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 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!
Vesta engaged in some spectacular racing yet again at Reading Regatta. Possibly one of the best river regattas in the country, just a week ahead of Henley Women’s and two weeks ahead of the qualifiers for Royal, it provides some great side-by-side experience for our crews.
The men gave Winchester School boys a good fight and then proceeded immediately to the start for the final of IM1 8+ against Curlew. The race was a proper spectators’ treat – side-by-side racing all the way down the course, with Curlew inching out a win by three feet.
The senior women came off with another win beating Bucknell University of the USA by three feet in Elite 8+. This was an encouraging result as Vesta faces Bucknall in the first round of Elite 8+ at 11:07 on Saturday at Henley Women’s Regatta.
Vesta took home three wins and six second places from the Met Regatta 2012, a positive result from this key test in the racing calendar just a few weeks before Henley. The two-day, 2000m multi-lane event at Dorney Lake was held over the Jubilee Weekend and proved to be very exciting indeed, with eleven Vesta entries on Saturday and 14 on Sunday!
On Saturday the women came second and third again to Thames RC in Senior 8s, but won IM1 8+ with a ten second margin. A new elite pair combination showed promise, coming second to the GB23 pair from Sport Imperial. Sunday’s racing proved successful as well, with the women winning Senior 8+ and IM1 8+. The women’s IM2 8+ won their heat and narrowly lost out the final to what turned out to be the Welsh U23 squad. The Dev Women had a repeat of Wallingford, winning their heat in IM3 4+, and coming second to Oxford Brookes in the final.
A special mention must be made of the Women’s LW4-, who FINALLY got to race this season (the dearth of any competition in women’s coxless four racing, never mind lightweight events this year has proved a challenge). An initial struggle against Mortlake on Saturday proved to be just nerves, as the girls beat them by a five second margin on Sunday, coming second to Univ College Dublin (heavies) in Senior 4-. Vesta results are available on the results page and full results can be found by on the Metropolitan Regatta website.
Dick is organizing transport to and from Henley Royal Regatta. The buses are top quality, air-conditioned coaches, which will pick up and drop off daily at Vesta and Remenham Club. It’s door to door, so no tubes, no trains, no walking, and no driving….what’s not to like!! The fare is £20 per person return or £10 one way (subject to availability). We will make the greatest effort to get to Henley in time for all Vesta races. The return trip will start back shortly after racing finishes for the day, except Saturday (see below). The weekday buses are likely to depart at 9:00am and return 7:00pm.
On the Saturday of the Regatta, Remenham stays open until 10:30pm, and supplies a BBQ from about 8pm, so there will be a choice of return times of about 7pm, or later at 11:00pm.
Check your monthly club newsletter email from Aga to find out how to book your seat.
Vesta will head to Henley in force for the most prestigious event in their summer racing calendar. Both the development and senior women’s squads will attempt to qualify an Intermediate 4+ each on Friday. Saturday will see the first round of side-by-side racing, with Vesta competing in an Intermediate 8+, Senior 8+, Elite 8+ and Elite 2-. Sunday will also feature the first round of racing for an Elite 4- and Elite LW 4- and, we hope, some semi-finals and finals for our club crews.
There are more than the usual number of overseas crews visiting this year, meaning competition will be tight especially in the Senior 8s and Elite 8s, with 15 and seven crews entered respectively.
The full draw and timetable can be found by clicking here. (There will also be twitter updates throughout the weekend. I think it’s #henley_women’s).
Are you an overseas/foreign crew racing in Vesta’s Vets Head this weekend?! If so, please check out the Vets Head website which has new and extremely important race information in Spanish, French, Italian and German. All documents and race information can be found here. If you have any further questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Otherwise, safe travels and see you Sunday!
Anyone who has walked through the club over the past several months has no doubt seen the Vesta women training hard and training often. Last Saturday, the women were finally able to ‘cash in’ all the hard work, which resulted in the best WEHORR performance in Vesta’s history:
Women’s Senior Squad:
Vesta RC A 4th Overall (3rd Fastest Domestic Crew Overall)
Vesta RC B 16th Overall (Fastest 2nd 8 in event and fastest Domestic Elite Crew)
Vesta RC C 28th Overall (Fastest 3rd 8 in event)
Vesta RC D 77th Overall (Fastest 4th 8 in event)
Women’s Development Squad:
Vesta RC F 181st Overall (improved on starting position by 114 places beating 50 non-novice crews)
Vesta RC E 248th Overall (only lost a few places despite kit failures and the heaviest cox in the event)
A huge congrats to all the girls and coaches, and all the Vesta volunteers and members who provide the support to make results like this possible. Below are the race recaps from each of the Senior crews. Enjoy!
