Issue 108 - May 1998
Have you ever wondered how much money we could save, your money to be honest, if we didn't cheat? Long ago, when I was active in a boat, the captain entered us, we raced, and,if we won, we had a few drinks, and two outings rather than one on the following Sunday to get rid of what we shouldn't have done the night before. I sometimes wonder these days if regatta winners lie awake on Saturday nights reflecting on whether their sins, or the sins of their crew-mates, will be found out.
Two initial winners in this years Head of the River were subsequently stripped of their trophies, one for an administrative error and one for, well, let's admit it, cheating although they did plead ignorance. Things have changed, there is no doubt about that. In the old days there was very much of a self- policing system... your rivals , even at Henley, let you know in no uncertain terms, if you were in an event which was below your status....and you tended not to do it again! Today, it seems to cost a lot of money to to the policing.
I have just received a batch of material from the ARA. There is going to be a new membership card, replacing the old points book.' ... (we never had a points book).
'The new card, with attached photograph, will be completely waterproof when sealed in the plastic container' (we didn't need a plastic container).Orders to regatta secretaries 'When a competitor wins a qualififying race you will need to clip the card beside the new points total, i.e. if rowing points on the card are shown as 3 the number 4 on the rowing side should be clipped. We are enclosing two small Rexel hole punchers for this purpose' (we never needed Rexel hole punchers). I am pleased to see that the ARA are providing two of these since ' It is difficult to know at the moment how these will perform after numerous clipping operations. We would be most grateful of your comments'. Well, my comment is, 'If only we didn't cheat, or we were self-policing, all of this expense might be unecessary' but, I suppose, things have changed.
The good news is that the ARA are trying to keep your costs down by selling 'Safety lanyards', presumably to defray the costs of paying for the above, allowing you to have a safe 'around the neck' type of card holder. The lanyard has 'no metal parts and the special plastic clip allows easy off and on use of your membership card'. If only I had had such a thing when I was rowing seriously since they do come in red, green, blue, black and yellow. I think I would have gone for the blue since it was one of my club colours.
Details on the new safety lanyards from the ARA, tel: 0181 748 3632.
© Copyright Mike Rosewell, 1997.
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