{Off the water} Quiz, Burns Night and Annual Dinner – your social life sorted

Vesta members, did you resolve to have more fun in 2017? We’re here to help with a trio of social events to brighten the dark winter nights.

1. The return of the Vesta Quiz, Thursday 12th January 2017

Thursday 12th January sees the return of the Vesta Quiz. It will be in the bar and run from 20:30 to 21:30ish. Teams of 5, £1 entry, winning team gets bar tokens.

No need to sign up in advance. Simply turn up, form a team, and do your best to prove that rowers have both brawn AND brains.

2. Burns Night Supper, Wednesday 25th January 2017, SOLD OUT

We will be holding a traditional Burns Night supper on Wednesday 25th January.

Enjoy a glass of fizz followed by haggis*, neaps & tatties, a pudding and some Scottish cheeses. Also included is a tasting of the finest Scotch whisky following the meal.
*Veggie alternative available.

Date: Wednesday 25th January
Time: 7.30 for 8.00
Cost: £23 per person
Dress code: Smart casual, although kilts and other Highland dress are encouraged!

Tickets are now SOLD OUT.

3. Vesta Annual Dinner, Friday 3rd February 2017

Swap sweaty kit for swanky togs and join us on Friday 3rd February for the Vesta Annual Dinner at Chartered Accountants Hall. 

Dinner ticket: £65

Your ticket includes a drinks reception, 4 course dinner and transport back to VRC.

Dinner & raffle bundle: £80

Upgrade to a raffle bundle for the chance to win an all inclusive ski holiday for two to Megève, afternoon tea for two at the Langham, and more.

Book your tickets NOW before ticket sales close on Friday 27th January or sooner if they sell out. Don’t miss out!

{Race Report} Rowers in the mist: Second 8 takes on Remenham Challenge

by Mike ‘Plodders’ Walsh

We set off in to the mist from Putney with hope in our hearts and fiery determination in our eyes…..and also a Carson in our Cox seat.

Our crew had two fresh faced debutants within it, Alan “AH HA” Hunton in the 6 seat and summer signing from Cygnet Rob Alexander at 2 seat.

Boating was fairly challenging for the coxes in the lead up to the start line, navigating between 60 odd boats in fog thicker than Carson’s Saturday morning porridge proved hairy on more than one occasion. A Kingston Vets crew may have almost been decapitated by us. May have been! They weren’t actually decapitated. They were a bit angry though.

We knew we were setting off just behind the Staines first boat, and we set our sights fully on them. Well, Carson did. The rest of us couldn’t actually see them, obviously. They were behind us. JC had raced for Staines previously and reliably informed us they were “not terrible, but beatable.” It turned out he was right!

We set up a good pace from the start line and managed to catch the Staines crew by St Pauls. As we came level to their bow man they called a power ten, but it was no use! We kept our heads matched them stroke for stroke before pushing away from them towards Hammersmith.

Unfortunately as Staines disappeared in to the fog behind us we found ourselves in a slight vacuum and lost some of our initial intensity.

When we got to the mile post, however, we rallied and set up for a speedy finish.

Once we had crossed that line our thoughts very quickly went to the bottles of port Luca had stashed in his locker to be shared out in the showers. Rightfully so….It was totally delicious and set up our festive celebrations for the rest of the day perfectly.

From left – Seb Wachholz, Joe Casey, Alan Hunton, Chris Goodfellow, Andy Carson (c), Oli Chapman, Mike Walsh, Rob A, Alex Küng

{Safety Alert} Using your mobile to call for help

British Rowing Safety Alert

You may find yourself in a remote location and needing to summon help. It is useful to know how to do this using your mobile phone.

If you need help from the Emergency Services (Police, Fire, Ambulance, Coastguard, Mountain Rescue, etc.) then use a mobile phone and dial 112.

112 has some very special features, dialling it will:

  • Access every available network, you are not limited to your network provider
  • Take precedence over all other calls
  • Work even if the phone has no credit
  • Over-ride any security settings on the phone
  • In more modern phones, may work even if there is no SIM card in the phone

112 works throughout the European Union and in many other countries. If you cannot get through using voice then send a text. Text messages use a different bandwidth to voice messages. Texts are sent in small packets of data and will work even if the signal is weak and intermittent.

You will need to register with 112 first but this is easy.

