One of the members of Kingston Rowing Club was in an unfortunate accident at Peterborough Regatta this summer when she was hit in the back by a quad.  

Following the accident, she spent some time in Hospital, and has had to receive all sorts of physio as well as taking a lot of time off of work.  When applying for compensation through her ARA insurance she received an email, containing this extract;  

"Thank you for your email.  From what you describe, I do not think you would be eligible for personal accident insurance, as this is restricted to death, loss of limbs etc."  

If this is the case, then why are we sold ARA membership on the basis that it offers us insurance protection?  In the instance of the KRC member it seems to have been useless and more importantly, why aren't the limitations of the insurance more widely understood by ARA members, who believe they are covered  

Has anyone else had problems with the ARA insurance
If it does not provide adequate cover then exactly why is it necessary for us all to have ARA membership?? 
Has anyone taken out their own insurance because they were aware that the cover provided was inadequate?

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

07-11-03GOT YOURS...
Thirteen is of course the traditional unlucky number, but it seems head race competitors now have another number to worry about, as one Reading RC crew discovered to their cost at the 4s HORR last Saturday.

Having drawn number one hundred and eighteen [wait for it, wait for it!] returning crews subjected their unfortunate S1 4- to a constant chorus of "got your number, 118, we've got your number!" all the way from Hammersmith to the finish.

Clearly, this must have upset their concentration and race plan, as they only managed to finish an even un-luckier 16/17 in their division.

Still, at least they won't have the '118' problem for next year's starting list.

07-11-03TRICK OR TREAT...
Many people feel that the American-style 'celebration' of halloween is getting a bit out of hand, including, perhaps, 4s HORR Chief Umpire, Bill Mitchell.

And who can blame him, really, when faced with having to deal with umpteen reports from eagle-eyed race observers that one womens quad rowed over the course in a stern-coxed Janousek, complete with 4-foot inflatable pumpkin strapped to the cox's seat.

Despite what some 4+ rowers might think about the obvious benefits of replacing their current vertically-challenged crew assistant with an inflatable pumpkin, it is, technically, against the rules. Or at least, it is if you've entered a coxed event.... It didn't used to be, but some Brasenose College bod jumped out of his boat at The Royal a few years back -- thereby 'inventing' the coxless four (which won by a country mile) and annoyed enough rowers (who were upset they hadn't thought of it first) to provoke the powers-that-be to tighten up on that sort of thing.

Fortunately, this lot weren't supposed to be coxed, as the post-race check subsequently confirmed, and even the ARA doesn't penalise crews for carrying more than they actually have to. [Or at least, not yet....]

PS For next year, incase it was, in fact, a cunning additional safety device, fitted in an attempt to improve the boat's 'floatability', to cope with the cruel conditions that, as we all know, can only occur by a complete and utter freak on the tideway (cough cough..ED), or any other rowing waters, then it's probably best fitted inside the hull, below the water line, rather than above it. Unless of course you simply want a large orange marker buoy, above the spot where you've just 'un-floated' [ARA 'sunk']

Over 550 crews took to the water early Saturday morning to find conditions for the fours head slightly better than expected, the promised rain replaced by cold clear skies and blustery winds.

The early race time had left officials suspecting that the number of late crews would be higher than normal and added to this, things weren't helped by crews in the first division having to turn upstream of Kew Railway bridge and under-estimating just how long it would take them to get into position.

The logistics of marshalling 550s crews through the start safely with only 1 length between boats are complicated at best, but the added pressure of doing it within a short enough time period so that the rowers aren't getting hypothermia (definitely an issue if you weren't on the sunny side of the stream) makes keeping everyone happy difficult, and after the race the slug heard numerous complaints about marshalling in the start area, although on the plus side there were comparitively few complaints about marshalling along the course itself.

Leaving aside the obvious problems with securing sponsorship, river closures and organisation, it does appear that there is a growing school of thought that the fours head would benefit from being split into separate men's and women's events like the main VIIIs head. For, as well as enabling clubs to double up on boat usage, this would also allow for lower status categories to be offered again and keep the numbers of competitors, and therefore the length of time required to wait around, down to more easily manageable limits. Whether the pros outweigh the cons enough to make it viable in the short term, is unclear but it's certainly something to consider for the future..

Back on the river, the results took on a decidedly pink hue as Leander sent out the best the lottery can fund to strut their stuff -- and they dutifully obliged by bringing home five pennants. A few eyebrows were raised at Pinsent and Cracknell's appearance in a coxed four… not only over what light it might shed on Olympic selection for Athens but also at comments that both of them were looking er… even less lightweight that ususal (cough cough). However, extra weight aside, our national rowing treasures still done good, giving the Leander coxless crew a run for their money and picking up the IV+ pennant, despite several spectators swearing blind that the Goldie crew looked faster during the race...

The Brookes boys and girls also put in a good showing, taking three wins back home - though it might have been more of they hadn't been subject to a disqualification


  • In a rather bizzare incident, one of the returning Leander quads managed to take out their junior quad on the row home, breaking a blade in the racing junior crew and resulting in only 2 of them being able to continue rowing.... and for some unknown reason that's exactly what they did... finishing the course in over 23 minutes and nearly taking out the black buoy en route (well coming close enough to give the marshall a mild panic attack). And if that wasn't enough, they then had to row all the way back to scullers... go figure?

