Maidenhead Regatta

Kat Hedges raced for Vesta at Maidenhead regatta with her old club, EERC, at the weekend, and they won WMasters A/B/C quads and WMasters C 4+ over the 500m course on Saturday.

The winning crew afterwards having celebration beers!

The winning crew afterwards having celebration beers!

Both winning verdicts were over 2 lengths, which given the short course is a fair distance for a previously untried combo. To quote Kat,  “I love Masters racing.”

Vesta also raced in a Mixed 4x and a Mixed 2x racing on Saturday at Maidenhead. Paul Mew and Zena were entered in IM2 mixed doubles, in Paul’s words, “rather ambitiously”. In fact, they had a decent race with good steering but didn’t have the power to beat Eton Excelsior.

The masters mixed quad (Anna, Deb, Bryan and Bijan) had a problem on the way to the start. The steering shoe came away from the footplate so Bijan had to complete the race rather cautiously with no steering. The trailed way behind as a result.

Vesta’s crews were cheered up by tea and the best cakes ever at the regatta enclosure where they watched Kat win.

Thanks to Kat and Paul for sending in new their contributions.

Vesta ride out at Prudential Ride London

Current and former Vesta rowers were out in force at last Sunday’s inaugural Prudential Ride London – a 100 mile closed road sportive starting at the Olympic park in Stratford, taking in a few choice Surrey Hills and finishing in style on the Mall before Buckingham Palace.

20x30-RLBY0210

Team Vesta at Buckingham Palace

With a start time that required us to get up so early that late night revelers were very much still in evidence, riders started arriving at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 5am ready for the first wave of departures from 6am. Vesta CC had one “team” entry and much crimson and black kit throughout! The pace was punchy from the start as enthusiasm and adrenalin swept us along. As we wound through traffic free London streets and out to Richmond Park, trains of riders formed and the effect was higher than anticipated speeds. At one point super domestiques Matt and Chris looked back over their shoulder to see over 30 riders hiding in their slipstream.

Out to Surrey through the familiar and oft ridden roads of Richmond Park, Hampton Court and Weybridge, crowds began to gather along the course and the cheers were much in evidence (and very helpful) as we rode the 3 main hills of the route Newlands Corner, the mighty Leith Hill (from the south) and the eponymous Surrey landmark and home to British hill climbing, Box Hill.

Despite some dubious pre-event communication (what do you mean teams want to start together…?), the day itself was incredibly well organised and we gladly partook of frequent opportunities to grab free food and fill up water bottles along the course. The main feature and what set this cycling event apart from any of the others most of us have done was the closed roads – the feeling of coming through Putney and beyond to the Mall, along our regular commuting route, at around 40kmph can’t be fully replicated.

We finished the ride as we had done all day, as a team and the smiles beamed. Testament to what a great day it was is the fact that we (and more almost everybody we know) have entered into the ballot for next year. (Get your entry in now before it’s too late!)

Fastest rider home representing Vesta CC was Jon Tait, in a time of 5:08, behind Dave Clinton (in treacherous blue!) in 4:21. The Vesta team of Matt Gilliver, Chris Harrison, Rahma Barclay and Martha Walsh, plus Charlie Dempster, came home in a time of 5:17. Full results below.

Current and ex Vesta riders (some representing other clubs)

  • Rahma Barclay  5:17
  • Hayley Beer        6:47
  • Fraser Brown     5:18
  • Alister Campbell 4:32
  • Dave Clinton      4:21
  • Matt Collings      4:35
  • Charlie Dempster 5:17
  • Matt Gilliver       5:17
  • Helen Gray          6:23
  • Chris Harrison   5:17
  • Alex Johnson     5:58
  • Shona Love         6:06
  • Jeremy Rose      5:50
  • Jon Tait                5:08
  • Martha Walsh    5:17

 

Upcoming racing news

This weekend we have a few ladies representing Vesta at Peterborough. Racing in her single is Athene McGregor-MacDonald and in an WIM3 4x are Nicola Pocock, Kerry Evans, Charlotte Lennox, Charlotte Trigle. Good luck and have a fab time!

 

Also very best of luck to Vesta’s Rowan McKellar who’s entered U23 (she’s only 19!) Women’s Elite 1x in the GB Rowing Team Sculling Festival to be held at NWSC, Nottingham next weekend. It’s a new event for those who want to reach national level… worth a look!

 

Arch to Arc Challenge & Fundraiser at Vesta

Click here to read the party flyer

Click here to read the party flyer

A team of five, including three Vesta members, have organised a unique challenge to run, row and bicycle from London’s Marble Arch to the Arc du Triomphe, Paris – ‘Arch to Arc’ with the aim being to rediscover this historic route and raise a significant amount for charity at the same time. The start date is scheduled for Saturday 24th August and the challenge should take six days, covering a total of approximately 300 miles.

Should you wish to find out more about the challenge, sponsor the team, or keep up to date with how preparations are going via the blog please visit our website, www.runrowbike.co.uk.

There will also be a fund raising party at the Vesta on Wednesday 21st August – so please come if you can!

New Director of Women’s Rowing for 2013-14

Vesta Rowing Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Ray Sullivan as Director of Women’s Rowing for the upcoming new season 2013/14.

