Excitement galore at Henley Royal 2013

Well that was one helluva Henley! Vesta had three boats in the competition, after the development men unfortunately didn’t get through qualifying. Next year lads!

Vesta rowers showed their pride and absolute intention of giving it all, whether winning or losing. And the club showed what a fabulous supportive and fun bunch of people we have, taking up residence in the usual haunts. We ♥ Remenham Club.

Beloved Remenham Club

Beloved Remenham Club

The Thames Cup crew had a great start, beating Cambridge ’99 soundly on Wednesday. However they came up against the eventual winners in Griffen BC, old boys and quality rowers from Abingdon School on Thursday.

Satisfying win against Cambridge '99

Satisfying win against Cambridge ’99

With Rob Shaw, Phil Haddleton, David Blows, Helen Gray, Michael Patrick Hughes, Jonathan Brown, Richard Stebbings, Sam Lindsay and Robbie Hynes at Henley Royal Regatta.

The Vesta ladies, who did not have to qualify for the Remenham Challenge Cup this year for the first time ever, had a pure grit battle against Molesey BC, clawing up against the opposition’s lead the whole length of the course. Despite a blood and guts wind at the finish, the eventual verdict was painfully close at just 1/4 length to Molesey.

Nice catches

Nice catches!

With Rachel Dixon, Helen Ellison, Hana McEwan, Rowan Mckellar, Christina Duffy, Laura Daisy Jones, Elizabeth Crighton, Chloe Symmonds and Anna Brown.

The Wyfold crew had a tremendous, exciting Henley and were credited in the Royal Regatta’s own report as having lit up the competition. They raced Upper Thames ‘B’ on Wednesday, leaving it a little close for comfort for us spectators, with a lead of just 1/3 length at the finish. The crew were confident though and raced through one of the fancied crews of London RC ‘A’ on Thursday. They clashed blades at the start, went down a length against LRC and then finally reeled them in passed the enclosures. The final verdict was 2/3 length. Their Friday row was a bit more straightforward against Agecroft, leading throughout, with a final verdict of 2 lengths. And so, Vesta once more reached a Saturday semi-final row, unexpectedly to some! Here they raced Tyrian Club, which is the University of London old boy club, and they took a lead off the start and held it passed Fawley, but Tyrian has some very big gears, and put down the gas and took a 3 length lead at the finish. Tyrian went on to beat Rob Roy in the final, the two crews cutting times that no other boats came close to in the competition.

Guns!

Guns!

With Harry Bond, Si Woodfine, Richard Lear and Steve Whittle.

 
Club results are here.

HRR results, which include the times to Fawley and the Barrier, are here.

All photos courtesy of Sam Lindsay – thank you!

 

Fred’s surprise leaving do

The masters squad held a surprise reception for Fred Beaud of Tuesday 25th June and presented him with a club blazer to thank him for his extraordinary contribution to club life over the past three years. Fred joined Vesta when he relocated from Lyons to London and unfortunately he now has to return to France with his employer.

In his time with the club Fred was always keen to row any crew and leaves with three regatta wins and good placings in the Scullers’ Head and other events. He has helped organize the masters group and has give much good advice on and off the water. We wish him, Soline and their children good luck in Lyons and look forward to welcoming them back at club events in the future.

The Mixed Vets squad honour their club-mate

The Mixed Vets squad honour their club-mate

Bryan writes:

Fred Beaud, the dapper little Frenchman, will be leaving us in a couple of weeks to return to France with his family. To show our appreciation our squad threw him a surprise leaving party last Tuesday 25th June.

Fred and I have trained, competed and, above all, supported each other during the past three years and I cannot think of a more highly regarded person within our squad – he is kind, dedicated yet always finds time to help others with their training.

Fred and I formed the mixed vet squad just under a year ago. Well, it sort of happened organically, one Saturday morning when we were a body short for an outing and Peter suggested we ask Sophie who was in the gym. From there Sophie mentioned it to Lisette and so the mixed vet squad grew in size and in strength.

We are a dedicated, happy squad who enjoy our rowing, are keen to improve, take our training seriously on the water, debrief  but don’t get het up beyond that! Our availability is noted on a Thursday, crews are organized on a Friday and outings are planned for the Saturday and Sunday and we organize our own weekday land training and outings at the club.

We are a bit short on bow steers  at the moment, especially now that Fred is leaving us, but we are confident that this will change for next season. (Actually, we don’t have a season as we are planning to train through the summer to take part in the late summer regattas!)
We welcome members from within the club (ex seniors) unless there are special circumstances – i.e. someone from outside who wants to come down and coach us.

