ROMANTIC RESI IN LONDON LOVE-IN
Readers of the slug may be amused to hear that London RC's newest foreign Resi has already got a couple of admirers along the embankment, indeed we know of at least one each, from Thames and IC.

One of the said club members, was discovered after heading in the wrong direction down Resi Avenue and ending up in the wrong room wrapped only in a duvet. Maybe it was the alcohol or maybe it was the blinding light from the newly painted walls down Resi Way.

So yet another Tideway woman has fallen to the charms of the LRC residents or residency (it's the pants on the radiators that do it for me - ed), though I'm not sure which is more appealing or appalling...


LOCK IN AT IC?
It has come to the slug's attention that a certain young lady from Thames RC has just bought a lovely shiny new boat, and being annoyed with the powers that be, at TRC, who refused her a decent rack, she decided it would only be proper to jump ship and head next door to rack up with St Billy at the Cherry Wood and Carpets Soft lighting and Piped Music, heated lockers in the changing rooms (to dry out kit)- state of the art Trusthouse Forte IC/QT boathouse.

After numerous attemtps, pleading with Billy/Stuart to help her find a rack, with little success and lots of broken promises... she decided to go find one herself. So in our intrepid heroine went, brandishing her swipe card before her.

Through the first door then the next and finally managed to unset the alarm. Contented with her progress she moved on to accomplish the next part of the mission, and found herself a possible rack.

On her return to the exit door, she suddenly realised it had shut and ... oh dear...there's no inside door handle, yes, she was locked in, for she didn't have a key to the boat bays and other exits were locked.

After days and days of no food or water (actually about 10 minutes) she chanced upon a little window which she managed to open. Yet, although this young lady is tall, she could not manage to see out of it and instead decided to shout.

"Help, Help somebody help me, I'm locked in," came her crys .

After a while a young prince charming (jogger) heard this damsel in distress and enquired at the talking window.

"Waaaaaasup", he eloquently said

"I am locked in and can't get out. Perhaps if I throw you my swipe card" (a wise move as her hair is long - but not that long) "you could let yourself in and me out!"

And so they lived happily ever after (actually he jogged away barely able to control a wry smirk).

And the Moral of the story is?... answers on an ecard to the usual address please.


RED 'N' BLACK 'N' DONE ALL OVER
A lot of clubs had their annual Christmas parties last weekend, and Vesta RC were no exception, hosting their bash on saturday. There was, of course, lots of: drink; drunk, tongue wrestling; and some wicked tunes courtesy of DJ 'Dave the Dane'.

The slug has it on good authority that only one Vesta boy was observed to be 'shagnapped' though we can report that he was duly 'bonkbusted'.

Apparently entering phase 2 of his post relationship recovery!?!


BOATS ON THE LAWN?
One of the after effects of the last 2 months of rain in the UK, which continue to make most of the rivers in the south unrowable, is the influx of "foreign" crews appearing on the Tideway, some with prior approval and some without.

This has led to a few strops by the resident clubs, suddenly inundated by large numbers of people they've never laid eyes on before, cluttering up the place - not so much tanks on the lawn as boats on the lawn - indeed, the slug counted about 42 at Quintin at the weekend where a plague of Weybridge types has been irritating the locals, who can be heard tut-tutting in the bar at weekends...

The other problems with non-tideway types is that they rarely know the complex navigation rules and where on river they should position themesleves, though of course, this isn't being helped by the current water conditions either. For, although the tide may turn down at Putney, it keeps running out up at Kew - this produces an interesting result at Hammersmith, where crews coming from Putney on the "incoming tide" meet crews coming from Chiswick on the "outgoing stream"...er ... bang in the middle of the river.

To add to the confusion rumours are rife that the PLA has dictated that while the stream on the Thames keeps running out "like a complete bastard" we should forget that the tide ever turns and just assume that it's ALWAYS going out i.e. ride the fast lane down to Putney, then take the slow route back.

"Seems like a sensible idea Slug" I hear you cry... "what's the problem?"

Well, the main problem is that we can't find any written evidence that this IS what the PLA is advocating, No notice to Mariners, nothing on their website and nothing sent to any of the tideway clubs. Of course, even if they do state it publically there's no way of enforcing it. So in the meantime, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed that no serious incidents occur and pray that someone pulls the plug out soon.

On a similar note this week's "stupid prat" award, has to go to the Walbrook coach who took 2 quads and a IV into the valley of death and through Richmond bridge on Saturday morning - in conditions that would make a seasoned mariner blanche... to add to the insanity they easied upstream of the bridge and one of the coaches stood up in the lauch, at this point the slug sighed and walked away.

