24-07-03 I'LL BE BACK
More reports of swimming... though this time at Nat Champs, when Reading RC sculler Vlasta Jamnicky managed to fall in just behind the umpires tower, on her way to the start and in full view of the crowds at the finish.

As the rescue launch failed to spot her despite the umpires at the lauch pontoons shouting and waving, the poor thing had to swim the boat back to the pontoon. She then drainined the boat with some assitance from her coach and the umpires, and raced up to the start in time for her heat, but did not have time to get the water out of one of her blades.

She limped through her round but had to race at a reduced rate (about 20) because the blade was so heavy and the headwind was 12 mph, all this and it was only her third race in a single having started sculling 12 months ago.

However, her perseverence paid off the following day, when she stayed up and got a bronze medal in the womens heavyweight singles.

18-07-03 MOLESEY ON IN...
There were a few "wettings" at Molesey regatta this year, as is traditional at the event, with it's bendy course, attacking buoys and tendancy towards wind, but this year's swimming prize surely has to go to one Mr Julian Potts of the Tideway Swimming School, who, whilst in his burst for the line, overturned his single - right in front of the grandstand and about 3 strokes from the finish.

not rowed out - I think they call it.

18-07-03 RAND'A'BOUT
Curiouser and curiouser... as things are on the move at Upper Thames following their AGM on Wednesday night. For Syd Rand's narrow victory over Ed Gray in the battle for Captaincy, hearalds a change of priority and quite likely, a change of head coach at the scout hut on the Henley reach...

Syd is one of the 'old guard' - and, rumour has it, is something of a "WHOOOOOA!!" to the charging forth of UTRC in recent years. All the invasions of juniors and their parents and their boat-smashing, the political-correctness gone mad - well, the general consenus is that Syd will have none of that. And so, there will be something of a halt called to them invading the club, and that is clearly what the club wants (or it wouldn't have been voted for).

Interestingly - it was found at the meeting that junior members, family members and other peripheral members were NOT eligible to vote under the current constitution. Well - they pay less for the same club priveliges of equipment etc, but they do NOT qualify for the privelige of voting.

This caused much upset (especially for Ed Gray's girlfriend, who is a 'student member', and found herself unable to vote for him! Fair really, when she's not really a student!). And so the vote was for full members only - and they wanted Syd.

The slug is now watching with interest to see which of those applying for the role of head coach gets it, as Mr Rand is one of them, and it remains to be seen if, after wednesday's result, the blue eyed Scotsman even bothers to re-apply...

Syd wants rowing success for the club, and he generally gets what he wants (his success a Leander has been awesome).

Here comes the new dawn for Upper Thames?

Picture the scene, Friday at Henley and the mighty Thames Tradesmoan are up against the power of London A in a heat of the Thames Cup.

While the crews got ready to fight it out on the water, a discussion ensued in the following umpires launch, as LRC coach, Gonzo asserted that Germany was the only country in the EU to have national service.

He was then roundly disabused of this position, as the captain of Tradesmoan (and chief conductor of the national orchestra of Mongolia) then said "but hang on, don't Greece have national service?", followed swiftly by Bill "the legend" Mason adding "yeah, and what about Croatia and Slovenia", followed by Fred the Pole saying " and what about France?"....

To which Gonzo replied "um yes... but I meant civilised European countries..."

Much amusement at Tideway Scrubbers recently, when coach Phil Rowley managed to sink his launch in the TSS shallows.

Witnesses report that the incident occured when Mr Rowley tried to lift a car tyre out of the water, but due to the weight of both tyres (his own spare included) he overbalanced and did a 2.5 double twist into the murky Thames. (degree of difficulty 3.75)

On trying to regain his previous position of being on the water rather than in it, the launch tipped over, leaving him sitting up to his waist in the boat in water, but luckily, as befits the safety adviser for any club, he was wearing a lifejacket - which undoubtedly saved his life, if not his pride.

As a crowd quickly gathered on the bank to witness the spectacle, people started throwing things to him to ease the situation -- but the bricks didn't float...

Reports suggest that an anonymous photographer did happen to have his camera handy and recorded 'slowley' going down for the first time in his life, but the slug has yet to see the evidence...

25-06-03 PURR PURR?
After taping some very scarey leopard beany-babies on their eights at Twickenham regatta to 'terrify' the opposition -- and it certainly seemed to put Twickenham off their stride-- the slug can reveal that the Tradesmen boys appear to be continuing the trend with their Henley attire (and i'm not talking about the stripey trousers, even though they're much more frightening).

