Catching a Crab - Olympic Gold
Stone Moment - Base Metal into Gold.
Or Discerning the
Meaning in Meaningful Coincidence
Why does everything have to be chance? Only because that is the way the opinion
formers, vocal academics and journalists, want it to be. It is all
their narrow 'belief systems' can accommodate. Is there not something beyond our material world
of space and time something which we can barely glimpse, an orchestrator
of space and time perhaps. Could there indeed be a God after all?
at the very curious coincidence in the recent rowing ‘disaster’ as some
have called it in the Olympic Games at Eton Dorney. As a TV commentator
on Prime said “It wasn’t a disaster at all. It wasn’t like the Titanic.
Nobody died." Tell that to Louise trap it (now that is a very curious ‘live update’ coincidence produced by Dragon as I dictate this article).
Louise Trappitt rowed No2 in the NZ women's four. They were rowing in the
semi-final on 30th July with a good chance of a place in the final. They
were moving up through the field when suddenly Louise Trappitt ‘caught a
crab’. I was surprised to see that headline in the New Zealand Herald
report on 31st July. It was a phrase I had not heard for 40 years, not
since my rowing days at Oxford. But was it Louise Trappitt’s destiny?
Her surname describes what happened to her oar. It is what happens when
you ‘catch a crab’. You dont clear the water properly at the end of the
stroke, your oar gets trapped in the water by the speed of
the boat. You struggle in vain to free it. Her oar broke in that
process. Perhaps Louise Trappitt is another
daughter of destiny.
It is a very strange thing to happen in competitive rowing, almost
unknown so it is strange that it should happen to a Kiwi girl in the
2012 Olympics. It is a
well-known hazard for novice rowers, as I was only too well aware. I
felt so sorry for her. I had some inkling of how it felt. I suffered a
related misfortune during Summer Eights at Oxford in May 1971, the first
year Wolfson had an VIII. It was then a new graduate college with just a
few dozen students. I had already rowed in the Worcester College
VIII ( Vth Eight) in May, 1966, but this was rather different. Worcester
like all the old established colleges had its own boathouse as well as a
number of eights, shell and clinker. At Wolfson, we didn't ebven
have a boat at all. We had to make do with
an old borrowed eight from Univ I seem to recall, and during our bumps race, my seat came off the
slide and I could only sit in the middle as best I could between Bow and
No 3 trying to avoid both of them as they went back and forth on their
slides as best they could. There is another funny coincidence there too, as
just like Louise Trappitt, I also rowed at
The Thames at Oxford is not wide enough to allow more than
two boats abreast so in order to allow competitions involving the boats
of 20 or more colleges the idea of bumping races came about. The start
is way downstream past Donnington Bridge where ten boats were lined up
along the northern bank of the Thames (called Isis in Oxford) several
lengths apart. From the start of a bumping race each boat rose as fast
as possible to try to catch the boat in front and bump. Any part of an
oar will do. It does not generally involve a real collision or should
not. Then both boats withdraw from the race and swap places in the
starting line-up for the following day’s racing. With two boats dropping
out there is then a large distance of clear water between the next two
remaining boats. The rear boat now has much greater distance to make up
but if it is successful then it over-bumps the boat ahead. Again they
swap places in the following day’s line-up.
In our race the two boats behind us bumped and the two boats behind them
The problem with my broken seat meant that I could not row at all and
Bow and 3 were very restricted. We got about as far as the boat houses,
three quarters of the way down the course before we were double over-
bumped. What an ignominious defeat. It was the end of my rowing career
at Oxford. But there weren’t many spectators to see the one o'clock
races. It was not like the Six o'clock race for the Head of the River. I
did not have the eyes of the world on my misfortune. And rowing was not
my life, just a brief summer aside from my D Phil. in chemical physics.
But this strange coincidence at the Olympics at Eton in particular seemed to link my past in
Oxford to my present in New Zealand in a curious kind of way. For
Eton is of significance in the Cassandra Codes for many reasons.
