Results update

Vesta Elite women dig deep!

Vesta Elite Women dig deep!

A slightly belated post to let you know that the results from Quintin and Remenham Heads are on the website Results page. The club has been doing well lately. At Quintin our ladies were the 2nd fastest women’s crew and the men came 2nd in IM1, 10th overall.

Next weekend is Henley Fours and Eights Head so more racing action is on the horizon!

I am looking for roving reporters to post more about how our crews are faring, so if you’d like to pen a few lines (and it really doesn’t have to be much) please do! Just drop me (Cheryl) a line at Thanks!

Vesta men win in the Remenham Challenge

Two Vesta men’s crews won their divisions in the Remenham Challenge Head held on Sunday 16th December. It was a tremendous start for the novice men, who won their first ever race, beating London and Thames novice crews. Hopefully the taste of victory gives them confidence to continue as racers!

Vesta novice men's crew

The senior squad also had very well-earned success winning the Intermediate category and coming 5th overall. Well done!

Vesta intermediate men's crew

Vesta intermediate men's crew

Vesta also gained a close 2nd place in the Women’s Elite category, being pipped by a Thames crew. The women’s competition is bound to hot up as Vesta raced with a couple of subs on the day, so there’s extra speed to be found.

Overall we had seven crews racing on a beautiful, not too cold, wintry day. The Remenham Challenge, being the forerunner of all the eights heads, is always a mixed field in terms of racing quality, as crews find their racing legs, or not. There were 38 crews racing altogether, so Vesta’s was the 2nd biggest entry for a club next to Thames, who entered an impressive 14 crews.

The full results are here and the Vesta crews’ results will be on our Results page shortly.

Thanks to Stewart Button for the photographs.


Scullers’ Head Smooth Success

Scullers' Head Start

Beautiful day for it!

Saturday 8th December was quite a beautiful day on the Tideway for the Scullers’ Head. Cold but calm and gorgeously sunny, which was a relief for many, I’m sure. Our brilliant volunteers from Vesta and elsewhere got up extra early to be at Ranelagh for the briefing as the sun rose, so that 448 single scullers could start racing at 9:30am.

Conditions played a big part in the race results, the Tideway being lucky for some as usual. The overall times were fairly slow and at first glance the results look slightly strange with so many late starters doing so well, but rest assured that this wasn’t anything to do with our timing team getting bored, and everything to do with the enormous amount of land water affecting the later tide. Hopefully next year’s race will be back to normal.

Alan Campbell at Scullers' Head 2012

Alan Campbell winner of the Scullers' Head 2012 courtesy of Ben Rodford

The overall winner was 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner, Alan Campbell, with a substantial lead of 19 seconds over the next best sculler.

Incidentally this year it looks like we have a batch of amazing novice scullers as 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th places were all taken by ‘novices’, but again this is likely because of their later start times! Similarly the fastest woman was a W.senior 3 lightweight who started position 547.

Liz Crighton at Scullers' Head 2012

Liz Crighton winner of W.Sen division of the Scullers' Head courtesy of Ben Rodford

Vesta won a pennant again this year in the Women’s Senior category. Congratulations to Liz Crighton who charged home in 23:43.64 coming 21st out of the women overall. Well done!

Of the 19 Vesta contenders who raced, Jon Brown was our best placed man as 77th, Steve Whittle, our fastest novice man at 113th, Fred Beaud, the fastest veteran, a MasC, coming 4th in category at 117th. We didn’t have a novice woman racing – next year girls remember that there’s bar prizes to be won for fastest novices!

Barry Clarke racing the Scullers' Head 2012

Barry Clarke racing the Scullers' Head 2012 courtesy of Ben Rodford

Other notables: Barry Clarke came 2nd in his category of MasB.Nov; Rowan McKellar was 2nd to Liz in W.Sen; M Maynard was 2nd in MasC.Nov; and (an injured) Kat Hedges came 2nd in W.MasA.

Famously there’s always a Vesta member bringing up the rear and the credit for last place goes to Jock McKerrell, 3rd place in MasH with a time of 28:33.59. Alan Campbell, let’s see if you can do that in 40 years time. Ha!

Last, but not least at all, a huge amount of recognition and thanks to Sinead, Chris, Tash and all the Open Events Committee, umpires, launch drivers, timing team, bacon sarnie makers, food sellers, bar staff and all the wonderful people I’ve forgotten to mention. It would not happen without you.

Scullers' Head Start Queue

Organising the queue up to the Start - like herding cats as usual!

Photos by Ben Rodford (@Ben_Rodford) can be found here.

Diamond Jubilee Rowing Championships 20-21 October 2012 Eton Dorney

Paul Fitzwilliam reports

The first Diamond Jubilee Rowing Championships was designed as part GB Trials part National Championships.

With Dorney Lake slowly being returned to its pre-Olympic state, Vesta’s sole representative at this event was Rowan McKellar who was racing in a composite WU19 2x and a composite W 4x with Glasgow RC as a first step in her quest to seek GB U23 selection.