If you have an interest in joining the squad, please drop me a line: bryan.williams099@gmail.com

Anyway, back to the surprise party…

Fred and I did a gym and erg session whilst everyone had been informed to go up the outside staircase so as not to be noticed. During our session Fred had to go upstairs to get some water and later on to go to the loo and like a lovesick puppy I followed him everywhere! I then made up some cock and bull story that an outside coach was visiting us and wanted to see us in the bar at 7.30pm.

When I was given the all clear that everyone had arrived for the party I told Fred that the coach was here and we were to go up to see him now. I also said that Alex had insisted we could not go into the bar area in our kit.
“But why?”, protested the confused Frenchman, “When we are going out for ze outing straight afterwards?”

“Ah, it’s Henley fortnight”, I countered, “And it’s traditional to be in proper civvies at all times in the bar during this time. We can put our kit back on after the meeting”.

He was even more perplexed when he saw David splashing on some aftershave.
“What are you doing, Davide? Why are you putting on perfume for ze coach??”

I then led the dressed but confused Frenchman into the bar where, to his surprise, his friends and wife launched into ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’ before Jock gave a marvellous send off speech. We then presented Fred with a Vesta blazer which we all chipped in for. Drinks flowed and lovely food (supplied by Fred’s wife, Soline) was enjoyed. We did the leave the club very late. I won’t say what time exactly except that a few people did turn into pumpkins!

Wear your Vesta blazer with pride, Fred and remember us petit ros beoufs here in the drizzle. We hope we have done our bit in strengthening Anglo – French relationships!
We shall miss you but hopefully this is just a bientot and not au revoir.

Bryan Williams

Richmond Regatta Results

Mas C 4x

Two masters crews represented the club at Richmond Amateur Regatta on Saturday 29th June. A Mas C 4x of Paul Mew, Michael Maynard, Bijan Hedayati  and Fred Bead had a solid scull in a straight final but could not get back the lead they gave to the older Ardingly crew off the start.

The Mas B 4+ crew of Phil Longstaff, Dave Gibney, Bryan Williams, Fred Beaud and Verity Ansell (cox) had a good start in the semi-final against X-Press BC of Cambridge and had the lead going into the final bend, but a slight wobble let the other crew take a close win.

Mas B 4+

Mas B 4+

Three crews pre-qualified for Henley Royal Regatta

The only Vesta crew named in the list of Crews Required To Qualify published on Sunday was the development men’s crew. For the first time in the nine years since Vesta women first entered the Remenham Challenge at HRR, they have not been asked to qualify. Major achievement ladies! SWEET!

Similarly the Wyfold Challenge Cup and Thames Challenge Cup Vesta (A) crews have both pre-qualified after being consistently competitive at a club level in the major summer regattas.

The development boys were allowed to enter the Thames Challenge Cup at Henley after they had cracked the 6:30 marker in the IM3.8 event on the Sunday at Met. So now they can experience for the first time the tension and excitement of visiting the Henley Royal boat tents and pushing off for that gritty, long, unforgiving time trial.  This is also a major achievement for the crew and their coaches who were all novices last summer. Well done!

There are 35 crews from which 12 will qualify. For those who can support, Vesta Rowing Club (B) will be the 2nd last crew in the group starting at 5:21pm on Friday. Good luck!

The list of crews asked to qualify and schedule are available here.

Semi’s for some at Henley Women’s Regatta

Vesta women raced with tremendous guts and tenacity at HWR this year, but came up against some tough competition and came home empty handed.

Vesta took four boats: a Senior VIII, a Club VIII, a Senior 1x and an Elite 2-. AND they took some warm-hearted, loud-lunged supporters, who did a great job lifting the rate and spirits over the weekend!

Friday’s weather was fairly benign, warm with a tailwind mostly, and rain pretty much held off. The club eight looked very sharp boating and meant business ruthlessly knocking out their first opposition, Thames RC (B), beating them Easily.

C8_boating

Club 8 boating in the sunshine

C8

Club 8 looking sharp on Friday

On Saturday the wind picked up and up throughout the day, which slowed the times, probably by at least 15 seconds, and who knows what effect it had on the different stations, also depending on how the coxswains and crews coped I imagine. Vesta members and supporters also turned up in numbers to cheer on the girls, which was much appreciated by the crews.

The club eight continued along the same way, picking off City of Oxford with a five length lead, ready the semi-final on Sunday.

