A couple of weeks ago whilst squishing along the Putney Embankment and carving out the odd slime doughnut, the slug was looking in awe at the masses of crews trying to boat from the hard.

It was so busy, that crews were having to boat from places other than directly in front of their own boathouses, resulting in much well directed sarcasm from the dry witted boys in blue along the lines of "are you going to push off THIS millenium HSBC??" and much agitated wobbling and jiggling from the HSBC birds when they realised that they were at last in the blue spotlight, even if it was for all the wrong reasons.

Whilst observing said spectacle with feelers a-twitching in wry amusement the slug also observed what appeared to be an LRC double waiting its turn to boat...but hang on, can it be??? One of them is wearing Thames leggings!!!

Surely Paul "the Impaler" Reedy and Colin "Old" Malley would never allow such a flagrant transgression of the strict LRC club uniform regulations...?

No, of course not.

For on closer inspection it turns out to be not an LRC double at all...........but is in fact, a Thames RC double containing TRC captain Stephen Dooley... wearing LRC kit (oooooooooo!)

Yes, faithful reader, the hapless Mr Dooley has made the grave mistake of boating right in front of "Old" Malley and LRC....oh dear...

Spotting a choice opportunity, "old" then picks up a megaphone and announces to the thronged masses that Steve is welcome to come and "join the blue army when we have space" to much mirth from the LRC contingent; relief from the HSBC girls, who have decided they dont much like the blue spotlight after all, as Lycra really doesnt flatter their "curves" and red-faced bashfulness from poor Steve.

Just goes to show that there's a bit of LRC in most Thames blokes (as well as many of their women...)

01-02-05 GIVE A LITTLE
With three international regattas planned for Dorney lake over the next two years, the behind the scenes organisation is reaching fever pitch, not really surprising as the world cup regatta is now less than four months away, followed shortly after by the Coupe de la Jeunesse at the end of July.

Whilst Mike Baldwin may pale visibly when reminded of the time scales, things are moving on a pace and the Thames Regional Rowing council is keen to get commitment for volunteer support in running the events, from within the rowing community.

Whether your interest lies in the World cup, the Coupe, the 2006 World Championships or all of the above, The TRRC wants to compile a database of prospective volunteers, with a wide and varied range of abilities and expertise, who would like to give some time to help at the events.

Whether your skills lie in catering, linguistics, selling programmes, timing, launch driving, communications, mopping the sweaty brows of International oarsmen, or simply telling people that they "can't park there", no task is too small.

If anyone is prepared to help in any way they, should to email the TRRC Chairman, Martin Humphrys on chairman@thames-rrc.org.

Might even be some free kit in it...

  • World Champs 2006
  • World Cup 2005
  • Coupe de La Jeunesse 2005

  • 01-02-05 PARALLEL LIVES?
    Following on from our last article, evidence that James Cracknell appears to be displaying an alarming similarity to John McCririck of celebrity big brother "fame", comes from the following article in the Times

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,14934-1440370,00.html , specifically the following paragraph:

    "John McCririck, the Channel 4 racing pundit famous for his hats and nasty bling jewellery, is in the Celebrity Big Brother house and has lost no time in letting the nation know that he believes a woman's place is in the kitchen, that he has no time for females with flat chests and that his own dear Booby "is not very bright and squawks a lot". His housemates gasped when he spoke of the time he flew to America club class, making his wife sit humiliatingly behind him in "cattle" class. The Booby, meanwhile, is back at their pink doll-like mews house in Primrose Hill, London, stoically dealing with the media fallout from his outrageous remarks".
    Beverley - Booby..... James - John..... Strange conicidence or parallel evolution!?

    you decide.

    26-01-05 HOW THE OTHER HALF...
    A slug reader reports that she was flying back from San Francisco about two weeks ago, when who should she spot standing next to her in the queue to board but national rowing treasure, James Cracknell.

    Despite seeing him as embodying all that is great about a sportsman - a gentleman, a true champion, a truly honourable man - she realised that asking for a photo of her hero in the airport was HEAT style naff, so headed to her seat in the lower ranking section of the plane.

    So imagine her amazement when the sight that met her eyes was one GODLIKE OLYMPIAN leaning over his wife Bev Turner (po- faced and sulky) one row behind - in economy.

    James was rubbing her arm in a sympathetic husband type way "are you all right, you sure you're all right"he asks, she nods, looking pale and upset...

    He then strides off towards first class never to be seen again and leaving his wife, mother of his child, former NBA presenter and ex-model, staring zombie like ahead towards where he's sitting at the front of the plane, and not eating a morsel on the flight.

    To quote Jerry Maguire -- "First class, that's what's wrong. It used to be a better meal, now it's a better life"

    It's tough at the top...

    18-01-05 SOMETHING IN THE AIR...
    After Sunday's Remenham head at Twickers, a lot of London boys and Thames girls were spotted partaking in a lively after race session at the Jolly Gardener in Putney. Noticeable absentees were the boys from London III... perhaps something to do with having a starting number 6 and finishing 8th...

    Yes, faithful reader, it seems that the London-Thames love affair just keeps growing. The latest unofficial survey places the number of London boy - Thames girl couples at ten. However, while the number would seem only bound to keep on rising with the amount of "Would you like to meet my friends?" lines coming from the TRC camp, elsewhere at LRC, concerned oarsmen have been complaining that some of the Thames girls keep coming into the Dukes Head in sweaty rank rowing kit.