On Saturday, with the Hwt, Lwt, U23 and U19 doubles all racing together as per GB Trials format, the Time Trial didn’t go quite to plan but by the end of the knock out stages Rowan and her lightweight colleague from Glasgow had won the E Final and finished 3rd in the U19 category.

On Sunday Rowan and her three Glasgow crewmates raced the quad and won the C final, finishing 4th in W4x behind Leander and two crews from IC, and 14th overall out of 24 quads.

The next step will be the Open Trials in November in the ergo and in singles.

(My apologies to Rowan for omitting to report on this earlier. Well done and good luck this month! – Cheryl)

Fours Heads

Vesta had 16 crews competing over two days of racing on 10th and 11th November in the Head of the River Fours and Veteran Fours Head. (That included a whopping nine women’s crews so boats were borrowed to meet demand.) It was the first major head race for most of our senior squads to lay a marker for the season and  for some to get some experience racing and steering the championship course.

The weather and water were pretty friendly on both days, not too cold or windy at all, but you definitely wanted to get your line right because the stream was pulling boats along tidily in the best of it.

The results from Saturday are posted on our results page. Notably the men’s IM1 4- and the women’s IM1 4x performed very well.

Inside the club house  our members and volunteers had really come up trumps. We had a fantastic amount of food to sell and consume over both days and plenty of people around to help serve at the food table and bar.

On Saturday night and the ‘Four of a kind’  party the club was filled with foursome’s in fancy dress including, the wizard of Oz, teenage mutant ninja turtles and Kiss… It could have been scary for unsuspecting passers by!

On Sunday there were three men’s boats representing Vesta. We didn’t get our fourth in due to the event being heavily oversubscribed. All did respectably with the Mas D 4x achieving our best time.

Race report: Vesta visits Head of the Charles

Rohanne reports –

In mid October, a representation of Vesta athletes arrived in Boston alongside British and International rowing royalty. They all gathered on the Charles River for the annual Head of the Charles Regatta. Luckily this year, the weather gods were kind, with stunning sunshine and temperatures in the high teens for the racing. First to race for Vesta was Jamie Wooller, who competed in Men’s Club Singles on Saturday and finished 30th out of 67, beating many younger and heavier competitors. Next up was Nell Pascall, who raced under her Dartmouth University alumni banner, the Evergreen Boat Club, in Alumni 8s. Nell’s exquisite Vesta technique helped her set the crew up for a 3rd place finish in their category, and a medal!

The head wind picked up on Sunday, just in time for the Women’s Championship 8s race, which the Vesta Senior Women, under the tutelage of Matt Gilliver entered. The field was packed with heavy weights, including national crews from the USA, Netherlands, Canada and GB, as well as American top tier university crews. However, Vesta put in a solid showing, overtaking Villanova in front of our home away from home, Riverside Boat Club, finishing 31st out of 40. Vesta was the fasted Club boat in the division and beat the Thames crew which had coincidentally also trekked  over for the race, by a good 50s.


Head of the Charles


There was an awesome afterparty hosted by Riverside BC at Ned Devine’s in fanuial hall (a very un-Irish looking Irish bar), the booze was flowing (gin?), with olympian spotting taking place and some good dancing as well. We would definitely do it again.


One of the new senior boys, Rob Staruch, also rowed the race, but with Army. I’m sure the men would love the race if they decide to go next year. There’s already talk of tackling it again in singles no less!


Vesta at Head of the Charles this weekend

A women’s championship eight and a men’s single will represent Vesta in the Head of the Charles in Boston, USA on 20th and 21st October. The regatta is now underway and a live webcast is available here.

Jamie Wooller will race on Saturday at 16:48 (11:48am local time) and the ladies will race at 20:08 (15:08 local time) on Sunday.

P.S. Jamie came 30 / 64 with a time of 20:21.19. Live results are here.

Pairs Head 2012

Pairs Head 2012

Helen and Natalie race in W.IM2.2-

Twelve Vesta crews successfully raced the Pairs Head course this year, with a strong showing from both the men’s and women’s senior squads. Three experienced women’s crews achieved second places, unfortunately missing out on a pennant, but what a good start to the season! The men’s pairs also posted some respectable times achieving a sixth and seventh place in IM2.2- category. A notable mention should go to Paul Mew who came third in MasF.2x with his partner from London RC. See the club’s results here and the full list on the Pairs Head website. (As always, please get in touch with me if you’d like to write a race report or send any photographs that we can use on the website, Thanks!).

Ladies who love Tour du Lac

tour du lacFor the third year in a row Vesta has supplied five brave souls (AKA nutters – and I’m allowed to say that because I’ve done it) to race the longest inland rowing race in the world. Congratulations to Vics McLeod-More, Emily Trant, Verity Ansell, Fran Bennet and Lein Snippe, who completed the course along Lake Geneva in a big, heavy coxed quad. Usually 160km long, the course was shortened due to wet, windy, waves-worse-than-the-Tideway weather, but they still rowed 146km, which took 14 hours, 55 mimnutes and 14 seconds!  The ladies have done it again.

A particular mention to Vics, who completed the challenge just a year after having a baby and to Emily for returning for a third year in a row and already planning a fourth. Read her fantastic race report here.