To register simply text the word register to 112. You will be sent a text message, simply read it and reply with the word yes .

When you call or text please include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your location
  • The nature of the distress
  • The type of assistance that you need
  • The number of people who need help
  • Any other relevant information

Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPZv_8dABfU. This has more advice on the use of 112. You may never need to call for help but you may, and it is important to know how.

New Online Navigation Test

Fellow Athletes,

I am very proud to say that safety has taken a leap forward into the modern age with the unveiling of our online navigation test.  If you would like (or are required) to take it please contact me at safety@vestarowing.co.uk and I will send you the link. The test should take around 30 – 40 minutes to complete and relies upon a working knowledge of the latest Rowing Code and our club-specific safety policies.

The latest Rowing Code is an excellent piece of work from the PLA and well worth the time spent reading it. I strongly encourage all active members of Vesta to read it, particularly if you’re new to rowing or the tideway.

This coincides with a general tidying up of the steers list, which will be updated in early November 2015.  If you weren’t able to attend any of the safety briefings and don’t want to be removed you can now save your bow seat by taking the test.

Alex Brown

Vesta Water Safety Advisor

Captain’s log – Autumn 2015

by James Hawkins 

Familiar faces

Over the past month or so many a Vesta old hand has remarked to me that there has been a resurgence of the old Vesta spirit. What’s more, the eagle eyed amongst you will notice a return of some old faces. Pete Williams and Dave Clinton are coaching the Vesta senior men, Wendy Armstrong returns for another year in charge of the Vesta novice boys, and, ahem, I am making a reappearance working with Chris Clements coaching the novice girls. But while it is great to tap into some of that old expertise, the club spirit is driven by the rowers, and that’s what I really want to celebrate.

The senior squads

The four main squads are operating at near maximum capacity, including both novice squads. The senior squads have been bolstered by many new members, and with the top boats from previous seasons departing the scene, all seats are up for grabs and the squads are thriving with that new sense of competition.

While both senior squads train as whole units, they are each streamed into senior and intermediate components, allowing for a more tailored approach to the coaching, and also, which will become more apparent as we enter the summer season, with their own goals and targets.

As I said, while competition is fierce to be selected as the new top boats at the senior end, the intermediate components are laying the groundwork to ensure that our squads over the next few years have greater depth and breadth. Gratifyingly, the novices that graduated to the intermediate ends of the senior squads are amongst those who are impressing the most, which is a great endorsement for the efforts made in the previous year to nurture real home grown talent.

The novice squads

That same ambition, to sow the seeds of future squads through a competitive novice programme is back in full swing. Each squad has around twenty members, around half of whom started with the excellent summer programme which has meant that we were able to hit the ground running in September. Wendy, Ben and Zara (on the boys’ side) and myself and Chris (on the girls’) have been rather taken aback by how swift progress has been – and while we have had some interesting moments where you realise that rowing lingo at times is a somewhat different language (bow four sit the boat, two and four raise your hands…err two and four why are your hand in the air?… Oh right, mmm, not is not quite what I meant…) it certainly looks like we have around forty people who have got the rowing bug – certainly helped by not yet having a rainy cold weekend – which I have no doubt just jinxed.

The Vesta spirit

Enthusiasm for training, for rowing, making and rekindling friendships is the bedrock of what makes any rowing club a club, but at the outset I talked about the resurgence of the Vesta spirit which many have remarked on. It is not just that there are more people staying behind for a beer after rowing at the weekends, not just because Thursday club meals are as busy as I can remember them (and taking a lot more profit for future boat buying), not just that we have full squads, forgettable and eyebrow raising parties – I say forgettable because the next day I can never remember quite what happened and my eye brows are invariable raised when I learn about everyone’s antics – it is all of those things and more. A return to that quiet ambition which means that a great season and head races and regattas beckons and a knowing nod to that sense of mischievous fun – and with Harry Bond in possession of a bar key, well need I say more?

PS: if the novice girls squad is lacking in one thing it is a constant cox. If anyone is interested in coxing please let me know. My very bruised hips will thank you as I really don’t fit.

Eat, drink, and be safe. It’s all happening this autumn.

We’re back into the swing of the season at Vesta and there’s lots going on. Make sure to add these dates to your diary so you don’t miss out!