For, despite rumours that their local big Cat sanctuary has moved upstream, the legend of the Beast of Barnes seems set to endure...

Those argumentative orangemen of the Lower Tideway, Lea Rowing Club, failed to distinguish themselves recently at Docklands, when an incontinent member of one crew stood up in the boat and pissed over the side en route to the Start.

The slug had previously thought this sort of thing was the exclusive province of our senior universities (Cambridge at Notts City this year) and, of course, Thames rowing club, but Lea are never to be underestimated.

A stiff onshore wind was blowing at the time, so our hero had to face the spectators. But the cold took its toll and they were treated to a spectacle that was as disappointing as it was unedifying.

Save it for a warmer day, boys?

The slug headed up to the banks of the Cam on saturday to watch some comedy rowing Cambridge styl-ie.

No major crunches were evident, though we did see one coxn get smacked round the back of the head, in the gut after the bow girl in her crew caught a monster crab, and rather than get the crew to move to the side (out of the path of the rapidly approaching crew behind), she merely raised her arm and stopped in the middle...

The warm weather and civilised atmosphere of bumps, failed to reflect the pre bumps tension that came to a head on Monday when the police were called to sort out a small disturbance outside the Fort St George pub.

The problem appears to have arisen from crews practicing "bung starts" from outside their college boathouses (never happened in my day), the resultant wash, pissing off one particular houseboat owner moored nearby.

Add the mild mannered Andy Silk to the equation and you can guess the rest... though if you want more details they are available on the CUCBC message board (er, unless you have an oxford IP address...)

though as an add on, rumour has it that convey made his decision based on a rumour that if the barge owners concerns weren't addressed then there might be qute a few barges in the way of the mays races...

Docklands regatta enjoyed pleasant weather and good conditions at the weekend, until the winds finally picked up around 2:30pm on Sunday and racing was cancelled. Fortunately, the organisers had enough foresight to schedule as many finals as possible in the morning, and those crews who hadn't raced, were offered their entry fees back.

The last race of the day on the stake boats, missed their chance to race, as winds gusting up to force 6 made it impossible for the crews to get straight and stay straight. The race was aborted as an inexperienced vesta men's four, started to take on water, and the crew were rescued by the safety launch.

An unfortunate end to an otherwise good regatta, which was enjoyed by rowers and locals alike, especially the enterprising individuals who worked out that if they put on orange bibs and hung around the course entrance, they could charge rowers 10 for 'parking'. This they managed to do for a couple of hours before someone noticed and chased them away, but they probably managed to scarper with a couple of hundred pounds.

Elsewhere, a lesson to those on bikes to be careful where they lock them up, as despite making pleas for the owner to come forward, Thames headed back to their club with an unexpected addition to their trailer. The unfortunate owner was later located and informed he needed to go to Putney with the key, if he wanted his bike back...


Picture the scene... it's late saturday morning on a quiet stretch of the river Thames. The river is high and calm and the sun is shining, as a women's pair starts on its second outing of the day. After warming up, the crew (manned exclusively by blondes) are doing an exercise which requires great concentration, especially by the burd at bow who is trying to follow stroke's every move, steer and call changes on the minute, from the watch tucked into her shoe -- and all this with a hangover.

Everything is going well... the boat is flying, the timing is perfect and stroke is waiting for the next call, but when it comes, rather than the expected "next stroke, firm".. turns out to be an "OH F*CK...!!!" followed by a judder and the sudden appearance of rather a lot of leaves.

Finding themselves in the middle of a tree with no-one else to be seen, the pair attempt to back off - pushing the branches and backing furiously but nothing is moving...

Further investgation shows that they are in fact wedged firmly into the V of a branch. In fits of laughter by this time, the two debate what their options are and quickly come to the conclusion that it is going to involve getting wet.

Bow taking full responsibility, insists that she'll go first and carefully lowers one leg over the side (after all they're not far from the bank) but alas, there's no sign of the river bed. Judging that the boat is firmly held by the tree and isn't going anywhere she then abandons ship, leaving stroke sitting high and dry... pushes the boat off and wades, waist high in water to the side still laughing.

Stroke, who can't quite believe her luck, remains totally dry until they get to shore and a passing dog, which has been swimming in the river, comes over to say hello and shakes itself dry right next to her.

With the sun shining, bow gets back in and they continue their outing without further event, returning to the club after an hour.... where no-body noticed that bow's kit was still, er... 'slightly damp'.