12-09-03 MAASHED...
A tale of woe and warning, after Mortlake's menís novice squad managed to rearrange the bows of one of their eights whilst on the way to Cambridge regatta.

Although the boat was sectional they had decided not to split it -- and all was fine... until an encounter with a road sign. Rumour even has it that their coach was driving (errr... not that I'm one to spread rumours) , though luckily their trip was not in vain as the nice people from Weybridge lent them an 8 for the race.

Click on thumbnail to see enlarged image (not recommended for those of a nervous dispositon or anyone responsible for organising club insurance)

With a record entry of 7866 seats this yearís FISA Masters in Vichy, was always going to be present a real test of French organisational and logistical skills. Fitting in all these entries, with a 7 lane course, necessitated starts scheduled for 7:20 am, but with sunrise scheduled for 7:15 am this would be fine -- provided it was sunny Ö

Picture the scene -- it's 6:30 am (530 am UK time) on a very dark and wet Friday morning, as a bunch of bleary-eyed rowers turn up for the first events; Menís C 8s and Womenís C-H 4-. The bats are flying, the cockerels are crowing, and no-one can find their boats in the vast boat park that the sheer size of the regatta has required. As dawn looms it is finally possible to locate the tent giving out lane numbers - but not possible to read the sheets allocating the highly complicated (but very effective in daylight) numbering system.

Menís 8s are soon shooting off from the landing stage into the gloom, followed by some rather apprehensive looking womenís coxless fours, but all is well and the regatta starts immaculately on time. Indeed the whole regatta runs with remarkable smoothness and efficiency, all credit to FISA here but also showing perhaps why France feel they have the edge on us in terms of hosting the 2012 Olympics. The hospitality even extends to the charming Captain of Vichy rowing club (whose club has provided 50 volunteers to help with running the event) providing two gazebos for the traditional Ďclosing Ďof the regatta on Sunday afternoon by the Irish/Scottish/Sons of the Thames contingent, this year held by the course bar in a downpour.

With the regatta safely over, thoughts that afternoon turn to next year - when it is set to take place in Hamburg. The event is felt to be in danger of being a victim of its own success - as it is simply too big now, for the original numbers of days allocated. Given that Hamburg has only 6 lanes, night rowing and lights are deemed to be essential unless some changes are made poste haste.

With no scullers present amongst the group, it was duely noted that sculling events take up a disproportionate amount of time for the number of competitors (there were 18 heats in Menís Vet C singles). So perhaps all sculling events could perhaps be run at 6am? And/or scullers should not be allowed to enter any age groups under their own one.... Or sculling could simply be deemed to be outwith the spirit of FISA Masters, and they could go and have their own competition somewhere elseÖ

Anti-sculling propaganda aside, it seems pretty clear that the regatta should recognise its success, and seek to follow the recent examples of Henley Womenís and Veterans Regattas by extending to last another day.

08-09-03 TRASHATHON 2003
As we stress the need to be properly lit as we head into winter, news comes from The Down Under Slug that the habit does not appear to have caught on at the ancestral home of 'The Impaler'.

Indeed, those fine gentlemen of the University have managed to damage at least four boats in the last three weeks, (two of them eights that need a small visit to Mr Sykes, the 'boat doctor' in Geelong). Two of these accidents have even been described as 'blue on blue' incidents. Whoops!

As of last week, when Down Under Slug was chatting the Melbourne boys about their eight 'humping' the stern deck of a double from his club, no one had yet been brave enough to send an email detailing the carnage to either the President (collecting a medal from FISA) or the Head Coach (off coaching the world champ 2-).

Hopefully commonsense will soon prevail, as the crew training for the Head of the Charles are quickly running out of eights to row (into things). Until then Down Under Slug hopes this will serve to highlight the dangers of rowing in the dark to his English cousins.

05-09-03 ARRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!!!
The latest threat to calm Tideway waters was revealed by its manufacturers on Wednesday. For those of you that missed it, what can only be described as "horrific" from the perspective of a fragile rowing shell, is described at


As the article states: "The Thames is a perfect location to make use of this vehicle as it has no speed limit and is greatly under-utilised ", (cough... cough...) The slug asked the PLA for their view, and received the following reply...