3 October
Big Breakfast – After training on Saturday 3rd October. Come upstairs to the bar for an epic fry up.  All the profits go to paying for your weekend tea and toast, so even if you can’t stay for it, a contribution would be gratefully received. Alex is cooking, so you know it will be good.

10 October
Whole Club Pub Crawl
 –After training, the tradition is to get the train down to Mortlake and do a ‘reconnaissance mission’ to check out the Head course. Naturally we’ll walk back via each pub along the river. Plus it’s a chance to cheer on those crews racing in the Pairs Head that afternoon. Meet at the Vesta Bar.

18 October
Water Safety briefing –
 After training, around 12h30. If you haven’t yet been to a safety briefing this season then this one is a must. The rules along the river are constantly changing, so even if you are a senior rower and you have heard these briefings in previous years, you still need to attend. If you are signed off on the steers list, you also must attend. (Without trying to be too heavy-handed, you will be removed from the steers list if you do not attend). All coaches must also attend a briefing, and there will be a session just for coaches at the rowing committee meeting on 3 October.

Other dates for your diary:
18 December – Remenham Challenge and Christmas Party

29 January – Vesta’s Annual Dinner (which is the hottest ticket going on the tideway)

Vesta Rowing Club London Learn to Row

Want to learn to row in Putney, Summer 2015?

Beginners’ Rowing Course – Summer 2015 Start Date:

  • Monday 22nd June @ 19:30 – Registration at Vesta Rowing Club
  • To register your interest, email Martin Graham: vicecaptain@vestarowing.co.uk
  • 6 week / 4 week course members may start after this date – please contact us.

Duration:

  • 8 weeks
  • Course ends – Saturday 15th August

Cost:

  • £125 for full learn to row course
  • £110 for 6 weeks
  • £90 for 4 weeks

Course Days:

  • Monday – evening
  • Wednesday – evening
  • Saturday – morning
  • 1 x land/fitness session, 2 x water/technical sessions

Groups:

  • Mixed groups
  • Maximum size of each group – 20

Nov Women

The Vesta Beginners’ Course:

The course is aimed at men and women who are looking for a new challenge and want to learn to row. If you have played other competitive sports or regularly attend a gym and want to test yourself in a team environment then rowing is the sport for you.

The course will work on your fitness whilst teaching you the core rowing technique. Sessions will take place both on the land and river and you will always be supervised by a coach who will lead the sessions.

There is no obligation to continue or sign-up as a member after the course but we hope you will have enjoyed your time enough that you are interested in joining our Novice Squads in September for the start of the 2015/16 season.

Please go to the Novice Squad page for further information.

Vesta Rowing Club is running new men’s and women’s novice / beginner squads for the 2014/15 season

 

Want to learn to row? Beginner rowers are invited to join our men’s and women’s novice rowing squads kicking off this September in Putney, London. The best bit is that the first month is free!

VRC-Novices-21

 

Who – can join?

We are looking for individuals with the desire and attitude to become ambitious club rowers or coxes. You will need to have a good base level of fitness, be aged 18 or over, be able to swim and some previous experience of competitive sport is a definite advantage.

What – is rowing and Vesta like?

Vesta is a mixed, very friendly, welcoming club, with a great fleet of boats and an excellent bar! We are a true members club run by volunteers. There is every opportunity to progress in the club based on your merit (and your willingness to enjoy the club’s social life!).

Rowing is the ultimate team sport and is highly competitive.  It requires high levels of fitness and strength combined with technique and so consistent attendance at training is important to progress. If you like the idea of testing yourself and working in a team to achieve goals then rowing is definitely the sport for you!

Where – do you train?

There will be regular land training sessions based at the club on Putney Embankment and weekend sessions on the water. At Vesta, you’ll have access to our gym, quality boat fleet and a dedicated coaching team.

When?

Novice Squads kick-off meeting: Thursday 11th September @ 7pm (upstairs in the club)

Men’s Novice squad first session: Saturday 13th September

Women’s Novice squad first session: Saturday 20th September

The season runs from September – July with both winter and summer racing.

The first month is FREE and designed to find those with the potential to succeed in rowing. Membership fees are approximately £450 for the year.

How?

If you have any questions or would like to register your interest in advance, please contact

Novice Men’s Coach, Martin Graham: vicecaptain@vestarowing.co.uk

Novice Women’s Coach, Judith Howell: vesta@vestarowing.co.uk