By Neil Fraser
On the whole it’s been a successful regatta season for the squad. In our usual manner though, it took us a while to get going.
Having heard how special winning your novice pot is we went into the opening regattas based up around Chiswick with a lot of hope. We kept getting left on the start line though – our competition would be half a length up as we were mid-wind. Needless to say, our races ended with a long row straight back to Putney.
We didn’t have any success in the eight and with availability for training becoming an issue we decided to switch to the 4+. Twickenham Regatta was the first breakthrough for the squad with a win coming for Alex B, Luca T, Neil F, Mike W and Cat (cox) in the 4+. It was scrappy and nervy, but after a few clashes with the Kingston boat we crossed the line first. Celebrations were heard.
Up next came Henley qualifiers. We didn’t have the numbers to enter our own boat, but a couple of the squad teamed up with the remaining Seniors and entered the VRC Amalgam 8. We learnt a huge amount from the lead up to qualifiers and the event itself. We fell short, but it was a humbling and memorable experience which we took a lot from.
Novice wins came at Molesey Regatta for Andrew C, Felix X-L, Nick H, Jerry K and Coach Wendy (cox) in the 4+. The win was bitter sweet though when the guys were presented with medals instead of pots…seriously, Molesey? It was a successful day for the squad with the IM3 4+ boys taking a win in the morning session. Beers were drunk back at Vesta.
Special mention to Oli Chapman (C2) who has been referring to himself as ‘quite the sculler’ for the last few months. He’s been through more races than all of us and found a win at HT&V, his last race of the season – very well deserved. Oli didn’t stop there though and continued all the way to Blackstaffe Day with a win in the Love Double.
Congrats to the Novice girls for a successful season. Your first win came well before ours, thanks for celebrating so modestly. Our biggest joint success though must be the mingling of squads and for introducing Felix to his Little Pixie. Cute.
An enormous thanks to Wendy for supporting us throughout the summer season. The new intake of novices are very lucky to have you. Special thanks as well to co-Coaches Ben and Zara plus Cat and Jack for coxing us throughout the year. Lastly, to our late Italian signing, Mario, who took us through our last races and fed us spaghetti bolognese.
We’ve had a memorable first year at Vesta with many of us looking forward to continuing when the new season starts and keeping the Vesta bar profits healthy (see 2015-2016 accounts).
See you in September.