06-06-03 PEMBROKE
you've read the story
you've laughed at the pictures
now see the movie


Rumour has it that CUWBC are not head coachless at all, and that after 3 years in the wilderness have decided that they were perhaps a little hasty in firing the the old guard and have er... re employed the services of Rog and Ron (uh, Uh).

So beware, the full force of the cambridge coaching machine is back...

and this time it's serious...............

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04-06-03BLUE-FEST 2004
Putney to Mortlake Ltd, organisers of The Boat Race on behalf of Iffley special school and Fenland Poly, announced yesterday that the 2004 Race, will take place at 6pm on Sunday 28 March. Curiously, not only very late in the day, but also a repeat of this year's Sunday placement....

2004 is the 150th anniversary of The Boat Race which began in 1829.... (um...? ED). Celebrations look set to include a race in specially-commissioned replica 1829 boats on the original Henley course, an exhibition at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley and a souvenir book.

03-06-03 QUOTE OF THE WEEK #1
Picture the scene - a school is being coached on the Thames when a CUBC launch passes by. The school coach, keen to have some outside input, turns to the CUBC launch (which may or may not have contained a rather well known coach), and asks if anyone in the launch has a comment to make on the crew.

With the school's eight at this point, very close to the launch -- back comes the loud reply

"Yes, 3's a spastic - get him out of there"

03-06-03 QUOTE OF THE WEEK #2
Picture the scene - the coach of a top quality men's eight has recently shuffled the seating order. Post outing, the crew members were discussing the differences between their former and new stroke men.

Having all agreed that they were very different, but with neither athlete better or worse than the other, the topic of conversation turned to the fact that their new stroke man has some interesting... 'stroke profile characteristics' .... which take a bit of getting used to.

Or as one of the crew said - "It's a bit like the Village People. Everyone can move to it, but it's just not quite right...!"


a puma... or a bloke in a cat suit
with a cat in his mouth?
you decide
Concerning developments in the Dukes Meadows area where, the slug can reveal, Alien Big Cat (ABC) theorists have been converging, following recent sightings of a large cat like creature near the Thames Tradesmen boathouse.

In what appears to be a similar case to the notorious "Surrey Puma" sightings of the 1960s, rowers have filed reports of hearing terrible howling noises on the river, quite unlike any animal sounds they had ever heard, and there have been several reports of a large feline stalking the car park.

Now known to locals as the "Beast of Barnes" this ABC is not believed to be harmful to humans but we advise all those rowing in the area to remain vigilant and report any further sightings.

02-06-03 BE PREPARED
Sons of the Thames entered their men's S4/S3 eight in Twickenham regatta at the weekend and, after deciding that it would be too complicated to actually load the boat on the trailer and tow it down, decided to "simply" row from Hammersmith to Twickenham RC.

A good plan it would seem, however, although their cox is German she is still a bit blonde and wasn't organised enough to check about the "opening times" at Richmond half lock (which is kind of in the way). So, after a nice row past Chiswick, Kew and the pink house, the crew arrived at the lock in high spirits and then...er.... sat there -- the lock doors remaining resolutely closed.

They tried in vain to raise anybody's attention through shouting, but nothing happened, as the lock keepers had retired inside and weren't responding to their shouts. Eventually the mosquitos started biting and their toothless stroke came up with a cunning plan- let's carry the boat over the rollers by the lock!

They paddled to the other side of the bank and landed the bow between the two lanes for carwheels. Bow Simon hopped out and kept hold of the boat, followed by 2 and 3. Then one after the other, the crew took their blade out and crawled over the seats all the way to the bow of the boat to get out... the ground was incredibly slippery and it felt like iceskating in the summer.

After a while they had mangaed to get the boat on the Richmond side of the lock but weren't quite sure how to get it back in the water.... bow first, stern first, stroke side first or what?

Everyone was lifting, pulling, pushing until seven rowers managed to er.... push the boat against their new French crew member. Alas, he could only shout "I am falling"before there he was, swimming in the Thames!

Luckily, the boat was soon in the water and the soggy frenchman rescued and back in his seat. The crew managing to row past the pubs in Richmond full of pride (and laughter) and they arrived safely (!) at TwRC by 10 pm.

The slug believes their row home was slightly less eventful...