  • One member of a women's crew (who shall rename namless) that nearly took out Barnes bridge reported "As we approached the bridge I could hear cheering..... then it all went quiet... "

  • Having had the normal cheers for various clubs as the first few crews went past, the stroke of a Kingston 4+ lustily bellowed “Come on Kingston” only to have his cox snap waspishly “Oh do calm down, Nigel”. Nice to see club spirit going strong, or maybe she was just very focused whilst waiting for the intervening 300 crews to start.

  • oh and, at least one crew (Rob Roy?..Ed) managed to collide with the safety launch at the finish line..

    The after race parties were fairly quiet, (not surprising with the early race time), though London was lively and Crabtree was definitely the place to be... One disgruntled punter staggering away from LRC after closing was heard to mutter "I can't believe they charged us a pound for the last fifteen minutes!"

    Full results by division are available HERE

  • 23-10-03KNICKERS AHOY!!
    Schoolboy antics rarely adorn the Slug, but we couldn't pass over the recent fun and games at the Kings College School Boathouse where Junior Toby Garnett's underwear was recently found adorning the School Boathouse flag pole on the Putney Embankment.

    Lightly shaded in Pink, they clashed slightly with the school colours of navy blue and red.....

    Toby, aspirant GB Junior, was sadly unavailable for comment....

    20-10-03BECAUSE YOU'RE WORTH IT...
    Lay-dees... find you have an unending appetite for elite male rowers poncing around trying to look sexy? Well, even if you don't, the latest rowing pornography (shurley calendar art...Ed) on offer, is sure to be one X-mas stocking filler you won't object to...

    While it's true some of the boys would have benefitted from a few trips to the secret sunbed parlor in Leander club, before their photoshoot, don't worry if they're not all to your taste, as a straw poll of female rowers suggests that all you need to do to ensure value for money, is to keep Mr October on top all year....

    Yours for a mere £9.95 (plus postage and packaging) check out www.thecalendarcrew.com - oh, and it's all for charidee, mate.

    (p.s. has anyone else noticed how you never see Dan Ouseley and Daniel Beddingfield together... hmmmmmm)

    20-10-03A HAIRY MOMENT?
    As a Thames women's VIII rowed by on the Tideway last weekend, the slug was most amused to hear their exasperated cox shouting.

    "Oh for god's sake five, STOP DOING YOUR HAIR... you can't row with only ONE HAND..."


    02-10-03A COMEDY IN 3 PARTS
    Amusing tales have reached the slug's little twitchy feelers re the goings on of the GB men's eight, seen out and about on the Tideway last weekend for a rather "eventful" outing.

    Having been shepherded to Hammersmith for some waterwork, off they set from the ARA landing stage, and find themselves in the middle of the river, on an outgoing tide (i.e in the wrong place). They then decide to shout at the Tradesmen pair heading for them (correctly) in the middle of the river. Episode 1 of their outing ends in their coaches letting them know in no uncertain terms not to sit around and to move to the other side.

    Episode 2 sees the coaches unable to start their launch and getting a tow back to the ARA.

    Episode 3 sees the 8 return (obviously not used to being out without a coach) to the ARA and thankfully in the right place this time.

    While sitting around trying to work out what has happened to their coaches, one of them decides to stand up and relieve himself. Just upstream of Hammersmith Bridge.... Readers will be glad to know that even if out boys have no talent in the leading by example arena, they are obviously gifted in "other areas", as one member of an AK pair which rowed past them back to the club, was heard to remark on the fact that the individual concerned must have a rather large bladder, as he "kept going for at least a minute and a half".

    Well done to the boys....

    Having made a wrong turn at Putney, TRC members Guin Batten and Bob Gullett sculled their singles across the English Channel last Tuesday in a longish early morning UT2 session.

    Guin upped the rating slightly over the last few miles to set a new record for a single oarsman (or in her case woman) of 3 hrs 14 mins. Bob finished in a respectable 3 hrs 22 mins, also breaking Ivor Lloyd’s 1983 record of 3hrs 35 min (set in a coastal scull).

    Apparently they were planning a something longer, but opted for the Channel after someone told Guin that it would be impossible to row it in a fine scull. I understand that the beauties of the Henley reach were beginning to wane for them as they trained for the 22 mile event.

    Desribing the challenge as being a technical one rather that a physical one, Bob pointed out that hius scull was an absolutely stock un modified 10 year old Carl Douglas, while Guin was in a Resolute which had its cockpit a bit blocked out to avoid water sloching about. (The Carl Douglas self bails as you jump off the stretcher.) Also, Oarsports were really supportive and lent him an Alden 21 coastal boat which was kept in Cowes for a month last year to practice on open water.

    Having reached the other side safely and still afloat - well apart from Bob's post finsh dunking, thanks to an over eager individual on the support boat.. they sent around the traditional begging email from the safety of the recovery launch on their way back - all proceeds to help fund the new TRC gym and tank.

    12-09-03 THE GUILTY PARTY
    Wanted for cruelty to Empachers.

    Bad boy... bad boy...