Coronation Regatta Runners Up

The one-off event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation featured just one crew from Vesta, as there wasn’t any competition for our Senior (old girls) Eight (shame because how many clubs can get together a quality Senior 8 on the fly like that?! But then it’s the same old story this season – good job the Irish crews come over to compete – ahem I digress…).

So the newly no-longer-novice W.IM3.4+ travelled to Windsor to race with their coach Hawkeye, on Saturday 15th June, and didn’t they do well! The crew (S) Eleanor Simpson, (3) Niamh Murphy O’Connor, (2) Sonya Hartigan, (B) Thea Saunders and (C) Vicki Taylor only lost their novice status last week and this week they were runners up in the W.IM3.4+ event.  They came through two heats, first beating Eton Excelsior on their own patch by 1 1/2 lengths, then beating Great Marlow School by 3/4 length and in the final they lost to Manchester University by 2 2/3 lengths. Very good racing ladies! Let’s hope you can get as good a run or better in your next event!

Two wins from Reading Amateur Regatta

Liz Crighton is awarded Women's Intermediate 1 single sculls medal

Liz Crighton is awarded Women’s Intermediate 1 single sculls medal

Massive congratulations to Liz Crighton who won W.IM1.1x and the men’s IM1.4- who also won on Saturday 8th June. Both crews came through four rounds, Liz won by more than 3 lengths against Evans of Swansea and the IM1.4- beat old foes Lea RC in a closer race by 3/4l.

There was plenty of action, good side-by-side race practice ahead of Henley, with some close racing and unfortunately a Vesta capsize in the women’s elite pair against Newcastle — ooops girls! Pics below …

The men’s IM1 eight lost to London in the first round, but then in the IM2 beat Nonsuch BC then lost to Shiplake narrowly.

 The novice – now intermediate – men’s eight beat AK easily then lost to Dulwich in IM3.
The Women’s IM2 8 came through two rounds but lost to Thames in their final but just a length and a quarter.
The men’s coxless four lost to London in the Elite 4-, but continued on to beat London then KCS in IM1 event


Two Women’s Eights Medals at the Met

Another year, another batch of Met medals! The women’s squad won two eights events with two different crew line ups, and showed the depth of the squad at different levels. Well done ladies! the girls won in W.IM2.8 on Saturday and W.IM1.8 on Sunday. They also racked up a 2nd and 4th place in W.IM1.8 on Saturday. There wasn’t a Senior division racing in women’s eights again.

Women's IM1.8 with their medals

Women’s IM1.8 with their medals: Hana McEwan, Laura Jones, Rowan Mckellar, Stine Keyes, Rachael Dixon (cox), Gemma Etherington, Christina Duffy, Chloe Symmonds, Anna Brown

Women's IM2.8 winners

Women’s IM2.8 winners: Rachael Dixon (cox), Stine Keyes, Anna Brown, Christina Duffy, Chloe Symmonds, Rowan Mckellar, Hana McEwan, Laura Jones, and Helen Ellison










The full results are here.

The men’s senior squad raced its coxless four, who performed strongly, and intermediate eight, which then was tested in two coxed fours on day two. The development men’s squad, now racing as IM3 also had their first taste of multi-lane racing at Dorney. Similarly the women raced a third eight who are improving all the time, and a newly formed pair, who are getting to grips with racing in that difficult boat!

Liz Crighton raced hard in her single on both days, showing a very consistent performance and finding few more seconds compared to Wallingford, coming 2nd in W.IM2.1x on Saturday and 3rd both days in W.IM1.1x. Very well done Liz.

Fantastic photo of Liz off the start [courtesy of Gaby Turner - thanks!]

Fantastic photo of Liz off the start [courtesy of Gaby Turner – thanks!]

The gallery of photos are courtesy of Sam Lindsey – thanks Sam!

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…

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!


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!)

Latest race results are stonking! and a big weekend ahead…

The club results page has been updated with all the latest races. Some highlights!

Vesta men’s ‘A’ crew won the IM.2 pennant at Kingston Head on Saturday afternoon and came 2nd overall in the division. Well done guys! Our second crew also came 4th in their category and the first novice crew were the 5th fastest novices. The novice men also raced well at Hammersmith.