Just don't do it.


NOTTINGHAM UPDATE..
If you didn't catch the pictures of Holme Pierrepoint under flood then check out this link, although the slug warns that those of a sensitive nature (ie anyone who had a boat racked in the boathouse) may find the pictures emotionally disturbing...

Talking to the locals, it appears that there is a great deal of debate around just whom exactly, is going to pay for the flood damage repairs and it's still unclear how much will be completed before the 2001 regatta season... The slug has even heard sums of 250K being mentioned.

Ouch...


THE FINGER OF BLAME..
The slug can now shed some more light on the fate of the Boatrace post.. for it appears that the damage was done during the Oxford trial race last week.

Yes....we have it on good authority that one of the umpiring launches, which was following the race, had a bit of a disagreement with the post, bumping into it as it tried to turn around... and proceeding to knock said post over.

Alas the post came off worse and was last seen heading out of town, to cheers from the watching crews...

Curoiusly, the entry made,in the log book, by the Zephyr's captain that day was that 'The Boat Race finish post was dismantled for repainting', well I suppose that's one way of putting it.


WET WHEELS
Those of you who noted this fine picture in the Times yesterday, may well have spared a fleeting thought for the owner of the slightly soggy MG in the foreground

Obviously a car belonging to a non-rower, someone who is unfamiliar with the tidal Thames and its daily movements... er, well... not quite.

For the slug has been told that the car belongs to none other than one Mr Stallard

oops.


STUMPED?
the slug was out coxing (hard to believe but true) on Saturday morning.. and after an hour or so of negotiating the perils of the Tideway, we headed back to the safety of Quintin but nearly came a cropper on a charred stump of wood downstream of Chiswick bridge...

"oh slug.. what charred stump of wood would that be then?" I hear you cry... well, it didn't use to be a charred stump of wood, it's used to be a tall proud wooden post painted in dark and light blue stripes..

er yes..

so if anyone knows what happened to the Oxford and Cambridge boatrace post can you let me know.. please.(slug@twrc.org)


UNENFORCEABLE PLA BYELAWS no 1.
Taken from PORT OF LONDON RIVER BYELAWS 1978
PART IX MISCELLANEOUS

Disorderly behaviour

56. No person shall in or beside the Thames or while using the Thames or its banks or towpaths or the Richmond works -

(a) be intoxicated;

(b) behave in a riotous or disorderly manner;

(c) cause any unreasonable noise.

ummmm..... that'll be the boatrace cancelled this year then..?


JUST DO IT.
Up until recently the role of Regional Coaching Development Officer for the North East was fulfilled by Adi Dolo, who was based oop North in Durham. However, Adi has now moved to Bath in her new capacity as Coaching Development Officer for Wessex and the surrounding environs..

Nothing odd in that... however, after her move down south on the orders of our beloved governing body, Ms Dolo was instructed that she was to continue to keep an eye on any Project Oarsome clubs in her old region. Now it's not exactly easy to flit between Bath and Durham, especially with the wonderful state of the UK rail network at the moment, and the ARA aren't quite willing to stretch to putting on private jets for its employees. So it won't surprise you to know that, not unreasonably in the eyes of the slug - ( Adi contacted Alan Meegan (ARA National Coaching Development Manager) and suggested that, as the resultant mileage was going to be a bit on the high side, she didn't feel this was a cost effective arrangement and it made very little sense for her to continue to monitor the Project Oarsome clubs in the North East.

So did the great and the good at the ARA listen to the argument, see the logic behind it and get someone else to do it...?

er no...

What actually happened is that Adi received, not only a verbal warning from Alan Meegan, but also a written warning from Rosemary Napp (the National Manager of the ARA) regarding her future behaviour... and all for refusing to tow the party line and do what she was told

Isn't it reassuring to see that the Hammersmith Mafia are doing such a sterling job...


MINE'S AN ORANGE JUICE MAN...
The slug was most amused to read that the Yale men's heavyweight crew have obviously decided to align themselves more closely with their UK counterparts at Oxford and Cambridge.

Alas, this convergence of style isn't anything to do with rowing technique, rather it involves "off water" activities, namely that standard of all UK university crews - Drinking.

Indeed getting "off one's tree" and being taken to hospital to have one's stomach pumped is the topic of many conversations amongst the student rowing fraternity, I even remember the Cambridge lightweights (men of course), discussing with pride how they had "recycled the beer they'd drunk" after some b*stard stopped serving them and shut the bar... (eugh)

However, the higher drinking age in the US combined with the nanny state attitude in Connecticut , means that Yale has a strict zero tolerence of underage drinking, as a result the whole squad has been banned from using Varsity facilities.