"Thank you for your enquiry about the amphibious car that is getting some media coverage, including the BBC website. I have responded to a number of media enquiries about this craft. I have made the following comments and observations to those journalists:

  1. All craft must proceed at a sensible and safe speed on the tidal Thames. There is a speed limit of 8 knots in the following places:
    * above Wandsworth bridge
    * in all creeks
    * off Southend (in the inshore area)
    * off Shellhaven and Coryton

  2. Even at 8 knots craft can create an unacceptable amount of wash and may need to reduce speed further in the vicinity of piers, other craft or river works.

  3. Although there is no specific speed limit below Wandsworth Bridge, safe speed depends upon the local area conditions. Speed should be determined cautiously so there is no risk of injury to persons or damage to property.

  4. Put simply, speed must be appropriate for the conditions prevailing and the safety of others.

  5. Any specific view on the vehicle concerned would be based on experience of it in use and on how any driver of the vehicle on the river conducted himself

  6. Rule 6 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (which apply on the tidal Thames and which have international application) state:

    "Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions."

    In determining a safe speed the following factors are among those taken into account:
    (i) the state of visibility
    (ii) traffic density
    (iii) the manoeuvrability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;
    (iv) the state of wind and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards;

so now you know...

27-08-03 WEEDY AND WET
Picture the scene... August Bank Holiday Monday at Ross-on- Wye Regatta, where a Twickenham mixed double, (starring Scary Kate and Jamie W-A in a borrowed AK boat) have lined up to race on the weed infested river...

yes you've guessed it .... in approximately 4ft of water, all of 10 metres from the start -- the TwRC crew felt the need to examine the bottom of the river.

Their wetting was soon followed by the panicked cries of scary K yelling frantically "jamie I can't get my feet out of my shoes"...." errr oh actually I can stand up"

...and in the best TwRC tradition they duly finished the race, adorned in weed,to the rapturous applause of their watching TwRC and AK supporters.


25-08-03 CLUB HOPPING (Updated 16th September 2003)
As the rowing season seems to start earlier each year, we give you a timely guide for those considering heading to pastures new for next season. Whether you're looking for a better coach, a different level of training intensity or just a change of scenary, there's bound to be one club in the London area that can meet your needs.

Details are provided by the clubs themselves, to get your club added or any details updated -- mail us at slug@twrc.org

There will be a club open evening starting at 7:30pm at the club on Thursday 18th Sept -- for all new prospective and existing members to learn more about our plans for next year and what is happening at the club.
Richard Tinkler is still Head Coach managing the combined Mens and Womens Squads - assisted by others including Ian Roots. Beginners should contact Nina Padwick at nina@mortlake.net
Week commencing Sat 20th Sept all newcomers (experienced oarsmen and women) are welcome to come an join in with training (normally 7am starts on Sat and Sunday, land training at club from 5.30-8 - staggered start times Mon-Thurs).

Club telephone: 020 8994 1628

Website www.mortlake.net (click on Rowing with us > squads and training for more info)

Men's Squad: There will be a meeting on Tuesday 16th September at 7.30pm at AK, to meet up with the coaches and to talk about plans for the coming season etc.

Women's Squad: will reconvene at 10am on Saturday 13th September. There will be a squad meeting, followed by an outing.

Alex DiLuzio takes charge of the men's squad having looked after the sculling group last year.

Martin Gill, who coached two Henley Women's semi-final crews in his first year, continues as women's head coach.

In addition, there will be another 2-3 coaches per squad, and AK will be appointing a guest coach to come in and oversee the top end of the squads every 2-3 weeks, tbc.

Beginner's Group will be run by Stephen Aitken, as last year. All those wishing to learn the art of rowing, contact Stephen by email stephen.aitken@theStrateg-e.com

Most water sessions held at weekends with varied land-training through the week.

Fiona Richmond will be stepping down as Captain, and will aim to run 2 or 3 coxing courses /ongoing coxing assessment over the course of the year.