Pushing off from the Vesta hard at exactly 10am the Vesta A crew had one Ambition, to race hard, row fast and come in the top 10. Arriving in the marshalling area there was time for a quick drink and relax; the calm before the storm. Paddling off 15th,one behind a strong Molsey WCS crew and two behind old rivals from Quintin Head, Durham Uni, the chase was on. Off the start long and strong, Molsey had a lead of 1 1/2 lengths. Using the advantage of being able to see the VRC crew coming the MBC girls put in a good fight before being overtaken off the end of the Island. Flying through Hammersmith Bridge with a perfect racing line the Vesta crew honed in on the Durham crew, now only a length away. Cox Ro’s nerves of steel held off an aggressive push from the Durham cox who attempted to get back her line at Barn Elms, and kept the girls flying in the stream towards home. Fuelled by the crowd on the Vesta balcony the last 50 strokes saw the A boat pass the Durham crew and collapse in a heap on the finishing line. Rock On. The official result was 4th, in a time of 20:25.
The “B for Ballsy” crew line-up consisted the two Helens (Edwards and Ellison), Anna, Aga, Vicky, Rahma, Martha and Sybille, coxed by Julia, and after coming third in Hammersmith W&J Head the crew were excited about tackling the full course. Starting at number 28, we enjoyed taking our first scalp (Queen’s University Belfast) as we exited Chiswick Bridge – despite easying twice on the approach to give them room. With Barnes Bridge Ladies on our tail we set off to hunt down Latymer, inching closer until we succeeded in moving through them just after Hammersmith Bridge. Sitting up into the head wind along Harrod’s Wall, our next targets were Imperial C and Thames B, and we shortened the gap to only a couple of lengths, all the while as BBL crept closer. A final push along the embankment, fired up by the famous Vesta roar, helped to empty the last drops in the tanks, and a finish place of 16th – the highest Vesta B crew finish ever, and the highest B crew finish in the event. We were also pleased to hold off all schoolgirls, including the only GB crew in the event (under 18s). Robust debate over a few bottles of Cava later on centred around whether we deserved a pennant, being the first non-overseas elite crew home – WeHORR organisers, you know where we are if you change your mind!
Learning from previous mistakes, Vesta’s C – or ‘Crackpot’ – crew boated before anyone else so as not to miss the start of the race. Holidays, work commitments, illness and unspeakable last-minute foot infections meant this was the first time all 9 crew members had been in a boat together. Undeterred by this (practice, after all, is cheating), and buoyed by a rousing crew chat by adopted coach Jeremy Rose, the Crackpots set off in a positive frame of mind and with their trademark sense of humour in tow.
Thanks to feisty stroking by resident ‘shire horse’ Becs Packer, ably assisted by Sarah ‘Shetland’ Wood in the 7 seat, the girls stormed off the start, starting to pick off crews shortly after Barnes Bridge. Determined and aggressive coxing by Rachael Dixon ensured the crew held the racing line even despite some kamikaze steering by a slower Kingston crew. Unfortunately even a massive push from powerhouses Gemma Etherington and Martha Walker couldn’t quite edge the boat past the speedy City of Bristol crew that had set off just ahead; but Vesta retained hot on their heels the whole way down. A fantastic finish saw the girls overtaking several more crews as they charged past the boathouses.
All crew members hoped their performance had enabled them to achieve the top 50 result they were aiming for – and received the news of their stonking 28th place finish with amazement. Lively celebrations (ahem) ensued. Coach Jeremy’s delight with the result was tinged with relief that the Crackpots hadn’t finished 8 places higher – he’d promised to wear a dress if they made the top 20. Think they had him scared for a minute.
The WIM3 ‘Dynamos’ took to the Tideway on Saturday with their newly acquired boat buoying the journey up to the start. Sadly, super seven seat Hayley had to pull out on the morning of the race, so we had to call upon Vesta’s own super sub Jenny Cann. The row up proved a chance to get used to our new crew and our new boat. We all gave a shout for the Vesta crews (which must have been a factor in their impressive results…) and got slightly starstruck as Anna Railton, of ‘There’s something about Rowing’ fame, started in the Cambridge A boat. She was kind enough to make us some snazzy mugs, so we thought the least we could do was to give a shout. After having to easy just ahead of the start line, we got off to a speedy start, overtaking crew 120 within a couple of hundred metres of the start line and chasing down the next crew. We felt like we had a quick race to Hammersmith, grateful for the many loud supporters cheering us along the course. As we pushed off Hammersmith Bridge, the wind picked up, although we still managed to overtake a crew passing Harrod’s, in spite of the other crew’s steering. From then on in, it was hanging on for dear life until the black buoy and the cries from the Vesta balcony. It was a well-fought race, passing five crews with aggressive and inspiring coxing from Jamie Wooller and a determined row from all the girls. For many in the crew, the result was the highest placing they have achieved at WEHORR and, alongside coming 10th in our category, something we consider an achievement in itself.