Last Saturday, Neil "fat boy McSpanner" Wallace and Tom "the groin" Baker went head to head in single sculls over 4km on the Clyde.
The two, well known for their mutual admiration of one another, gave the mass of umpires and spectators plenty to talk about.
Wallace (who had a distinct advantage with the draw) set off like a bullet out
of a gun, building up a nice lead on Baker before being warned by the umpire
that he was about to hit a bridge buttress.
Gap closed, and no drama until sewage works corner, where again Wallace showed a distinct lack of navigation skills. Narrowly missing the helpful "concrete post" on the North Bank with his bow side oar, he then proceeded into a near collision with the bushes on the South Bank.
Meanwhile, "tripod" Baker was tapping along nicely, all the time eating into the 10m gap between the 2 boats. When asked how he took such a fine course around the sewage bend he replied "I just followed my nose!"
Wallace was getting desparate, he realised his (much) older and wiser adversity was getting the better of him. While pondering this, he again received a call from an umpire, this time on the steps of Glasgow rowing club "you don't want to go that way son!" 20 one handed strokes later and the bend was finished.
Baker seized the opportunity, once again taking the "tiger line". He looked set to take Wallace, but had tried to be too cute and got his commupence! He nearly capsized as his bowside oar lifted several kilograms of duck weed, 3 condoms and a shopping trolley from the North Bank.
His chance to take Wallace had gone, and with 1km to go both scullers found a rhythm taking them sailing through the J15 scullers, nicely laid on by the events commitee as a useful distraction.
An 8m gap re-established, a shout from fellow fatboy Duncan "hair care products" Alexander situated on the overhead footbridge of "come on Neil" gave Wallace the strength to sit tall and concentrate on his stroke. Enough infact to cause a series of mini-crabs and a few expletives (a technique he learned from Baker in a previous encounter). Sportingly Duncan gave similar support to arch-enemy Baker, resulting in a similar technique vacuum for "the groin".
500m to go, it is straight but a large headwind begins, where is the finish line? Lungs bursting, bladework faltering, Wallace picks it up to 28 in a valiant struggle to re-establish the starting advantage he was given.............. .............was it to be enough???????????
Baker beats Wallace by a clear 2 seconds.
Tom said on hearing the result "na na na naa na"
Neil said "boo hoo!"
it's 1:1 the story continues......................
humourous, unbiased and factually misleading report submitted by yours truly, Neil Wallace, 26th October 2003