For more details on the club go to www.akrowing.com or contact Fiona Richmond (fiona@richrobin.freeserve.co.uk) or Nick Hubbard: (Nick.Hubbard@WSPGroup.com)

At the Trafalgar Rowing Centre, Crane Street, Greenwich.
Mon 29th Sept at 7.30pm

The meeting will cover the squads approach to the coming winter season, ambitions, targets and expected performances. The bar will of course be open.

Ray Cassidy, Ann Roberts and Matthieu Vermeren
Club sessions include: Weights, Circuits, Water Work (Sat & Sun at 8am)

Training venues for the winter will alternate between the Albert Dock and the Thames.

We offer the most competitive rowing to those in living and working in Docklands with the Albert Dock and Greenwich being only 10 minutes away by DLR.

For further information please see our website: www.curlewrowingclub.co.uk

Or contact ray_cassidy@yahoo

Club night and Captain's Welcome 8pm - Thursday 18th September

Senior Men and Women- Saturday 20th September

Juniors / parent's meeting 2.30 pm Sunday 21st September.

Intermediate Men - Saturday 4th October

Intermediate Women - Sunday 5th October

Novice/beginners Men - Saturday 18th October

Novice/beginners Women -Sunday 19th October

Elite small boats group (Men and women) - on arrangement and agreement with the athletes.

Farrel Mossop will be Chief Coach and Captain this year.

Mike Clarke, Steve Chasey, Jon Scully Burrows, Ceri Jones and Jon Hampton will also be in attendence

For other information and contact details please see the web site at www.kingstonrc.co.uk
Men's Senior Squad - Saturday 13 September 10 for a brief chat and then on the water.

Men's Novices and new joiners - Saturday 20 September

Women's Senior Squad and Novices Saturday 13 September 10 am for a brief chat and then on the water.

New Joiners - Sunday 14 September 10 am

Veterans - Saturday 13 September 10 am

Women - The coaching team will be headed by Gary Stubbs and Noel Casey and there will be approximately 7 or so other coaches

Men - There will be a slightly larger coaching team than last year - Chris George will return!

For other information and contact details please see the web site at www.thamesrc.co.uk
Men's squad meeting is Saturday 13th September at 9am.
The women's squad meeting is on Saturday 27th September

The men and women's development squads will start back during the week of Monday 22nd September. The sculling group meets every Saturday and Sunday at 10am and Wednesday evenings at 7pm. Furnivall also runs regular beginners programmes and a weekly veteran's rowing group.

Mark Ruscoe coaches the men's squad and Ray Sullivan coaches the women's squad.
Steve Albrecht and Martin Binks coach the womenís and men's development squads respectively.

The sculling group is coached by a number of guest coaches.

Jonty Chapman runs the weekly circuit training and he also coaches weights programmes in the gym. Bill Mason, Director of Rowing at Imperial and coach at Westminster School, will be providing some input to assist the development of Furnivall coaches this season

New members: please contact us on furnivall_sc@hotmail.com to arrange an introduction to the club and to chat to the coaches and squad captains. Water sessions are held on Saturday and Sunday mornings and one weekday evening. We have our own weights gym and Row-Perfect and we run a weekly circuit training session, which all club members are encouraged to attend.

The club is easy to reach from Hammersmith tube and is located by Furnivall Gardens. Address: 19 Lower Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9DJ. Email the club at furnivall_sc@hotmail.com or phone 0208 748 6867 (eve & w/e). Please see our website, www.furnivall.org for more information.