Liz moves away from her oppo in the quarter finals

Liz moves away from her oppo in the quarter finals. Photo by Sam Lindsay

Liz Crighton, off the back of her Reading win, raced in her single twice on Saturday and showed very strongly against her competition, beating Isle of Ely by three lengths and a dutch competitor by three and half lengths.

Vesta’s ladies pair headed out to see what they could do against Molesey, but they didn’t have the firepower to trouble them, losing Easily. (Racing a pair is probably the hardest boat along the Henley course as well, so all credit for not hitting the booms, which might have been a nerve-wracking thought after Reading!)

Sophie and Jessica give it their all in the pair

Sophie and Jessica give it their all in the pair. Photo by Sam Lindsay

For the senior eight there has been a hard run up to Henley with an intense battle for places in the crew and the perennial problem of a lack of racing competition at their level, providing little race practice. However, there were nine entries at HWR, supplied by four visiting crews from the USA and one from Ireland, plus two UK uni crews and the only other UK club was Star. Vesta took on Trinity Col (A), Hartford, USA late on Saturday afternoon, as the wind was at its most blustery, and pushed and pushed down the course, but could not break them. They trailed by just 1/4 length at the finish, which was a devastating blow for the girls. OUWBC were the hidden gems in the mix, beating GVSU, USA in 5:12, just 2 seconds slower than the winning GB U23 Elite VIII division crew.

Pain and determination written on the faces of the S8

Pain and determination written on the faces of the S8. Photo by Sam Lindsay

Sunday brought the semi-finals and finals for Liz and the Club VIII,  but unfortunately neither would make it beyond the day’s first hurdle. The C.8 had a spirited battle against Galway RC, who had already knocked out Royal Chester and Twickenham. The girls also showed their feisty hearts pushing Galway hard to lose by just 1/3 length. Galway went on to lose in the final against Lea RC, who had posted a very fast time of 5:16 in the semi-finals against Thames RC (A). The Lea it seems are a cut above all the rest this year, so congratulations and well done to them.

Liz came up against Hart of Nottingham RC in her semi-final, and similarly she met her match in the overall winner. Hart beat Liz by 1 and 1/4 lengths in 6:38, but went on to win in her final with an easily verdict in a time of 6:31, aptly the fastest time of the S.1x event.

Most importantly…

To sum it up: well done Vesta ladies and coaches on your amazing work this season. You’re all a credit to the club and we’re very proud of all you’ve achieved this season. I’m sure it’s been a good journey, lows and highs included and you’ve learnt loads in the process. The coaches have worked superbly hard, put in their all and deserve every thanks. It takes a while to lift your spirits, but Henley Royal helps! So here’s to all the ice creams, pink champagne and Pimms that you are obliged to eat and drink at HRR for those not racing. And for those who are: SMASH IT! Let’s look forward to some awesome rowing days ahead!

The club results are available here.

The HWR results in full are here.

 

Henley Women’s Regatta starts tomorrow!

HWR Medal

Henley Women’s Regatta Medal

It’s that time of year again! The Vesta women are all set for this weekend’s racing and we urge all club members and supporters to make a visit to the course to cheer on our crews.

Racing this year we have an Intermediate Club 8, Senior 8, Senior 1x and an Elite 2-. To make things a bit easier, here are the timings for confirmed and potential Vesta races each day:

Friday:

15:03  – Race 11 –  Club 8s – Vesta vs Thames B

Saturday:

11:04 – Race 132 – Club 8s
12:04 – Race 147 – Senior 1x – Vesta vs Isle of Ely
16:48 – Race 218 – Senior 1x
17:04 – Race 222 – Senior 8s – Vesta vs Trinity College, Hartford, USA
17:12 – Race 224 – Elite 2- – Vesta vs Molesey

Sunday:
Semi-Finals
10:46 – Race 320 – Elite 2-
11:42 – Race 334 – Club 8s
12:10 – Race 341 – Senior 1x
13:52 – Race 334 – Senior 8s

Finals
14:24 – Race 368 – Elite 2-
15:35 – Race 377 – Club 8s
15:50 – Race 380 – Senior 1x
16:25 – Race 387 – Senior 8s

The forecast at the moment is looking a bit iffy, so make sure to bring your brollies along with your picnics and loudest Vesta cheers. It definitely helps to find the extra gear when the Vesta roar is the loudest!

For those of you who can’t make it, you can watch the racing live online by clicking the following link: http://www.hwr.org.uk/spectators  We’ll also work hard to make sure we keep the Vesta webpage and twitter feed are up to date.

