Vets Head cancelled due to poor weather conditions

In light of the forecast weather conditions for Sunday, we have regrettably taken the decision to cancel the 2013 Vesta Veterans Head.

Further details will follow.

The Head of the River race is also cancelled tomorrow, BUT the Vesta party will go on! As Judith says, is the pope catholic? Be prepared for boat races of the drinking variety…

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!


Vesta Vets Head Draw now online

Less than two weeks until we race!

The 2013 provisional draw is now available.

Plus all the race instructions are available on our Vets Head event page.

Visiting the Vesta Veterans’ Head from Europe?

We have navigation guides in French, German, Spanish and Italian. Please see the information for visiting overseas crews on the right hand side of the draw page. This is available courtesy of British Rowing Thames Regional Rowing Council.


New! Race Instructions for Vesta International Veterans’ Head

The following documents are now available. See the main information page for the full race details.


  1. Tideway Navigation Chart
  2. General Instructions
  3. Marshalling diagrams
  4. Key Info – if you only have a minute – READ THIS ONE!

Entries are open until 10th March so don’t miss out!

Race T-Shirt!

rtb-vetshead-tshirtAlso the Official Race T-shirt is now available from Rock The Boat. To purchase please click here.












Women’s Head Run Up

The Vesta women and their coaches have been working hard through the gruelling months of January and February, with a few obstacles to contend and overcome!

Firstly, they didn’t allow the nasty icy conditions at the Docks stop their seat racing. The squad succeeded in completing their racing matrix in small boats in the snow. The Rememham Challenge and Quintin Head have been good opportunities to test racing speed and our top crew was 2nd fastest women in both events.

Henley Eights and Fours was cancelled on weekend of 15th Febraury, but instead Vesta welcomed Oxford University Women’s Lightweights (OUWLRC) to the club to train alongside our senior women’s squad. The girls had some fun and achieved some solid results side by side there. Thanks OUWLRC! You’re welcome back anytime!


This weekend Hammersmith Women’s and Juniors was totally oversubscribed because every other race in the calendar has been called off so we couldn’t get any entries. Still Vesta can be perked up in the knowledge that they have an exceptional Women’s Eight Head of the River draw. Thanks to the brilliant performances last year, for the first time ever Vesta has three crews in the top 20, at 3, 13 and 19, racing Senior, IM1 and IM2 respectively. Plus an IM3 crew at 53 and for the first time a Masters A crew at 71, the latter who I’ve heard on the grapevine are eyeing a pennant.

Thames being our nemesis again this year is starting Head of the River, and we know they have had the measure of us so far this winter, but the gaunlet is down! Once again there’s a significant overseas contigent too, who, apart from the returning 2nd place crew from Belvoir RC Zurich, are the unknown. Elite Imperial and GB Junior crews look like they might be pretty hot and we’ll have to see who else shows up on the day. Some of the overseas crews are racing Masters, which will keep our old girls on their toes.  Osiris and Cambridge Uni don’t seem to be racing this year (Tethys – Oxford Lightweights I believe – are) and neither are any other GB composite crews.

For Vesta no doubt this will be a race to remember! We encourage all supporters to get to the river to cheer on our crews in two weeks to give our girls an extra push. Good luck Vesta!

NB if you want to correct me at all on any of this, please do! Cheryl

Summer Cycling – Tour de Force

A message from Dave “DC” Clinton (not generally known for shirking pain, sobriety or indeed sanity…)

Well since I left the river and took up the bicycle I have managed a few big rides.
However, this year is the 100th Tour de France and I thought it would be nice to do some Tour riding.
I happened across this: Check out Tour Taster 2. Southern Discomfort.
All this madness is in aid of charity.  So … if you think it’s mad enough you could show your appreciation by sponsoring me. The charity is the William Wates Memorial Trust, which helps the most disadvantaged young people keep away from a life of crime and violence, and fulfill their potential.

It’s a great charity raising money to help disadvantaged children. Please sponsor me or just donate anyway here:


Lynne Anderson

It is with deepest shock and sadness that I have to report the news that our president Don Anderson’s wife, Lynne, died last night after being knocked down by a car. Lynne has supported the club generously over the years and is well known to a number of us. We send our heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers to Don and his family at this difficult time.