of their scullers responded that well to the numerous catcalls of "what, not got any bigger boats then?"

A certain cox was spotted out back in a boat on Sunday, although one has to specualate which of the following were behind the reasoning for putting her in a bow-loading IV:

  1. When a bridge is coming up she can be expected to see it (you would hope)
  2. When something above or just under the waterline is hit, she can be expected to be the first t feel that horrible scraping sensation uder her little cox's toes..
  3. One can't be seen as well in a front loaded IV, and can reasonably be said to be hiding...

Rowing, featuring in Hello magazine without the Rabbit...? Strange, but true..

I almost missed this one, so for thse of you who don't buy society rag mags on a regular basis check out this link for coverage of Ben Hunt-Davis' recent wedding.

The Vesta annual dinner took place on Friday evening and was packed to the gunnels, due in part to the attendance of one Mr Steve Redgrave as guest speaker. The slug was pleased to hear that Mr R's public speaking has improved greatly since his last appearance at Vesta four year's ago, although it wasn't enough to stop one particular club veteran from falling asleep and snoring audibly, during his speech.

Other punters at the dinner, were most upset when Vesta Captain broke the habit of a lifetime and DIDN'T manage to throw up over anyone, however, not wanting to disappoint our readers, the slug can reveal that, by all accounts, after failing miserably to chat up the cox he'd been chasing all night, Mr Baldwin got very, VERY inebriated and was last seen heading towards unconsciousness...

This was, however, after a reported "hands down the old trousers" incident involving one particular female club member, who was later seen being carried out in a comatose state. Both parties are denying any knowledge of the incident - so nothing new there then (bad case of deja-Vu anyone??)

Elsewhere at the dinner, there was a stunning example of how not to chat up women by one of the ex-Vesta boys, who was trying to get off with someone by impressing upon her, that it was a good idea to accept his offer, as he was 'very rich'

Needless to say she wasn't terribly impressed...