Despite securing both the men and women's head positions, Pembroke did actually manage to continute their run of destruction during last week's summer eights, as their 2nd eight pranged their empacher on Saturday, crunching a couple of feet off the bows... (click on the thumbnail to see enlarged)

Elsewhere on the Isis:

  • Oriel were fined over 200 pounds for having multiple abusive cyclists through the week - including a blue who is meant to be in Italy this year... By all accounts, some rather less than sporting comments were directed at the top Pembroke crews before the very heavy fine and threat of penalty bumping was brought up. The Oriel Dean (and Boat Club Senior Member) was particularly unamused to hear of the fines after warning students that abusive behaviour was not on...

  • With a week to go, Magdalen tried to change the timetable for eights to allow their OULRC president to row on Saturday in their push for 1st division blades. Although the captains said no, the effort seemed rather pointless when they rowed over on the first day...

  • Wadham M1 continued their unbroken run of 17 consecutive row overs...

  • St Annes unluckily missed out on blades with a crew containing the presidents of both OUBC and OUWLRC ...

  • Comedy result of the week goes to St Peters M2 who managed to bump the spoons "winning" Keble M3 twice, yet still finish below them thanks to 2 overbumps... (oh dear)

  • And finally, the lovely weather brought out the usual mix of students on the sauce, old boys and parents, supporting crews, and random tourists wondering what was going on. Notable casualties on a busy towpath included one rather wet umpire (courtesy of a detour into the river, via some nettles) and a nice collection of bruises for one of the Senior Umpires who seems to make a habit of falling off his bike at Eights...

  • 28-05-03 PINK POWER

    Pembroke College Oxford, finally managed to hit something they were supposed to on Wednesday and bumped Oriel men and their shiny white pants, off the head spot at the Oxford summer festival of comedy rowing. With their women also sitting head of the women's first division going into Friday's racing (the first time one club has occupied both spots), things are finally looking up.

    However, the slug can reaveal that the lack of shiny new boats to trash hasn't actually stopped the trail of wanton destruction, as the PCBC president, did apparently manage to crash his car into one belonging to a member of Abingdon RC, while the squad were training from neighbouring Abingdon school boathouse last week...

    Anyway, provided Pembroke can manage not to hit anything else for the rest of the week, they look likely to retain head and thus ensure that Oriel have to cancel their bumps supper (apparently it only goes ahead if they've got either the men or women's headship at end of play on Saturday...)

    Rowing for their supper? you bet.

    "Where have all the women gone?" is a question the slug has started to hear a lot of recently.

    For those of you who are reading this with a quizzical expression on your face, let me explain... the absence of women in this case, refers to those in large-boat sweep events above Senior 2, because this year -- they all appear to have vanished...

    Now, the Senior 3 / S2 bottleneck is a problem for both men and women's rowing and is caused by several factors: recent changes in the ARA points structure; individuals who get into the sport then drop out after a couple of years so never get above S2 - and the fact that you can now regress, but not lower than 4 points, have all combined to push some of the bulge that used to be at S3 up to S2. However, none of this explains the absence of top quality women's crews in VIIIs and IVs this year.

    Metropolitan regatta was a prime example, despite offering a full range of events, there were no Women's VIII or coxed IV events above S2; Peterborough Spring, this weekend, is the same; as was Wallingford.. and so it goes on, Nottingham city had a women's open coxless IV event (with two entries) and Hereford has a women's S1 coxless IV event (with three entries) but neither event had anything higher than S2 in coxed IVs or VIIIs.

    So what's caused the change?

    Well, we suspect that the real culprit, is the points change introduced to club eights and fours for Henley women's this year. With a reduced max of 32 points for an 8 and 16 for a four, this places would-be crews, around the top of S3 / bottom of S2 at the start of the season.

    Ironically, the change was made to make the club events at HWR fairer, and to encourage more crews to enter the open events, but by failing to provide any VIIIs or IVs events for the catchment area between low S2 and elite, what we appear to be seeing, are coaches playing the points game to get crews into the club events, but not biting the open bullet. Hardly surprising, seeing the quality of some of the American crews who come over to race.

    It would be a shame to see Women's Henley have to go through the same cycle the Royal did before settling on a suitable portfolio of events, but it's more tragic to see competent club oarswomen denied an opportunity to race because they have too many points for one event and no chance of winning the other...

    Let us know what you think... slug@twrc.org