Becky Thorpe and Steph Temperton are used to working long hours on shift as A & E Doctors, currently working in Derby and Nottingham, but have now set themselves by far the toughest challenge in British if not Worldwide Rowing. Many crews race one of the three Rowing Classics each year, but no-one has ever attempted all three in a week, a pretty rigorous way to both raise charity funds and get fit for their Atlantic rowing attempt in November.

First up is the “short” 19 mile Great River Race, from Richmond to Greenwich on the Thames on Saturday 17th.

"We won the Mixed Trophy last year in our Trans-Atlantic Boat "Marion" with Dave Riches and Peter Haining, and so feel obliged to go back and pull the lads along again" Becky says, introducing the first-of-three classic challenges the crew will be attempting to complete in less than a week. "but not much of a post-race party for us...

"...as the next day we have to race the 26 miles from Lincoln to Boston in Britains longest rowing race, the Boston Marathon”. Steph takes up the story. “We managed to set the Ladies Pairs record last year and if the weather is OK we are aiming to break four hours this time. The only good part of the weekend is that we get to race at Boston in our Ray Sims river boat, "MakingWaves2005" as the big Atlantic Boat can’t be launched at Lincoln… thankfully!!!"

Three days and two A ∓ E shifts later the Atlantic Boat and crew will arrive at Lechlade to start the Great Meander, the 186 mile Thames descent from Lechlade to Gravesend.

"No-one has done this in an Atlantic Boat so some of the early locks and bridges may be a tad interesting" crew coach Nige Mayglothling observes.

"We have to start out from Lechlade in the dark at 4am Thursday as we hope to catch the right tide down at Richmond, but we really don’t know how fast “Marion” can go up on the narrow reaches so that may be problematic too."

The girls will be the first crew to complete the Triple Classic, the first to get an Atlantic Boat down the Thames, and also hope to set a few more race-records along the way.

"Endurance Rowing is largely a big-lads sport adds their coach, "so having two nine-stone lasses taking a pop at some of the 15- stone paddlers' records shows how determined they really are."

Above all the crew hope to raise more money for the Trust set up by Nottingham Honorary Graduate Sir Steve Redgrave, the crews chosen charity that helps supports local youth projects throughout the country.

With the coming Atlantic Race carrying a £60,000 entry cost, any and all support is clearly welcome, and obviously guarantees a high degree of exposure.

Becky and Steph will be racing head to head across the Atlantic against luvvies BBC-TV documentary pairing double-Olympic champion and surfboard-paddler James Cracknell and his partner Ben 'Castaway' Fogle, so this will clearly bring some spice to their Atlantic Challenge!

Futher details on the Triple Classic & Atlantic Challenge can be found on www.makingwaves2005.org or from Nige Mayglothling on 07941 982470.

02-09-05 MOVING ON MAA...
It appears that Mortlake have parted company with their £200 a week coach of three years, Richard Tinkler, after he apparently made 'certain demands'.

Reports from the upper end of Chiswick beach, indicate that a huge amount of inter-member email traffic was generated about the whole saga, with the official line being that he wanted to stay on, but felt that the club did not share his vision of how to proceed and therefore couldn't continue.

Tinkler has been a somewhat controversial figure during his reign at MAABC, building the womens' squad to dizzy heights not achieved since the blessed Sue Appleboom was at her prime, but at the apparent expense of their men's squad who were knocked out of the Thames Cup on the first day of HRR by Curlew and his much vaunted coxed four were removed by Aberdeen on the same morning.

All very "littlest hobo"...

Incase you were wondering, rumour central has it that Tinkler is moving to Leander of all places (go figure) while Merv Lee and Piers Robinson have been appointed as his replacements at MAA is looking to continue building on the success that Richard has brought to the club over the past 3 years.

The usual drunken antics at Ross regatta last weekend were supplemented by the couple of muppets who took it upon themselves to annoy everyone by putting on a demonstration of bad driving in the regatta field.

Round and round they razzed, revving the nuts out of their low-performance motors and doing their utmost to break the suspension.

At 7pm it wasn't funny since there were kids around in the campsite after the vets & juniors regatta, but after nightfall, if was even less funny, when at 1am one of them drove straight into Southampton's (borrowed) Janousek coxless pair, knocking it off its trestles.

The two cars quickly parked next to the Royal Chester trailer and the occupants legged it at speed.

Next morning, the Old Bill arrived, inspected the damanged pair (2 large holes and 2 broken shoulders) and a Vauxghall Corsa with tell-tale white paint streak on the bumper.

Shortly after which they nicked the 7-man from the Royal Chester eight and frog-marched him away. At the end of the regatta he was apparently still in custody, no longer enjoying the bank holiday by all accounts.

As you might expect there was absolutely no sympathy from any other competitors, who's major concern seemed to be that the boat was a white boat up at eye level and not far away were many dark coloured tents at a much lower level which presumably were even less easy to spot ...

One of the Royal's contingent was even heard to say "he's one of the sensible ones".

How very worrying....

The Thames Regional Rowing Council have been quietly getting on with the business of sorting things out in the Thames region, but even though the council are more than happy to help and advise when necessary, the chairman was somewhat baffled when he received payment for a utility bill, from one regatta organiser recently.

