17-02-05 YEAH RIGHT
oubc letterAhhhh, it's no wonder that the Tideway clubs love the boatrace soooo much, especially when OUBC send out letters like the attached..

As the representative of one Tideway club put it:

"Arrogant tosspots! First – when has any Tideway crew “joined their flotilla”? I’m also tempted to point out that we hope that their flotilla, “the maximum allowed by the PLA”, will for once show some courtesy to other river users.

I’m also looking forward to seeing them mingle with the sailors."


17-02-05 POOR LITTLE BOAT...
yep, completely f*cked pretty much sums it upA sight to bring tears to the eyes of the most hardened sculler

Tom Cannon, the lightweight from Notts County (formerly of Dulwich College) who broke his boat at the recent GB trials, which were abandoned due to bad weather - see article below -, nurses the remains of his Stampfli, which apparently used to belong to ex-GB lwt Ned Kittoe.

The slug regrets we are not able to bring you a picture of the damage to Ron's head at this time...

Last Saturday's Avon County regatta didn't escape the bad weather hitting the rest of the country and the chaos level rose considerably after a gust of wind blew an eight and a four into the bank.

The four eventually got themselves sorted and finished the race, but the (Bournemouth University?) eight wasn't quite so lucky after it got wedged in a tree on the bank... but that was only the start of their troubles.

About five to ten minutes after they got stuck, a 'safety' boat turned up to 'help' and positioned themselves at right angles to the stern.

doomedThe launch driver then put the boat in reverse and manged to break the bow section of the eight. All the time the crew of girls were still in the boat... He then realised what was happening and put it into forward gear and opened the throttle up!

Yes, you can guess what happened next... This sent the launch flying at high speed towards the bank (but thankfully parallel to the eight) and our intrepid launch driver landed his vessel on the bank with the prop still turning.

Thankfully it didn't go through the eight or I dread to think what would have happened, as it was the blades were left with marks all down them.

Following the regatta the slug overheard a conversation between a spectator and a marshall, who was keen to distance himself from the launch driver ... ' that man has nothing to do with us'

Alas, the identity of the 'safety' boat driver remains unclear, however the slug suggests it might be a good idea if he sticks to land based activites from now on...

A selection of photos of the remains of the poor boat are available on the University of Bristol Boat Club website - not suitable for those of a nervous disposition.

The Pink and Green retained posession of Dewar Shield last Sunday, after winning the annual Head Race between the three Hammersmith clubs, for the third year in succession.

In the men's event, Furnivall won and Sons came second, whilst in the women's event AK took both first and second slot. Both events were raced over a course from Chiswick Bridge to Hammermsith Bridge.

Congratulations are also due to the Sons members who managed to pinch the shield from the top floor of AK's boathouse and cart it all the way to Linden house without injuring themselves... (?!?)

  1. Furnivall 1 11.33 (6 points)
  2. Sons 1 11.46 (5 points)
  3. AK 1 11.47 (4 points)
  4. AK 2 12.19 (3 points)
  5. AK 3 12.36 (2 points)
  6. Sons 2 12.39 (1 point)
  7. Furnivall 2 12.45
  8. Sons 3 12.55
  9. Sons 4 13.21
  10. Furnivall 3 13.40
  1. AK 3 12.54 (6 points)
  2. AK 1 13.01 (5 points)
  3. Furnivall 1 13.10 (4 points)
  4. Furnivall 2 13.17 (3 points)
  5. Sons 1 13.34 (2 points)
  6. AK 2 14.04 (1 point)
  7. Sons 2 14.12

1. AK- 21 Points
2. Furnivall - 13 Points
3. Sons - 8 points

16-02-05 EVERY CLOUD...
wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!!Although rowers on the Tideway may be cursing the recent windy weather, other river users have been enjoying the conditions...

Luckily Saturday's sailing race at Hammersmith was held after all rowing boats had long departed the Thames, as there is no way the sailors could have got out of the way of anything, as they hurtled at speed towards Hammersmith Bridge (see picture).

HOWEVER... this coming weekend has sailing scheduled for 9am on saturday and 10 am Sunday so rowers beware if it is windy.

The following weekend it's later again - with starts at 2pm and 230pm Sat and Sun - a time of day by when all except AK are usually off the water - but may possibly clash with the Boustead Cup...

The third set of GB Senior trials at Boston, were cancelled at the weekend, due to weather conditions which were frankly more suitable to windsurfing than performance testing in small boats.

Indeed it was so windy that many coaches were actively trying to discourage their charges from even bothering trying to go out for a warm up and there was lots of joshing from dry bystanders that the scullers were going faster sitting easied in the tailwind than they ever did paddling.

The racing was finally called off when when one sculler a lightweight from Notts County, lost his boat while taking it out of the water, when the wind caught it and pulled it away from him...

Though, unfortunately, there was something preventing it from going too far... the back of Ron Needs' head. The boat hit him with such force that it broke in half and nearly knocked poor Ron into the water.

Luckily Ron's head is made of strong stuff and he seemed to be OK afterwards, though he was sensibly planning to go to Hospital to be checked over before getting behind the wheel to drive home. The boat however - was "completely f*cked".

Reports indicate that there wasn't any safety cover afloat during warm up, but as far as we know no one ended up in the water, however those who had gone afloat were struggling...