Ray will lead a group of volunteer coaches to ensure the continued success of the Vesta Women’s squad.

Ray has achieved notable wins and successes at Lea Rowing club and Furnivall Sculling Club, winning the ARA Coach of the Year in 2005/6. He has coached crews to wins at Henley Women’s Regatta, National Championships and the Commonwealth Games. His crews have won Pennants at Pairs, Fours and Womens’ Eights heads, and he has also seen crews through several rounds of the Remenham Challenge at Henley Royal Regatta.

A new season kick off meeting will be held on 12 September at 7:30pm in Vesta’s front room – if you have over a year’s competitive rowing under your belt and are interested in joining the club, please come along!

On behalf of the current squad and committee, we would like to extend our thanks and best wishes to the outgoing coaches.

Summer cider sale!

Attention all cider drinkers and anyone who fancies a VFM pint!

We are in the process of changing our draught cider brand.

But we still have 1.5 kegs  of Aspall’s to go!

So, a cheeky Summer Cider Sale starts today, £2.00 a pint while stocks last (about 100 pints, so it shouldn’t take long!).

Winging it and winning a bit at Henley Masters

by Kat Hedges

So after months of preparation, a rigorous selection procedure, endless hours on the water, it was time for that race that we train ALL year for…. Vets Henley! After a slightly stunted start with Gemma being unable to locate any kit, Kat running late and initially only Emma in Henley possessing no tools to start rigging the boat, it was a miracle we made it to the start line on time!

However, we made it… Masters A quads first up and we had drawn Marlow first round. Considering this was our maiden voyage as a full crew we were pleasantly surprised to be up off the start and with some great motivational calls from Kat, we managed to cling onto the lead, winning by a canvas. Despite a gutsy row, unfortunately we lost to Guildford by 1.25 lengths in the final, however considering our opposition had raced and won senior quads at HWR, we weren’t too disappointed.

The crew then split into a Masters A 2x (Gemma and Emma) and 2- (Kat and Helen). Unfortunately Kat and Emma both fell victim to the lure of the booms (quickly recovered) and lost their races; however, a weekend of glorious weather, good food and great company made up for the overall lack of medals!

[no suggestion of a training schedule for next year, then Kat ;-)]

Vesta ladies enter Parliament (and eat very small sarnies)

By Kerry Evans

Rigging on the other side of the river

Rigging on the other side of the river

It was with no small amount of nerves that I arrived at Vauxhall station to take part in this year’s Parliamentary Boat Race (against Thames!) on the 10th of July.

After rigging Tommy our next challenge was to attempt to look glam in the matching t-shirts and caps we were to wear! Once we had made it across the very busy Vauxhall cross hauling an eight, we had to boat on some of the roughest water I had ever seen (up to that point in the day!) whilst dodging very grumpy Duck tour drivers!

So the adventure began! We spent about half an hour warming up, laughing, dodging waves and fruity remarks from a lively Molesey men’s eight!

We lined up with Thames and we were off! We were with them for a while at the start but it wasn’t long before they had the best of us – our secret weapon of a ‘tenth man’ (our 3 girl is 14 weeks pregnant at the time of the race!) was not enough to conquer the water or Thames on the day.

In the rough Julia is boss!

In the rough Julia is boss!

Race over – it was time for an amazing couple of hours rubbing shoulders with Lords, Ladies, MP’s and rowing types on the House of Lords riverside terrace! There was an amazing view of the Eye, champagne, tea, delicious mini sandwiches and cakes (I think food always tastes slightly better when it’s mini!) and as much strawberries and cream as you could eat!

The event was to not only raise awareness of rowing, but to raise money for charity. Once cheques had been handed out, an unexpected treat was a competitor’s medal presented by Lord Carey so apart from the blue blueness of the free kit, we will always have a memento of our day.

I think had we known what was to come next; we may have decided to leave a little earlier. The tide had turned and I think the row back was the closest I’ve ever come to ocean rowing (I had the theme to Captain Pugwash going round my head for a couple of hours after we got back!!). We took on so much water we had to ask some chaps to help us lift Tommy out of the Thames! More Duck Tour dodging and another trip across the road and it was all over bar the de-rigging of our noble steed!

All in all a great day with the girls and a fun thing to do on a Wednesday afternoon, thanks for the invitation Vesta!

Wins for double sculls at Kingston Regatta

Congratulations to Zena and Sybilla who won their Novice Double Sculls final on Sunday at Kingston Regatta.

 

The pot was rather hard fought, so gave some extra satisfaction. The ladies had to complete an emergency boat repair just as they were ready to boat and were assisted by Peter and Janet Simpson, along with Homer the dog.

 

Kingston3In their first race they were cut up horribly by a crew who were weaving in a manic fashion,  but they kept our course, upped the rating and beat them. In the final, the crew was in the outside lane – with all manner of craft bobbing around at speed  – the swell was horrendous  – meanwhile their opponents from Furnival were very big strong girls and had the inside calm lane by the bank.  It was neck and neck, then half way down the course, they steered into the bank, so we legged it!

 

Kingston1The girls were awarded their novice pots and want to say that “if it hadn’t been for Peter (and Janet and Homer) coming to support us and helping, they would never have raced!!”