The individual concerned, who is not unknown for inhabiting his own personal universe, had posted the slip from his electricty bill and a covering cheque to the TRRC, obviously having mistaken the pre-paid envelope sent in March for the event and club information, with the one sent out by Powergen!

Needless to say slip and cheque are winging their way back to the sender but the slug would love to know what the electricity company are going to make of the event details proforma...

oh dear.

Taken from a Times interview with Katherine Grainger which uses her criminology PhD as its peg:
"It was while studying for her master's degree that the common characteristics of psychopaths rang some bells.

"I had a diagnostic manual on various mental disorders at a training camp," Grainger said. "I read them out and someone said, 'No way, that's so like our coach.' It became striking that people in sport had a lot of the same traits -obsessive, perfectionist, single-minded, ruthless, aware that their behaviour is affecting other people but not being bothered about it.

I'm not saying our coach will go out and murder us tomorrow, but extreme forms of behaviour are what we are all about."


17-09-05 LOOKALIKE
National treasure
Sir Steve Redgrave
National president
Senor Stephan RosGravos


After seeing his portrait in the National Museum of Costa Rica, San Jose – exhibition of paintings of Presidents and State Leaders, one has to ask - has our “Golden One” been moonlighting as President of foreign States?

Mr P Bear
Darkest Peru

poster detailWhilst perusing the poster advertising the Chester Long Distance Sculls, we suddenly noticed that the navy blue blades of Royal Chester RC seen to take on a rather different appearance when reflected on the water surface?

We always wondered why RCRC members seemed to consider themselves superior to the rest of the Chester rowing community...

Photoshop lessons anyone?

The slug's attempts to chew on the weed in the lake at Peterborough last weekend were rudely interupted, during the hour before racing started, by frequent buzzers sounding.

The source of the noise pollution was in fact the reagtta's finish hooter, which is operated by a button on the desk in the finish caravan. On the Saturday morning, before racing started, every halfwit who entered the caravan felt the need to test the hooter, with the result that it beeped every few minutes for about an hour.

Peace was, however, returned for the first race of the day, which crossed the line in complete silence apart from the finish judge calling the lane numbers as the crews passed. When asked just why he hadn't used the hooter, his response was
"I knew there was something else I should have been doing."

Later on the slug was merrily listening to the excuses being rolled out by crews who's boats had just failed control comission.

In between the usual mantra of "It wasn't like that yesterday", "The last umpire who checked it let it go", "Can I fix it later?", "Will it be OK if we wrap it in duck tape" and "Did you just break that?", the old twitchy feelers picked up a new one from a York crew, who'd boat was suffering from defective heel restraints at Bow and Stroke -- which had a single string attached to both heels and nothing else (so you can get one foot out but not the other).

Hastily protesting their innocence one member of the crew pipped up "Well I'm an umpire too and I checked them yesterday", to which the response was "well if you're an umpire, you'll know their not acceptable".

After a quick check, the York rower then admitted that all was not well, but had yet another excuse up his sleeve "It must have been sabotage" he declared "Someone must have altered them last night"...

Much snorting and raising of eyebrows, by the umpires on control commission, followed and the crew were allowed to go afloat once the problem had been remedied - Though rest assured the boat was thoroughly checked again later in the day... just incase the saboteurs had been at it again...

what were they thinking??For bringing the sport into disrepute we charge Durham University Women's Boat Club.

Complaints have been flooding in from rowers across the country after the accompanying advert appeared in the Times magazine supplement on Saturday. The advert, for Tourism in the North East, appears to feature a DUWBC crew surfing their boat down a log flume at an amusement park?!?

There are just so many things wrong with this that I'm not even going to start, however as one rower succinctly put it "I don't know how much they were paid, but it wasn't worth it".

Oh the shame...

14-08-05 ROTTEN LUCK
Picture the scene... A member of Upper Thames who has recently become a father and who just acquired a brand spanking new Stampfli manages to sneak out for a crafty scull between baby duties.

He's motoring along somewhere between the Syphillis Court Club and the Bridge when he takes a quick glance over his shoulder and sees he's about to crash into a person paddling in the opposite direction (and clearly on the wrong side of the river) in one of Hobb's blue rental rowing boats.

The resourceful chap takes emergency avoiding action steering the boat away and pulling in his portside blade - thankfully the person in the Hobb's boat tries to do the same and what could have been a full on head to head turned into a glancing blow off his wing rigger.

So our intrepid sculler is about to launch into the standard tirade (sorry I mean greeting) that one uses in such situations when he looks up and finds himself staring into the eyes of none other than Jonny Rotten who then makes the most sincere and profuse apology that one can imagine!

Anarchy on the ThamesWell, our man wonders whether he's hallucinating from the numerous "wetting the babies head" incidents or perhaps just lack of sleep so he decides to test the situation by saying "oh, well, that's all right - you're famous" to which Mr Rotten lights up

"ahhh, you recognise me?" - our man then looks around and spies a camera crew skulking a few metres away (also on the wrong side of the river) and who clearly could have caught the whole incident on film and summarises:

"well of course I recognise you, I guess I'm famous now too - now get yourselves on the correct side of the river"!