How does Charlotte move so fast?

Exciting news: Charlotte Taylor Booth is coming to Bergerac for six weeks from 22nd July to be lead coach for the ChezB training programme. Charlotte is a rowing phenomenon. Now one of the fastest lightweight scullers in the world, she rose through the ranks in a remarkably short time…

The Circus Comes to Town

On July 10th the Tour de France headed for Bergerac for the third time in four years, and the town went into high-octane municipal welcoming mode – a festive activity it does very well. A brass band and a pop group were deployed down at the town dock (sometimes playing simultaneously), and the processional floats,…

Another state school makes rowing history

Henley Regatta has only just started, but already the dramas are unfolding. One is the debut appearance of Montclair, a state school from New Jersey which has been making waves in the US rowing world by beating the daylights out of a succession of privileged (and quite possibly smug) private-school crews in super-expensive boats. Nothing…

C2 or RP3? Bring on the Putney guinea-pigs

For 10 hectic days last month I was down on the River Lot, 50 km south of Bergerac. This is the famously smooth, slow-flowing water on which so many of the world’s top rowers have honed their skills.  First stop was the La Base camp at Temple-sur-Lot, where crews from the French national squads and…

LOSBC hits the rocks

Bad news, to put it mildly, reached me yesterday from London. It seems that the London Oratory School has announced that it is shutting down its rowing programme. This will apparently involve winding up the LOSBC, laying off its staff, selling its assets, and using the proceeds to offset the school’s budget deficit. The school…

Subterranean Boathouse Blues

22 Feb 2017. Things had been going well. Too well. Something is about to go wrong, I thought as I set off on yet another 450-mile drive from London to Bergerac. However, the road to Portsmouth was clear, and there was no sign of German bombs or mines in the harbour (so on that score…

How to Become a Swami

Instead of returning as usual to the parental home for Christmas 2016, I dropped everything and went back to school. This was the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course at Reith, near Kitzbühel – a famously demanding learning programme which begins every day at 5.30 am, continues until 10.00 pm., allows no meat, alcohol or coffee,…