Next Vesta Quiz 8pm on Weds 26th Sept

Come down to Vesta Bar for Gordon’s legendary quiz. No particular theme, but you can count on a few Olympics related questions. Get ahead of the game by following @vestarowing on Twitter where Gordon will be posting a few nuggets to tease you! All are welcome, especially new members, so bring your friends and enjoy prizes, hot food, drink and banter.

VPs Host Athletes’ Reception

A fantastic Vesta tradition continued this year with the Vice Presidents of the club hosting a drinks reception for the Henley Royal Regatta and the Henley Women’s Regatta athletes.

On Wednesday the 4th of July, the members of Vesta turned their dry cleaning post Henley of club blazers around quickly to ensure they were looking sharp for the annul VP drinks. There was a great turn out of both athletes and VP’s, all there to enjoy an evening of bubbles, canapés, mingling, speeches and of course all that Vesta Bar can provide.

The evening, which has continued since 2009 was created to give the VP’s a chance to mingle with the current athletes in the squad and ensure that Vesta Club spirit is passed on through the generations of Vesta. We were lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful dry evening which meant utilising the balcony and also giving the opportunity for our in house photographer Richard Bryan a chance to capture some great club images.

It was also an excellent occasion for the coaches to give a celebratory reflection of their seasons and the athlete to thank them for all their hard work. Nick Ireland represented the men’s coaching group with a recap of all things related male rowing during the 2011/12 season and thanked all that has helped to create it. Matt Gilliver, the Women’s head coach also gave an entertaining recap of the season that was, thanking his team of coaches and took the opportunity to “officially” retire from coaching. Matt has been involved in the Women’s squad since 2008 and has lead the group to it’s most successful years of Women’s rowing at Vesta. He has helped the squad obtain a Senior Henley Women’s 8+ medal in 2010, the same year the squad represented Vesta on the Saturday at Henley Royal Regatta in the Remenham Challenge. These fantastic results were followed by victories in the Club 8+ category in both 2011 and 2012. Along with very successful years at both Royal Henley Regatta and Women’s Henley, the squad under Matt has had it’s most successful years at The Head of River and have brought home swags of medals every time they loaded up the trailer and ventured to another race. Matt- Thank you for all your hard work! We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have.

A very large thank you must go out to the VP’s for being so generous and hosting the evening. The VP’s bring a huge amount of spirit and knowledge to the Club and it is always great being able to get all the members of the club together to celebrate and raise a glass to our fantastic club.

– Ailsa

Blackstaffe Day!

Annual Blackstaffe Day, in honor of Harry Blackstaffe, one of the most successful members of of Vesta, will be held on August 18th this year. All participants must wear a mustache! Racing will be followed by a Disney themed party hosted by the Dev Girls. More info to follow, so stay posted!

News from Henley Royal

Quick news update:

Race 6 – 9.00 Thames Cup  Upper Thames R.C. vs Vesta R.C.

Upper Thames beat Vesta RC VERDICT 5 lengths.

Race 34 – 11.45 Wyfold  Vesta R.C. vs London R.C. ‘A’.

London RC ‘A’ BEAT Vesta RC VERDICT 5 lengths.

Tough day for Vesta’s men, at least there’s Remenham…

Two Wins for Italy!

Preceding England’s loss on penalties to the Azzurri, English rowers had to first face a loss to Italy as one of Vesta’s several Italians, Stefano, crushed some rowing dream by winning IM3 1X at Richmond Regatta.
With a burgeoning reputation, Vesta’s Sardinian sculler took to the water for his heat and despite the rain and being drawn on the outside of the bend paddled down the course at a leisurely rate 28 winning easily. The final was run on a turned tide but made little difference to the result. A quick start meant Stefano was ahead comfortably by the bend….making a point he moved further inside to take the shortest line round the bend but then continued on a straight course towards the bank and tree. A quick re-adjustment in direction and he crossed the line to secure another pot and 2 points. Next stop Kinsgton!

Vesta Prepares for Henley Royal

With Henley week finally upon us, most of us are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather, while the rowers undertake their final preparations. The Vesta men pre-qualified two boats, one for the Thames Cup (8+) and one for the Wyfold (4-), thereby not having to endure Friday’s qualifiers which were held in conditions not dissimilar to last week’s HWR. Jamie Halliday joined forces with Harry Bond (of Thames!!!) to row the appropriately named Vodka in an attempt to qualify for the Double Sculls. Unfortunately, the not so lightweight lightweights were at a disadvantage in the strong gusty winds and heavy stream and were the fastest non-qualifying boat. The senior women joined the ranks of the 10 other qualifying boats for 3 available places, in what looks like the toughest Remenham Cup in a long time. The girls had a stonking race battling tough conditions and resulting in some amazing ‘pain face’ photos, but narrowly missing out on a qualifying spot.

