Nottingham 2006

It's a funny ol' game...

Our man Sven could learn a thing or two from the new Batchworth selection criteria:

  • Can you make it to <insert important event here - e.g. Nottingham / Stuttgart etc> on Sunday?
  • Can you hold a paddle / kick a football (delete as appropriate)?
  • Are you (relatively) injury free and without a better offer?

Answer 'yes' to all three and you're guaranteed a place in the starting line up. (Although 'yes' to any one of them would probably be sufficient). There's a rumour that one or two of the crew think they can race online nowadays, like one of those grand old 'track and field' video games (or am I showing my age here?). Just hit the console buttons as fast as you can and by the magic of the interweb your effort is transmitted to the boat. Sadly, it seems our wireless connection wasn't working well enough.

Anyhow, the mighty blues converged on Nottingham sporting a couple of new faces - the 'Theo Walcotts' of the squad if you like - except that ours got a full set of games. We had a strong attack, a good defence and a sturdy midfield - was it good enough?

We set off in the familiar 1-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-1 formation - a little old fashioned maybe but it seems to work. There were one or two crews with the slightly more refined 1-2-2-2-2-0-2-2-2-2-1 but 'Ronaldo Rocket' assures us it's a fad that'll never take off.
Rob 'Robinson' at the back took us off to start the day. Gaining in confidence with every race isn't he - and steering a far straighter line this week-end too.

The 200s went pretty much to plan. Well, almost... right up to that moment when we crossed the line neck and neck with the 'black and yellows'. Who'd won that one..? Please don't say we have to go to extra time... aww shucks they beat us to it by a fraction of a second.
Never mind. Bit of half time refreshment (multiple ice-creams for captain Nick 'Beckham' - no danger of him dehydrating with all that dodgy 'buzz' drink he was trying to offload) and on to the second half... change ends, wind in our favour and all that nonsense.

Oops - nearly a bit of an own goal in the semi when those slippery serpents from the three rivers gave us a right good chase down the course. Eager little devils must be putting in the overtime in preparation for Canada. That strangely familiar fellow was in there again (and getting nearer the front of the boat too), though this time without the beanie hat disguise - now where do we recognise him from?

And so, on to the cup final
If truth be told, it probably wasn't the best plan to have the footie commentary in the boat for the final. I mean... you could barely hear young Julie screaming her head off at us to paddle faster (or harder or longer or something). Although, apparently, she came across loud and clear in the Kingston boat!
So... congratulations Amathus, fine racing all day. Unlucky Thames, so close at the end and well done to everyone else too especially our new faces and youngsters - three cheers all round! Arguably a lot more exciting than a certain 90 minutes in Germany and one of the best races we've had for a long time - yes, I know we came third but duh, obviously the referee was biased, the linesman needed glasses, Batchworth were never offside and Amathus were never half a second ahead etc etc but you get the picture.

And finally... what with all this training frenzy it seems our glorious coach Werner (another foreign coach eh?) has been forgetting to eat. Honestly, the poor man is wasting away. So we've decided to have a whip round to buy him a plate of chips - all donations welcome to the usual address.

Adieu until the next one.

They think it's all over...
Oh no - Not by a long way! :-)


I'd like to offer some photos... but I don't think we had anyone spare to take any.