Frances Houghton was spotted going past very low in the water, shrieking 'oh my god' as the waves broke on her back while water sloshed out of her footwell, even though she was only paddling at quarter slide. Tim Male took the alternative approach and went past screaming 'yeeeeeehaaaaaah!'...

Organisers made a call at 10am to say it was cancelled, and one launch went out a while after they stopped boating, just to round up anyone still out there. But those selected for drug testing had to wait and be tested, and lightweights still had to weigh in.

It looks unlikely that the senior trials will now be rescheduled, as Junior trials are next weekend and the established squad members are off on another training holiday in search of slightly better conditions in Seville next week.... invite only at Dorney anyone?

Oh, and speaking of Dorney lake, it was closer to Dorney on Sea on Saturday morning (all that was missing was the fish and chip van) as two foot waves broke over the pontoons and the backs of the Molesey rowers attempting to seat race. Despite being 'well hard' even the black death admitted defeat after several of the crews had to pull over to empty the water out of their slowly sinking boats.

As one rower put it "I knew it wasn't good when I started wondering if my water bottle was going to float out of the boat..."

As the Water Safety Code says:
It is important to recognise that contending with difficult weather conditions is part of the sport. Safe enjoyment is the aim, not foolhardiness.


07-02-05 WET / DREAMS
UBBC head articleFor those of you who don't think heel restraints are important in an eight because "eights never capsize", the slug suggests you read the highlighted section in the accompanying article about the University of Bristol's recent Head race.

The slug was also very interested to note the content of the last paragraph (also highlighted), which details the UBBC coach's three aims for the year:

  1. to come top 10 in the men's head this year
  2. to win Henley
  3. to beat UWE in their annual grudge match...
Place your bets please....

A quick reminder to coaches on the Tideway of a particular quirk of the navigation rules.

You may not be aware that, if a crew sets off while a coach is faffing around with their launch engine etc., and the coach then whizzes upriver at a mad pace to catch up with them, that coach is breaking the law.

Because, going at speed in a launch on the Tideway is only legal if you are actually accompanying a crew... presumably because it is not outside the wit of man for the crew to wait if the coach isn't ready to go with them.

Now, although it's been rightly pointed out that this actually deters coaches from slowing down for other crews during pieces because it means that they're not able to catch up with their own crew again, not observing the law as it stands, could endanger Tideway rowing, if people who are anti the sport observe such behaviour and contribute their views to the Tideway navigation consultation.

One other implication is that launches following Boat Race outing launches, really need to leave on time, rather than wait for late supporters/press and then rush along to catch up with the relevant Blue Boat, something that Chas Newens is all too aware of, and by all accounts is considering digging his heels in over this year.

So, the slug suggests that any meeja-scum following the pre-race outings should make sure they turn up with time to spare, or risk missing the boat...

Readers of the Red, white and black variety will be much relieved to learn that their captain has not turned to the blue side after all.

It transpires that the LRC boys are suffering from reduced eyesight (something Thames have suspected for years) as the 'LRC' top in question is actually from Lincoln Park Rowing Club of Chicago Illinois where he was also captain.

Though, to be fair, it's true that the splashtop, which is navy and reads LPBC on the back, could be mistaken for LRC if you're a tad on the dyslexic side.


Keeping a stoic view of the incident Stephen told the slug "You can't blame Colin for the mistake - at his age things fall apart, hairs falls out, teeth drop out, eyesight fails and you forget where you left your Henley medal"

Of course, what we should add is that, just to confuse matters, Mr Dooley (and his sister) used to row for Midland Bank RC (now HSBC RC) once upon a time...

And finally, Mr Dooley's partner in the double, (wearing TRC leggings), was Chris George a man who was bowman of the LRC sculler's 'old lags' VIII whilst capatin of Thames...

As Chris says:
"Having been (and naturally in my opinion, quite unfairly!) "eased" out of the TRC crew selection process for any crew by the Head Coach, I had myself appointed, I felt no qualms!

Well if you are sitting on the bank - on the day - and your coach has ditched you and then the boys in blue make you a nice offer (and lets face it they must have been pretty desparate!) it would be a hard thing to refuse particularly when you are a member of both clubs.

Perhaps the most enjoyable experience was seeing the jaw dropping expression on Alan Hawes' face as he belatedly realised who was bow in the LRC viii that had just gone past!"

03-02-05 A FINE EXAMPLE...
Elsewhere at Thames rowing club, news comes to the slug that the men's squad have installed an environment of discipline and thoughtfulness through the introduction of a system of crew fines...

Starting with a list of Standard Fine Offences, such as:

  1. Not turning up for w/e training, and not letting Paddy know in advance
  2. Turning up to training with a hangover or missing training thro' being too hungover to come down to the club
  3. Any public show of affection with girlfriend/boyfriend and or showing excessive eagerness in talking to birds esp from TRC womens squad
  4. Farting in the boat
  5. Spitting on crew members/being sick during outing
  6. Not wearing minging kit on minging kit day
Squad Members are nominated for fines for their poor behaviour, which then go towards buying beer and absinthe on the last night of camp...

Indications so far are that the system seems to be working and, as Andy Green is currently top of the fines table, it's obviously punishing the right people...

Remember, excellence is a habit, not an act...