It was a striking coincidence, at least for me, involving boats during 2012 which of course marked the
hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. And the elder
sister of the RMS Titanic was the RMS Olympic.
The pundits are calling this the social media games but I think the
James Bond games will probably be a better reference. It began with Daniel Craig a.k.a. James Bond collecting the Queen as his
so-called Bond girl from Buckingham Palace to take her to the Olympic
venue in a helicopter complete with suitably dreessed stumpt guys. Then there was Mister
Bean a.k.a. Johnny English, another James Bond spoof, and finally David
Beckham doing another James Bond take off in a speedboat at the Thames with
a passable Bond girl carrying the Olympic torch.
It was all orchestrated by O Danny Boy(le), ( complete with his personal
theme tune) but is he just another actor
on the stage? Its all about Destiny, back to Trainspotting - the real
thing not his corrupted version. Boyle orchestrated it all, controlled all the scenes, all the
sets, but was his part orchestrated every bit as much as that of
Holmes, Captain Collins and Louise Trappitt. Was there indeed more
value in trainspotting after all? Pity all the people 'who matter'
Yes Danny Boyle orchestrated the opening ceremony but not the 007 link
in the women's fours. On 1st August final B was held at Eton Dorney
for the women's fours with just two boats, New Zealand and Poland. New
Zealand beat Poland, although it was a close race. As a result New
Zealand ended up at number seven in the final Olympic results. Did it
have to be 007?
(It has a deeper meaning, a link echoed in the NZ
men's races which ended in New Zealand Gold. And it was only
Louise Trappitt's crab that caused me to follow the rowing and find so
many more signs of destiny and design. Normally I watch nothing of
the Olympics. All sport leaves me cold.
I wrote the
original version of this article on 2nd August. As if to
reinforce and confirm everything I had said about destiny and design,
a very curious mishap occurred within 48 hours, on the Saturday morning
at Eton Dorney during the men`s double sculls final. Within about
15 seconds of the start of the race, the commentator suddenly said
"It looks like the British team is in trouble." The camera zoomed
in on the British pair and one of them had his hand in the air.
"Oh, looks like equipment failure perhaps" said the commentator.
"They can restart the race if it is inside 100 meters." The next
shot showed him holding up his broken seat. It seemed as though he
has suffered precisely the same misfortune as had I in 1971. His
seat had come off its slide. That was Saturday 4th August, 2012,
also by coincidence my wedding anniversary, Saturday, 4th August, 1973.
And in a curious
echo of these 'Life of Brian' coincidences, two weeks later, what should
the Olympics closing ceremony feature but Eric Idle singing the closing
song from Life of Brian, 'Always look on the bright side of
life'. Not that there is a lot of the bright side of life to look
on considering the state of the world in 2012. )
Is it wise to accept the so-called rationalists’ view of the world, that
this greedy grubby world of ever-increasing commercialism is all there
is? The rationalists a.k.a. atheists a.k.a. sceptics now hold the power
the church held at the time of Galileo, to determine what is ‘truth’ . They control the academic world and most of the media. Gainsayers are
mocked quite ruthlessly, almost with a religious zeal. Whenever evidence
is produced to contradict their view, they choose to ignore it or
a personal attack on the author. ‘It is all just chance’ is their only response. After
all chance is the only goddess in their severely limited pantheon.
Design is a much more truly rational conclusion, indeed the only one that
really fits all
the evidence. But why should the rationalists be bothered with
evidence? Evidence never bothered the church after all and just
like today, most people didn't really care anyway.
It is as though all these coincidences are designed,
make us think; but who needs to think when they have got a smart phone?
There was far, far more in the Olympics, so many interesting
coincidences, most involving New Zealanders, a few Britons and two
Egyptian women... Most fitting that .... given the connection of Eton
Dorney to The Jewel of The Seven Stars, which I was just in the
process of reading again but this time with far more understanding than
when I had read it first in July, 2001. The catching a crab
headline appeared in the NZH of 31st July, 2012... more proof of 'The
Great Experiment' indeed.
2nd August, 2012 17:43:20
Updated 30th September, 2012 20:09:44