This may seem incredible to UK students where alcohol is very much a way of life, I mean it's not like they trashed a restaurant or anything... (cough, cough) but is all too real for the Yalies involved.


SAILING AWAY
It would seem that the recent move by Sons of the Thames Rowing Club into the premises of the London Corinthians Yacht Club has added extra spice to the hazards of bar talk. Not only have the number of club drinking nights been doubled, but the scope for regrets the morning after has taken on a new dimension.

Keen to integrate with their new club mates, some of the Sons members have 'rediscovered' their sailing prowess - at least in the bar. As a result this weekend (racing on the Tideway for the West London Hospitals Cup) will see the first Sons/Corinthians joint venture, with a combined crew racing a club Enterprise. From the Corinthians camp will be a former winner of this event, and transatlantic yachtsman, from the Sons camp a rower who has not sailed a dinghy since leaving school more years ago than she cares to admit.

The Corinthians helmsman has a ready made excuse for failing to defend his title (since when have oarsmen been known for their co-ordination, dexterity or navigational skills?). Meanwhile the Sons member faces the prospect of spending a cold, wet and windy weekend cooped up in a small boat on one of the most unsuitable stretches of sailing water in the UK.

... but there is one bright spot. It is a little known navigational rule that sailing boats (classed as 'unpowered' vessels) have right of way over rowing boats (who are of course 'powered' vessels). The prospective chaos this weekend at Hammersmith (sailing races start at 10.30 Sat, 11.30 Sun) should provide plenty of entertainment ...


DON'T GO THERE
A small trashing incident that the slug almost missed has come to light.. a situation which would have been particularly remiss of me, as it happened on the slug's home stretch - the raging torrents between Teddington and Richmond.

It seems that about 3 weeks ago, with a red flag flying and with all sensible Twickenham types saefty down on the Tideway an VIII and a IV belonging to the boys in black of Molesey RC left the safe waters of the lower Thames and entered the valley of death, upstream of Richmond lock... all was fine and dandy until they tried to get through Richomnd bridge for the eddies off the back of the bridge has a different idea and swung the end of of VIII round and smacked it into the buttress, leaving a nice little hole.

So did our intrepid heros return to safety downstream??... er no, rather they headed towards Twickenham Rowing club, in the quest for Speed tape. Now, for those of you who don't know, our little clubhouse is on an island in the middle of the river, and this means that whatever the speed of the water elsewhere on the stretch, it's about twice as fast beside the club.. which makes landing and boating "interesting" at the best of times.

After successfully landing and taping up the damage the VIII then got a nasty shock when they tried to leave and nearly came a cropper on the moored boats, until the cox realised, in a stroke of genius, that getting bowside to paddle on FIRM PRESSURE might help..


A MATCH MADE IN HAMMERSMITH
The blades of Sons and Funeral Scullers were out in force on Saturday for the only rowing wedding this year not to make it into HELLO! or OK!.. though Regatta apparently are considering filling up their blank flooded-out pages with a four page spread...

Alice and Mark tied the knot in Worcester Chapel, Oxford, (long term readers of the slug may remember them from the "second lampost on Hammersmith Bridge" proposal tale earlier this year) without too many tears, and proceeded to drink champagne all night. The slug sends its slimy congrats to the both of them. Any more contributions to their wedding list (a pair/double) might stop them sinking through a half-completed hull!

The most interesting facet of their relationship, however, was revealed in the evening speeches, as provided by the "best girl" in red, black and white...

Apparently after a number of trips to talk down the great white telephone, the morning after the Furnivall Dinner in November, Mark was seen remedying his hangover with .... not an asprin.. not alcaselzter... not even berocca and a bacon sarnie... no.... Alice's bottom. For apparently stroking such a fine derriere (clothed, dont worry) has a miraculous effect on headaches and nausea. Mark felt much better after five minutes with his wife's rear.

as they say, in sickness and in health.


THE FUTURE OF SONS
It is reassuring for the Slug to hear that the next generation of Sons of the Thames members have been unaffected by any civilising forces, resulting from the club's recent move down the road to Linden House, home of the London Corinthian Sailing Club at Hammersmith.

This past weekend, one son of a Son, aged 3, was taken on his first skiing holiday, by his oh so generous parents. And how did he reward this generosity? Within minutes of arriving at their chalet, he picked up the family camera and took a photo of his Father's bum while he was having a p*ss.

Nice to see that he got into the spirit of a skiing holiday so quickly, and that the future of Sons is in safe hands.