Vesta wins Best Dressed Crew at this years’ Veterans Head of the River Race

Race report by Amelia Munsey, Masters A cox

Over 200 crews took to the Thames on Saturday 28 March for the 2015 edition of the Vesta Veterans’ Head of the River. The weather stayed pleasant and not too windy, despite concerns from the weather reports!

The race was won by the Austrian Alumni, a crew containing representatives from RV Gmunden, RV Villach and London Rowing Club amongst others, who raced the course in 19:01.

Composite crews saw the majority of the top places in the event. The Masters B category was won by a crew containing no less than seven clubs, a remarkable feat in itself.

The fastest Women’s boat of the day was a strong crew from Tideway Scullers School who retained their headship and finished the course in an impressive 20:40.

Vesta had 3 crews racing in the competition, two Women’s Masters A crews and a Composite Masters F with Thames, Abingdon and London RC. The Composite Crew put on a good performance coming 3rd in their category in a field of 18.

The Women’s Masters A crew had a great day, racing in fancy dress. The “school girls” managed to finish second in their category and were the third fastest Women’s boat of the day. The Women had another guest appearance from Olympic Medal holder Sarah Winckless.

vesta vets head

Veterans head showed a second strong performance for the rejuvenated Vesta Vets Squad that’s currently being championed by Captain James Hawkins.

Of course Vesta are indebted to the many people that gave up their Saturday to make Vesta’s Veteran’s Head of the River Race a huge success.

Vesta novice women become “true team” at WEHORR

Jane Middleton reports on the novice women’s first crack at Women’s Head….

Vesta Novice Women

The Novice ladies squad were well prepared, we had trained hard, we were focused and we felt ready.  Our coaches gave us the biggest race briefing of our novice existence.  It was race day, this was it – it was now, this is what we had been working towards.

It was a huge relief when we finally left the pandemonium, threw our wellies in a bucket and got Tommy on the water.  All that was left were some final photos, good luck messages from our awesome coaches Judith, Stuart, Kat and Leigh (all of whom resembled anxious parents sending their children off to boarding school for the first time) they could do nothing more now!

We rowed up to the start and had a 90 minute wait – it was painful and somewhat surreal but within that interminable wait we were calm and disciplined.  Then suddenly it was time to spin and get underway…..in an instant we were pushing forward and cranking up the pace towards the starting post.  The next 25 minutes passed by in a flash, we had got away cleanly, had gathered a strong steady pace as we reached Barnes Bridge and then the wind hit us.  Mario steered us well through the course and it wasn’t long before we were approaching the island and then he had Hammersmith Bridge in his sights.  The pace felt strong, confident and calm, we had long strokes, good clean catches, early squares and we weren’t rushing up the slide (for once).  Hearing the roars of the crowd from Putney Embankment was unforgettable, the tanks were empty but the feeling of rowing past the Vesta balcony will never leave us from that infamous WEHORR experience.

We set off in position 293 and finished in position 261, which meant in real terms we were faster than 32 other boats of which 7 were in a higher category.

We did it and as we took Tommy back into the boathouse I for one felt we had become a true team…

A strong performance at WEHORR for Vesta with two crews finishing in the top 50

Race report by Amelia Munsey, Masters A cox

Last weekend saw the 75th Women’s Eights Head of the River Race held on the Tideway. It is raced on the River Thames over 4 miles and 374 yards, from the start at the University Pole in Chiswick to the finish at Putney Pier. This year saw more than 300 crews compete from across the world.

The overall winners were a GB composite Elite 8+ who finished in a time of 18:58.6. The crew included Olympic gold medalists Helen Glover, Heather Stanning and Katherine Grainger, along with GB teammates.

Vesta fielded three 8s this year, comprising the senior squad’s IM2 8+, a Masters A entry and a crew from the Novice squad. Vesta landed two top 50 spots – no easy feat with a strong field!
WEHORR

The IM2 8+, coached by Nic Neveling and Chris Clements, placed 48th in a time of 22:00.2, beaten by only a handful of club IM2 crews.

The Masters A crew had a guest appearance from honorary lifetime member Sarah Winckless who helped the crew to achieve their impressive 41st place, making them the fastest Vesta boat of the day in a time of 21:48.0. Sarah Winckless herself is an Olympic medal holder and twice World Champion. This performance is a strong start for a rejuvenated vets squad, an initiative led by Captain James Hawkins.

The Novice women also had a good day finishing 10th out of the Novice club crews with a time of 25:05.4. The novice squad is coached by Judith Howell, Kat Burnell and Stewart Button, and their performance bodes well for the summer season and beyond.

Overall, I’m very proud to be part of a club where we have 3 womens’ 8s representing the club, not least with 2 of these finishing in the top 50. Well raced Vesta!

 

Scullers Head to offer para-rowing categories

The Scullers Head, the largest single scull processional race in the world, is for the very first time offering para-rowing events. The 61st edition of the race, which is organised by Vesta Rowing Club, will be held on 29th November on the Championship Course from Mortlake to Putney.