Women: Tuesday 2nd September 8.30pm in the bar
Women: Ron Dovey
Club sessions Tuesday / Thursday 1830h, Sunday 0900h, circuit training starts in October

Beginners: "Learn to Row" - a 1 month intensive programme starts at 1900h on Tuesday 2nd September, full details on website (www.pbdrc.co.uk)

PBDRC organised events (all members): Great River Race 6th Sep, Club Race 14th Sep, Harry Roberts Head 12th Oct, Greenwich Fours Head 19th Oct, Docklands SBH 9th Nov

there are no planned changes to the coaching structure at the Lea:

Senior Sqaud / Ladies Squad: Bob Michaels; Richard Metcalfe; Peter Brett; Andrew Johnson; Mervyn Lee

Novices: Tom Hitchman; Les Fitton

Veteran's: Coach Themselves

Junior's: Bob Micahels; Mark Padfield; Penny Cuthbert

Social: Penny Cuthbert

For more info contact donkjnr@lycos.co.uk
Kick off meeting Saturday 20th September at 8:30am. This meeting is for all those interested in training and racing with TSS next season. The approximate agenda will be as follows:

1. Introduction - aims for 03/04, changes from 02/03
2. Safety and accident policy update
3. Coaching structure for 03/04

contact information for TSS:
Mens Squad - Rod Chisholm roderickchisholm@yahoo.co.uk
Womens Squad - Rachel Clarke rachel.clarke@diageo.com and Kate Grose kate@cantosbailey.com

The kick off meeting will be followed by the 2003 Bernie Thompson memorial sculls. The race will start at 10.30am sharp. The Bernie Thompson trophy will be awarded to the fastest sculler of S1 status or below over the course (Chiswick to Black Buoy to Chiswick).

Men: Winter training will commence with a kick-off meeting at 09:00 on Saturday 27th September at the boathouse. The meeting will cover land and water training for the period to Xmas, discuss what events are coming up and a safety briefing.

The meeting should last no longer than 30 minutes and will be followed by an outing to the Pink House with a piece back (to blow away those September cobwebs), so bring some kit.

Sophie Heighway will be coaching the squad through the winter season and will be joined by Nick Rowitt of Tideway Scullers on a part-time basis for the regatta season 2004.
Winter training will commence on Saturday 4th October and will continue every Saturday/Sunday at 09:00/09:30 and Tuesday/Thursday at 19:00 thereafter.

Please see http://www.cygnet-rc.org.uk for more details or contact Mike Collier at mcollier@btinternet.com.

First Squad meeting to discuses the upcoming season will be on Thursday 11th September at 8 pm. Bar will be open
2 new coaches, Menís squad this year will be coached by Anthony Cake,

Womenís squad by Amanda Birkinshaw.

Club times are 8.30am on Saturdays, 9.00am on Sundays, weights and ergoís on Tuesday nights and circuit training on Thursdays both at 7 pm onwards.

Club address, Putney Town RC, The boathouse, Kew Meadows Path, off Townmead Road, Kew, London, TW9 4EN tel: 020 8878 8236 email: ptrc@anthonycake.co.uk

The club wWebsite is www.putneytownrc.co.uk

start of season meeting saturday 13th september, 9am in the ttrc club room.
mens squad - fred badowski, nick watkins and tony nercessian
mens novice squad - james orme
womens sqaud - pauline bird and alison faiers
learn to row - bill mitchell and ray winch
If you're fed up of banging away doing a National Squad training programme only to end up in the club third eight, and you don't want to have to put up with the intrinsic slowness of some of the more "social" clubs on the Tideway, TTRC would like to hear from you.

Training at Tradesmen is all about working smarter, and not necessarily harder. Our training programme is designed for people who want to have lives outside the boathouse, but still want to row in some of the fastest crews on the Tideway. For more information, please email- captain@ttrc.org.uk

general meeting on the 2nd September (Tuesday) 7:30 start. Getting everyone together to outline our plans for the coming season -ie intended regatta's, selection issues - a bit of a chat from the new Captain Mark Watkin and vice Captain Colin O'Malley.

This will be followed by a land training session on Wednesday night with dinner at the club afterwards and weight training/rowing on Thursday night.

Coaches for this season are Reedy/Philips/Richmond/Drury (same as last year), Chris Jones (back after a couple of seasons off) Nick Strange, Ben Helm, Rupert Hare and other guest coaches as needs require.
the current plan is to start training quite hard but to be offset by having every second weekend off until the end of October.
No specific squad meetings, but the joint kick off will be Saturday 27th September
Men: Ian Cranna (ian@vrc.org.uk)
Women: Pete Williams (pete@vrc.org.uk)
Anyone interested in rowing with Vesta should email either Pete or Ian, as appropriate.
Women: Contrary to previous seasons Vesta will be running one women's squad this season. Most weekends should see 3 coaches on the water and some will see 5. We are hoping that everyone in the squad boating from Vesta will be competitive at their level and looking to move up!

