Apologies for missing news…

Just a quick note from your comms officer to say that I am so sorry for not having any updates over the last two weekends, when there has been a huge amount of racing going on. I’ve been proper sick-like but I’m feeling much better today so expect a raft of news, results and photos to start appearing from:

  • Met Regatta
  • Barnes and Mortlake Regatta
  • Reading Amateur Regatta
  • visits to Henley for race practice
  • and a sneaky preview into next weekend’s racing …

Vesta at the Masters Champs

Fred Beaud travelled up to Nottingham for the British Masters Championships on Sunday 19th May to race in the MAS.C 1x (Championships) and MAS.C 1x (IM.3).

He reports:

It was sunny and very calm (almost no wind) at Holme Pierrpoint: beautiful conditions for multi-lane racing. [Wow! Lucky lucky lucky – never seen much of that myself at HP – Ed.]

In the MAS.C 1x (Championships) I didn’t make it through the heat, finding myself too far behind most of the contenders. A small consolation was that in the other heat three were slower than me, but not quite fast enough to make it to the finals.

In the MAS.C 1x (IM.3) Vesta umpire Sinead started the race and I finished 3rd in the final, with the first three boats coming in within two seconds. It was a good battle up to the finish line, but gutting that I was overtaken in the last 100 metres.

Overall it was a very good experience and I had some satisfaction in my sculling (better than Borne @ Chiswick), despite a big disappointment not winning the IM.3 final, which was achievable. I met a couple of people I knew from the Tideway (Tideway Scullers, Quintin, London…) and did my bit promoting Vesta, but people did notice I was the only representative from our club – something to improve next year as it is worth it.



Novice men dominate at Putney Town


8 men, 2 coxes, 2 coaches, 14 pots. Not a bad result for the crews! — with Scott Ellis, Luke Martin, Michael Bartrop, Becs Packer, Thea Hudson, Matthew Pierpoint, Matthew Ladds, Elliott Bachmann, Adrian Turner and George Wallas and Ali McCormick.

The novice boys arrived for a showdown on home turf with a point to prove, after an aborted assault for the Novice Club pennant at HORR and a disappointing result at Hammersmith Amateur, where the eight was beaten by a canvas by AK and the coxed four lost a frantic final to London after the TRC cox adopted ramming tactics.  Despite some recent crew changes (due to rowing proving too manly for some) confidence was high.

The first race of the day was at a rather antisocial 9am in the eight against UCL. Fresh with memories of cruising past the exact same crew in the first few hundred metres of Quintin Head in January, confidence was brimming. After a fairly even start, Vesta settled into a solid rhythm and moved into a healthy lead by Barn Elms, with Thea steering the perfect course using the stream and UCL veering off towards Fulham. Vesta went on to win by a comfortable margin of three or more lengths, progressing to the final, despite half the crew suffering from early morning lethargy and an overly ambitious breakfast.

Two hours later and with everyone fully awake, and on a sugar high after too many Eric the Elephants, the 4+ set out to face the unknown quantity of school boys from Kings College Wimbledon. With a lengthy delay at the start, due to a booze cruise going past, there was plenty of time to eye up the opposition. The crew staring back at us looked on the weedy side (even in comparison to our own noodle sitting at bow for Vesta) and extremely young.  Fortunately our blushes were saved and, although Vesta were on the sluggish side out of the blocks, we quickly overtook the school boys and cruised to a victory by 3 or 4 lengths.

Within minutes it was straight back out for the final in the eight against our local rivals from HSBC. We had not seen this crew during the head season so it was hard to know what to expect, although their stroke man did appear to have come straight out of a Head and Shoulders ad. After another even start, Vesta pushed out to a huge lead.  Egged on with calls from Thea such as “embarrass them” and the Vesta roar, the crew raced for the line – failing to ease up despite half the crew having the 4+ final to still race – and achieved a verdict of “easily”. It was very satisfying to hear later that HSBC felt “there was no way they were novices!”

With the novice cherry well and truly popped, the 4+ went out to face Sons of Thames in the final full of confidence. In the last race before the tide turned, the umpire was keen to get things going, but despite the rush Vesta nailed the best start of the day and were a length clear within the first 30 seconds. The totally impartial race umpire later reported in the bar that the race was won after the first 10 strokes. Vesta went on to win in another “easily” verdict, rowing with a chunky rhythm and a punchy stroke rate of 35.

