Exit the Empacher

There was no longer a shine to the Empacher as there was before.  Cobwebs, dust, weeds - all signs of non use, dereliction and waste.  Huggy thought of the great things that could have been, wiped away a tear and speed-dialled Henry.  He should have expected a foreign dialling tone.

"Privyet, Roman Abrahamovich", answered Henry with a phoney East European accent.

"What's with the accent, and who is Roman Abrahamovich?" asked an already frustrated Huggy.

"Just my alter ego, old chap," said Henry reverting to the Queens English.

"Why are you calling yourself 'Abrahamovich'?"

"Just doing a bit of business in the New World, get a lot more respect if I sound like Russian mafia.  Anyway, I'm a bit busy you know, places to go, people to see and all that."

"Well, it's about the Empacher..." said Huggy, trying to find the right words to let his partner down gently.

"Sell it.  Gotta go.  Do svidaniya, comrade!"


With nothing doing in the Empacher for the regatta season, Huggy concentrated his efforts in the Eight in which we raced 4 times.  First up was Twickenham; handsomely beating the local crew, but then going down by a length to a very good Thames RC crew.

At the National Masters Championships, we really gave it our all, getting through to the final beating Runcorn and Bedford Star, but then coming 5th in the final to basically the who's who of Masters Vet D rowing.

Then painfully, Veterans Henley, where after beating Nottingham (a definite scalp) we were rowed through by Marlow right at the end of the semis and lost by 4 ft.

There was a small saving grace at Sudbury when half the crew merged with some younger blood from the inbetweeny seniors and won the Open Masters Eights sprint over 3 heats.

We came to the end of the season with mixed feelings.  Some great racing, some heavy partying (St Neots being the standout), but insufficient reward for our endeavours.

In September, Huggy took stock with the Vet Ds, who unanimously voted to carry on into the next season.  As ever, there are some changes: Thor 'opted' to return to the Development Squad, and has been replaced by Richard Ridgway (on loan from the senior), who will only get to race with us in 2012, when the boat becomes 8 years older.

Coaching duties have transfered to Dave Marsden, who is providing sound an considered advice (when he remembers to turn up).

Coxing duties have moved to Dani James as a reward for her excellent performances this year (including that win at the Nat Champs).  She is a natural steer, flirtatiously bossy (which we all like), keeps asking us to "take a piece" when lifting the boat, which induces boyish grins, and above all, unlike Tim, turns up at the right time, every time.  What a god send!

We've experimented in September and October.  Gerraint is now the stroke man, we need options and cannot always rely on Mr Chairman.  We are slowly trying to reconstruct Greg's stroke and Huggy toyed with 7 and 5, but seemed to somehow found himself back in the bow seat (so he could 'keep an eye on everyone' - yeah right).

We're concentrating on rowing as one; same hand heights, same finish position, same loading of power at the various points of the stroke.  Unsurprisingly, its really, really difficult to get veterans to row the same way, really difficult; and it has been a frustrating couple of months of 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.  But it's definitely getting better.  We'll see at the Docklands Head on Nov 13th.


As the Empacher was driven off by its lucky new owner, Huggy managed to catch sight of Henry inspecting a sign at the rapidly growing new Maidstone Football Club Ground.  He was accompanied by Countessa Vanya Olimpia Konstantin-Assen of Vidin (for those readers with short memories see HERE), and two nasty looking pieces of work, looking suspiously like bodyguards, .

As Huggy approached his erstwhile partner hand stetched out, the immaculately dressed Countessa Vanya immediately interjected with a: "KILL HIM", whereupon the gorillas whisked out some lethal looking handguns, flicked the safetys and Huggy realised he was as good as dead.

"Niet," ordered Henry.

Huggy's rectum relaxed significantly while he was efficiently and brutally frisked.  He was too astonished to say anything other than a weak: "I say, steady on."

"Hugs, old chap, sorry about that.  Dmitry and Gregor can be a bit confrontational, but they are necessary: the Russkis can play rough sometimes."

"You've changed, Henry," Huggy suggested bitterly, "and not for the better I must say."

"Can't be helped old boy, can't get in the way of progress... like this for example," crowed Henry flourishing has hands over the building site.

Confused, Huggy looked at the beginnings of the new ground and then at the sign at the entrance:




Huggy couldn't restrain a giggle, "Maidstone FC - Premiership, you are having a laugh."

"That's where you are wrong me old mucker.  It's like the rowing club: from little acorns, great oaks grow.  It takes dedication, skill, training, coaching, sound management, an investment in time, a youth academy, and," said Henry triumphantly, "like my namesake at Chelsea can vouchsafe, lots and lots of wonga!"

To which, Henry fished out a huge wad of what looked like Roubles, handed it to Huggy and said there you go mate, buy yourself a new boat."  

MIRC Annual Dinner and Dance

Hi everyone

Now less than a month to go until this years Annual Dinner and Dance (Black Tie
event). Saturday 19th November, 6.30 for a 7.00 sit down.

Please email, phone or text if you and guests are interested in coming along,
everyone is welcome.

3 course dinner with entertainment for £35 a ticket. We also have some
fantastic raffle prizes this year including a signed copy of Sir Steve
Redgrave's book. All donations to the raffle welcome :-)

Many thanks to those that have already emailed. Cheques should be made payable
to MIRC or bank transfer to Maidstone Invicta, sort code 403106 account number
71230964 or alternatively give me the cash when you see me at the club.

Address of the venue is Ramada Maidstone, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, ME17 1RE.

We have a special event rate for anyone interested in staying over £85 per room
with B&B please book direct on 0844 8149045 or book online.

Look forward to hearing from you.

07783 954371