Men: There will be one men's squad with 2 or 3 coaches on the water every weekend. With a smaller squad than London and less politics than Thames, the men's squad is a friendly bunch who appreciate the balance between work, rowing and a home life. And, of course, with the added bonus of being a Remenham Club, join us and you'll be on the road to the most prestigious badge at Henley!

Mens squad meeting is Thursday 25th September at 8pm. Heart rate testing will take rlace on Saturday 27th September and is key to assessing training levels for the first few months.

Women's meeting - 8pm on tues sept 23rd at Linden House

Men: Ross Smitheman
Women: Paul Fitzwilliam

Bill Helps (absolute beginners),
Les Scrine (novice men) and Tony Brown (novice women).

Sons are planning training camp in Italy w/b april 24th. Circuits again thursday Oct 2nd at the Chiswick Pier Trust venue, same as last year.

Sons are based at Hammersmith andshare premises at Linden House with London Corithians Sailing Clu.,

club website is at www.sonsrowing.org.uk

14-08-03 JANOUSEK XR2i?
Dog tired of rowing in the same old uniform plastic boats?...Lookingfor a new PURR-pose in life?... Well, maybe you just need to unleash the leopard within?...

Yes, faithful reader, now you too can express your individuality - and build up quite a static charge - by following the FUR-tive example of those lovely TTRC boys ( just click to enlarge)

These furry seats are really CATching on in the lower Thames... so don't PAWS to think about it, just e-mail captain@ttrc.org.uk for the pattern and find out how you too can transform your rowing and become a Barnes Beast.


14-08-03 HOT DAMN HOT
Despite hearing repeated mutterings of doom that Peterborough summer has peaked and is on its way down as a regatta venue, the slug didn't see much evidence of decline in either standards or numbers, on managing to venture out from the cool confines of the local rock formations.

Saturday was blissfully cloud covered until 11am (as eerily predicted by the people in control commission) but Sunday started hot and got more unbearable as the day went on - lets face it, if you're sweating at 8:30am, things can only get worse...

Rumour has it that, following the cancellation of the junior regatta due to the insidious weed problem, the organisers tried to hire a weed cutter -- only to find that five out of the six machines in the country were out of service.... so rather than risk losing revenue from cancellation of the main event, had to resort to buying one for a rather hefty sum. Should this turn out to be de facto, at least we can trust that weed will no longer be a major problem (though crews were complaining that lane 1 was still suffering a bit at the weekend)

As is standard at Peterborugh the nekkid rowers were out in force - but why did they all seem to be from Reading??? and several attempts at pole climbing were made, safe in the knowledge that splinters were no longer a problem as the poles were metal this year...

14-08-03 HOW 2 SAVE MONEY
  1. phone Noble Marine when they send you a silly quote for your boat insurance.

  2. listen to the VERY long pause at the other end of the phone, when you ask just why, precisely, have they bumped up your premium by 54%

  3. savour and enjoy the profuse apology as they tell you they're not quite sure how, precisely, sir, that did happen

  4. happily exchange your switch card details to renew for instant cover at a mere 5% increase on last year's premium, secure in the knowledge that they're still over 12% cheaper than those plonkers at Axxxxxxxt.

  5. try to resist the temptation to blow the 43 quid you have just saved, on celebrating the fact that you've saved money

Picture the scene... it's Sunday, mid-afternoon at St Neots regatta and a Shakespeare's women's IV+ is attempting to manoeuvre their boat near the trailers, with their male cox, issuing instructions...
"Ok, bringing it round stern . . . no STERN . . . NO - that's the BOW . . .ugh . . ."

followed by him muttering to himself "OK, let's do it your way . . "

and to the Crew "OK, the OTHER Stern - GO"