Entries have now opened on BROE and organisers are hoping to attract enough LTA and TA entries to run these events, for both men and women.

“We’re not the first Tideway head race to offer para-rowing categories, but we hope to be the first to actually hold them – getting enough entries is critical to making this happen. Para-rowing is on the increase in the UK and while we have fantastic success at the GB level, we’d love to see more events available for club scullers,” said Vesta Rowing Club Chairman, Chris Harrison.

Previous winners of the event include Sir Steve Redgrave, Mahe Drysdale, Alan CampbellBeth Rodford and Imogen Walsh. The GB Rowing Team’s Walsh, 2011 Scullers Head winner and 2013 Wingfield Sculls winner, said, “It’s such an iconic race, 500 odd boats giving it all they’ve got down the tideway. There aren’t many head races where you get to line up and test yourself against so many other scullers, and it’s part of what puts it on the bucket list of races for many rowers. It’s about line and position, about pacing yourself and knowing when to push, as well as how technically well you scull – it’s a true test of sculling the river. I only wish I got to race it more often!”

Race categories this year include all open and Masters categories, as well as events for Lightweights, J18s and Masters Novices along with LTA and TA. The race attracts over 500 entries, making it one of the largest single division sculling races in the world. Where exactly the para-rowing categories will be included in the much-heralded draw will be established depending on the entries received, and those interested should contact the organisers on scullers.head@vestarowing.co.uk to discuss logistics. Final details will be included in the instructions to competitors, to be published in early November. Entries close on 15th November or when 550 paid entries have been received.

Follow this year’s Scullers Head:
Twitter: @scullershead
Facebook: facebook.com/scullershead
Instagram: instagram.com/scullershead

By Martha Walsh 

This article originally appeared on the British Rowing website.

Rusty Williams confirmed as Vesta’s new Director of Rowing

Former GB coach Rusty Williams has confirmed that he will be Vesta’s new Director of Rowing for the 2014/15 season, overseeing coach and athlete development and training.

Rusty’s appointment follows a markedly successful year for the Vesta senior men’s squad which saw three boats pre-qualify for Henley Royal Regatta, with the coxed four competing until the Saturday and wins at Wallingford, Metropolitan and Reading Regattas. He has also previously assisted the Vesta senior women’s squad, which between 2010-12 won successive events at Henley Women’s Regatta.

Rusty will be overseeing a strong coaching team for 2014/15 with thirteen coaches already confirmed. These include: Nick Ireland, Tony Reynolds, Helen Grey, and Andy MacMillan coaching the senior men’s squad; Nic Neveling, Ray Sullivan and Chris Clements coaching the senior women’s squad; Martin Graham, Wendy Armstrong and Alex Foreman looking after the novice men and Judith Howell, Stewart Button and Harriet Caldwell-Nichols the novice women – with a few more names to be confirmed.

Vesta’s 2014/15 season starts early September with the senior women’s introductory meeting taking place on Wednesday 3rd September (at 7pm at Vesta), senior men the following day on the 4th with rowing starting on Saturday 6th September for both squads. The novice squads have their introductory meeting on Thursday 11th September (at 7pm at Vesta) with the novice men starting on Saturday 13th September and the novice women a week later on Saturday 20th September. Please keep looking at our website and twitter account for further updates and contact details or any questions you may have. It already looks to be an exciting year ahead!

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

Interested in joining Vesta?

The 2014/2014 season kick-off dates for each squad is as follows:

Senior women intro meeting: Wednesday 3 September, 7pm

Senior men intro: Thursday 4 September, 7pm

Senior squads start: Saturday 6 September, 7am

Novice men and women intro meeting: Thursday 11 September, 7pm

If you are curious about any of our squads and what they involve, all are invited to come along to to the club to meet the coaches at the intro meetings. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact: vesta@vestarowing.co.uk

Novice and Masters winning streak continues at Twickenham

IM3 4+

Vesta had two wins out of two at Twickenham Regatta. The four from the novice squad who won their novice pots by a foot at Putney Town last week continued their strong form by winning IM3 at Twickenham. With a little help from super-sub Hawkeye, and with Debs steering instead of Wendy, they beat Twickenham and then Royal Holloway to win their second pots. Congratulations to the crew of Debs Croshaw (cox), Sean Hegarty (stroke), James Hawkins, George Clements, Stephen Tate.

Paul Mew also continued his impressive form with a comfortable win over Putney Town with Zena Howard in the Mixed Masters Doubles. This followed on from the successful previous weekend when he beat “Rocket” Roy Brook, a reigning world champion indoor rower from LRC, at Putney Town Regatta on Saturday and then won the gold medal in the Masters G 1x at the National Masters Championships at Holme Pierrepoint on the next day. Three wins in three events over two weekend is not bad going for him.

Paul and Zena

Congratulations also to Kat Hedges and Anna Brown who won Mas A W 2- at the National Masters and to the mens senior squad who won IM2 8+ at Putney Town.