Cheered home by a packed Vesta balcony, with frequent calls of “get on Barty”, the squad went round to collect all 14 pots and preceded to consume vast quantities of alcohol out of them, including some cheeky cava!  All in all a great day for the Novice boys with 12 points to show for it! Next stop Met…

Vesta Bar news for Putney Town Regatta tomorrow

Vesta Bar will be open from 11am to 7pm tomorrow (Saturday 18th May). Thank you to all bar staff volunteers and Thea for organising!

And to tempt you into the bar for a beverage…

brewers-bragg On tap at the Vesta bar from tomorrow! Something a bit different, only available in May!

Viking men and women drank ale, but it was the ‘Bragg’ women who then foretold the future under the influence of the ale they had brewed. Brewed to 3.9% abv, Brewers Bragg is a wonderful deep copper ale with hints of blackcurrant. This is balanced by the smooth caramel flavours to deliver a wonderfully satisfying ale.


Vesta Racing This Weekend And Onwards!

This weekend sees Vesta crews racing on our home stretch of the Tideway for Putney Town ‘International-Local-Olympic’ Regatta 2013 and a club sculler racing in the British masters champs at the National Water Sports Centre.

Vesta kicks off racing at 9am on Saturday in the women’s novice coxed fours versus Parrs Priory and at 9:10 we have our men’s novice eight racing University College London BC, so get down to the club early if you want to cheer! Fear not if you can’t get out of bed, we also have our men’s novice four at 11:55 and Jenny Cann is making her debut in the W.IM.3 1x at 16:40. Good luck! The full timetable of racing is here. I very much hope that our crews get a successful first taste of ‘summer’ pot-hunting!

On Sunday Fred Beaud competes in the MasC IM.3 1x in a straight final at the Masters Champs at Holme Pierrpoint in Nottingham. His race is at 15:20 in a full six lane line up, including RAF, Bristol and Birmingham scullers. The timetable is here. Good luck and I hope there will be some good racing conditions there!

The senior squads are now preparing for the final few weeks before respective ‘Henleys’ and you can see the Upcoming Events in the right column of big and small local regattas. There was some good racing at Wallingford, the men’s coxless four showing particular promise, with times comparing favourably with some excellent crews. (At Ghent last weekend that Pangborne crew posted the fastest time in 4- notably.) Unfortunately Poplar was cancelled, which the senior women were hoping to go to. Next competition is now likely to be the Met in two weeks for the seniors.

A few points regarding upcoming events to note: there is a new one-off “Coronation Regatta” in the calendar this year at Windsor to celebrate the anniversary of 60 years since the Queen was crowned, which is the week before Henley Women’s.  Marlow Regatta at Dorney is ALSO a week before so it will not clash with HWR this year.  Thus the girls can take their pick if they fancy (more side by side racing practice at Windsor I guess)…. AND there is the Rowing World Cup at Dorney over the same weekend as Henley Women’s Regatta from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd.  A veritable feast of rowing for avid supporters to manage. I say if you go to Dorney one day for the World Cup, you ought to get down to Henley to support our ladies on another!


Results are up from the weekend!

[meteor_slideshow slideshow=”vesta-at-wallingford”]

It was a fine bank holiday weekend for racing practice ( and ice cream and bbqs!) at Chiswick Amateur and Wallingford @ Dorney Lake. The club results page has now been updated. (I’m still waiting for the Hammersmith results to be posted by the way…)

At Wallingford Vesta had some very strong results in the men’s coxless four coming 2nd overall in a very large and competitive field. Well done guys! Our two women scullers also performed encouragingly with a 2nd and 3rd place in the  single scull and, after their gruelling races there, a good performance in their double. The senior ladies’ crews mainly decided to continue training and not race given the lack of competition in their preferred events, But our men’s squad and intermediate women’s crews did go out and give it their all down the 2000m  for the first time this year. Well done!


Battersea Rail Bridge Closed


A message from Peter, Vesta’s Water Safety Adviser:

Refurbishment works have started on Battersea Railway Bridge and that the bridge will be closed for three months with immediate effect.  Only boats with a VHF radio who first ask the PLA can go through the bridge for the duration of the work.

