Take a look at the accompanying photo of two oarsman (one from Kingston and one from LRC), and see if you can spot which of the two is the camp second-rate comedian, and which one is Julian Clary...


(Features Dan Knowles, recently retired LRC boy.)

Whilst munching on some lettuce and hiding under the dock to prevent dessication at Marlow Regatta recently, Safety Slug was amused to hear that a boat that had beem brought from our own dear BIRO.., had failed control commision.

"But why?" we hear you cry; well, it seems that the hatches had been removed or were in poor condition.

The crew and their coach were adamant that the boat was ex-GB and had passed everywhere else and perfectly legal. Mind you - they did buy it EIGHTEEN MONTHS AGO... so one does wonder just what they were doing with it in the mean time. The Blazerati stood their ground pointing out that it broke the rules and they wern't going afloat with it in that condition.

It seems that the crew and coach, like most crews and coaches, were blissfully unaware of rule 2-3-8 (particularly the last phrase) - reproduced here for your education.

2-3-8 Equipment Check It is the responsibility of the competitors to ensure that their boats are safe and are prepared to the standards required by the ARA Water Safety Code. Control Commission may inspect the boats prepared by the competitors, and shall exclude any boat that fails to meet the standard laid down. Control Commission should pay particular attention to:
  • bow-balls
  • heel restraints.
    All boats where “fitted shoes” are employed must have effective heel restraints. These must be properly adjusted (The heel should be prevented from rising higher than the lowest fixed point of the shoe) and in working order. Likewise, the foot release from any other type of fitment that may be used must be self-acting and not require the intervention of the athlete or a rescuer.
  • coxswains ability to escape from front-coxed boats
  • condition and general maintenance of the boat, including the integrity of any buoyancy compartments. Note: If a compartment is fitted with a method of closing that compartment then the fitment must be in place and intact.

Some hasty patching up with duck tape was deemed sufficient to allow them to race that day but they were reminded that it needed to be repaired.

Meanwhile Safety slug has seen the offending boat in the boat tent at Henley, still sans hatch covers, and will sit in the Boat tent near the rack and watch for further devlopments.

It is your duty to know the rules and check your boats, wherever they may have come from - as it is your racing that will be affected not the seller's.

26-06-05 IN OR OUT?
Friday's qualifiers were delayed by some 30 minutes as the promised thunderstorms made their way over from the wet West. On the plus side,the air is now a lot cleaner and the emerald green turf at Remenham Club is bound to look even better for the start of racing next week, however, the conditions did throw a bit of a curve ball to the competiors and no one could work out if they should be wearing waterproofs or not, as when the sun did come out again they rapidly turned into walking saunas.

The delay was however, appreciated by some spectaors who, been stuck in traffic hell after the A404 was closed when a truck towing a "gin palace" towards the M4, shed its load.

As for the racing, the usual show of novice looking crews lined up with those who could easily have been pre-qualified, for what must be the UK's most expensive head race. Interestingly, the only event where those crews taking part all seemd to be of a consistant standard (and there wasn't really anyone who was obviously either getting in or not), was the women's 8s (Remenham Challenge cup).

Unfortunately not everyone can get in to the main event and the usual amount of "we were the fastest non-qualifer - if only we'd done **insert your own favourite thing** better..." whinging could be heard.

Oh well, chaps, there's always next year... see you at the bar.

qualifiers qualifiers

logoFreemasons who join the ARA or any of its committees or commissions will now have to declare their membership of the ancient governing body.

The Grand Master of the Big Pointy Hat - lodge no 2243, announced recently that freemasons would create a register of their members who are ARA staff,unless they were prepared to name themselves. It will also apply to Umpires, Div Reps, squad rowers and the whole of the Leander Club.