The timetable for Wednesday’s racing has been released and is available by clicking here. The Vesta Thames 8+ will race Upper Thames in race 6 at 9:00. The Wyfold 4 will race London in race 34 at 11:45. Hope to see a good Vesta contingency providing the Remenham Roar for the boys!!

Men Post Solid Showing at Marlow Regatta

Despite the numerous disruptions to Marlow’s “International” Regatta caused by preparations for the Olympics, the Vesta Senior Men put in a fantastic performance. In the heats of the IM1 race the Vesta boys hit it hard off the start, sticking with the pack. The two schoolboy crews pushed ahead leaving Southampton Uni battling with Vesta for a place in the final. The winter training shone through as the Vesta mid-race pace pushed them through to a comfortable third place. Coming into the last 500m, Bristol, Newark, Eton and Brunswick were left in their wake and the Vesta boys decided not to settle for third. They took a length off Southampton, putting them in second place and only half a length off St Edward’s School, the winners of the heat.

This was followed by the Senior 8 heat, by which point the conditions had really picked up (providing the coaching team with much entertainment as the J14 octuples attempted to line up at the stake boats in a perpendicular gale force cross wind…) Vesta finished fourth, missing out on a place in the final to Durham, Queen’s Belfast and Newcastle’s top eights, and top crews at BUCS this year). However, the Vesta men were still a good length or so up on the other Thames Cup eligible crews in the division.

The Im1 final was the last race of the day, where they came in fourth to the (never to be underestimated) schoolboys. They battled through the rough conditions, still head and shoulders ahead of the other Thames Cup eligible crews, thus securing their well deserved place in the list of pre-qualified crews at Henley Royal Regatta next week. Bring it on!

– Morgan

Henley Royal Regatta list of entries published

Vesta’s entries are:

  • a men’s eight in The Thames Challenge Cup – 40 entries to be reduced to 32
  • two women’s eights in The Remenham Challenge Cup – 19 entries (a large contingent this year!) to be reduced to ten (normally it’s eight – so I’m not sure how this is going to pan out in the racing timetable)
  • a men’s four in The Wyfold Challenge Cup – 46 entries (again a big increase on last year) to be reduced to 32
  • Jamie Halliday teaming up with Harry Bond in The Double Sculls Challenge Cup – the latter representing Thames Rowing Club (bah)

The draw with details of qualifying races and timetable will be published on Sunday evening.

The full list of entries is available on the HRR website.

Wind and wins so far at Henley Women’s

Henley Women's Regatta in the sunshine

Surprising sunshine at HWR

The weather this weekend seems to be the dominant force at Henley Women’s Regatta. High winds and predicted heavy rain have prompted the organisers to rearrange some racing. Notably the number of crews to qualify through time trials was cut and some junior racing has been moved to Sunday time trials. Fortunately the sun has stayed more or less out today!

Vesta’s Dev Squad coxed four crew has not been hindered, thankfully. They defeated Thames convincingly this afternoon and move through to the semi-finals on Sunday. The verdict was Easily in a time of 7:50. Well done crew and coaches!

The timetable for Saturday’s racing has been reworked – I’m slightly confused by the document on the website, but I think it’s telling me this:

10:48 – Elite 8 v Bucknell Uni USA

13:42 – Club 8 v TBC

14:12 – Senior 8 v Holy Cross USA

15:46 – Elite 2- v Molesey

You can follow on Twitter and on Facebook for real time results and commentary.

Vesta in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant

Paul, Robin and Purdie in the Daily MailThe Diamond Jubilee, and specifically the water pageant, saw a good showing from Vesta, with Paul, Robin, Michael and Purdy, leading the ‘rowing contingency’ in Poppet and even making the Daily Mail!

A big shout to our Club Captain, Alex, who had a side-job as a pageant Commander(!), who knew!

Thanks to everyone who helped to make the Jubilee celebrations in the Clubhouse so successful; both those who had volunteered at the bar and BBQ, and those who stepped in when we had more guests than anticipated. The Vesta balcony gave the perfect viewing spot to watch the marshalling crews. Both lunch and post-Met BBQs went off successfully and the firkin of Hope and Glory Jubilee Ale was emptied early. (No suprise there really!)
Thanks particularly to Dick, Sinead and Paul L for organising the special celebrations in the club. It’s much appreciated!