The annual Oxford festival of comedy rowing that is summer eights took place last week, for once unaffected by obtuse weather and allowing the full range of student crews their opportunity to shine (or run up the bank) and allowing the slug some fine lettuce to chew on.
Oriel rowed over at head of the men's divisions, holding off a Pembroke crew that was nicely stacked with blues and internationals. A bit of cunning coxing from Pete Hackworth (blue boat cox of "amihotornot" fame) saved their bacon on Friday, when Pembroke had overlap for a couple of strokes, yet again proof that coxing frequently wins races although it usually only gets blamed for losing them. Strangely enough the Oriel captain dropped himself from the boat for Saturday and they rowed 1/4 length clear.
On the women's side, Merton were in tears after there first boat missed blades and the headship, despite having beaten Pembroke at Bedford. (Rumours are that they stiffened the gearing on their blades on Friday night - it was a head wind on Saturday). After the race there was a call for first aid for one of the Pembroke girlies, but it was never clear whether she was really hurt, or just overwrought.
Just to add more misery, Merton 2 also missed blades on Saturday, despite having overlap on the Greenbank.
True to form, the usual carnage was scattered liberally around the lower divisions - mens div 4 being particularly bad. The slug heard the following call come over the tannoy on Saturday:
"Exeter 2 are rowing out of the Gut, and still no klaxon".
Johns 2 were penalty bumped on Wednesday for sitting in the racing line at the start - a decision they are still whinging about and have even managed to get an article in the Cherwell about it. Meanwhile, St Hughs managed to lose their Wednesday bump in div 3 because their cox dropped the bungline as well.
The usual number of bows were knocked off, but particular credit must go to Balliol, who spectacularly managed to run out of women's boats - after all 3 were damaged, the most comical being when they walked their 1st VIII (and last remaining boat) into the wall on the way out of the boathouse, breaking the bows off. The college are now buying them 2 boats each for the men and the women (1 men's boat was pronounced unsafe, and another had to have a new bowball fitted on the raft before boating on Saturday) so they'll live to crash again.
A trip along the towpath turned up some controversy over carding (all crews are supposed have bod cards in the boat, or they are liable to be technically bumped). Pembroke women's 1sts were technically bumped (declined by Catz, very sportingly the slug feels) as one of them didn't have any ID. A coach did manage to rush a mounted picture of the previous year's crew as ID for the offending oarswoman to the race desk, but after the start.
And finally - the ex-secretary was last seen sitting in the lap of the Captain of Coxes. What some people will do for an upgrade to senior status!
Pictures from the racing and getting on races are available for your perusal and purchase, on the JET photographic site
Not humourous and not for the faint hearted - the slug was horrified to hear of what can only be every trailer driver's nightmare.
As Graham Lloyd towed the Quintin trailer back from Aiguebelette last week (laden down with a load of brand new sparkling empachers), he spotted someone acting suspiciously on one of the motorway bridges. Worried that the person he could see was about to drop a brick on him, Mr L tried to work out what was going on when the person disappeared from view.
He did throw something off the bridge, but it wasn't a brick - it was himself - in a suicide attempt. Luckily for Mr Lloyd, who was towing in his landrover with the sunroof open, the successful suicide victim hit the back of the cab, missing Graham but leaving a large dent in the roof before bouncing off onto the trailer breaking the ends of a couple of the boats and then disappearing under the wheels.
To his great credit Graham stayed in control and the trailer stayed upright. A welcome rainstorm helped to remove the remaining evidence of the accident during the rest of the trip home, though the slug heard from one QBC member who said a few red streaks were still visible when the boats got back to the clubhouse.
|DON'T MESS WITH THE MASTER
The start of regatta season slime has started to come through with the slug's little twitchy feelers picking up reports of some of the boys in blue upsetting one Mr Chas Newans with a touch of suitably blue language at Putney town regatta last weekend.
The cause of their annoyance was the fact that they happened to run into his boat which had been carefully moored at the finish by Putney pier but the slug would venture that telling the venerable Master of the Waterman that he'd put his boat in the wrong place (in rather more colourful langauge) could be taken as a bit of a CLM (career limiting move)
The slug awaits news of snotty letters and slapped wrists in the near future.
|TIME OF LIFE?
The slug is getting concerned about the recent antics of a certain blue eyed scotsman, believed to frequent the Henley reach, as his behaviour would suggest he is passing through a er... "stage". For not only has Mr Haining developed a strange unpleasant growth on his face (which may be a fashion statement of the kind frequently sported by military dictators though the slug has a horrible feeling it's actually extended nose hair ) but, much worse that that, we have confirmation that he recently turned to the dark side - going for an outing in a K2 canoe with Marcus de Grammont
Possible midlife crisis? or simply a case of taking the UTRC song too much to heart..?
|WET 'N' BUMPY
Incase you were wondering what had happened to the blonde haired ego guy of many past slug articles, we can reveal that Dickie Hardman has now moved into the realms of coaching and after a bumpy start under the shrewd eye of A.Hawes, is now heading up the Thames RC Intermediate men.
