No, not a man with a stoat through his head. Instead, what appears to be an utterly gratuitious waste of time and money:


Yes, its a 5x. WTF? Presumably, these people really do have so much spare cash that they can create a new hull [update: more likely a converted coxed four; though rumour says that German quints exist] just for a video (though some of the shorts of the bow-bobble nearly going underwater suggest they may have got the shape a touch wrong [update: nope, that is probably them being pushed by the barge]). Thats assuming all this isn’t CGI, but I doubt it – some of the shots of them rowing are a bit flaky, though they have clearly had some coaching. But why the Olde Worlde blades?

Please dno’t tell me that 5-‘s really exist. I enjoyed my little rant. Do watch the full video.

h/t: Dr S.

Updates: As JA points out in the comments, there are misc refs to this: Mark Hunter in the ES about teaching them; and a more informative piece in the Henley Standard.

I’ve added a second pic from the video for those from the Blighted States:


A bit shonky I think you’ll agree but they aren’t being held in this section. Also updated 5- to 5x.


  1. #1 Don

    I once saw a 3x, it had tweety bird on the side saying “I tawt I taw a Twipple” it used to live at Fairmount BC in Philly

  2. #2 Don

    I once saw a 3x, it had tweety bird on the side saying “I tawt I taw a Twipple” it used to live at Fairmount BC in Philly.

    Ugly finishes…

  3. #3 Hank Roberts

    Got screenshots? From the USA it looks like this:
    “This video contains content from Vevo, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”

  4. #4 crandles

    At least it is sculling – if it was a 5 only for sweep-oar rowing then it would surely qualify as an ‘utterly gratuitious waste of time and money’.

  5. #5 Tony Sidaway

    This one works okay for me.

    So who are the other team? Oasis?

    [I don’t recognise any of these folk. But I did notice that the other team could row properly -W]

  6. #6 Nick Barnes

    That bridge is about 200 metres from my house in Staines.

    [They go a long way. They start in Henley, I’m fairly sure, then down over the boat race course, then through the Thames barrier and out into the sea (though I think the last bit is faked) -W]

  7. #7 Nosmo

    There was in race near Seattle that (I think) until this year had a 3x division. My understanding was that they were 2+ shells modified for 3 scullers. One was specially built by Pocock for a guy who wanted to row with his wife and daughter.
    My guess is that the mold for the hull of this boat was 4+. It wouldn’t be that hard for the builder to make a custom 5x.

    [‘ve never seena 3- either, but it doesn’t seem implausible. The modified 4+ was my first thought, and it is plausible. That might account for it being a bit low in the water -W]

  8. #8 Steve Bloom

    When I tried it (from the U.S. also), Tony’s link showed the same message.

    [Clearly there are some things you are just not meant to know -W]

  9. #9 julesberry

    I once saw Pinsent and Regrave at Henley and noticed that their bows almost submerged every stroke. Technique doesn’t matter when you are that fit and strong…

  10. #10 James Annan

    The obvious answer (confirmed by few secs googling) is that they were in a converted 4+. The Take That boat was pushed some of the time, which may explain the bowball sinkage.

    (from my one-time occasional supplier of banana cake here)

  11. #11 Nosmo

    Your link is blocked in the US but found it on a German site

    “But why the Olde Worlde blades?”

    It matches the outfits?

    I use those (macon) blades about half the time I row. They promote and require better technique. Hitting the catch too hard and digging deep feels much worse with macons. I know of a few coaches who have their teams start with macons and switch to hatchets half way through the season. My coach wants me to race with the macons which I’m thinking about doing in a couple of weeks.

    One can be much sloppier at the catch with modern hatchets. I also know of several masters rowers who use them because they say macons are easier on their backs. Really I think it is that it is easier to row with bad technique and it is the bad technique that is the problem rather then the blades per se.

  12. #12 Nick Barnes

    You mean you watched it all the way to the end?

  13. #13 LoveMuriel

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