He said: "Some of our freemasons are concerned that rowers have infiltrated the lodge at all levels. Membership of secret societies such as the ARA can raise suspicions of a lack of impartiality or objectivity, it is therefore important the public know the facts. The troubling thing about the ARA's organisation is that we just don't know very much about it. "

23-06-05 OUCH
Olympic Games 1936If you've ever been annoyed because someone "officious" has pulled your bowball off in one easy movement then told you that you can't go afloat, then take a look at the attached photograph and be glad that someone somewhere is bothered about trying to make sure this doesn't happen too often...

Then go and check ALL the boats at your club...

(hint: the boat your rowing in can't run into you - it's everybody else that you need to worry about.)

23-06-05 MARLOW PICS
1 or 2 pics from behind the scenes at Marlow are available at www.marlowoldmen.co.uk/MarlowRegatta2005 some good candidates for caption competions in there.

Apparently special mention is due to Boris Rankov for attempting to demolish the starter's tower with his red flag - it took till his 3rd race till he found the correct range to miss.

22-06-05 SOUR GRAPES?
The slug's sensitive twitchy bits have been picking up a burgeoning "lack of love" between Imperial College and fellow London College UCL...

By all accounts, the intra-London uni bun fight, has much to do with the fact that the IC/UCL composite entry for the Temple has recently been withdrawn from HRR, unilaterally, by UCL. A situation which is all the more bizzare when you take into account that the crew contains SEVEN, yes seven, IC guys...

The crew is pretty much the IC novice boat, but one of the guys in it is from UCL. They've done quite well for themselves this year -- winning the novice pennant at the head and er...well, mauling the UCL boat in S3 at the summer regattas...

So the UCL guy thought he'd do the right thing and ask his college BC if he could do the temple as a composite, after all, surely they'd be glad to be represented at the regatta as part of a successful up and coming crew...

Problem was that for some reason they said no, so desperate to race, he asked UCL's secretary instead and got HIS signature -- then handed the entry form in to the Stewards.

Unsurprisingly, things kicked off when the entries list came out... and UCL just withdrew the entry, claiming that it isn't doing their Boat club's reputation any good.

Yep, that's quite a reputation you've got there, UCL.

Anyway, now they're out, and the seven IC guys are well... a "little narked"

The slug will be watching with some interest at Qualifiers on friday to see if the UCL boat entered in the Temple manages to make the grade.

22-06-05 SEE NO EVIL...
A Crabtree crew was up at sunny Holme Pierrepoint in Nottingham for the National Vets regatta recently and wanted to go for a quick spot of training on the lake outside of the regatta times.

However, when they enquired about this, they were instructed that they were not allowed to go on the lake as there was "no safety cover in place"... the organisers' solution???

To send them out on the River Trent instead...

The mind boggles.

ouch a classic 4 seat selectionAhhh, a classic example of some nice aggressive boat parking at the Fenland poly muppetfest on Saturday after a successful bump (men's div 2 i believe)

meanwhile Fatty Fewkes at 4 seemed oblivious that the bows had gone crunch and was busy celebrating. (Which is probably more than can be said for the Girton boatman...)

Mind you, if you think that's bad -- even more impressive than Girton's efforts at bow-destroying were those of CCAT M2 on the Friday of Bumps...


(and cry he should)

22-06-05 IT'S BEHIND YOU!
It was just another ordinary day in the office for City-Slug.... making a real difference to the world.... relaxing ahead of another gruelling evening session of log, quad and trolley dodging on the tidal Thames when a slimey glance out the window of it's power-broking riverside office alarmingly revealed...... its evil nemesis....

Yes,... the dastardly CAGETHING!!!!

it's yellow it's going to get you

...unbeknown to our hero, Cagething had slunk a whole 10 miles downriver from his usual boat crunching duties and crept up behind City-Slug while mid spreadsheet!

City-Slug's colleagues are now as confused as City-Slug as to Cagething's purpose in life. (Is it really for collecting litter as Thames21 would like to claim, or is it really a gimp-trap???)

Now, Is it just City-Slug or is there a scrape of Empacher yellow on Cagething?