In light of the dazzling  3rd place and club pennant the ladies won, we haven’t mentioned much about the other women’s crews that raced at WeHORR last weekend, but the results show it was a storming performance by the women’s squad, yet again being one of the strongest clubs in the country, and with a change of coaching personnel. Bravo!  Our IM.2 ‘C’ crew were 3rd in their category, hanging on the coat tails of the IM.1 ‘B’ crew who were 5th in theirs. The girls are showing real strength in depth.

Finally the men’s head draw is available for Saturday here. The ‘A’ crew is starting 51st and racing in the IM.2 category, so that will be a good, ripping race for the guys, who I am sure have the bit between their teeth after last weekend. The ‘B’ crew is also racing IM.2 and will be bidding for a top 100 place and closing the gap on their squad-mates. Vesta also has a novice VIII racing starting at 183, which will be a very exciting day for these guys. You’ve earned your place, go and race it!

On Sunday, for Vesta’s own Vets Head, we have four Vesta crews and one composite. See the draw here. We’ve got two Women’s Masters A (how will they step up from the cowboys and indians last year? That will be something to see I think!) plus an open and mixed masters crew. The composite is an unknown to me, so that might be one to watch!

Please contact me on to update me on your results or upcoming races and please send me photos and the names of crew members so I can name-check you! Thanks, Cheryl


Vesta Women A crew wins Club Pennant at WEHORR

This year’s A crew achieved the best ever result for women’s rowing at Vesta in its 19 year history, and they did so in the face of heavy expectation, having finished in fourth place last year and starting this year in third. The club was well and truly excited and proud to see their performance last Saturday and wish them the best of luck preparing for the summer season. The B, C and D crews also performed exceedingly well with some very respectable results and the Masters crew showed their class too. Well done to them and their coaches. The crew tells their story in the race report below. (And I hope to be bringing you further WEHORR race reports from the other Vesta crews soon too!)

With four returning members of the crew that came 4th in 2012 and a crop of new talent, the 1st VIII started the race in 3rd position on the river. The plan was simple: start close behind crew 2, Belvoir from Zurich, and overtake them on the run up to Hammersmith. After staying relaxed in the marshalling area we spun and paddled to the start line with a length of clear water to our Swiss counterparts – perfect. The wind into the start began almost from the off; the crew was keen to get down to business! Through the line and straight into an aggressive rhythm at 34. Within the first two minutes we had overlap and broke clear of the Belvoir crew under Barnes Bridge, with a small clash between Lara at 7 and their 2 girl which just added to the excitement! With renewed vigour we escaped our European colleagues and now there was one crew between us and the finish line. Thames A had opened up a large gap of about ten lengths whilst we were in our tussle with Belvoir. It was time to make chase. Driven on by cox, Ro Thompson, we dug deep and made substantial gains up to Hammersmith. The noise and support for Vesta on the bridge was incredible and something that will inspire us for the rest of the season I am sure! All along the course from Hammersmith we were pushed on by Ro to close the gap on Thames, which by the finish, was about three lengths of clear water. Crossing the line the mood was euphoric. We had had a beast of a row and we knew it. Returning to VRC whilst everyone on the bank was applauding us was amazing but made the wait for the results all the more nerve-wracking! Luckily post-race pizza was on hand to settle the stomachs and finally the website was updated. Yes! 3rd place behind IC/Olympian crew and GB U23 squad and the Club Pennant.


Vesta Women’s Masters at the Women’s Head

Masters A – overall position: 77th, time: 20:22.4

Crew:Julia Hedley, Emily Trant, Holly de Gay, Martha Walsh, Kat Hedges, Vics Mcleod-More, Aga Siemiginowska, Kitty Lowings, Sybille Schorm


With a fresh crop of retirees in the 2013 season, the “Great-ish 8” was ably coordinated by Kat H and a strict entrance criteria was applied to those wishing to race: were you available for some gentle training the weekend before WeHorr? The self-selecting (fortunately seat racing was not required) 9 retirees were thus entered into the Masters A category, going off at 71, just enough time in marshalling to get to know the international crews, spot some local wildlife, and cheer the senior squad crews on their way to (River) Thames dominance.  In terms of the race plan, this was followed to a tee: crank the rate up as far as we can comfortably get to, accept a solid rate 29 spm, and row with the poise and dignity you’d expect of ladies of our experience. All in all, a solid paddle (in a solid boat – thank you senior men for the loan!), and a finish at 77th ahead of 226 crews, some of whom you might hope had actually sat on an erg in the preceding six months!