21-12-04 TESTING TIMES...
ship's cat and Chris with a couple of hangers-onA crack team of umpires (and Ship's cat) headed to Wembley on Sunday evening for BBC 1's latest recording of "Test the nation. .

Chris Harrison (vesta), Richard Packer (weybridge) and yours truely, blazered to the hilt, were part of the team of 'referees' taking part in the quiz on 2004 news. Our aim - to uphold the glory of rowing and see if we could prove once and for all that the rules of racing are correct and umpires ARE always right...

However, on arriving it soon became obvious that we were not the only rowers in the studio... and were much amused when one of the 'slebs' taking part turned out to be none other than James Cracknell ( whose agent obviously has him practicing for his burgeoning media career) though he really needs to stop fidgiting on camera - especially when the subject of Paula Radcliffe comes up in conversation... ahem

The team of refs came second in the studio - losing out by 1 point to the slebs (who were probably cheating). Alas our carefully laid plan to tell as few people as possible, and thus ensuring damage limitiation if we had to makes tits of ourselves on national televison, was somewhat undermined, when Mr Harrison, with help from quiz guru Ship's cat, went and won the thing by getting the highest score in the studio (not bad with a hangover)...

Photos of Ship's cat accepting the tropy from Philip Schofield and Anne Robinson to follow...


13-12-04 FOG WITH NO SILVER LINING
It looks like the cancellation of Burway head on Sunday hasn't just been disappointing for those who had been hoping to race.

Despite the perfect water conditions, the addition of lots of thick fog with no wind to lift it, meant organisers had no choice but to call the event off for the obvious safety reasons, and, with a record entry of over 450 crews, that's quite a dent in income for Burway Rowing club, which reportedly relies on entries from the events they run to fund their club for the year.

You may not be aware, but the costs of setting up and running head races - radio nets, equipment hire, saftey cover, river closures etc - neccessitate a large pay out (in the order of a couple of thousand punds) before anyone has even turned up on the day, so the slug can only hope that Burway RC (which does a very good job of bringing on junior rowers) can find some way to dig themselves out of any resulting financial hole.


08-12-04 SO CLOSE...
The lovely sparkly new AK boathouse is due to open for service, in the next week following a record speed building program to tart up their old facilities.

Alas, as is prone to happen with building projects (as regular viewers of changing rooms can testify), the old budget has run a little over... well quite a lot over, 70k to be exact.

Infact they have been told that the cost will now be around 520,000.

Faced with the headache of a large additional bill, at a time when the Auriol Boathouse Co. is already borrowed out, the club did the honorable thing and sent out a begging e-mail on Monday requesting that the membership cough up a miniumum of 100 each

We hear that Monday's drive pulled in 13,500... One day down, the rest of the week to go ...


08-12-04 THE SECRET IDENTITY OF MR INCREDIBLE?
It's quite, well... incredible!

mr__incredible.jpg


03-12-04 PURPLE MERKINS
It would appear that curly, purple tendrils are slowly extending their reach, in a bid to form the monopoly over all things purple on the Tideway. Indeed, the girls have been very busy this month out promoting their (ahem) wears. greg searle and friend

Firstly, the merkin has become this season's latest wedding accessory, a little purple surprise for unsuspecting grooms. We only hope that the something borrowed.. something purple...husband of this blushing bride knew what he was letting himself in for.

Secondly, the gang have a new (and surprisingly willing) mascot.
Greg, you can pop back for a trim anytime......

(Click on thumbnails to see full size)