On his first outing with them, everything seemed to be going swimmingly... And then it did actually go swimmingly!! Jonte (aka the LRC captain) and a fellow LRC elite super god rower decided to undertake the 4- and nip in the inside, then, before you know it... a bank loomed in the distance and LRC decided to push past. Jonte's 2-'s partner somehow managed to clip his blade on the 4-'s bow blade. What followed seemed to be in slow motion... The 2-'s bowman fell off his seat and then plummeted arse over tit, head first into the river Thames.
Moments later on resurfacing (covered in weed and slime) he bleated:
'we were doing feet out you stupid f*****s'.
Somewhat cold (or embarrassed) they scuttled away, probably wondering why they had decided to undertake, or more likely just why the steersman in a 2- had decided to do feet out.
Must have seemed a good idea at the time...
|CARRY ON CAMPING
Before the boys in red, White and black set off for a spot of training in lovely France, all were encouraged (by an expert in Organic Chemistry... particularly Amyls) to find out who had the potential to be "Campest on Camp" (see link)... www.channel4.com/gayometer
In the mails flying around, before leaving for warmer climes, various percentages "came out" - some rather high. Mr Forty Percent, for instance, even admitted to pulling like a woman, having a large arse, dancing like a girl, a lack of alcohol tolerance, a fondness for chocolate and ice-cream, empathising with Bridget Jones and having read "Sophie's World"!
This was not half as worrying, however, as Swampie (he's only 17, and that's his age - not percentage) turning up for a morning outing with "GIMP" written in black marker pen dangerously high up the back of his left thigh. So high in fact, you could almost say it was on his arse. No-one is sure of Swampie's number but his roomie No1 was Mr TwentySixPercent (according to the Organic Chemistry expert) and roomie No2 (numer unknown) had an interesting angle on "preferance" at breakfast.
Perhaps that had something to do with it?
|A BUMPY RIDE ON THE ISIS
The Summer boat demolition projects that are known as bumps got off to an early start on the Isis this year with the rescheduled (yet again) Oxford City Bumps.
While chewing on a particularly tasty bit of hedge along the riverbank, the Slug's little twitchy feelers picked up some interesting results...
Setting an early benchmark for the rest of the event, City of Oxford RC men successfully mounted Merton's first boat in the first race of the day, resulting in a damaged Merton rudder, and lots of Duck Tape for the City boys (who were apparently penalised for over-aggressive steering). Merton then successfully bumped the bank in the second race, watching most of the division row past.
The "Bump" of the day belonged to Linacre women, another crew who appeared to be trying to take an overland shortcut, but in the nick of time the plucky girls managed to avoid further carnage... by knocking the end of the bows off their boat.
University College had the most eventful final race, however. Having bumped up to head in the first 3 races, the City boys bumped them with a very impressive start.... but unfortunately the Judges didn't seem to notice City going round and then parking in front of Univ, removing the poor college boys' rudder in the process - leaving Univ to watch the rest of the division swerve round and past them as they tried to get away from the bank and the City boat.
The City girls, meanwhile, sat at head watching Osler-Green and Merton trade bumps behind them, with Merton 2 passing Merton 1 and Osler in the final race of the day.
James Cracknell fans may like to know that today's Daily Telegraph (friday 19th) has an article about young Crackers getting in the ring with boxer Audley Harrison.
The text of the article is available on the Telegraph website but you'll have to buy the paper version if you want to see Mr C topless and gloved up.
|TOP TATLER TOTTY
As is usual at this time of year, May's edition of Tatler magazine is accompanied by a Vevue Clicquot sponsored mini-magazine on the season (i.e. those quintessential English events where one can don a posh frock and spend all day getting ratted on Champoo).
As well as allowing a girl to plan her social whirl over the summer months, this year's version has the added bonus of featuring a picture of those lovely boys from the GB coxless four, prostituting their flesh in the pursuit of sponsorship - all moody looks and far too much hair product.
(click on the accompanying picture to see full size in a new window)
In case you can't read it, the blurb accompanying the article says:
"The members of the new coxless four representing the UK have the (enviable?) task of consuming at least 6000 calories a day to maintain their heavyweight status. Ed, Rick, Toby and Steve came into the limelight when they won silver in the World cup regatta in Seville, followed by Gold at the World Championships in Lucerne in September.
Currently seeking a major sponsor, they went to the trouble of having special T-shirts made for the Tatler photo shoot with 'Sponsor?' written across their chests. But we preferred them with their kit off."