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More than sport

Trail blazing

Peta Rule

Three together It's Henley this week. The Europeans have turned their attention to the Thames so expect the world's rowing social networking to be full of iphone pix of blazers brash and bizarre over the next few days.

You can even buy a book on blazers - and I note the front cover picture has a strikingly familiar feel to it. We're advised Janet Smith has already put in her order.

blazer man 2WARC once upon a time had a blazer. There's one framed in the River Room, a heavy maroon-coloured affair safely ensconced behind glass, never at risk of being worn again.

The Boston Four, most recently famous for rowing as superheroes for Amy's marathon row back in November, have designed a WARC-inspired blazer of their own to wear when they take on the marathon row on the third Sunday of September. It's an all-black affair, with the cardinal-and-gold trimming an appropriate nod to their home club here at Wests.

Rumour has it that over at UWA, the fabric used to make their blue, green and gold blazers is safely guarded by a secret society, released for use only when athletes attain a level of significance either in their sporting or administrative roles. Then the club bestows upon them a blazer, usually tailored by a lovely chap in Bali.blazer man one left

As a club that has had its fair share of Dutch athletes pass through the membership, it should not come as a surprise that they have a unique tradition in relation to blazers - rather than having new blazers given to athletes who have achieved, the Dutch pass down blazers from one rower to the next. The more tattered and more threadbare the blazer, the more pride with which it is worn.

(Disclaimer: None of this is verified. We're just going on hearsay.)

And thus, we come to the point: All this talk has caused your President and Captain to turn their minds towards a WARC blazer.

There are many angles to consider: Should blazers be available for all, or provided as a gift from the club to those who have achieved above and beyond?

If there is a criteria, how do we decide it? Is it solely sporting prowess, or do we take into consideration those who have contributed above and beyond to the family that is WARC?

Perhaps we make the blazer available to all, and then create a level of "pockets" athletes can achieve, in line with Adelaide which has a coveted "black" pocket for their strongest and fastest.

If we opt the latter, who is it that makes the decision, given that office bearers may indeed by the types that would want a blazer in the first place?

blazer man three rightOver at the Leander club in the UK, they permit all "full members" to wear the "coveted Leander 'Pink" livery such as Club blazer buttons and tie, or pachmina, cap and socks." I note full members are those who are "distinguished past and present oarsmen and women and the world-class athletes."


That said, given their logo is a hippopotamus, I totally want hippo-socks.

So, we throw the quandary open to the community of Wests: Should we have a blazer? What should it look like? (keeping in mind our colours are cardinal and gold, not actually black-red-yellow). Who should decide who gets one, and on what basis?

This is what @rowingblazers reckons:

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