"Time wasting" - Nationals 2010

What a waste of time...

Golf, they say, is a good walk spoiled. Poppycock. It's only spoiled if you stop walking. Granted you might have to swipe at the little perisher a few more times than you'd like to, but at least you haven't spoiled your perambulation. If you apply this logic to other sports, how could perceived wasted time be far better employed. Take footie for instance (I know you northern chaps like your footie). You could give the goalie a butterfly net, or similar, to swipe at passing wildlife that seems to invade the field of play from time to time. What would they catch I hear you ask, well possibly a peacock butterfly or something equally majestic at "The Lane", obviously a whole host of vermin at "The Emirates" and if the marauding wildlife escapes from the fans' bobble hats or turn ups, everything from penguins to aardvarks at Old Trafford.

Pole vaulters could possibly do a window cleaning round on their way to work, with a big rag. By Friday they could have completed a whole round. Quids in, eh! (as could trampolinists with a bit of planning) Cyclists, instead of ploughing on for hours at a time, and while their at it, cutting me up at roundabouts, could all be on static bikes, wired up to the national grid. Result: same effort spent keeping fit, safer roads for all, and we'd all be megawatts up on the deal. I'm sure that "Le Tour" just possibly wouldn't be the same if held in an aircraft hanger in Calais but what a fuel saving! No doubt the boffins could put up individual screens for each pedal pounder to show whereabouts they would be "virtually" and the chap with the biggest pins would triumph anyway. No bumps, no bashes, no falls, no crashes. Instead of camping out on some isolated mountain pass for days on end for "cinque seconds of allez" cycle nuts could zoom in on Alberto's nostrils or Greg's gear changes every inch of the way, in big brother style from the comfort of your sofa. No more clammy croissants or tepid merlot, luxury a finger tip away and no more of this driving on the wrong side of the road! I might mention it to the committee next time I see them.

By this stage I know what you're all thinking, where is the silly old duffer going with this one. Well, think on it dear boy, do. Where do we, in our noble sport, waste mountains of time, well I'll tell you, (Oh please do, the suspense is stupefying ..Skip) on the blasted start line, that's where!

No I know that as a nation, we are supposed to be world leaders at queuing, but there's a world of difference between queuing and waiting, and I for one, am not particularly fond of waiting. When your queuing, you can check out the vintage of the plonk and associated attributes of all the pretty little things around you, but when you're waiting, as in for a plane or train, its books or crosswords for most, or a snifter at the bar, but waiting in a dragonboat on a start line has got to be the most ruinous waste of time ever in the world of sport (Apart from reading this drivel ...Skip)

Why do we have to do it, I hear you all clamour. Well first off, waiting for the opposition, normally northern, normally been watching footie, playing footie or talking about footie (like their footie the northern chaps, don't you know). (I'm losing the will to live GET ON WITH IT ...Skip.) Then there's "Mister Starter", normally an affable sort of chap with a readily open wallet at the bar, but get them behind a microphone, with power, and the persona totally changes. Mr "ooh anything wet in a glass", becomes Mr Millimetre perfect with attitude. You take this weekend for instance, we spent longer waiting and shuffling on the start line, than I did on the M1 getting there. It's not on dear boy, just not on! But don't get me wrong "Mister Starter" has a job to do and normally dispatches said duties with teutonic efficiency. The real culprit here has to be the hearing and reaction time of assembled helms, all of whom want to be an inch up or more on the off. I read a report last week that states it's scientifically proven that people higher up, as in ladders and buildings, actually age quicker than those on terra firma. It might only be ninety milliseconds over a life span, but a fact none the less. Therefore helms, that stand all high and mighty whilst the troops crouch, are scientifically proven to be closer to losing their marbles than the rest of us.
Sorry chaps, that's the way it is!

What's the answer to all this unnecessary shuffling? Electric cattle prods for the first couple of offences followed by, oh I don't know, capital punishment for any future transgressions. Yes fairly harsh, I'll grant you, but eventually the message will get through. We might lose a few helms initially but as long as we're fair about it I don't think too many will complain. Cant take a joke, shouldn't have joined, what!

But apart from navel gazing, thumb twiddling, careless talk that ultimately, one day, will cost lives, what could we possibly do that's productive, whilst bobbing. Obvious answer: homework!

Teachers could be marking homework, architects and their ilk could be revising plans etc, and bankers can do, whatever it is that bankers do. Trades folk could be cleaning their tools, fishermen could be checking their tackle, the list is endless but I would draw the line at farriers. The last thing you want to do is spook a horse in a dragonboat.

What would we do with all of this extra weight, come lift off, you're wondering. Well I'll tell you; pack it all into a sealed torpedo, or similar, attached to a fishing reel mounted at the back of the boat. Boat takes off, line goes out, no extra weight or drag during the race, hit the recoil button, reel the blighter in and by jingo no more wasted time. It's ingenuity like this that built the empire, don't you know!

Whenever I think of Nottingham, my mind, (Such as it is ...Skip) meanders back to an advertisement many decades ago, for Tunes, nasal clearance lozenges, whereupon a severely congested young man of far flung travelling intentions asks at a manned station booth (That was a long time ago ..Skip) for a first class ticket to "Dottingham". Later in the advertisement, as the mystical powers of the medicine take hold, Dottingham vaporises to Nottingham. Just thought I'd share that with you! So in my mind, we're always at Dottingham.

Batchworth nationals squad 2010

Talking of cattle prods, I can feel one coming my way if I don't get a move on. It was good to see those slippery Serpents slithering south, if only for a brief showing in the mixed classes. Our very own troops mustered a valiant effort in this event, finishing third on Saturday behind a Thames squad who topped both the mixed class distances [Umm, actually only one I'm afraid... Skip2]. A gutsy showing by Thames saw minimal changes in their team twixt mixed and open events but appeared undone in the longer events possibly due to the lack of firepower! The surprise package of Sundays racing for me was those wily old warriors from Worcester sneaking home in third place. Informants advise me that a trawl of the bookies in Worcester High Street revealed a surprisingly high volume of spot betting on just such an outcome. Well done chaps, we'll be watching out for you next term as you seem to be going from strength to strength. Our own B crew, stalwarts to a (wo)man, officially named the Beasties (but I am currently campaigning to rename them the Rocketeers), ruffled a few feathers I'm sure, by fighting hard to make Sunday's major final along with the Dragons.

And what of our performance I hear you ask, well Saturday came and went, and after a weekend of flying just under the radar, we popped up with the final's fastest time to bag the 500m title to add to the league win. Thundering good show chaps, large ones all round. Trebles if Mister Starter's buying.

Toodle pip 'til next term

Lord Rocket