This means that no rowing boats may proceed through Battersea Bridge. If you go downstream of Putney Bridge you must spin before the heliport.

A reminder of what Battersea Bridge looks like... it's the one down from Putney Rail.

A reminder of what Battersea Bridge looks like… it’s the one down from Putney Rail.

I would also like to remind crews that you should take great care if you go downstream of Putney Bridge. The club has had three incidents this season below the bridge which have been caused by a lack of familarity with the hazards and not keeping a proper look out.

Only go below Putney Bridge in good conditions, not within two hours of high tide and never at night. Do not stop or marshall near the recycling centre where there is commercial traffic. Keep a look out over both sides of the boat for bridges, moored craft and other river traffic. Remember there is no speed limit below Wandsworth Bridge so other boats can travel quickly and cause significant wash.

Thank you.

Beware of the Thames Clippers at Putney Pier

thames-clipper-putneyIt’s been noticed that the Thames Clippers arriving and departing from Putney Pier have not been using the appropriate sound signals. If you see this happening, please report the instance to the PLA.

Remember (these in my words):

One short blast means “I am altering my course to starboard”

Two short blasts means “I am altering my course to port”

Three short blasts means “I am operating astern propulsion” AKA going in reverse

Four short blasts mean “I am turning around in the fairway”  one more short blast “to starboard” or two more short blasts “to port”

Five short blasts means “I am about to crash into you if you don’t do something” – generally move out of the way of the big boat NOW

One long blast means “I am coming around a corner or blind spot. Beware I am here.”

I hope this helps. The Rowing Code gives you the full details.

Summer Regatta Racing has begun!

Starting with Hammersmith Amateur Regatta on Saturday. Vesta development men raced in an eight and a four – which led to some interesting methods of transporting the two boats among eight rowers up to Hammersmith on the river…hammersmith-transport

The dev men raced in a novice eight against Kings College and AK. Their novice coxed four raced against Wallingford and Eastbourne College BC.

I’m still waiting for the results to be published, so if you know what happened let me know!

This coming weekend there are two events: firstly on Saturday it’s Chiswick Amateur Regatta and Vesta has three representatives. Fred Beaud races in a MAS C 1x at 9:15am against a Twickenham sculler. In the Novice scullers category Sebastian Wachholz is coming up against Poplar & Blackwall and Quintin in a three-lane first round at 9:30am, and with 16 entries he  will hopefully have a long day ahead of him! At 14:05 Vesta has a MAS E 2x racing featuring Paul Mew and James Weatherstone against Twickenham and Tideway Scullers in a straight final. (Unfortunately there wasn’t any competition for our MAS B 4- – never mind guys you’ll get a race later I hope!)

The full Chiswick draw is here.

On Sunday it’s Wallingford Regatta at Dorney Lake, the first multi-lane racing of the season. Vesta has 12 boats in the draw (not bad for normally oversubscribed Wallingford). Our men are racing their eight line-up in two divisions, IM1 and IM2, and they also have two fours, a coxed crew and a coxless, racing in IM2 4+ and IM1 4- respectively. The IM1 coxless fours have a whopping 23 boats entered so some really tough competition there – fingers crossed for you guys – the other categories are healthy, but not so huge as that.

The Vesta ladies have managed to get a number of their crews racing, but not their top boat. Apparently there weren’t enough women’s Senior eights to run the event. The Women’s Senior 8 event is listed in the draw but  is empty and since we had two eligible crews it seems to be a poor reflection of the depth of women’s rowing in England (again) disappointingly. (I realise Wallingford caters for the Juniors so has less space for senior rowing, however there is only one women’s senior race and the only elite women’s races are the single sculls, double sculls and pair, compared to elite eights, quads, coxless fours etc. in the men’s.) Similarly we didn’t get a slot in the W.IM3 eights event and only secured one place in the W.IM2 eights, despite having more than one crew. However, we did get in two W.IM1 4- in a straight final, a W.SEN 4+ in a straight final of just four crews, and a W.IM3 4+. Our two single scullers, Liz Crighton and Rowan McKellar, are racing individually and doubling up in the W.IM1 2x, so they will at least be pretty knackered on Monday then!

The full Wallingford draw is here (see  bottom of the page).

Entries are open now for Met and also keep an eye on the Upcoming Events section for smaller regattas too.

(NB the opinion here is all mine!)