    A source in LRC told the slug

    "Aside from it being unhygeinic it looks bloody awful. You always hear them complaining that the LRC boys aren't interested in them and spend our time chasing the vesta lasses -- well, that's because they bother to have a shower and wear normal clothes when they are out rather than stinking the bar out.

    Some of them might be quite nice looking girls but we have no way of telling as they are always wearing unflattering gear and are minging of sweat!!!!!

    We are concerned that they are going to end up as barren spinsters and not get the attention they deserve..."

    oh dear.

    18-01-05 'SNOT MUCH FUN...
    If your training is currently suffering from a seasonal attack of the dreaded lurgi, there's really not much you can do but look after yourself and wait it out, however, you can take some comfort in the knowledge that it happens to the best too...

    Indeed, by all accounts, the recent GB hwt training camp in St Moritz, had more hacking coughs than hacking over cross country terrain , as large number of our national rowing treasures in training, were wiped out by flu during the camp... and I mean real flu, not the poncey 'fake flu' you can get over with an extra strength lemsip, no we're talking proper "manly stay in bed for 10 days while coughing up chunks of lung" flu.

    It seems that the plague was so rampant that on some days there were only five people training, though we have a feeling that the coaches probably weren't too concerned - mainly because Jurgen and Steve went down with it too -

    Nothing like suffering with your athletes for that extra bit of team bonding...

    get well soon dearies.

    (Meanwhile, last friday, in a state of self imposed rest well away from disease central, James Cracknell was spotted shopping for a year-out at the Adventure Travel Show in Olympia... ok for some!)

    15-01-05 REMENHAM HEAD
    Twickenham RC hosted the 2005 Remenham head on Sunday, the first time ever that a head race has been held on the Twickenham / Richmond reach (Well within living memory anyway).

    Fifty Five crews, from the founding clubs, turned up to race in good conditions, and take the opportunity to blow the Christmas cobwebs out, at the start of the run up to the main Tideway VIIIs heads.

    The boys in blue showed their strength and depth, placing four crews in the top 10 and winning Elite VIIIs, the Molesey boys also put on a good show coming second in Elite VIIIs and picking up the men's intermidate VIIIs title.

    On the women's side Thames dominated, when, as well as being the only club to enter an elite women's VIII, they also won women's intermediate VIIIs.

    Full results available HERE

    14-01-05 HOW TO ORGANISE...
    The Fuller's head of the river fours celebrated 25 years of association with Fuller's earlier this week in the only possible way - by organising a piss-up in a brewery....

    Mr Hawes snrFuller's threw a reception in the boardroom at the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick for a select group of people who are, or have been, connected with the event over it's 50 year history. The guest list, which read a bit like a concise "who's who" of Thames Valley rowing, even included a couple of people who have literally been involved with the race from the very beginning: Sid Clay, the event president ,who did timing on the very first race in 1954 and Alan Hawes who admitted to having rowed in it (the race was founded in 1954 by the Tradesmen's Rowing Clubs Association)

    Appreciative comments were made that the boardroom venue was a step up from the normal location of the brewery cellars where Fuller's host the annual prize giving / free bar... (which probably explains why it's the most eagerly attended prize giving in the sport.)

    Very few rowing events are lucky enough to find a sponsor, never mind to have such a long association with one. Fuller Smith and Turner began their sponsorship of the Race in 1979 and their continued involvement has undoubtably contributed to the growing success of the race.

    The fours head also relies heavily on volunteer helpers, and the co-operation of the Tideway Clubs in hosting visiting crews is recognised and appreciated. Entry numbers have snowballed over recent years and the 550 available places are now regularly oversubscribed.

    Photos of the evening are avaialble at www.hor4s.org.uk/reception/reception05.htm

    From the Central Council of Physical Education (Will open in new window)

    Proposed Licence Fees to Threaten Sports Clubs
    CCPR Urges Government to Reconsider Licensing Fees

    Whilst heavily golf based, there is also lots of good information (including the proposed fees) on what the changes mean at:

    The National Golf Clubs Advisory Association website (page down for detail)

    Note this is of particluar issue (read expense) to clubs who happen to own their own prime west London water front premises and those which rely on hosting functions to raise money. As of yet, I'm not quite sure what the implications are for regattas which serve alcohol...

    05-01-05 A BAR TOO FAR?
    A useful article by Kate Hoey appeared in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, which clearly spells out the problems and likely impact on amateur sports clubs, of the UK government's imminent changes to the licensing laws


    "...Sports clubs currently pay 15 for a five-year licence. The new club Premise certificate will be more costly and based on rateable value in bands starting at 80 for clubs with an RV (rateable value) of under 4,300, and 150 for those with an RV between 4,300 and 33,000, plus annual fees. "Most sports and community clubs will fall at the lower end of these variable fees," the minister said. In fact, the Central Council for Physical Recreation have proved that contrary to Government claims, many small community clubs do have a substantial RV because of their voluntary efforts in enlarging the sports facilitities they offer, and will not fall in the lower bracket.

    Many sailing, rowing and other water-sports clubs do own valuable land, usually by a seafront or river. But that does not mean they are more profitable than a pub or a nightclub, whose RV may be lower despite the whole building being used for the sale and consumption of alcohol..."

    Ignore at your peril