Best of luck to all the girls and coaches! Have fun and race hard!

Women’s novice win at Barnes and Mortlake Regatta

Many congratulations to the Vesta women’s novice coxed four for their first regatta win on Saturday 8th June at Barnes and Mortlake Regatta. The WN4+ took a clear victory winning by three and a half lengths over Putney Town and Barnes Bridge ladies. Congratulations and thanks also to their coaches! Well done all!

Victorious novice women's crew:S- Eleanor Simpson3- Clare Walker2- Sonya HartiganB- Thea SaundersC- Isabel Marks

Victorious novice women’s crew: S- Eleanor Simpson, 3- Clare Walker, 2- Sonya Hartigan, B- Thea Saunders, C- Isabel Marks

Coronation Regatta Runners Up

The one-off event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation featured just one crew from Vesta, as there wasn’t any competition for our Senior (old girls) Eight (shame because how many clubs can get together a quality Senior 8 on the fly like that?! But then it’s the same old story this season – good job the Irish crews come over to compete – ahem I digress…).

So the newly no-longer-novice W.IM3.4+ travelled to Windsor to race with their coach Hawkeye, on Saturday 15th June, and didn’t they do well! The crew (S) Eleanor Simpson, (3) Niamh Murphy O’Connor, (2) Sonya Hartigan, (B) Thea Saunders and (C) Vicki Taylor only lost their novice status last week and this week they were runners up in the W.IM3.4+ event.  They came through two heats, first beating Eton Excelsior on their own patch by 1 1/2 lengths, then beating Great Marlow School by 3/4 length and in the final they lost to Manchester University by 2 2/3 lengths. Very good racing ladies! Let’s hope you can get as good a run or better in your next event!

Two wins from Reading Amateur Regatta

Liz Crighton is awarded Women's Intermediate 1 single sculls medal

Liz Crighton is awarded Women’s Intermediate 1 single sculls medal

Massive congratulations to Liz Crighton who won W.IM1.1x and the men’s IM1.4- who also won on Saturday 8th June. Both crews came through four rounds, Liz won by more than 3 lengths against Evans of Swansea and the IM1.4- beat old foes Lea RC in a closer race by 3/4l.

There was plenty of action, good side-by-side race practice ahead of Henley, with some close racing and unfortunately a Vesta capsize in the women’s elite pair against Newcastle — ooops girls! Pics below …

The men’s IM1 eight lost to London in the first round, but then in the IM2 beat Nonsuch BC then lost to Shiplake narrowly.

 The novice – now intermediate – men’s eight beat AK easily then lost to Dulwich in IM3.
The Women’s IM2 8 came through two rounds but lost to Thames in their final but just a length and a quarter.
The men’s coxless four lost to London in the Elite 4-, but continued on to beat London then KCS in IM1 event

 

Two Women’s Eights Medals at the Met

Another year, another batch of Met medals! The women’s squad won two eights events with two different crew line ups, and showed the depth of the squad at different levels. Well done ladies! the girls won in W.IM2.8 on Saturday and W.IM1.8 on Sunday. They also racked up a 2nd and 4th place in W.IM1.8 on Saturday. There wasn’t a Senior division racing in women’s eights again.

Women's IM1.8 with their medals

Women’s IM1.8 with their medals: Hana McEwan, Laura Jones, Rowan Mckellar, Stine Keyes, Rachael Dixon (cox), Gemma Etherington, Christina Duffy, Chloe Symmonds, Anna Brown

Women's IM2.8 winners

Women’s IM2.8 winners: Rachael Dixon (cox), Stine Keyes, Anna Brown, Christina Duffy, Chloe Symmonds, Rowan Mckellar, Hana McEwan, Laura Jones, and Helen Ellison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The full results are here.

The men’s senior squad raced its coxless four, who performed strongly, and intermediate eight, which then was tested in two coxed fours on day two. The development men’s squad, now racing as IM3 also had their first taste of multi-lane racing at Dorney. Similarly the women raced a third eight who are improving all the time, and a newly formed pair, who are getting to grips with racing in that difficult boat!

Liz Crighton raced hard in her single on both days, showing a very consistent performance and finding few more seconds compared to Wallingford, coming 2nd in W.IM2.1x on Saturday and 3rd both days in W.IM1.1x. Very well done Liz.

Fantastic photo of Liz off the start [courtesy of Gaby Turner - thanks!]

Fantastic photo of Liz off the start [courtesy of Gaby Turner – thanks!]

The gallery of photos are courtesy of Sam Lindsey – thanks Sam!